Press Pass: Feeling insecure, avoiding Lily Collins and more
Certification Magazine — Sept. 19
Welcome to the latest installment of Press Pass, where CertMag blows through as many industry press releases, blogs, dispatches, messages in a bottle, etc., as we can fit in one post. We've got the highlights and you can click thru straight to the horse's mouth for more information.
Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this firewall: Is the digital side of computer security overrated? Chris Hadnagy of IT security firm Social Engineer doesn't say it in so many words in a guest blog at ISACA, but you don't even really have to read between the lines to take his point. Human beings are the soft spot in your company's IT defense perimeter. It's much easier to hack Stephen Tobolowsky — to borrow an example from Chip Hartweir's latest CCNMA subject — than to scuttle the Playtronics security grid from scratch.
Got me a line and I've got me a pole: Speaking of low-tech threats to your best efforts at staying safe behind the walls of your digital fortress, attacks that seem technologically dated can still do plenty of damage. A sobering report from cybercrime specialist Limor Kessem at EC-Council points out that, though the word "phishing" has a quaint ring to it, plenty of suckers still take the bait in 2013.
Savvy phish-ermen reportedly took home hundreds of millions of dollars as recently as 2011. What's the problem? It's the human element. "Although Phishing is a 21st century crime," Kessem writes, "manipulation, deceit and persuasion are not."
It tolls for thee: In the words of the hymn, change and decay in all around (we) see. OK, perhaps that's putting it a little melodramatically. We're actually only looking at Oracle, and all we see there is that the old Oracle Certified Professional credentials for MySQL are getting swept under the rug, while newer versions take their place. Developers can watch a short video that introduces the new MySQL 5.6 requirements.
In further news of Oracle, database administrators who have been dragging their feet — really dragging them — can finally get current. The new Oracle 12c exam lets even OCPs who haven't recertified since Oracle 7.3 make up all the lost ground in one fell swoop.
Jack be nimble, Jack be quick: Jack, as well as any other computer professionals who would like to, can now improve his grasp of agile software development methods. The British Computer Society announced last week that it is responding to popular demand by launching two new certs, Foundation Certificate in Agile and Practitioner Certificate in Agile. The BCS has an Agile Methods Specialist Group that counts more than 1,000 members among its ranks despite launching just last year.
Getting more Ms. into IT: The world of information technology can seem like a bit of a men's club. IT trade association CompTIA, on the other hand, is one group that's looking out for the future of women in IT. Earlier this week, CompTIA announced three donations to IT women's groups, parceling out grant money to Girls Inc., Grace After Fire and Tech Trek.
(Don't) take a look at her now: Finally, we close this week with a reminder about the scary stuff that was covered up above. You can blunder into all sorts of digital undertows, riptides and other perils while surfing the web. Even just a simple internet search isn't 100 percent safe, as security titan McAfee reminded web users this week by releasing its annual poison pill list of commonly searched celebrities. No. 1 in 2013: British actress Lily Collins.
The list ranks the celebrities most heavily associated each year with various malware infections. Essentially, the bad guys figure that web searchers are so desperate to find, shall we say, "information" about said celebs that they'll ignore any danger signs. The daughter of ex-Genesis singer Phil Collins displaces last year's top malware magnet, fellow Limey sweetheart (and Harry Potter alumnus) Emma Watson.