That’s a Wrap (up) — 2014 Follow-Ups

I’ve written about a wide variety of topics this past year. As is usual in technology fields there have been some changes and new information. Here are just a few updates. Keeping current and looking for updates is a critical part of this or any business. Don’t limit your learning on security to this blog or the classes we promote here. Read books, the web and newsletters. Keep your eyes open. Security is a mindset not just a topic.

Card Skimmers

Most recently in Real Keylogging Threats I mentioned skimmers – devices bad guys put on credit/debit card readers to steak the card information. There are two interesting updates.

First, a very thin skimmer is described by the Daily Mail It is so thin it is all but invisible. Increasing miniaturization and 3D printing should help these get even smaller. Second, Gizmodo reported on what appears to be a new type of skimmer. It connects directly to the card reading electronics inside the ATM or other target device. So there is nothing but the PIN-stealing camera outside. This makes it virtually impossible to detect by users – a scary thought indeed.

Learning to Pick Locks

In Lockpicking or Picking a Lock I said that I was a poor lockpicker. If that got you interested in learning to pick locks (for legal reasons, of course!), here are links to two tools to help you learn: first up is a  “A Lockpick School in a Box”. The link for purchasing it is in the Gizmodo article. The “school” is a kit with progressively more difficult pin-and-tumbler locks. The second tool is a cutaway or transparent lock. It turns out that there are lots of these, but the one pictured in a video I saw on Gizmodo looked really cool for learning how locks work.

An Affordable Iris Scanner

I mentioned iris scanners in Eye Get It at the end of 2013. Now it seems there is an affordable one. Eyelock has come up with an iris scanner for USD280. The website mentions “one device needed per household”, but I’m not sure about household use at that price point. While according to the company the authentication occurs in the device, it is limited to five people per device. The device is palm-sized and powered by USB.

As the year draws to a close I wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year. I hope to see you in a Learning Tree class in 2015 or at least read your comments to my blog posts. Cyber security is a critical topic for both the public and private sectors as recent news items have helped make clear. Let’s work together to make our agencies and enterprises safe.

To your safe computing,
John McDermott

(BTW, neither Learning Tree nor I recommend or endorse any products mentioned here or in other posts.)

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