Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Several tips on freedom and privacy on the Internet

Don Quixote said to his unshakable squire: "Freedom, Sancho, is one of the most precious gifts that heaven has bestowed upon men; no treasures that the earth holds buried or the sea conceals can compare with it; for freedom, as for honour, life may and should be ventured." The 'nobleman’ took this ode as a principle while he was making his way through the yellow fields of Castile as in a heroic epopee.


Freedom remains as important for the future of society today as it was then. But freedom is encapsulated under self-control principles that allow collective life. And freedom is continuously suspected of being put under government control, including censorship, as GigaOM recently demonstrated on a study (PDF version) that analyzes its progress in 65 countries in 2014. Russia, Turkey and Ukraine are the ones where censure level is the highest; Iran, China and Syria are the ones most limited in terms of personal expression.

Sony Pictures’ hack is still making headlines. Public leaks have already been four. The last one, it is almost 3 GB of files, including more than 5.000 emails sent by Amy Pascal, Co-Chairman of the company. This campaign began last December 1st and it could continues, what it could entails several potential hazards and risk of workers’ personal data disclosure.

Do you remember that we talk to you about an exploit on the AliExpress ecommerce website, that would allow a cyber attacker to obtain critical information from previous customers? Well, the company has already patched the bug, what it must be a relief for all its million users. AliExpress’ team deserves an applause for its great work with this daunting task.

It is December, so it is time for those classic “What kind of security incidents has 2014 left us?” recaps. Botnets, phishing, pharming, brute force, DDoS attacks... Each of them has to be audited by a different strategy, so you can prevent following victim of them in 2015.

Every Windows system admin knows that the Active Directory is one of the "harms" that he must suffer. It is a complex system able to manage a modular and flexible level of permissions as flexible as needed. In order to simplify it, NetWrix Auditor brings a top control layer to put some common features into groups. Presumably this will make sysadmin’s life a little more bearable.

Meanwhile the Blackphone group, who created the eponymous phone based on cryptography and data privacy, presented a few hours ago the first app market focused on privacy. Such market is not intended to compete with the largest ones (Google Play / Amazon / App Store), but to provide applications that meet very strict restrictions in terms of security and system permissions. In this case, the freedom of user is provided by the external control of the platform.

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