As I write this we are seeing daily reports of hacking and break-ins to commercial and defense enterprises world wide:
- Sony network down for over three weeks with customer passwords, emails and credit card information information stolen.
- Anti-bank Trojans stealing millions of dollars from customers’ bank accounts in Brazil.
- Oakridge National Laboratory was the target of a spear-phishing attack that only compromised a few megabytes of data before it was stopped.
- Millions of dollars being stolen from cell phone users in China by viruses infecting smart cell phones.
- The Stuxnet worm infects Iran’s nuclear program.
But it seems we are not doing a set of straight forward things that we can do to prepare for and mitigate the impact that cyber war is having on this country. We can start with some simple and comparatively inexpensive steps.
Here is a list of products that do not support Vista x64. This is shameful for several reasons:
- Vista is the currently shipping OS and x64 is the “Ultimate” expression of that OS.
- Vista x64 is the second generation of x64 OSs, so it is hardly brand-new and the requirements for supporting the system are well known
- Most medium to high end systems are x64 capable.
- Most high end system support as much as 4GB of memory.
- One can only make use of 4GB of memory with an x64 edition OS. With an x86 edition one only can address 2.7 or 3.5GB of memory depending on the hardware available. See this Alienware Support post.
When settings files are transferred as part of a program update, it may be interesting to assure that the files are not corrupted, or changed in such a way that the program is compromised. One can do this with XML Signatures.
This tutorial shows you how to set up Secure Email using Outlook Express and a free Digital ID or certificate.