Blake Dowling, Author at Florida Politics

Blake Dowling

Blake Dowling is chief business development officer at Aegis Business Technologies. His technology columns are published by several organizations. Contact him at dowlingb@aegisbiztech.com or at www.aegisbiztech.com

Blake Dowling: Session, bitcoin and digital currency

Now that the 2018 Legislative Session is in full swing, lawmakers and lobbyists have taken over our great city.

Last night, I bumped into a couple of lobbyists I know, who were hiding from the masses at Whole Foods. Which is genius.

Whole Foods has it figured out, they have sports on by the deli, and pour beer and wine, so you can hang out and have a beverage. Dilly-Dilly indeed.

You can also buy a steak from the meat market, and they’ll cook it up for you on the premises. Love it.

Plus, nothing makes inflated prices seem much for reasonable than downing a couple of 10 percent IPAs.

Back to the lobbyists; we talked shop for a minute when the dialogue switched to digital currencies.

One of the gents mentioned he had seen a 500 percent increase in his digital currency investment. Fantastic. He also shared a video (you must watch) for a very simple and comedic description of digital currencies.

“Shut up Margaret, you didn’t understand any of that!” … comic gold, courtesy of Late Night with Seth Meyers.

This all began back in the dark ages of 2008; someone named Satoshi Nakamoto announced to the world: “I’ve been working on a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party.”

For the official definition — bitcoin is a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.

There are various types of cryptocurrencies but this is the one you hear about most often.

As of April 2017, one bitcoin is worth $1,223 – a considerable jump from late 2016, when it was around $770 (according to Investopedia). Last month it spiked up to $20,000. To summarize there are two ways to get into bitcoin: mining and investing. Investors go to an exchange and purchase bitcoin at the market value. Miners setup powerful computers and get paid for the work that the computers produce.

There are bitcoin ATM’s around the state of Florida in use right now.

In our state, the legal and judicial ramifications are under scrutiny as criminals love new ways of doing things. They jumped into digital currencies quickly – as the transactions are more anonymous – which is why new laws were put in place last year to address this issue.

According to the Miami Herald: “Cybercriminals have taken advantage of our antiquated laws for too long,” said Miami Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, who sponsored the bill. “Bitcoin bypasses the traditional banking system, and our state’s laws simply had not caught up to the upsurge in criminality in the world of cyber-currency.”

Is this the future of the investing? Maybe.

However, be advised that some digital currencies have seen 80 percent swings in value in a single day. This is not your grandmother’s blue-chip stock.

Where is this all going? The only thing I can say for certain is where it is not going – away.

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Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies and can be reached at dowlingb@aegisbiztech.com.

Blake Dowling: A call for low(er) tech

Our professional relationships — politics, sports, entertainment, and business — are all dominated by technology.

Did you get my text? Did you get my email? Did you see my tweet?

Personal relationships have taken a step backward because of technology. I am not saying that tech is not cool, however, there is nothing better than good, old-fashioned communication, especially in situations — like saying thank you.

Don’t hit the thank you button, do it in person, in a handwritten note, or on the phone.

The other day, I got a call from the team at the Florida Justice Association, who we have worked with for a couple of years. John Brazzell asked me if they could take our staff to lunch.

So today, six of our staff (and eight or so of theirs) went down to Taco Republic in midtown Tallahassee and broke bread together. It was a great time. It was great to talk about each other’s lives instead of the usual discussion about the latest technology or political happenings.

Myself with FJA, Executive Director, Paul Jess.

FJA’s Executive Director Paul Jess served in the U.S. Navy and our team member Michael Harris told him about his service in the Marine Corp.

It was great to hear them share their experiences while they were in service of our great nation. Paul told me that their corporate culture is built on things like saying thank you. Bravo to you sir, as that is a rare thing in today’s world.

Do you get countless invitations from various vendors wanting me to sign up for their next webinar, or an email loaded with too much content, they usually get ignored. But the ones that take a minute to call and offer to stop by, that’s how you do it. SonicWALL (who makes firewalls) called last year about a new program they have, and they offered to come to the office and talk about it.

We invited clients, we brought in lunch, there were giveaways for everyone that attended. I was impressed, and we are a loyal client because of efforts like that.

I am not suggesting get rid of tech, just dial it down.

Sonic Wall and Aegis

Twitter would have been very boring recently during early signing day yesterday in college football or the recent tax plan, or Net Neutrality announcement.

Whatever your preferred platform on social media, it is a great place to get the up-to-the-second message on all things politics and sports (and technology). Tech etiquette should be a required course, not just with social media platforms and communication tools. Also, put the phone down in meetings. It’s not just kids that can’t get off their phones to listen to anything. It is adults to who sit through meetings just staring at their phone.

It’s just a tad rude, it is now policy in our office to put phones down during meetings, it’s all about respect.

Same with email, it’s a strong platform for quick bursts of information or sharing documents but if a situation is heated, don’t use email or text.

Same with saying thank you, if you really want to communicate don’t forget to do it person. Or if you are a city/county/state/federal employee asking for free skybox tickets, don’t put it in a text. Do it in person.

This is an attempt at humor so laugh or move on.

Thank you to the FJA team for being outstanding, and happy holidays, (a belated) Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas to each of every one of you especially Peter and Phil at Florida Politics.

 

Signing off for the year, see you in 2018. Cheers!

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Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies and can be reached at dowlingb@aegisbiztech.com.

Blake Dowling: Net neutrality

The last U.S. president made some changes to the internet and how it is regulated; the new president is now reverting to what the law was before that. Some people are protesting; some are celebrating.

As one might say, a standard day in a democracy.

So, based on this, maybe you are drawing your lines in the sand — based on political affiliation. The left sees it as giving business too much control; the right sees it as deregulation and letting the businesses be in charge.

I think, in cases like this, you have to throw out who backs what, and think about what is best for you.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 oversees telecommunication services and information services.

Brad Swanson

From 1996-2015, the internet was in the information services category. In 2015, it was changed to a telecommunication service, much like a public utility.

If you want a deeper dive into the subject, consult the Federal Communications Commission website. It is like the Morrison’s Cafeteria of info on the topic. Info (or creamed corn) for days.

Who better to weigh in on net neutrality than the president of the Florida Internet and Television Association? Ladies and gentlemen, meet Mr. Brad Swanson.

Brad weighed in on the topic in detail over the summer and his (as well as the requests of others) were heard.

Swanson had the following to say about this week’s development: “Bottom line, this vote puts everybody involved with the internet back in the game of innovating and a better experience for the user.”

And then, Hollywood has to weigh in; “hellscape” might be an exaggeration, but what’s a debate without letting everyone say their piece.

Before 2015 the effort in this regard was bipartisan, led by Mr. Saxophone himself, Bill Clinton; the success and growth achieved were beyond significant during the pioneer days of this industry.

It is mind-boggling to think this industry is only 20+ years old. From the hissing, static sound of AOL dial-up, to watching Netflix on your phone seamlessly just about anywhere in 2017.

What a ride.

So, we will see how it plays out. In the meantime, enjoy the best internet experience the world has to offer.

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Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies; he can be reached at Dowlingb@aegisbiztech.com.

Blake Dowling: Knightscope, AI and security

About three years ago, I first started writing about artificial intelligence and the various applications of such.

And since then, there’s been much to write about: Starship robot delivery services (introduced to me by the team at Greenberg Traurig), Google (Waymo) self-driving cars, Watson from IBM diagnosing illnesses, various AI legal aids for lawyers, lobbyists and legislators to help with various analytical functions.

I have been waiting for more weaponized and security oriented AI to pop up; that is what Elon Musk (the founder of Tesla/SpaceX) – among others who fear AI – have been ranting about for years.

According to The Guardian, Elon breaks it down like this: “I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful,” said Musk. “I’m increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish.”

I have seen all the Terminator films (at least twice), with the exception of the most recent one, Terminator Genisys. Not very good, right beyond Saved by the Bell: The Movie in Hollywood-horsepower index.

Anyway, we all know what AI gone crazy looks like thanks to Hollywood: Skynet, and the like. End of road.

People tend to forget AI done right can solve a lot of problems.

For example, there is a new line of AI-based security products on the market designed to take the strain off security. Picture a huge parking lot, mall, airport commuter lot etc. One of the automated security bots by Knightscope could take this repetitive task of patrolling these spaces out of human hands.

At five years old, Knightscope is Straight Outta Silicon Valley. Its AI devices are installed with sensors and cameras to send information to security command; then, actual security guards are sent to the scene if needed. One of its more advanced models can even detect firearms.

I can certainly see where Elon’s mind if going. The often-debated scenario of those for and against AI of the self-driving car going down the road with its human passenger and someone from the local carnival jumps in front of the car. Does it take the passenger over the rails to his/her demise, or take out the carnie?

These are real questions for our time. Do you want machines making choices like this?

However the other side is I think a robot patrolling the mall parking lot late at night and that is all good for me and my family. How about another twist? You have a carry-permit for your firearm? This robot recognizes you as hostile and chased you down?

Lawsuits, legislation, and a lot of regulation awaits this type of tech. Nevertheless, it’s exciting.

It might even save your life one day. Or blow up humanity; but I doubt it.

We will see. Merry Christmas.

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Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies, he can be reached at dowlingb@aegisbiztech.com.

Blake Dowling: Vols, Lane Kiffin, Jimbo Fisher and all the social media #goodstuff

Have you ever lost an election, been fired or run out of an organization? Lane Kiffin has.

Currently, Kiffin coaches the Florida Atlantic University football team. Before that, he had stopped at the Raiders, USC and (for today’s purposes) the University of Tennessee.

I never met Lane, but I knew his ex-wife Layla in college. We went to an ATO date function together; she was a first-class individual, so I assumed Lane was a putz, mostly based on him not being married to her anymore — as well as all the football firings.

Perhaps I was wrong.

Kiffin showed the world the hilarity and power of social media this week with a (far beyond) humorous post about his former employer, the Tennessee Vols.

As you may know, the Vols have had a heck of a time filling its vacant coaching position. They tried to hire Greg Schiano, but the campus protested.

ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit asked: “Why would anyone want to go there?

So, Lane takes an opportunity to tweet the above image, lighting up the internet like Frank the Tank at the Governors Club on a Monday night. As of this minute, 84,000 likes.

Well played, sir; revenge is a tweet best served frigid.

Mike is about to get jacked.

And, of course, at Florida State this week, the rumor mill is going crazy about Jimbo Fisher to Texas A&M, with which the school was struggling until Friday’s announcement.

The Jimbo era is over.

The last week struggles included, a fan on the call-in show gets shoved and microphone yanked out of his hand for asking Jimbo about loyalty to the program.

He responded so politely, he earns a round of applause.

The school, thanks to social media and traditional media, is being raked over the coals. Way to be a good fan, Mike.

CBS tells the whole story, and the must-watch video is here.

In North Florida, everyone is weighing in; my pal Skip Foster makes a very good point (see above).

Now the administration must clean up the mess, and find a new head coach.

How about UF and their recent frantic coaching search, you might ask? Comedian Scooter Magruder hits the home run describing it in his own words.

For the betterment of humanity, for getting elected, snarky revenge comments and pointing out the miscues of others, social media is there, in your face each and every day.

Your online brand, behavior, and participation can make the difference in being hired, elected or even getting a date.

It’s a crazy world out there; make sure to behave, in reality, and cyberly (new word).

I bumped into Sen. Bill Nelson last weekend; his online presence, web, social media, etc. is on point and a splendid example of how to be conservative and well-mannered online (pun intended).

The first thing you see when you look at his Twitter feed is how to reach him. Well done.

So, whatever the future holds for Lane, Jimbo and Bill, we will be watching.

Happy holidays and start ordering those Christmas gifts!

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Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies; he can be reached at dowlingb@aegisbiztech.com.

Blake Dowling: Uber troubles

Unrelated Uber humor.

A local TV station just called to ask our take on the Uber breach.

When they call, it’s a good cue to write something about the topic. It also means I must stop thinking about turkey, IPA and college football. Rivalry weekend is something to be cherished indeed.

What went wrong? A company that has danced around the law many times and thoroughly disrupted the transportation continues to wreak havoc.

This time, it is alleged that 57 million user accounts around the world were flat-out stolen. It was not a ransomware attack; this was straight up hacking.

A couple of criminals got into a collaborative coding website called GitHub; from there (possibly pretending to be legit coders) they were able to steal login credentials to an Amazon Web Services site where Uber private data was stored.

They copied it and reached out for payment.

Terms of the blackmail were $100,000; Uber paid the money, and the (allegedly stolen) data was deleted.

Valerie from WTXL, Alien and me.
The Waco Kid.

Unfortunately for Uber, they appear to a bypass some laws. You know, those pesky regulations that require organizations to disclose info on breaches. The officers that handled the situation are now former employers, so it’s up to new leadership to clean up this dumpster fire.

 

Breaches happen, mistakes happen in all industries, but the critical step they missed — owning it — makes the situation unacceptable.

What does Uber Leadership have to say? According to Bloomberg: “None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, who took over as chief executive officer in September, in an emailed statement. “We are changing the way we do business.”

No online security could have stopped this from the driver’s perspective.

Complicated passwords, two-factor authentications, dedicated credit cards for online purchases, anti-virus, firewalls … nada. If a vendor is breached, regulatory guidelines are in place by the State and Federal Reserve to help protect data.

It would appear Uber flat-out ignored those.

Talk is cementing its reputation as rouge and outlaw; Uber is the 2017 version of the Waco Kid.

In this day and age, it is time to consider credit monitoring and identity theft monitoring as even another level of required safeguards for what one cybersecurity. The landscape is too vicious not to consider deploying every possible option out there. I use Uber all the time; as a client, I feel like my trust was abused, and their brand is tarnished.

However, they make it really easy to get from point A to point B, so they haven’t lost me yet.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there, enjoy the time with your family, friends and football teams.

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Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies; he can be reached at dowlingb@aegisbistech.com.

Blake Dowling: Flying taxis for you and me!

Chip Kelly to Florida as head coach; Jimbo Fischer pursued by Texas A&M.

Kevin Spacey is a predator; UCLA Hoops players shoplift in China (way to go, guys, making America look great. (Isn’t there another U.S. athlete still in jail in China?)

A mistrial for U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, Roy Moore, etc. … crazy, sad, pathetic, fanatical headlines and behavior from Hollywood, Tallahassee, D.C. and everywhere else.

For a change, how about something fun in the headlines?

Flying taxis!

From the team that brought you the Hubble Telescope (NASA) and the jokers at your fave ride-sharing service (Uber), I proudly present what they call … Uber Elevate.

Yes, an automated (unmanned) flying service just for you. We could see demonstrations as early as 2020 and service by 2023.

Details are fuzzy, but there is an epic video on how this concept might work.

Oh, and they make sure to mock all those silly people in traffic as they zoom above it all as they bounce from one Uber Skyport to another. The video really is brilliant.

Watch here:

Uber is partnering with NASA because its wheelhouse is air and space (literally it’s in their name).

With that expertise and Uber’s aggressive approach to R&D, you have a great match.

Can you only imagine the legal red tape associated with this venture? Jump on in, lobbyists, just wait until airlines, charter services, and transportation companies on the ground get wind of this.

Remember when Uber disrupted ground transportation? This will be the North-Florida-Fair-versus-Disneyland comparison. Insurance? Regulations?

Yikes!

We are seeing the tip of the iceberg in regards to automated air transport – with drones starting to be found everywhere.

Throw this into the mix, add a dash of artificial intelligence, and you come up with some serious things to consider.

This is happening now, it will become a reality.

So, buckle up and put your tray table in the upright and locked position.

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Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies and can be reached at dowlingb@aegisbiztech.com.

 

Blake Dowling: Elections, psychometrics and social media’s dark side

The last presidential election was unlike any in my lifetime.

All predictions and polls wrong. FBI investigation right before Election Day. Crude language about women right before the election. A rogue candidate vs a political elitist. New revelations of social media ads bought by the Russians to influence voters.

The experts got it wrong, the entire time, as detailed in the Showtime documentary “Trumped.”

There are lots of obvious reasons why this happened, as well as not-so-obvious ones.

Then there is Alexander Nix, Cambridge Analytica and Psychometrics.

Psychometrics is the measurement of psychological traits and the “Big Five”: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism (OCEAN).

Pay attention readers, because if you do not know this tale, it goes far down the rabbit hole, then blows all the rabbits up.

So, the hard part about developing models for the OCEAN traits was info; gathering actual data.

How do you do that during the 70s? 80s?

I will tell you how they do it now: internet and social media.

It makes the data collection a breeze and predicting behavior a real science. It would appear that a guy named Michal Kosinski was the forebear of this type of digital science; he developed predictive models of behavior analyzing likes on Facebook. He could predict your skin-color, sexual orientation, and political affiliation based on what you liked and did not like and of course factoring in other data points, age, gender, etc.

Basically, our interactions with social media are equal to a never-ending psychological questionnaire that allows those with the tools to analyze this data to know us better than our friends know us.

So, Kosinki had his methods down and he gets approached by a guy named Kogan wanting to use this method for a company he is allegedly representing named Strategic Communications Laboratory (SCL).

Kosinski is starting to figure out the power of his work and when he looks up what SCL does.

He then has a Fred Sandford moment: “This is the Big One, Elizabeth; I’m coming to join ya,” etc.

SCL focuses on psychological modeling; one of its focuses is influencing elections. Say what?

Allegedly, this company spun off a new U.S.-based company, Cambridge Analytica.

(Also of note, it is rumored that Kogan changed his name to Dr. Spectre and moved to Singapore.)

I think this column is going to have me end up hiding out in some foreign embassy. It is like a chess game with glow in the dark gummy bear pieces — very interesting and tasty.

Traditional political marketing efforts target people using demographics, targeting an entire subset, like females, for instance. This is not that.

CEO of Cambridge Analytica Alexander Nix speaks at the 2016 Concordia Summit – Day 1 at Grand Hyatt New York on September 19, 2016, in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)

Psychometrics can target white women who like Wu-Tang Clan, drink Jack Daniels, live in LA (lower Alabama), love gladiator movies and reruns of Hee-Haw. (Who doesn’t love those?)

This is very specific, and, for all intents and purposes, very effective.

How do you get to people? They show targeted/paid “dark posts” on social media and try to get people to the polls or keep them away from the polls.

For instance, think of a Miami neighborhood called Little Haiti, dark posts are bought and run to users in this area that focus on the failure of the Clinton Foundation to help with Haiti relief after the earthquakes. Or in an African-American neighborhood with targeting paid ads where Hillary in a comment refers to black males as “predators.” These specific people only see these dark posts.

There are targeted posts for everyone, either driving people to cast a ballot or to keep them home.

What did the Trump campaign pay these people? $100,000 in July. $250,000 in August. $5,000,000 in September.

What did they have before CA, some troll named Brad who was paid $1,500 to build the Trump for President website (sorry, Brad; you stink, man).

OK, so door-to-door Trump supporters could knock on a door, knowing what the people inside believe and give them a quick message that they already know they can relate to, and yes, it’s available on an easy to use app.

They did this concentrated effort in only 17 states — states they absolutely needed.

Door-to-door messaging to a receptive audience, one-on-one targeted posts that would be most likely received positively. This sounds like the political version of the New England Patriots.

Guess who is on the Board of Cambridge Analytica, Steve Bannon.

So, is this all BS? Maybe.

Maybe people just liked the crazy dude with sweet hair. Who knows?

More fake news craziness? It is said CA was also a big player in the Brexit campaign, too.

Maybe the sky is red, and maybe Al Gore was right all along, it is hot as hell for springtime.

Anyway, I don’t know much but I know this is not the last time we will hear about this subject.

Keep on rocking people. And long live those women who love the Wu-Tang Clan and Jack Daniels.

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Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. He writes for several organizations and can be reached at dowlingb@aegisbiztech.com.

Blake Dowling: The scourge of ransomware

This year has been exceptionally brutal on the cybersecurity front, and ransomware in particular.

You know it is terrible when Webster tosses the name in the book.

According to the 2017 Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “ransomware is malware requiring the victim to pay a ransom to access encrypted files.

Also added were other random words that have crept into our society. “Pregame” is another example: “To begin drinking alcohol before an event or activity (such as a party or a night out).”

“Alt-right” is in, as is “bunny” — meaning “an easy shot in basketball.”

“Tommy Maitland” discussing with Will Arnett how bad the Florida-Florida State game will be.

I wonder how big the new-word committee is? It could be top of the list of worst jobs ever (right up there with the one IT guy in North Korea).

How are those words chosen? Bring in Tommy Maitland from the all-new Gong Show? (Spoiler alert, Tommy Maitland is really Mike Myers. Shocking.)

Also shocking is that he is hilarious in this role. Tune in.

Kim showing his team the line on the UF-FSU game.

So CryptoLocker, WannaCry (thanks, N. Korea), NotPetya, and this month BadRabbit have all burst on the scene. Experts say it will get worse before it gets better.

Our company now offers intrusion testing, customized training as the standard enterprise-level security bundles are not enough. With clients with no international ties, we block all IP addresses outside the U.S., as so many threats originate offshore.

A few years ago, I was chatting with a professor in Tel Aviv, who told me that spam was invented in Israel. So, where do you think the best spam filter is from? He was right then, but these days products from afar (like Kaspersky Anti-Virus software) have been exposed themselves.

Me and the squad, floating on the Dead Sea in Israel, far away from college football.

I am not suggesting an America-first approach to cybersecurity, but maybe a NATO-first.

Most ransomware encrypts files and to get the files back, you are supposed to pay a ransom. We always recommend not paying, and go to a backup — which you should always have — to restore the affected data.

Some new attacks will see ransomware as a diversion.

Files will get infected, and while your IT staff is struggling to deal with that, a Trojan dives in — stealing credit card numbers or something else stored locally.

Other ransomware blackmails you: pay us, or we send your photos to your contact list. Threats get more devious and, of course, good ol’ spam with infected links will still come through. That is if you do not have proper security in place, and people yet click these things.

The U.S. is still better off than most of the world, as a whole, we have more legit deployments of software, which means security updates are patched and current (if managed correctly). Plus, most professionals recognize that there is an issue and are taking action. But there are still those out there on their XP machines with no backup clicking up a storm. Don’t be that person.

#Don’tBeThatPerson that ignores security and clicks on everything, because they will eventually think up a name for the Merriam-Webster 2018 Dictionary for you and it won’t be flattering.

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Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies and can be reached at Dowlingb@Aegisbiztech.com.

Blake Dowling: Beware KRAK, the latest tech threat

If you hear about a wireless situation affecting ALL Wi-Fi devices in the world. Take a deep breath, don’t do the panic dance or smash anything.

Windows users are most likely in the clear. But you need to be in the know.

If you are an Android or Mac user, stay tuned for more info.

This latest threat is called KRAK (if you Google it, KRAK has nothing to do with apartments in Krakow; although some look very hip).

This notice is from the Feds:

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team issued the following warning in response to the exploit:

US-CERT has become aware of several key management vulnerabilities in the 4-way handshake of the Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) security protocol. The impact of exploiting these vulnerabilities includes decryption, packet replay, TCP connection hijacking, HTTP content injection and others. Note that as protocol-level issues, most or all correct implementations of the standard will be affected. The CERT/CC and the reporting researcher KU Leuven will be publicly disclosing these vulnerabilities on 16 October 2017.

Details here: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity.

If you have someone managing your tech, and they are current with updates, or you have auto updates, the Windows patch on October 10 should have made this issue a non-issue.

If you are running an out-of-date operating system, check with your information technology professional for the appropriate patches, etc.

If you do not have the auto update features turned on, now is a good time. The good news, possible perps must be in proximity of you (and your device) to attempt to defraud you. So, this is not a look-out-for-problems-overseas-type threat.

The good news, possible perps must be in proximity of you (and your device) to attempt to defraud you. So, this is not a look-out-for-problems-overseas-type threat.

A good rule of thumb is to stay off free Wi-Fi, non-password protected networks, not just during this threat but always. We send way too much sensitive data back and forth; this is just another vulnerability where someone (or several individuals) will try and criminalize computing.

Auto-updates on? Staying off public Wi-Fi?

You are now free to move about the cabin, so to speak.

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Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies and can be reached at dowlingb@aegisbiztech.com.

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