Cyberwar and the myth of the Hollywood Hacker

Depiction of computing and hacking in Hollywood has long been the subject of amusement for techies around the world. From the preposterous idea that you can hack into an alien computer, to increasingly unbelievable graphic user interfaces, film has been poisoning our perception of computing for years (and don’t get […]

Anatomy of a Skype hack attack

A few days ago I was hacked for the first time in my life. I keep telling me that everything is fine, that given the statistics this is nothing to be ashamed of. Even experts get hacked from time to time. It was meant to happen, for someone who spends […]

Is the Internet under attack?

Jen breaks the Internet The Internet is currently slowed down because of a massive DDoS attack against one anti-spam organization. At least this is the story being reported everywhere, from the New York Times to The Guardian. Or is it? Spamhaus is a non-profit organisation dedicated to fighting unsolicited communications […]

The cloud is making us insecure

Keeping local information is a thing of the past. Nowadays everything is in the cloud, haven’t you heard? From Dropbox to Google Drive we keep our files stored in some nameless data farm in Iowa, and any Apple user will have lots of information stored in the iCloud. While these […]

Passwords and cybersecurity

The above xkcd cartoon should be required viewing for every IT professional making decisions about cybersecurity. We are now constantly faced with services that ask us to change passwords all the time, and these must meet certain requirements. The password must have a cap, a number, and increasingly, a special […]

Cyberpunk 2.0

I am currently reading REAMDE, Neal Stephenson’s latest novel, and although I am still going through the initial pages (I am savouring it as I do most of Stephenson’s work), and it already has me thinking about new trends in literature. Cyberpunk is a well-defined post-modern sub-genre within science fiction, […]

Are hacking sanctions proportional to the crime?

Scotland Yard has caught LulzSec’s Topiary, their biggest scalp to date. Topiary has been identified as Jake Davis, an 18 year-old from the Shetland Islands (pictured here looking like a poster child for teenage hackers, including Neo-wannabe shades). He appeared in court earlier today and was released on bail, under […]

Hacking and DDoS: lessons from network resilience

After the spectacular hacking of The Sun newspaper and News International websites that took place earlier this week, hacking collectives like Anonymous, LulzSec and AntiSec seem unstoppable.  This air of invulnerability was part of LulzSec’s gloating the night the attack on The Sun’s web services took place. [blackbirdpie url=”″] However, […]