Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL) vulnerabilities

Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL) is an authentication layer used in Internet protocols. SASL is not a protocol, but rather a framework that provides developers of applications and shared libraries with mechanisms for authentication, data integrity–checking, and encryption. Within the framework and a few of its plugins, there are a couple of known vulnerabilities that we want to make … [Read more...]

Explained: regular expression (regex)

Regular expression, or “regex” for short, is a mathematical term for the theory used to describe regular languages. But in computing, regexes are used to search for patterns in files and databases, and their functionality is incorporated into many modern programming languages. Regex search patterns make wildcards look like clumsy clowns because they offer a whole slew of additional … [Read more...]

Can search extensions keep your searches private?

One of the most common things most of us do on the Internet is search, whether we are looking up the price of the latest gadget or we need to find the address of that great restaurant recommended by a friend. The dizzying number of Google search queries per second (more than 40,000, on average) tells us there is plenty of money to be made by advertising in search results. It’s not just big … [Read more...]

How to secure your content management system

Suppose you want to start your own blog or set up a website where you can easily manage its content, the way it looks, and how often it changes. What you need is a content management system (CMS). WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla are some of the most popular content management systems used by both professionals and amateurs. The three I mentioned are open-source CMSes, meaning they are software with … [Read more...]

How to protect your RDP access from ransomware attacks

You didn’t really think that the ransomware wave was coming to an end, did you? You’d be tempted to think so, given the decline in reports about massive ransomware campaigns. But this relative radio silence may be due to some recent developments in the field. Ransomware attacks are getting more targeted to be more effective. And one of the primary attack vectors is the Remote Desktop … [Read more...]

Explained: What is big data?

If the pile of manure is big enough, you will find a gold coin in it eventually. This saying is used often to explain why anyone would use big data. Needless to say, in this day and age, the piles of data are so big, you might end up finding a pirate’s treasure. How big is the pile? But when is the pile big enough to consider it big data? Per Wikipedia: “Big data is data sets that are so big and … [Read more...]

What’s the real value—and danger—of smart assistants?

You’ve heard them called virtual assistants, digital personal assistants, voice assistants, or smart assistants. Operated by artificial intelligence, technologies such as Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana have become ubiquitous in our culture. But what exactly do they do? And how seriously should we take them? While all the tech giants want us to use their smart assistants all the … [Read more...]

Can we trust our online project management tools?

How would you feel about sharing confidential information about your company on Twitter or Facebook? That doesn’t sound right, does it? So, in a corporate life where we keep our work calendars online, and where we work together on projects using online flow-planners and online project management software, it might pay off to wonder whether the shared content is safe from prying eyes. What are we … [Read more...]

Did my comment on your blog get lost?

If you ever feel bad about your job because of mindless tasks you must perform day after day, or if you’re bothered by the fact that your chosen work pays crap, produces nothing useful, and helps no one: have a look at blog comment spammers and breathe a sigh of relief. They make almost any job look fantastic by comparison. Unfortunately, they also spam up the very comment sections where … [Read more...]