Nick Barron

Recent articles by Nick Barron

Copyright confusion

Copyright confusion

The laws on illegal downloading are due for a much-needed update, so make sure your voice is heard.
May 23 2008 4:12PM
Cold comfort

Cold comfort

Researchers have uncovered a number of ways attackers could force a PC to cold boot. Better keep that heating on.
May 9 2008 3:20PM
Risk is a state of mind

Risk is a state of mind

All the encryption in the world won't keep information safe if the people handling data don't think about security.
Mar 20 2008 2:35PM
The key to USB security

The key to USB security

USB devices are getting smaller. That also makes them easier to lose, yet most still have no decent encryption.
Feb 13 2008 4:04PM
I search therefore I am ..

I search therefore I am ..

Yet another politician has suggested that blocking the web can save us from terrorists. If only life was that simple.
Nov 29 2007 3:46PM
Sit back and do nothing

Sit back and do nothing

Our instinct is to fix bugs when we come across them, but sometimes that can cause more harm than good.
Oct 22 2007 3:00PM
The illusion of accuracy

The illusion of accuracy

Don't take log files as absolute truth. They're only as reliable as the systems that generated them.
Sep 19 2007 3:44PM
A naive view of crypto

A naive view of crypto

The idea that you can stop consumers copying electronic media doesn't hold water. But people will still try.
Jul 25 2007 7:57AM
We're only trying to help

We're only trying to help

User feedback can provide free online consumer research and security reports, so why is it impossible to leave any?
May 29 2007 4:23PM
IT folk aren't nearly so shy

IT folk aren't nearly so shy

Security commentators, myself included, regularly comment on the security patching cycle and the problems associated with it. What we tend not to do, though, is comment on the ‘patching' problem for physical security systems.
Jul 12 2006 3:39PM
It’s time to restrict user rights

It’s time to restrict user rights

Most of the best ideas in IT security – indeed, security in general – have been around for a long time. One that is all too often forgotten is the concept of “least privilege”, or using the bare minimum level of access to get the job done.

Jun 14 2006 5:22PM
Time to call a spade a spade

Time to call a spade a spade

If you’re paranoid like me, one of your regular daily routines will be a check of your corporate anti-virus to make sure that it is receiving updates regularly. This is not an unreasonable precaution; several times I have seen major brand products silently go into a sulk and stop talking to the update server.
May 9 2006 4:23PM
The too long arm of the law

The too long arm of the law

The UK’s main law against IT criminals, the Computer Misuse Act, is 16 years old this year. The Act has received plenty of criticism, and led to only a few prosecutions, but recent interpretations and proposed changes are worrying.
Apr 7 2006 12:44PM
Swapping black hats for white

Swapping black hats for white

IT security is one of the few professions where getting caught in the act, so to speak, can be the start of a great new career. Recently, there have been a number of high-profile cases of “poacher turned gamekeeper”, with virus writers being hired almost from the court steps.
Mar 8 2006 9:29AM
Time to stop trusting paper

Time to stop trusting paper

Everybody loves a good conspiracy, whether it’s alien invasion or security services’ plots to subvert governments. There seems to be no protection against such fascinations with increased education or intelligence (see, for example, Michael Shermer’s book Why people believe weird things).
Feb 13 2006 10:10AM
We all need open standards

We all need open standards

The latest SANS "Top 20" vulnerability list was released recently. While it needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, it did come up with an interesting observation. It seems the focus is shifting, from holes in OSs to those in applications.
Jan 25 2006 1:59PM
Management right or wrong?

Management right or wrong?

Dec 9 2005 4:51PM
Be careful what you measure

Be careful what you measure

Quality-assurance audits are a bit like visits to the dentist; you know you need them, and that they will do you good, but that doesn't make the day itself any more fun. A recent audit I was involved in brought with it the usual flurry of activity to close off outstanding actions and generate the relevant reports.

Nov 10 2005 4:23PM
Lies, damned lies and statistics

Lies, damned lies and statistics

Oct 21 2005 4:38PM
Phrack falls with the leaves

Phrack falls with the leaves

The end of August also saw the end of Phrack magazine (www.phrack.org). Or did it? There are rumours about a revival, but Phrack as it stands has breathed its last.
Sep 5 2005 3:27PM

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