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Mathew J. Schwartz

St Monans Harbour BreakwaterSt Monans Harbour Breakwater| East Neuk, Fife, Scotland (2014)



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Latest Security News

Selected Stories

Akamai Withdraws Proposed Heartbleed Patch
As researchers demonstrate OpenSSL bug exploits that retrieve private keys, Akamai rescinds a patch suggestion for the SSL/TLS library after a security researcher punches holes in it. 
DarkReading (April 14, 2014)

'Thingularity' Triggers Security Warnings
The Internet of Things is creating 50 billion Internet-connected devices. Who is going to keep them updated and secure? 
DarkReading (March 28, 2014)

Android Apps Hide Crypto-Currency Mining Malware
Apps downloaded by millions from Google Play and Spanish software forums include hidden altcoin-mining software. But criminals aren't getting rich quickly.
(March 27, 2014)

Cybercrime Black Markets Grow Up
Cybercrime forums selling advanced attacks on demand are outpacing businesses' ability to defend themselves, new study from RAND finds. 
InformationWeek (March 26, 2014)

Outlook Users Face Zero-Day Attack
Simply previewing maliciously crafted RTF documents in Outlook triggers exploit of bug present in Windows and Mac versions of Word, Microsoft warns. 
InformationWeek (March 25, 2014)

Symantec Fires CEO In Surprise Move
Analysts question security and storage giant's turnaround after the board fires its second CEO in two years. 
InformationWeek (March 21, 2014)

Will Target Face FTC Probe?
Retailer's security practices remain under scrutiny as regulators ponder FTC investigation. Meanwhile, Sony options rights to Hollywood cyber-thriller based on breach story. 
InformationWeek (March 20, 2014)

Samsung Galaxy Security Alert: Android Backdoor Discovered
Samsung's flavor of Android has a backdoor that can be remotely exploited by attackers, Android developers warn. 
InformationWeek (March 13, 2014)

Bitcoin, Meet Darwin: Crypto Currency's Future
First-movers rarely survive, but some experts see a real future for government-issued crypto currency. 
InformationWeek (March 12, 2014)

Experian ID Theft Exposed 200M Consumer Records
ID theft ring sold access to database with 200 million consumers' private data to 1,300 criminals. 
InformationWeek (March 11, 2014)

Mt. Gox Chief Stole 100,000 Bitcoins, Hackers Claim

Cryptocurrency aficionados' ire stoked by leaked accounts showing 100,000 bitcoins remain missing. 
InformationWeek (March 10, 2014)

Target CIO's Resignation: 7 Questions
After the data breach, why didn't the buck stop with PCI assessors or CEO? Search for accountability reveals flawed system, much finger-pointing. 
InformationWeek (March 6, 2014)

Fresh Target Breach Cards Hitting Black Market
A Bitcoin-powered marketplace is selling stolen card data in small batches, offering card validity guarantees, an RSA presentation reveals.
InformationWeek (February 28, 2014)

IBM Software Vulnerabilities Spiked In 2013
Most code flaws still involve non-Microsoft products, and overall patching speed has improved, study presented at RSA conference finds. 
InformationWeek (February 27, 2014)

Apple Patches Mavericks SSL Flaw: Update Now
Security update patches "goto fail" flaw that enables attackers to intercept communications, but won't help the 23% of Macs running older OS X. 
InformationWeek (February 26, 2014)

Apple SSL Vulnerability: 6 Facts
SSL vulnerability that's been patched in iOS -- but not yet for OS X -- lets attackers intercept email and FaceTime communications, plus push malicious software updates. 
InformationWeek (February 25, 2014)

More: Archive

Bye, Bitcoin: Criminals Seek Other Crypto Currency
Law enforcement crackdowns, hack attacks, and market volatility drive Russian fraudsters to mint their own virtual currency systems. 
InformationWeek (February 18, 2014)

Target Breach: Why Smartcards Won’t Stop Hackers
"Chip and PIN" smartcard adoption in the United States is long overdue. But the security improvement wouldn't have stopped Target’s BlackPOS malware attackers. 
InformationWeek (January 24, 2014)

Microsoft Delays Windows XP Antivirus Doomsday
Security Essentials for XP gets 15-month extension, but some antivirus vendors promise updates through 2017 and beyond. 
InformationWeek (January 16, 2014)

Is Mob-Busting RICO Overkill For Combating Cybercrime?
The milestone conviction of 22-year-old David Camez for his participation in a Russian-run "carder" forum raises legitimate questions about the role of RICO in taking down cybercrime. 
InformationWeek (December 17, 2013)

Energy Department Breach Years In Making, Investigators Say
July data breach that affected up to 150,000 employees traces back to a string of managerial and technical failures, investigators conclude. 
InformationWeek (December 16, 2013)

Hardware Hacker Demos Zombie Drone Hijacker
The SkyJack drone automatically seeks out and hijacks other nearby Parrot drones. Will this mean trouble for Amazon's planned drone delivery fleet? 
InformationWeek (December 04, 2013)

NSA Surveillance Infected 50,000 PCs With Malware
Leaked document details agency's "implants," satellite intercepts, joint CIA eavesdropping operations, and embassy-based monitoring programs abroad. 
InformationWeek (November 25, 2013)

Twitter Two-Factor Lockout: One User's Horror Story
Is the security payoff from using Twitter's two-factor authentication system worth the risk of losing account access?
InformationWeek (October 29, 2013)

Chinese Antivirus Firm NQ Called 'Massive Fraud'
Mobile anti-malware software developer NQ Mobile denies charges that it inflates its market share and makes spyware.
InformationWeek (October 25, 2013)

Experian Breach Fallout: ID Theft Nightmares Continue
Data brokers amassing gigantic data stores of people's valuable personal information are too big to not fail. Why are consumers getting stuck with the mess?
InformationWeek (October 25, 2013)

Browser Fingerprinting: 9 Facts
Tracking technology that can identify individual identities and devices is improving faster than consumers might realize, warn privacy researchers.
InformationWeek (October 24, 2013)

Forget Captcha, Try Inkblots
Researchers propose using an inkblot-matching scheme, dubbed Gotcha, to defeat dictionary-based hacks of the Captcha system.
InformationWeek (October 17, 2013)

Dept. Of Energy Breach: Bigger Than We Realized
DOE says July data breach affected more than double the number of people in initial estimates. CIO tasks an independent investigator to probe breach and agency's technology infrastructure.
InformationWeek (October 22, 2013)

Stratfor Hacker: FBI Entrapment Shaped My Case
Hacker Jeremy Hammond asks for leniency before sentencing, citing the role of FBI informant Sabu in his case. How far can the FBI go with suspected computer criminals?
InformationWeek (October 04, 2013)

Can You Hack A Heartbeat?
Nymi biometric wristband promises to let you unlock everything from cars to hotel rooms without a PIN or password. It authenticates you using heart rhythms.
InformationWeek (September 04, 2013)

Exclusive: Anatomy Of A Brokerage IT Meltdown
Regulators last year issued the SEC's first-ever privacy fine against broker-dealer GunnAllen for failing to protect customer data. But former IT staffers say regulators didn’t seem to know half of this cautionary tale of outsourcing and oversight gone wrong.
InformationWeek (October 08, 2012)

More: Archive

See my archive of all stories written by year: 2014/2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003

Travel Writing & Photography

Near Black ButteRoyal Photographic Society LRPS Panel
My successful panel of 10 images, awarded a licentiateship (LRPS) by the Royal Photographic Society Licentiateship, based in Bath, England.

11 Security Sights Seen Only At Black Hat
Who says fun, sun, malware, and penetration testing don't mix? This year's Black Hat conference in Las Vegas offered information security training, hardware hacking, pool time, and more.

IstanbulIstanbul in 5...
Istanbul, a Turkish port city on the Bosporus, has long been celebrated as a place where east meets west. Geographically, at least, that’s true, since the bicoastal city spans two European coasts and one in Asia, with each offering something different.
Molino BlancoTenerife in 5...
Find a different beach -- sandy, south-facing, and sunny -- for every day of your vacation on Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, an autonomous part of Spain located near the northwest coast of Africa.
Beach on ZdrilcaCroatian Beaches in 5...
Never mind that the beaches are mostly made of pebbles and rocks, Croatia’s islands, off the coast of Dalmatia, make for a singular beach getaway that won’t wreck your budget.

Paris Blvd RepubliqueParis in 5...
Whether it’s your first visit to Paris or your tenth, you ought to try something that may seem fiendishly simple, because it is: Living like a Parisian.


Fodor's Guide to the Da Vinci CodeFodor's Guide to The Da Vinci Code
Full-color guide ("on the trail of the bestselling novel") profiles the locations, people, historic events, and symbols featured in the novel. Also included: relevant travel information, plus hotel and food recommendations.

The guide opens with three of my essays, including profiles of the Paris Ritz (where the novel begins) and the Police Judiciaire, the real-life French law enforcement agency which employs Bezu Fache, the novel's fictional inspector.

See my updates page for more information, or read more travel writing.

Research Reports

Intranet Information Architecture (IA)
This two-volume, 1,293-page report details numerous IA best practices, and profiles the actual information architecture of 56 organizations' intranets — from BT Global Services and McDonald's, to Vodafone and Zeiss. (Co-authored.)
Nielsen Norman Group (November 2007)

Usability of Intranet Portals: A Report from the Trenches—Experiences From Real-Life Portal Projects
This 188-page report on intranet portal usability uses case studies and lessons learned from portal projects in numerous companies, as well as government agencies, to determine best practices for creating intranet portals. (Co-authored.)
Nielsen Norman Group (October 2005)
Irish crypt Ireland
From Clonmacnoise, to Dingle, to Dublin.
Headshots + friends
in Italy.
Stefani Reitter Dance Postcards Publicity
Singing ensemble, yoga instructors, and more. 

Travel photo galleries:

Boulevard Voltaire at Place Leon Blum in Paris

About Me
I'm a freelance journalist, writer, editor, and photographer. See the About section for more information about me, including my resume, and general information about the site.

Updates/What's new?
A log of changes to the site, with the latest magazine articles, photographs, and redesigns to the PenandCamera site.

Writing Samples
Even more writing samples on topics ranging from the business of creating effective incentives for workers, to the hiring of skilled computer security personnel, to the design and philosophy behind successful Web site makeovers.

About the photos & writing
All images on this site are © Mathew Schwartz (2014), as are all articles and written material, and may not be reproduced in any format without my express, written permission.

For questions/comments, contact me.

This page last updated: 18-Apr-2014

Mathew J. Schwartz