Floppy Disk Earrings

So this was an interesting technology fashion statement.


This lady in Washington, D.C. has earrings that are floppy disks. 


One full diskette on each ear!


I guess not only can she wear them, but she can plug them into her computer at work and save or transfer files (that is if you can still find a computer that actually uses these). 


It makes you think though, from a cybersecurity perspective, what other devices can people “wear” to work and use for good or malicious purposes. 


Another scary thought came to mind, how suicide/homicide bombers strap vests with explosives to their bodies too–do terrorists also adhere to a certain “style” even for murdering people? 


Anyway, fashion can be almost anything apparently…if you can find a way to put it on you body. 😉


(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

IT Security, The Frankenstein Way

Frankenstein

Here’s a riddle: When is a computer virus not a dangerous piece of malware? Answer: when it is hidden as Frankenstein code.

The Economist(25 August 2012) describes how computer viruses are now being secretly passed into computers, by simply sending a blueprint for the virus rather than the harmful code itself into your computer–then the code is harvested from innocuous programs and assembled to form the virus itself.

Like the fictional character, Frankenstein, that is stitched together out of scavenged body parts, the semantic blueprint pulls together code from host programs to form the viruses.

This results is a polymorphic viruses, where based on the actual code being drawn from other programs, each virus ends up appearing a little different and can potentially mask itself–bypassing antivirus, firewall, and other security barriers.

Flipping this strategy around, in a sense, Bloomberg Businessweek (20 June 2012) reports on a new IT security product by Bromiumthat prevents software downloads from entering the entire computer, and instead sets aside a virtual compartment to contain the code and ensure it is not malicious, and if the code is deemed dangerous, the cordoned-off compartment will dissolve preventing damage to the overall system.

So while on the offensive side, Frankenstein viruses stitch together parts of code to make a dangerous whole–here on the defensive side, we separate out dangerous code from potentially infecting the whole computer.

Computer attacks are getting more sinister as they attempt to do an end-run around standardized security mechanisms, leading to continually evolving computer defenses to keep the Frankensteins out there, harmless, at bay.

(Source Photo: herewith attribution to Dougal McGuire)