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February 2015

Obama Goes To Silicon Valley (February 13, 2015)
Updates have been scant since I started working full-time with ISMG; have been channeling my writing energies there. Here's a teaser for a story I co-wrote today about President Obama trying to sell his post-Snowden cybersecurity agenda to Silicon Valley leaders: Obama to Issue Cybersecurity Executive Order.
White House Cybersecurity Summit

Street Photography Workshop (February 12, 2015)
I attended a great street-photography workshop today in Edinburgh run by Bristol-based Kevin Mullins.

Edinburgh was its typical wintery greyness, which isn't great for dramatic lighting, but does lend a nice, smooth tone for portraits.

Edinburgh Street PhotographySt. Giles

July 2014

Nottingham PostIndietracks Music Festival (July 29, 2014)
The Nottingham Post is running some of my pictures from this past weekend's Indietracks music festival in Derbyshire. Gorgeous weekend, though it topped 30C (86F).

Weekend in review: indie rock, real ale, steam trains, and oh, lots of great bands too: The Chills, Dean Wareham, Dorotea, Linda Guilala, Allo Darlin' and Gruff Rhys, to name but a few. Can't wait to go back next year …

June 2014

New Job: ISMG Managing Editor, Europe (June 2, 2014)
Information Security Media Group
Changes, changes: After 13 years of being a freelancer, I've joined Information Security Media Group as the Managing Editor for Europe. (Here's a related press release for you completists.)

In my new role, I'll be covering information security and privacy news and trends that affected the United Kingdom, Europe and beyond. As well as producing blogs, podcasts, and covering a fair share of conferences -- more than I got to do as a freelancer -- I'll also be getting face to face with frontline practitioners and thought leaders. Exciting times.

May 2014

Back From London (May 9, 2014)
Dashed to London last week for the annual Infosecurity Europe conference.

Generated four related stories:

London EyeDarkReading Joins InformationWeek (May 1, 2014)
Last month, DarkReading -- long a sister publication to InformationWeek --became part of InformationWeek, effectively now serving as its security section. For the past four years, I've served as the information security reporter for InformationWeek, and am now working with the top-notch staff of DarkReading. (PR peeps, please now adjust your DarkReading-wise pitches accordingly.)
February 2014

Guardian Readers' Photos: Zigzag (Feb. 20, 2014)
Just found out that my photograph of the St. Monans harbour breakwater was one of eight images selected to run last month in the Guardian's Weekend readers' best photographs: zigzag competition.

St Monans Harbour Breakwater

January 2014

LRPS from the Royal Photographic SocietyRoyal Photographic Society Distinction (Jan. 17, 2014)
Catching up on personal news from late last year, in my quest to secure a licentiateship from the Royal Photographic Society, I submitted a portfolio of my work, then attended the assessment day in Bath to watch the judging. I'm proud to announce that I was awarded my Licentiateship of the Royal Photographic Society (LRPS).

Here's a link to my 10-image panel.

Campaign Against US Retailers Revealed (Jan. 13, 2014)
In the wake of a breach at US retailer Target that affected up to 110 million people, now luxury US retailer Neiman Marcus has confirmed that it too was targeted, although has yet to detail exactly what was stolen, or how many customers might be affected. The retailer said it's still investigating the intrusion. I've got more in my news story for InformationWeek.

Reuters reports that at least three other retailers were similarly breached -- likely at the end of November 2013, and extending well into December -- but have yet to come clean. Until they do so, banks and processors can't out them, though given how news of the Target and Neiman Marcus breaches trickled out, I'd guess we'll hear more about the other suspects in the coming days, unless they take the initiative and come clean sooner.

December 2013

Android on CCTVSelf-Sabotage Virus Promises Free Time (Dec. 3, 2013)
How's this for an advertising campaign? An advertising agency out of Colorado has designd a fake virus attack -- or broken monitor, or Blue Screen of Death -- for your computer's screen. Perfect for sneaking out to bag some last-minute shopping.

Has Your Android Been Pwned? (Dec. 2, 2013)
Has your smartphone been taken over by malicious attackers? When a reader reached out to ask if her phone had been pwned, I turned to security experts to determine the top signs that your Android device may have been compromised.

Results presented as a slideshow. (I whipped up the pictured image courtesy of Flickr user nolifebeforecoffee.)

November 2013

Eddie's Awards Finalist (Nov. 14, 2013)
I just found out that my investigative feature Anatomy of A Brokerage IT Meltdown is an Eddie & Ozzie award finalist in this category:

Business to Business >> Technology/Computing/Telecom >> Single Article

I'm up against stories from Computerworld and strategy+business. Awards will be announced Dec. 5, 2013; fingers crossed.Eddie Award Finalist

October 2013

Inkblots (October 18, 2013)
Psychoanalysis fans, rejoice: You might soon be able to log in to websites using inkblots.

The three Carnegie Mellon researchers behind the proposal have dubbed their new system Gotchas -- for Generating panOptic Turing Tests to Tell Computers and Humans Apart -- which they said boils down to "a randomized puzzle generation protocol, which involves interaction between a computer and a human."

Finalist For 2013 min's Editorial & Design Awards (October 17, 2013)
min's awards for editorial and design 2013Exciting: My investigative feature Anatomy of A Brokerage IT Meltdown is a finalist in min's 2013 Editorial & Design awards in the single article (print) category:

I'm up against Cosmo, Ladies' Home Journal, O--The Oprah Magazine, People, and WSJ Magazine, amongst others.

Awards will be announced Nov. 18, 2013. Security Questions: Radio Interview (October 15, 2013)
John BatchelorI was interviewed by John Batchelor (pictured) out of New York City for his daily radio show on WABC, discussing my recent story detailing five security concerns surrounding the federal "Obamacare" portal

It's always fun to jump on the air to talk about computer security.

Hacker Entrapment (October 7, 2013)
Just how far can the FBI go when it comes to "permissible entrapment" of people suspected of computer crimes?

That's the question raised by one of my latest stories for InformationWeek, which concerns the case of hacker Jeremy Hammond, who's pleaded guilty to charges of hacking private intelligence firm Stratfor. But Hammond claims his hacking was being monitored not only by LulzSec leader "Sabu" (aka Hector Xavier Monsegur) but also the FBI.

September 2013
Sporadic Update Alert (September 10, 2013)
It's been one of those years? Full court press between work, breaking news (and the nonstop NSA story), becoming president of my local photographic society (a.k.a. camera club) and travel. I've been at least keeping my links to recent work up to date, but on deck for "soon" is a completely updated photo gallery with more recent work.
August 2013

Edinburgh Fringe Festival (August 20, 2013)
If anyone's heading to Edinburgh Fringe with kids in 5-10 range and wants recommendations, here's top 4 list (all very recommended):

  • Curse of Pharaoh's Tomb: Interactive Indiana Jones for kids
  • Bec & Tom's Awesome Laundry: Great sketch comedy, kids (and adults) in audience were laughing their heads off
  • Help! My Supply Teacher is Magic: Magic and illusions from presenters of the eponymous kids show
  • Princess Pumpalot --The Farting Princess: Pronounced "great" … Kingdom under attack must be defended using magic farting beans. The amount of kid-focused material at the Fringe is magic. As are people who can do kid-focused standup. Hats off.
July 2013

Summer of Snowden (July 23, 2013)
National Security Agency contractor turns whistle-blower, cue seemingly nonstop revelations as a result, including how using encrypted communications draws extra NSA attention, as well as how the NSA regularly reviews about 1.6% of all Internet traffic.

March 2013

Downtime In Northumberland (March 1, 2013)
Percy HuntBooked a weekend away, only to stumble on a local hunt -- no foxes chased, just scents laid down -- in Northumberland.

Overcast day, not excellent for photographs of the hunt in action, but the assembled hounds, who are kept by the society that manages the hunt, whining as they waited to get underway, made for excellent subjects.

February 2013
Information Security: Quick Hits (Feb. 26, 2013)
Recent information security fun: zombie uprising hoax, NBC website serve Java-seeking malware, rethinking China attacks and cyberwar.
January 2013

Turn of the Year: In Denial? (Jan. 28, 2013)
Another year, another run-and-gun website update.

More: 2012 Updates

Mathew Schwartz