Tuesday, March 27, 2012

SecTor 2012 Registration Opens Today

Early bird registration for SecTor (Toronto's fall Information Security conference) has opened today.
If you hunt around there are 10% discount codes being passed about by the sponsors like TASK.
If you can organize a group of 5 or more you can get 20% off. Contact renu@sector.ca

If you are interested in Information Security and will be in Toronto the first week of Oct. sign up. http://sector.ca 

[Update Mar28 2012:]
From the announcement e-mail sent out today:

What's new for SecTor 2012?

•    A larger expo area featuring activity centres and vendor demos on the latest technology solutions
•    An expo theatre where you can learn from industry sponsors
•    Larger breakout rooms to accommodate our growing numbers
•    A coffee lounge were you can "plug-in" and recharge throughout the day
•    Larger breakout rooms to accommodate our growing numbers
•    We have added a bits and bites track to our already popular, technical, management and turbo tracks, giving you more opportunity to learn about the latest threats facing our community today

Keynote Speakers Announced

Dr. Michael Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law. Dr. Geist is an internationally syndicated columnist on technology law issues with his regular column appearing in the Toronto Star and the Ottawa Citizen. Check our speaker page for Dr. Geist's complete bio.

Charlie Miller is Principal Research Consultant at Accuvant Labs. Mr. Miller was the first with a public remote exploit for both the iPhone and a phone running Android and has won the CanSecWest Pwn2Own competition for the last four years. He has authored two (and a half) information security books . More...

Jim Reavis, the Co-founder and Executive Director of CSA, was recently named as one of the Top 10 cloud computing leaders by SearchCloudComputing.com. Jim is the President of Reavis Consulting Group, LLC, where he advises security companies, large enterprises and other organizations on the implications of new trends and how to take advantage of them. More...

Monday, March 19, 2012

As an IT professional a lot of people ask me what kind of computer to get. So, I have found a video from Eli the Computer Guy that explains well what to look for in computers.

Unfortunately Eli still believes the old lie that you can't get a virus or spyware on a Mac. Don't believe that. Mac's get sick too. Mind you, this is an old video from back in Jan 2010. A lot of people believed that back then.

For more about that see About.com's Mac Virus FAQ, or this PCworld article from October, or this Computerworld article from last month, or just Google it. The biggest class of Mac malware is trojan horses, just like on Windows these days, and second to that is malware that targets an application like flash or Java or Office that works on both Mac and Windows. A trojan usually comes with other software so anyone telling you that a Mac won't get malware because you have to give it permission to install a program shouldn't be listened to. If you think you are giving your password to give it permission to install iWork and you are really giving it permission to install iWork and a trojan horse, then that piece of protection doesn't work.

Other than that one point I think Eli's advice is spot on.

A little bit of an update to his recommendations, He was right, even then, that if you are buying new and are faced with a choice between 32 and 64 bit Windows go with the machine with the 64 bit, but don't go 64bit on a netbook/nettop if it's offered, even though they can do it these days, the biggest reason for 64bit Windows is to get more than 4GB of RAM and no netbook ever made can handle that much RAM. 64bit programs eat up a little bit more RAM than the 32bit ones, so you want to conserve what little RAM you have on a netbook/nettop.

That said, 4GB should be a nice target number to aim for for RAM with expansion room to go to more when it's needed.
With hard disks, bigger is better. You can never have too much storage space... and pick up an external USB hard disk of at least equal size if you have a spare $100. This will be your back up disk you can set the computer up to make an automatic back up to the back up disk. Do not store anything on that disk, just the back up. believe me you will be happy you did when you need to get something from your backup that would have otherwise been lost. If you use the computer for a small business get at least 2 of these back up disks and rotate them out once in a while, connecting one to the computer and storing the other off site in case there is ever a fire.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Windows 8 Consumer Preview

While I was in Barcelona, visiting my wife, who is working over there, Microsoft was in another part of town unveiling the Consumer Preview edition (*cough* BETA *cough*) of Windows 8.

If you want to download it and give it a try, you just have to go here:

and download the setup file. They ask for your e-mail address, but you can skip that.
The idea of the consumer preview (what they used to call a beta) is to get feedback from real customers, so you don't need to give them any money or be part of an in-crowd to get it. The CP, like all previous betas is time limited. There will come a day when it will simply not boot anymore, so only install it on a test machine.

It is a very cool looking product aimed at being an iPad killer, by bringing the whole world of windows software to a new generation of Windows 8 based iPad-like tablets.

I have to admit, I have not yet had a chance to play with it, but I do have it downloaded and will be installing it to test on my netbook in the next few days. I am guessing though that Win8 will need something more than that to function properly though. It barely handles 7.