Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Defend Your Castle With Security Key

Castles of yore had multiple layers of defence. They had thick and high stone walls,  moats, and more walls.  It was very painful and expensive for attackers to breach these defences.  Internet security in the modern world is like this .. black-hat hackers create more clever attacks while security experts devise more defences.

It seems there is no absolute security with this neverending battle. But one can make best use of existing defences. For example, some WWW services use two factor authentication (2FA) when you update an account.  The server sends a clear-text SMS message which you enter into your application page. Hackers have tools and tactics to intercept and exploit this procedure.

A hardware security key mitigates this weakness because it has unique encryption codes which can't be modified by software hacks.  The key shown is made by Yubico to plug into a standard USB port. When you add this key to your account on Google or Facebook, the service requires you to plug in the key and tap it for login. Then you are good to go.

Keep the key with you as if it were a credit card. If your computer fails or is stolen, you can use the key on another computer.  Some phones, such as Google Pixel 4, have a Titan security chip which you can use for account setup.  Nobody  should use an App or SMS messages for account security.  If you have a business which stores private client information, it is more important to use this technology and consult a security specialist.

Yubico Example  .. Breaches come to those who wait!


Friday, March 20, 2020

The CoronaVirus Mayhem



There are many alarming reports about 'coronavirus' but that word is a just type or category. It should be mentioned by name "COVID-19" just to avoid any confusion. Next year there might be a different coronavirus which causes more chaos.

Under an electron microscope, the COVID-19 appears as fuzzy blob with many legs. The image above is more artistic.  The spikes on the ball may remind one of the sun's corona.  These spikes attach to a human cell which the virus uses to clone itself.  Fortunately, it's fatty tissue can be destroyed by common detergents.  I use a mixture of water and Dawn in a spray bottle to clean my countertops.  Handwashing with soap is better than using alcohol-based cleaners which don't remove the dirt while the alcohol irritates the skin. The alcohol-based is ok for portable use.

Apparently, the virus slowly meanders through the human body such that it takes a week or more for the infection to become evident. Symptoms vary from mild to menacing. People with pre-existing conditions are most vulnerable. If the virus attacks the lungs, the person may drown in their own fluids unless attached to a mechanical ventilator.  This is just my interpretation of what the experts explain.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Bailed-Out Plane

Bombardier designed an excellent jet named the CS300 produced in Mirabel.  Online reviews suggest it is a nifty aircraft designed for efficiency and comfort. You should give it a try on your next trip within North America.  Air Canada has about forty of them.

Airbus has a majority stake in the CS300 and probably earns more from it than does Bombardier. They renamed it A220-300.

The original CS300 was late entering production and got a big bailout from the Canadian government. Executives got big bonuses paid for by you, the citizen-taxpayer. So when you fly, there should be a least a seat with your name on it and a free pack of goobers.

Keep Bailing

Looking Good