Analysis – Email list integrity, 96% of organisations handle my email address appropriately

How are businesses and organisations handling your email? I know how they’re handling mine!

For about 10 years I’ve used “burnable email addresses”. These are email addresses that I can use and expire. They are unique to every relationship between me and another organisation, business or blog that I register with. This means I know who’s got my email and if they’ve leaked it. I know if they’ve shared if or if they’re spamming it.

I guess that makes me a living honeypot? But, unlike many automated honeypots that try to trap malicious users, the data from my email servers are based on real-world interactions between myself and others. Continue reading

What is ransomware and how to protect your precious files from it

Zubair Baig, Edith Cowan University and Nikolai Hampton, Edith Cowan University

What would it mean if you lost all of your personal documents, such as your family photos, research or business records? How much would you pay to get them back? There’s a burgeoning form of cybercrime that hinges on the answers to these questions.

You have probably heard of viruses and malware. These dangerous pieces of software can make their way into your computer and wreak havoc. Malware authors are intent on stealing your data and disrupting the proper functioning of your digital devices.

Then there is ransomware. This is crafted by cyber-criminals for extorting data from innocent users, and is rapidly becoming a threat to individuals, small business and corporate users alike.

Unlike malware, ransomware does not steal data. Rather, it holds it captive by encrypting files and then displaying a ransom note on the victim’s screen. Continue reading

John The Ripper 1.8.0 Jumbo – How to build on Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan)

John The Ripper is a password cracking tool. Compiling it for Mac was working fine until Apple removed the openssl headers. Here are instructions for building John The Ripper on OS 10.11 El Capitan.

I’m assuming you know how to run some basic shell commands in Terminal. If you don’t know what that is, and don’t know how to get a shell, then this won’t make much sense to you!

Before you begin, ideally, you should get all the tools you need to compile things on your mac. Continue reading

Ransomware Brief – Evolution and The Future

Ransomware is profitable! The bad guys are achieving investment returns over 1500% with very low risk. With the right connections, anyone can acquire ransomware as a service; they could buy some ransomware and pay to spread it to users around the world.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that affects your computer, blocks access to your personal data and demands a ransom payment to unlock your files. It’s also quite successful; imagine losing your data, documents, family photos or life’s work. How much would you have lost? How much would you pay? Continue reading

Obligatory First Post

When you start something and you’re not entirely sure where you’re headed…

So this is the obligatory first post. Obviously it’s here to make the front page look less sad and lonely. It’s also a good opportunity to help me document how I plan to structure my posts – a stake in the ground so I can look back and see where I’ve started and what I’ve become.

I have recently started down a research path, but I was really not prepared for the intensity of academic studies. They were quite foreign to me and initially a very daunting experience: “How do I ‘do research’?” and “What do I research?”, these were two massive questions that kept me up at night. Continue reading