Taproot Security founder Michael McCormick

the NEED TO KNOW security blog

Mike McCormick shines light on the murky world of information and cyber security


February 18, 2019

Smelling blood, American adversaries began circling like sharks during the 35-day partial government shutdown.

October 9, 2018

Chinese cyber exploits are back in the news with a bombshell story claiming China planted tiny “spy chips” inside Made in China servers now in major data centers of Amazon, Apple, and others. Amazon and Apple vigorously deny knowing about spy chips on their servers, ev...

June 20, 2018

Cyber security is played for high stakes in a world of shadowy threats.  Although it’s seldom discussed openly, this dark game can take a psychological toll on people who play it.

Some IT security professionals come from law enforcement or intelligence backgrounds, so t...

March 20, 2018

You probably know Cambridge researchers got access to 50 million Facebook user profiles, then gave the data to a private political operation working on behalf of the 2016 Trump presidential campaign. You can learn more from New York Times and Guardian stories.

Adding fu...

March 7, 2018

One outrageous thing we learned about the Equifax breach (among many) is that three corporate executives sold company stock after the breach was discovered but not yet disclosed . Equifax stock tumbled 35% when the attack was announced, but by then insiders had already...

December 15, 2017

Net Neutrality's demise may open the door to overdue cybersecurity improvements.

Before you send me hate mail, let me reiterate my opposition to FCC’s repeal of Net Neutrality this week. I deplore it. It was bad for consumers, bad for site owners, and bad for the Intern...

November 24, 2017

Hurricanes get names (Harvey, Irma, Jose, Maria…) assigned alphabetically by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Service (NOAA).  Biologists name new species in peer-reviewed journals.  Astronomers suggest names for stars and moons, but the International Astronomical...

July 26, 2017

Hackers don’t exploit our computers; they exploit our ignorance.

Most of us lack even a basic idea of how our digital gadgets work.  They’re magic.  And magical thinking makes us vulnerable to threats.

Arthur C. Clarke observed, “Any sufficiently advanced technology...

March 3, 2017

The information security profession has long mined biology for metaphors to describe cyber threats.  For example, we call certain forms of malware “viruses” or “worms”.  If the malware successfully installs, we call the event an “infection” and follow up with a “forens...

September 14, 2016

Last week the White House announced the appointment of Gregory Touhill as the nation’s first Federal Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).  Touhill is a retired Air Force general currently serving as acting director of the National Cyber and Communications Integra...

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