Pulitzer Centennial highlights role of journalism

By Byron Acohido


Standing on the floor of the Newseum in Washington, D.C., last week, in a crush of hundreds of past recipients of The Pulitzer Prize, was thrilling and humbling.

We were assembled for a group photo as part of the yearlong celebration of the Pulitzer’s centennial. It was a chance to reconnect with old colleagues and meet other journalists with whom I share the experience of receiving journalism’s top prize.

They say timing …more

Anatomy of an attack: Using Twitter to launch denial-of-service attacks against banks

By Byron Acohido

(Editor’s note: This actual snapshot of a cutting-edge Distributed Denial of Service attack was discovered by analysts at security vendor Digital Shadows, which provides cyber situational awareness to its SMB and enterprise customers. Digital Shadows’ CTO James Chappell shared this detailed intelligence with LastWatchdog. In the accompanying video, F5 cybersecurity evangelist David Holmes outlines the ongoing evolution of DDoS attacks. )

Core finding: In 2012 and 2013, a hacktivist group called Izz ad-Din …more

Anatomy of an attack: Military hacking tactics used against a retailer

By Byron Acohido

(This actual snapshot of a cutting edge cyber attack was discovered by analysts at Norse Corp, a security vendor that  has developed an amazing global network of honeypots emulating all sorts of common workplace and home appliances connected to the Internet, with embedded operating systems rife with vulnerabilities. Norse uses this honeypot network to monitor as cybercriminals  scan for, infect, take control of and finally and deploy vulnerable IoT  appliances. Company founder and …more

Boeing told FAA in secret of 737 rudder hazard before 1994 crash

(Editor’s note: The text of this Page 1A news story is being posted here to make it readily available for future reference. The original copy resides in the Seattle Times archives.)

Copyright © 2000 The Seattle Times Company

Local News : Tuesday, February 22, 2000

by Byron Acohido

Seattle Times staff reporter

Boeing knew for years that pilots had no way to overcome dangerous rudder problems that could occur while flying 737 jets at low speeds, but waited until after two planes crashed to acknowledge …more

LastWatchdog moves to ThirdCertainty.com


(Editor’s note: Last Watchdog is on the move. On this site you may continue to access my body of work on security and privacy topics since 2008. I’m not done yet. Going forward, I will continue delivering smart content as Editor-In-Chief for ThirdCertainty, a  new cybersecurity and privacy online publication sponsored by  IDT911. Full disclosure: ThirdCertainty’s parent company, IDT911,  is an identity theft and data loss assistance firm owned …more

Microsoft comes to aid of SMBs reliant on Windows XP

By Byron Acohido, Last Watchdog

KINGSTON, Wash. –  Microsoft should be applauded for reversing its policy , and broadly issuing a  security patch for a profound new security hold recently discovered in  Windows XP.  This is a major benefit to thousands of small and medium sized businesses reliant on XP.

SMBs already have their hands full dealing with intensifying attacks and the high likelihood that their networks have been  breached. This SANS Institute survey of 948 IT pros found the majority of respondents operate on the assumption that their respective company’s networks are compromised, or soon will be. The survey was sponsored by Guidance Software.

So when Microsoft came along last April and stopped all support for XP, including issuing security patches, things got dicier. And the discovery of this latest flaw in IE browsers underscored how that move makes XP machines ripe targets. …more

Why $3.6 million to prevent next Heartbleed isn’t enough

By Byron Acohido, Last Watchdog

A dozen tech behemoths — led by Microsoft, IBM, Google, Intel and Cisco — have stepped forward with cold, hard cash to prevent the next Heartbleed.

Each has pledged $100,000 annually for the next three years to a war chest earmarked to fund improvements of open source technology.

That’s a collective pledge of $3.6 million, through 2016, set aside in something called the Core Infrastructure Initiative, administered by The Linux Foundation. …more