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Mathew J. Schwartz

St Monans Harbour BreakwaterSt Monans Harbour Breakwater| East Neuk, Fife, Scotland (2014)



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Latest Security News

Selected Stories

Obama to Issue Cybersecurity Executive Order
At a White House summit at Stanford University today, President Obama will sign an executive order to encourage more private sector information sharing. But will businesses buy into his proposals?
Information Security Media Group (2/13/2015)

Gawker Attacker Turned FBI Informant, Pursued Other Hackers
Unsealed court documents reveal that "Eekdacat" hacked Gawker, but related charges were dropped after the hacker helped the FBI nab other hackers. 
DarkReading (5/16/2014)

Navy Nuclear Carrier Sysadmin Busted For Hacking Databases
Boredom cited as excuse for alleged hack campaign that may have compromised more than 30 government and private sites. 
DarkReading (May 8, 2014)

OAuth, OpenID Flaw: 7 Facts
Authentication-protocol implementation security flaws are not as serious as Heartbleed, but Facebook and other sites must be fixed, say security experts. 
DarkReading (May 8, 2014)

Sneaky Windows Folder Poisoning Attack Steals Access Rights
Windows challenge-response authentication protocol could be abused by PC hackers to easily access wider corporate networks. 
DarkReading (May 6, 2014)

Dress Like A Gnome: 6 Security Training Essentials
Offer home security clinics, make security messages fit for Twitter, and don't be afraid to dress up, say Infosecurity Europe presenters. 
DarkReading (May 5, 2014)

Privacy, Cybercrime Headline the Infosecurity Europe Conference
Attendees debate NSA surveillance, privacy reforms, cybercrime defenses, and sharpen their CISO skills. 
DarkReading (May 2, 2014)

Heartbleed Attack Targeted Enterprise VPN
Attack spotted using the OpenSSL Heartbleed bug to steal session tokens and bypass two-factor authentication. 
DarkReading (April 21, 2014)

Heartbleed: A Password Manager Reality Check
Is a password manager an effective defense against vulnerabilities like Heartbleed, or just another way to lose data to hackers? 
DarkReading (April 18, 2014)

Microsoft Delays Enterprise Windows 8.1 Support Doomsday
Responding to criticism, Microsoft gives businesses until August to adopt Windows 8.1 Update and continue receiving security updates. Consumers still face May 13 deadline. 
DarkReading (April 17, 2014)

White House Details Zero-Day Bug Policy
NSA denies prior knowledge of the Heartbleed vulnerability, but the White House reserves the right to withhold zero-day exploit information in some cases involving security or law enforcement. 
DarkReading (April 15, 2014)

Akamai Withdraws Proposed Heartbleed Patch
As researchers demonstrate OpenSSL bug exploits that retrieve private keys, Akamai rescinds a patch suggestion for the SSL/TLS library after a security researcher punches holes in it. 
DarkReading (April 14, 2014)

'Thingularity' Triggers Security Warnings
The Internet of Things is creating 50 billion Internet-connected devices. Who is going to keep them updated and secure? 
DarkReading (March 28, 2014)

Android Apps Hide Crypto-Currency Mining Malware
Apps downloaded by millions from Google Play and Spanish software forums include hidden altcoin-mining software. But criminals aren't getting rich quickly.
(March 27, 2014)

Cybercrime Black Markets Grow Up
Cybercrime forums selling advanced attacks on demand are outpacing businesses' ability to defend themselves, new study from RAND finds. 
InformationWeek (March 26, 2014)

More: Archive

Target CIO's Resignation: 7 Questions
After the data breach, why didn't the buck stop with PCI assessors or CEO? Search for accountability reveals flawed system, much finger-pointing. 
InformationWeek (March 6, 2014)

Bitcoin, Meet Darwin: Crypto Currency's Future
First-movers rarely survive, but some experts see a real future for government-issued crypto currency. 
InformationWeek (March 12, 2014)

Target Breach: Why Smartcards Won’t Stop Hackers
"Chip and PIN" smartcard adoption in the United States is long overdue. But the security improvement wouldn't have stopped Target’s BlackPOS malware attackers. 
InformationWeek (January 24, 2014)

Microsoft Delays Windows XP Antivirus Doomsday
Security Essentials for XP gets 15-month extension, but some antivirus vendors promise updates through 2017 and beyond. 
InformationWeek (January 16, 2014)

Is Mob-Busting RICO Overkill For Combating Cybercrime?
The milestone conviction of 22-year-old David Camez for his participation in a Russian-run "carder" forum raises legitimate questions about the role of RICO in taking down cybercrime. 
InformationWeek (December 17, 2013)

Energy Department Breach Years In Making, Investigators Say
July data breach that affected up to 150,000 employees traces back to a string of managerial and technical failures, investigators conclude. 
InformationWeek (December 16, 2013)

Hardware Hacker Demos Zombie Drone Hijacker
The SkyJack drone automatically seeks out and hijacks other nearby Parrot drones. Will this mean trouble for Amazon's planned drone delivery fleet? 
InformationWeek (December 04, 2013)

NSA Surveillance Infected 50,000 PCs With Malware
Leaked document details agency's "implants," satellite intercepts, joint CIA eavesdropping operations, and embassy-based monitoring programs abroad. 
InformationWeek (November 25, 2013)

Chinese Antivirus Firm NQ Called 'Massive Fraud'
Mobile anti-malware software developer NQ Mobile denies charges that it inflates its market share and makes spyware.
InformationWeek (October 25, 2013)

Experian Breach Fallout: ID Theft Nightmares Continue
Data brokers amassing gigantic data stores of people's valuable personal information are too big to not fail. Why are consumers getting stuck with the mess?
InformationWeek (October 25, 2013)

Browser Fingerprinting: 9 Facts
Tracking technology that can identify individual identities and devices is improving faster than consumers might realize, warn privacy researchers.
InformationWeek (October 24, 2013)

Stratfor Hacker: FBI Entrapment Shaped My Case
Hacker Jeremy Hammond asks for leniency before sentencing, citing the role of FBI informant Sabu in his case. How far can the FBI go with suspected computer criminals?
InformationWeek (October 04, 2013)

Can You Hack A Heartbeat?
Nymi biometric wristband promises to let you unlock everything from cars to hotel rooms without a PIN or password. It authenticates you using heart rhythms.
InformationWeek (September 04, 2013)

Exclusive: Anatomy Of A Brokerage IT Meltdown
Regulators last year issued the SEC's first-ever privacy fine against broker-dealer GunnAllen for failing to protect customer data. But former IT staffers say regulators didn’t seem to know half of this cautionary tale of outsourcing and oversight gone wrong.
InformationWeek (October 08, 2012)

More: Archive

See my archive of all stories written by year: 2014/2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003

Travel Writing & Photography

Near Black ButteRoyal Photographic Society LRPS Panel
My successful RPS panel of 10 images, for which I was awarded a licentiateship (LRPS) by the Royal Photographic Society in Bath, England.

11 Security Sights Seen Only At Black Hat
Who says fun, sun, malware, and penetration testing don't mix? This year's Black Hat conference in Las Vegas offered information security training, hardware hacking, pool time, and more.

IstanbulIstanbul in 5...
Istanbul, a Turkish port city on the Bosporus, has long been celebrated as a place where east meets west. Geographically, at least, that’s true, since the bicoastal city spans two European coasts and one in Asia, with each offering something different.
Molino BlancoTenerife in 5...
Find a different beach -- sandy, south-facing, and sunny -- for every day of your vacation on Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, an autonomous part of Spain located near the northwest coast of Africa.
Beach on ZdrilcaCroatian Beaches in 5...
Never mind that the beaches are mostly made of pebbles and rocks, Croatia’s islands, off the coast of Dalmatia, make for a singular beach getaway that won’t wreck your budget.

Paris Blvd RepubliqueParis in 5...
Whether it’s your first visit to Paris or your tenth, you ought to try something that may seem fiendishly simple, because it is: Living like a Parisian.


Fodor's Guide to the Da Vinci CodeFodor's Guide to The Da Vinci Code
Full-color guide ("on the trail of the bestselling novel") profiles the locations, people, historic events, and symbols featured in the novel. Also included: relevant travel information, plus hotel and food recommendations.

The guide opens with three of my essays, including profiles of the Paris Ritz (where the novel begins) and the Police Judiciaire, the real-life French law enforcement agency which employs Bezu Fache, the novel's fictional inspector.

See my updates page for more information, or read more travel writing.

Research Reports

Intranet Information Architecture (IA)
This two-volume, 1,293-page report details numerous IA best practices, and profiles the actual information architecture of 56 organizations' intranets — from BT Global Services and McDonald's, to Vodafone and Zeiss. (Co-authored.)
Nielsen Norman Group

Usability of Intranet Portals: A Report from the Trenches—Experiences From Real-Life Portal Projects
This 188-page report on intranet portal usability uses case studies and lessons learned from portal projects in numerous companies, as well as government agencies, to determine best practices for creating intranet portals. (Co-authored.)
Nielsen Norman Group
Irish crypt Ireland
From Clonmacnoise, to Dingle, to Dublin.
Headshots + friends
in Italy.
Stefani Reitter Dance Postcards Publicity
Singing ensemble, yoga instructors, and more. 

Travel photo galleries:

Boulevard Voltaire at Place Leon Blum in Paris

About Me
I'm a freelance journalist, writer, editor, and photographer. See the About section for more information about me, including my resume, and general information about the site.

Updates/What's new?
A log of changes to the site, with the latest magazine articles, photographs, and redesigns to the PenandCamera site.

Writing Samples
Even more writing samples on topics ranging from the business of creating effective incentives for workers, to the hiring of skilled computer security personnel, to the design and philosophy behind successful Web site makeovers.

About the photos & writing
All images on this site are © Mathew Schwartz (2014), as are all articles and written material, and may not be reproduced in any format without my express, written permission.

For questions/comments, contact me.

This page last updated: 13-Feb-2015

Mathew J. Schwartz