Welcome!

Cognitive Computing Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui

Blog Feed Post

E-mailing Passwords – Practice What You Preach

E-mailing Passwords – Practice What You Preach
By: Bill Mathews

I have a few pet peeves (okay maybe a lot more than a few) but some of them really do have a basis in reality and aren’t just blind rage. This one falls into the “based in reality” category and really enrages me. Every once in awhile I register for some security training because, well, I’m curious as to what else is out there and because I want to learn things I don’t already know…crazy right?

So I decided to take some online training while I’m on vacation this week (yes I know, not much of a vacation but that’s me). I did some research and decided to register for a course provided by a well-known training vendor (I won’t mention which as I’ve sent this problem to them and they should have some time to respond) and I dutifully registered through their online store and paid for the training. Sounds great, right? Not so fast – they informed me that I would receive a “registration” email which, if one follows modern site design, you would assume there would be a link to verify my email address, etc. So what did I get? That’s right, an email with my username and password listed right there. That probably doesn’t anger normal people (let alone drive them to write an article about it) but gentle readers, I have never been accused of being normal so I’m pretty annoyed. Here, in no particular order, are my reasons for the anger and frustration:

1) My password was right there in clear text. I’m not really concerned about it passing through my network unencrypted so much because SSL, despite its flaws, is pretty good at preventing snooping. No, my problem is that clearly they are not encrypting my password at all. Now I suppose they could be encrypting in their database and then decrypting it for the email but… well let’s just say if they were that well thought-out I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have sent the email with my password in it in the first place.

2) During the registration process I was asked to save my credit card number for convenience while making later purchases. Now there is nothing out of the ordinary about this and I’ve personally never opted to do it, but they’re asking for a lot of trust for a company that clearly doesn’t even encrypt my password. This is both arrogance and bad form – this is how severe breaches start.

3) This is a security training company! They’re supposed to be teaching people not to do stupid things like this, it makes my head hurt. Stop me if you’ve heard this before: “But Enterprise XYZ does it that way, why can’t we?” I hear this all the time and it is sound logic… until XYZ accidentally has a SQL injection. Boom – not only your password but now your credit card numbers are at risk. Security companies must start leading by example and not “do as I say not as I do.”

4) You have to wonder about the quality of the advice/training you’re getting from them if they build their registration/checkout software this way. When I take the course I plan to ask – not just to be a typical security jerk – but rather to point out the obvious problem with passing yourself off as an expert while violating the basic tenets of security. Violations like this should be pointed out and corrected by the offending party.

5) I’ve probably said enough, but according to every SEO article I read I have to have at least five points so here’s my last one. If this company isn’t bothering to encrypt the password, what are the odds that they’re encrypting your stored credit card number? You know, the one that thing that makes it “convenient” for you to checkout later. I just lose all trust in a company when they do things this way and I simply cannot believe they’re handling the credit card numbers properly.

So there you have it – maybe now you understand why things like this make me Hulk out with rage. Happy Thanksgiving everyone and enjoy your online shopping, I know I won’t :-)

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Hurricane Labs

Christina O’Neill has been working in the information security field for 3 years. She is a board member for the Northern Ohio InfraGard Members Alliance and a committee member for the Information Security Summit, a conference held once a year for information security and physical security professionals.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...