Thanksgiving Security

Thanksgiving, for most, is a time for family gatherings, overindulgence and a day or two off from work.  It is also a day of relative security on the Internet (with the exception of the SCO website hack of 2004). 

Customary activities, during this fourth Thursday in November, traditionally consist of traveling, cooking, watching football, arguing with relatives, and grossly excessive eating.  While many of these could be performed over the internet, such as buying your turkey here from Amazon, most of these time-honored festivities remain analog. 

It is also a time for all security professionals to give thanks to the Pilgrims, whose long celebrated feast, and resulting adopted traditions, did not consist of P2P file sharing, nor watching YouTube (ironically banned in Turkey).  For those confused by the difficult concepts of Thanksgiving, you can surf on over to HowStuffWorks, and filed under the "taking this way too far" category, read about How Thanksgiving Works.

Although Mert Ortac, the kidnapped ATM hacker, was recently arrested in Turkey, most of the hacking on this day will be on the thighbones and breast meat of a turkey.

There are a couple of factors, which contribute to this day's historic reduction of malicious online activity.  Firstly, those who have chosen a life of digital crime have families too (I think), thus ensuring a large part of their day is away from their weaponized computers.  Secondly, your typical online victim's use of technology is most likely watching football on their 50" high-definition plasmas.  Other than using Google Maps for directions to your Aunts house, it is a day of minimal computer use. 

Futurists will be quick to note the destined mandatory IPv6 deployment-providing IP addresses to everyone's refrigerators, ovens, and toasters-will someday make one's kitchen a destination of cyber attacks.  When that day comes, I'm keeping my lazy-boy offline.

If you are going to be doing some Thanksgiving surfing, I highly recommend checking out one of this year's best collections of Holiday Hacks and Turkey mods at Daily DIY.

Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is also a digital calm before the storm-an eerie silence of syn scans and faint echoes of mis-ordered packets-for the days following are a whirlwind of malicious activity. 

Deploy your Galaxy Class shields in anticipation of a fleet attack of cloaked Romulan Warbirds --Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming!

Help justify my claims.  Take a few moments, step away from your computers, and enjoy some time with your family and friends.

Send all of your leftovers to:


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