CyberEye Tripwire

Tom Jewkes and Dan Gavin, the Cyber Guys from CyberEye, co-author a column for the Sierra Vista Herald called the Cyber Tripwire. Here is a collection of those articles covering a wide variety of cybersecurity topics. Peruse, learn, and enjoy.

  • On a Tuesday Morning Things Changed
    A Simpler Time: My daughter just left home. My baby girl. She’s 19 now. All grown up. I’m not normally an emotional person. But this isn’t a normal thing for me. Thankfully, the future the Jetson’s predicted has arrived even if only partially so I can see her every week…
  • The Walking Cyber Dead
    Zombies: In the movie “Night of the Living Dead,” (the precursor to “The Walking Dead”) zombies are walking around the city attacking humans.   If the humans are infected, they become zombies, too, and join in the chaos.   Cyber Zombies: Strangely enough the cyber world has exactly the same thing, except…
  • Congratulations, You are About to Lose the Super Bowl
    Jets Won the Big One: The last time the New York Jets won a Super Bowl (in fact, the ONLY time they ever won), Richard Nixon was elected president of the United States. The year was 1969, kids. Preparation: One thing about being in the Super Bowl is both teams…
  • The Best Defense is a Good Offense
    Key to Winning: When I was a kid, I used to play football. When our defensive team was on the field most of the game, we usually lost.  However almost every time, when our offense had the ball longer and was scoring, we won the game.  In the cyber world,…
  • Your Bluetooth is Showing
    Exposed: I’ll bet the Bluetooth on your phone is enabled right now. How you can tell: when you get in the car and it automatically switches to the hands-free option. This is how most people operate. It’s for convenience. So, what is Bluetooth? It’s like Wi-Fi but for short distances…
  • Don’t Come in Second .. Or First
    Second Place: Premera Blue Cross is the largest health plan in the Pacific Northwest.  They have the dubious reputation of coming in second.  In this case, they were fined the second-largest HIPAA fine to date – $6.9 million dollars.   The confidential information of over 10 million people were exposed.  What…
  • Put on Your Cyber Armor, A Cyber Battle is Coming to You
    Yesterday: In the early Middle Ages, knights spent hours getting ready for battle putting on their armor with the help of a squire. There were hooded coats, trousers, gloves and shoes made of chain mail. Add the helmet, shield, and sword, and they were ready for an attack. Today: In…
  • A Turkish Taxi or Going to the Cloud
    Still Responsible: Did you know that when you take a taxi cab in Turkey and there is an accident while you are in the car, then you, the passenger, are liable for the damages?  Why? Because you hired the cab.  That is like a lot of businesses these days that…
  • Should I Get a Penetration Test?
    “Should I get a penetration test?” I get asked this question from time to time. My answer is normally a resounding NO! What is a Pen Test?: Before I explain further, perhaps you want to know what a penetration test is. Well, it’s typically a simulated cyber-attack executed on your…
  • Canary in a Coal Mine
    Canary in the Real Coal Mine: Beginning in 1911 and all the way through 1986, coal miners would bring a small bird, usually a canary, into the mine with them.  During the blasting, the miners could be exposed to carbon monoxide or other poisonous gases.   The canaries were brought down…
  • Defending the Castle of Gondor
    The brutal battle of the Pelennor Fields in The Lord of the Rings epic, is instructive for cyber defense. Gandalf, the White Wizard, was charged with defending Minas Tirith, and the majestic Castle of Gondor. The castle was constructed with a series of concentric castle walls for protection.  During the…
  • Prevention Always Fails, Detection is a Must
    Many people believe that when they buy a brand-new computer, it was designed and configured with security in mind, but it wasn’t. It was designed and configured with usability in mind. Computers are either usable, or secure. They cannot be both, no matter how badly you want them to be.…
  • Dwelling on Dwell Time
    The OPM Breach: Sierra Vista is a military town. Therefore, many of us have personal or family ties to the military. I’m sure that many of you were in the same boat I was during the summer of 2015 when we found out about the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)…
  • Replacing the Irreplaceable
    Jurassic Park: In 1993 Dinosaurs came to life.  We were assured they were in a controlled environment. Dennis Nedry was the underappreciated system administrator/programmer/network engineer/aspiring dinosaur cloner.  Paid less than he thought he was worth, Dennis struggled to make a living. Eventually, he turned on Jurassic Park owner John Hammond…
  • Rise of the Cyber Lamb Chops
    Sock Puppets: In the 1950s, a ventriloquist, named Shari Lewis, put a sock on her hand and became famous. Lewis created the persona of a 6-year-old sheep, named “Lamb Chop,” that spoke the punch-line to her jokes. A sockpuppet helped her rise to fame with a very popular 1990’s children’s…
  • On A Hot Day
    Jedi Mind Tricks: On a hot day (which was not unusual for the desert planet of Tatooine), overlooking the Mos Eisley space port, the Jedi master warned his freshly-minted apprentice to be careful, with good reason. No sooner had they hovered into town in the weathered X-34, when they were…
  • Cyber Lord of the Flies – The Dark Web
    Lord of the Flies: Imagine a world where children are left entirely to their own guidance and education. One where the only instruction they ever receive is from peers. What kind of a world would that be? The Internet Born: When the Internet was born, it was called the DARPANET.…
  • Unencrypted Email
    Nostalgia: Recently, I was reading some of my grandfather’s faded postcards from World War I. I happened to read one in which he mentioned being released from quarantine: March 11, 1918, Fort Lewis, Washington – the Spanish Flu pandemic. Postcards were how our grandparents sent brief messages over long distances.…
  • What Terrifies You?
    What Terrifies You? That question isn’t intended to evoke images of psychotic clowns or weeping angels. I’m asking about things that can truly hurt you. What Terrified Me: Yesterday I had just finished paying bills and my wife asked me why the accounts showed a balance of zero. “What do…
  • Gone Phishin’
    Sebastian’s Story: An entry level accountant, “Sebastian”, receives an email from his CEO. Sebastian is excited the CEO recognizes him and needs his help on a major acquisition. The CEO requests a wire of 50 million Euros immediately sent to a bank account for the acquisition. Sebastian quickly executes the…
  • Password Hygiene & Dental Floss
    Dental Floss is Uncomfortable: Passwords are the dental floss of the internet. They take precious time to use, everyone hates them, they cause mild discomfort, and the consequence of negligence could spell doom—not immediate doom, but eventual, inevitable doom. Oh, and by the way, China knows your password! Your favorite…
  • Riddled by Ransomware
    Ransomware. The word sends chills up your spine; or it should. Ransomware is essentially a cyber-criminal holding hostage your digital life in a binary bag. Cyber-criminals do this by zipping all your important, irreplaceable files and setting a password on them. The crooks “generously” offer to sell you the password…
  • Business Owners: Red or Blue Pill?
    The choice is yours. Continue to read this article, and you choose the red pill. It will reveal the true nature of existence. Leave now, and you’ve chosen the blue one. You will remain blissfully ignorant. I’m not trying to terrify you. However, at the end of this article, you…