From Malware To Malevolent People

So in virus protection on the computer, there are 2 common ways antivirus software works:


1) Signature Detection – There are known patterns of viruses and the antivirus software looks for a match against one of these. 


2) Behavior Detection – There are known patterns of normal behavior on the computer, and the antivirus software looks for deviations from this. 


Each has certain weaknesses:


– With signature detection, if there is a zero-day exploit (i.e. a virus that is new and therefore which has no known signature) then it will not be caught by a blacklist of known viruses.


– While with behavior detection, some viruses that are designed to look like normal network or application behavior will not be caught by heuristic/algorithm-based detection methods. 


For defense-in-depth then, we can see why employing a combination of both methods would work best to protect from malware. 


It’s interesting that these same techniques for recognizing bad computer actors can be used for identifying bad or dangerous people. 


We can look for known signatures/patterns of evil, abusive, and violent behaviors and identify those people according to their bad actions.


Similarly, we generally know what “normal” looks like (within a range of standard deviations, of course) and people who behave outside those bounds could be considered as potentially dangerous to themselves or others. 


Yes, we can’t jump to conclusions with people — we don’t want to misjudge anyone or be overly harsh with them, but at the same time, we are human beings and we have a survival instinct. 


So whether we’re dealing with malware or malevolent individuals, looking at patterns of bad actors and significant deviations from the normal are helpful in protecting your data and your person. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Ebola Has Arrived

Ebola 2
The Washington Post ran an article on August 1, “Why You Are Not Going To Get Ebola In The U.S.”



As of about 10 minutes ago, they are now reporting, “As Ebola Confirmed In U.S. , CDC vows, ‘We’re Stopping It In Its Tracks.'”



What do you think we’ll see in the news about Ebola within the next 6 months or year–completely eradicated, mostly contained, spreading slowly, or G-d forbid a global pandemic? 



G-d should help us to conquer this disease quickly and completely. 



(Source Photo: here with Attribution to European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection)

Ebola On The Move

Ebola
Watching this video of an ebola patient escaping quarantine and the panic in Liberia, it is hard not to be concerned about it coming here. 



Additionally, with a third American infected with Ebola overseas coming back home for treatment, and the CDC retesting a Miami patient negative for Ebola after having shown some symptoms, the stakes seem to be going up with this deadly disease. 



Just last Friday, GovExec reported that Ebola has a 18% chance of reaching the U.S. in September.



Moreover, if the outbreak is not contained the risk of it coming here is said to “increase consistently.”



My daughter asked me the other day why commercial flights to/from the infected countries (not including aid delvieries) have not been cut off for now to help prevent the spread of the disease and save lives.



Unfortunately, I did not have a good answer to this, except that certainly there are economic and social implications to those countries in the short-term, but what are the potential costs to countless other global citizens if we do not do everything we can to adequately contain this outbreak?  

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)