Author
Stephen Cobb
Stephen Cobb
Senior Security Researcher
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Education: CISSP (1996)

Highlights of your career? The Stephen Cobb Guide to PC and LAN Security (1992); The first anti-spam router (2001); Privacy for Business (2002)

Position and history at ESET? Joined ESET: 2011. Current title: Senior Security Researcher

What malware do you hate the most? State sponsored.

Favorite activities? Reading and writing, and some arithmetic.

What is your golden rule for cyberspace? Don’t put anything on the internet you wouldn’t want your mother to see.

When did you get your first computer and what kind was it? 1982 KayPro II portable computer with dual floppy drives, weighing 26 lbs or 12 Kg.

Favorite computer game/activity? Reading Wikipedia.

Data Privacy vs. Data Protection: Reflecting on Privacy Day and GDPR

Data privacy is also a topic that can spark big debates, like the one between the US and the EU as to what protections should be accorded to data pertaining to people, specifically by those who collect, control, or process such data.

Adventures in cybersecurity research: risk, cultural theory, and the white male effect – part 2

Armed with the cultural theory described in part one as a possible explanation for why some people do not heed expert advice, we fielded a survey that queried US adults about their attitudes to 15 different technology hazards, including six that were cyber-related.

Adventures in cybersecurity research: risk, cultural theory, and the white male effect – part 1

Again and again we have seen security breaches occur because people did not heed advice that we and other people with expertise in security have been disseminating for years, advice about secure system design, secure system operation, and appropriate security strategy.

Cybersecurity for journalists and the news media

In journalism, having good contacts is key and this is true when it comes to defending your digital assets. The following are some sources – of information and, possibly, assistance – that you might want to cultivate.

US Vulnerability Equities Policy: transparency welcome, but serious questions remain

Commentary on government struggles to protect internet security while stockpiling cyber vulnerabilities in order to launch attacks and gain intelligence.

Fighting persistent malware with a UEFI scanner, or ‘What’s it all about UEFI?”

The biggest news in malware so far this year has been WannaCryptor a.k.a. WannaCry, and one reason that particular ransomware spread so fast was because it used a “top secret” exploit developed by the NSA, an agency known to have dabbled in UEFI compromise.

Cybercrime update: Big trouble in dark markets?

Many of the components required to commit cybercrime can be bought and sold online if you know the right part of the internet in which to look.

Cybercrime update: Arrests, indictments, takedowns, and more

If you search for cybersecurity or cybercrime under Google News the results can be depressing: so many cybercrimes, so few arrests. But over the past few months law enforcement has begun to strike back.

Black Hat at 20, DefCon at 25: Not just about breaking things

Ironically named for the criminal hackers that cybersecurity pros spend their days – and not a few nights – defending against, the Black Hat Briefings quickly earned a reputation for excellent technical content.

Disney, Depp and the cyber supply chain risk management problem

Multimillion dollar movies and TV shows are increasingly being targeted by cybercriminals. ESET’s Stephen Cobb investigates the cyber supply chain risk management problem and explains what to do about it.

Is the world ready for GDPR? Privacy and cybersecurity impacts are far-reaching

Enforcement of GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation, begins in May of 2018, imposing data privacy and security requirements on many organizations in the US and other countries. Are you impacted?

Jackware hits the big screen in #Fast8: Fate of the Furious

ESET’s Stephen Cobb examines how close we are to the kind of jackware technology shown in the latest Fast and Furious film franchise, Fate of the Furious.

Surveillance, cybersecurity, and the future of privacy in The Circle

If surveillance, cybersecurity, and privacy are things you think about a lot, you should find The Circle interesting viewing.

Will cybercrime and other cybersecurity issues undermine the digital economy?

ESET’s Stephen Cobb looks at whether or not cybercrime and other cybersecurity issues will undermine the digital economy.

IoT of toys stranger than fiction: Cybersecurity and data privacy update

The Internet of Stranger Things came to life in the recent case of a cuddly connected toy, raising wider and deeper questions about cybersecurity, privacy, and the future of digital technology.

FTC vs. VIZIO: Getting smart about TV data collection and sharing

Is your smart TV selling data about what you watch, without asking? As the US FTC goes after one TV maker, it may be time to check.

Desperately seeking cybersecurity skills

Cybercrime is victimizing US companies and consumers, but a gap in cybersecurity skills presents a problem for the federal government. ESET’s Stephen Cobb investigates.

RoT: Ransomware of Things

Could the Internet of Things spark the Ransomware of Things? ESET’s Stephen Cobb examines how ransomware and jackware are evolving.

Amazon Echo and the Alexa dollhouses: Security tips and takeaways

Tips on securing the Alexa service on Amazon Echo devices, notably voice purchasing, a topic brought into focus by the recent “San Diego dollhouse TV story”.

FTC IoT privacy and security push points out D-Link router and webcam flaws

The US Federal Trade Commission has again acted on its serious concerns about data privacy and security in the Internet of Things (IoT). This time D-Link webcams and routers are the focus. Stephen Cobb puts this latest FTC move in context.

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