Blogs

  • The Next NERC CIP

    by Gib Sorebo on December 14, 2009

    Last week I attended a North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection Conference in Atlanta hosted by Electric Utility Consultants, Inc. (EUCI). The presentations were enlightening, particularly one that focused on the next version of the NERC’s Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) standards. As I noted in my first post, debates continue to rage about…

  • What do alcoholic pilots and hackers have in common?

    by Ben Rothke on December 14, 2009

    What do alcoholic pilots and hackers have in common? Perhaps, more than you imagine. But the big question is, do they deserve a second chance? While this is a book about a pilot, the parallels to hackers are many. Flying Drunk: The True Story of a Northwest Airlines Flight, Three Drunk Pilots, and One Man's Fight for Redemption, is the autobiography of pilot Joseph Balzer. And Balzer is one lucky…

  • Tetraktys is not the world's first cryptographic thriller

    by Ben Rothke on December 14, 2009

    In my review of Ari Juels excellent novel Tetraktys on Slashdot, I made the mistake of saying it might be the world's first cryptographic thriller. I got plenty of heat for ignoring Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson which in truth is the world's first cryptographic thriller. This book, tells the story of Ambrose Jerusalem, a gifted computer security expert, still haunted by his father's death, a few…

  • Disputes About Production of Files in Native Format

    by Stephen Wu on December 13, 2009

    It's a familiar dispute in cases involving eDiscovery. One party asks the other side to turn over electronically stored information (ESI) in native file format, and the other party wants to turn over ESI in a different format. By "native" file format, I am referring to the format in which the ESI was created and saved by the application producing it. What if the requesting party and the producing…

  • Welcome to the Security Reading Room blog

    by Ben Rothke on December 12, 2009

    Welcome to the Security Reading Room blog. I have been writing book reviews since 2000, when I wrote by first reviews, which were for Looking into Windows NT: A Before-You-Leap Guide to Microsoft's Network Solution by Steven Levenson and Windows NT Security Guide by Stephen Sutton. In the last few years, most of my reviews have appeared on Slashdot and Security Managementmagazine. I also cross post…

  • The best information security book I ever read is….

    by Ben Rothke on December 12, 2009

    Hands down, the best book I have read to date is Security Engineering: A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems by Ross Anderson. The second edition came out in 2008. If you are looking for 50 pages of screen prints on how to install and configure a printer under Windows, this is the wrong book for that. What Anderson does, in great detail and with lucidity, is particularizing all of the…

  • Book review of Confessions of a Public Speaker

    by Ben Rothke on December 12, 2009

    While there is a plethora of books such as Public Speaking for Dummies, and many similar titles,Confessions of a Public Speaker is unique in that it takes a holistic approach to the art and science of public speaking. The book doesn't just provide helpful hints, it attempts to make the speaker, and his associated presentation, compelling and necessary. Confessions is Scott Berkun's first-hand…

  • Going Old School

    by Gib Sorebo on December 2, 2009

    The world of information technology and electronics has produced spectacular advancements in the way we live. Technologies that once required human intervention can now be automated with the tasks to be performed hidden from view. While that has made our lives easier, it doesn’t always pique our curiosity. We have to admit that it’s usually a lot more fun to watch a demonstration where something…

  • Lifelogging Devices May Revolutionize Court Testimony

    by Stephen Wu on December 2, 2009

    Business Week recently published an article about a Microsoft researcher, Gordon Bell, who walks around with a device called a SenseCam around his neck that snaps pictures every 20 seconds or so, along with a device that records audio conversations. Click here for the article and here for a related article in TechCrunch. In essence, the device records the daily events of Bell's life, which Bell can…

  • CFATS: Is the Danger Real?

    by Gib Sorebo on November 30, 2009

    As we get closer to the RSA Conference in March, I want to highlight some of the topics scheduled to be part of the Physical Security and Critical Infrastructure track. The subjects cover an array of issues from lock picking to the integrity of the electrical grid. One topic that is gaining increasing attention is the security of chemical plants. Given the potential terrorist applications of…

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