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Introducing Kevin Townsend

Posted by Kevin on April 13, 2015

I have been a freelance writer specializing in information technology for all of my working life. For the last fifteen years I have specialized in information security, starting in 1999 with the foundation of ITsecurity.com. I sold ITsecurity.com to Tippit Inc in the mid-noughties (but retained ITsecurity.co.uk). Tippit Inc sold it on to Ziff Davis. […]

The Watson problem

Posted by Kevin on February 16, 2017

There is a problem with Watson. Don’t get me wrong; I love Watson, or at least the idea of Watson. For such an incredibly complex operation the concept is clean and simple. You take a great big computer. You teach it to understand free text; and then you feed it millions and millions of research […]

Smoking guns and glass houses in Russia Vs Clinton

Posted by Kevin on January 7, 2017

In the ongoing saga of Russia Vs Clinton, a declassified version of the US Intelligence Community assessment of Russian involvement in the 2016 US election has now been published. But if you hoped for a smoking gun, dream on. The document states very clearly that it is primarily the agencies’ conclusions; any actual proof has […]

That woman May does not speak for me

Posted by Kevin on December 29, 2016

This is disgusting. I’m fairly certain that the majority of Britons who voted to leave the EU were not voting to enter a fascist state. But that’s what we’ve got thanks to that woman May — who, incidentally, has never been elected to the office of prime minister by the British people. Immigration was an […]

Webcam shows and Experian

Posted by Kevin on December 27, 2016

I came across this headline today: 200 Million Data Enrichment Records For Sale on Darknet The second paragraph reads: The person offering the files claims the data is from Experian, and is looking to get $600 for everything. However, sources at Experian said that they were made aware of this data breach last week, and […]

Agents Smith & Jones versus the Bad Guys

Posted by Kevin on December 24, 2016

A new breed of endpoint protection software has emerged over the last few years. If we simplify things – probably over-simplifying – this breed of products uses machine-learning technology to teach itself behavioural rules that can detect and block known and unknown malware in situ. This is the central theme of what is usually known […]

Anti-malware testing issues

Posted by Kevin on December 4, 2016

There is something wrong with this picture. Carl Gottlieb has founded a new online service called TestMyAV. It’s purpose is to allow you to test your own anti-virus product: “Giving you the malware, testing guides and tools you need to test antivirus products for yourself. Trust yourself, not the ‘experts’.” The site provides the malware […]

NCSC joke of the day

Posted by Kevin on December 2, 2016

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I say this from the NCSC: Great hosting you today @JKingEU! We’re committed to make the UK the safest place to live and do business online, we’re glad you’re with us — NCSC UK (@ncsc) December 2, 2016 Does the NCSC really believe this? And is […]

Putin: Russia’s new Peter the cyber Great

Posted by Kevin on November 24, 2016

Anyone half as old as me will remember the reds under the bed. Well, they’re back; only now they’re in our computers – and fridges and cameras and light bulbs and anything else that is IP-enabled or Putin-reachable. This is the message we’re getting from western media and western governments (who pretty much control the […]

IP Bill, Brexit and Trump create perfect storm of autocracy

Posted by Kevin on November 22, 2016

Writing in the New Scientist today, Ray Corrigan (a senior lecturer in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics faculty at the Open University) describes the perfect storm for loss of liberty in the UK. It is the confluence of the IP Bill (“the most pervasive and invasive mass surveillance legislation in history”); the election of […]

Brexit sorted

Posted by Kevin on November 21, 2016

This Brexit thing worries a lot of people. Take Angela Merkel. You see, the German economy works best when there’s a strong UK economy. Well, no. Forget the UK. When there’s a strong England economy. Actually, no. Forget England. When there’s a strong London economy. In fact, no. Forget London. When the City is doing […]