bruce

About Bruce Blackshaw

Bruce has been writing software professionally for almost 25 years, and has worked in a number of industries, including commercial software development and investment banking. He has wide experience in encryption, security, and network protocols such as SSL/TLS, SSH, SFTP and FTPS. Bruce currently works on developing CompleteFTP.

Australian census fail

We outlined numerous privacy concerns with the 2016 Australian census recently.  These concerns included the change to compulsory names and addresses, and the potential problems with online collection of highly personal data. Last night was census night, 9 August 2016, and we saw the Australian census fail.

In fact, census night was an utter disaster.  The site […]

By |August 10th, 2016|Blogs, Hacking, News, Security|Comments Off on Australian census fail

Privacy concerns with Australian census

There are serious privacy concerns with the forthcoming Australian census.

The Australian Census is Australia’s biggest survey. Conducted every five years by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), it asks a range of questions of all 10 million households and 24 million people. The results are intended to guide government policy over the next few years.

Unfortunately, there’s been some […]

By |August 6th, 2016|Blogs, Discussion, Security|Comments Off on Privacy concerns with Australian census

CompleteFTP Free Edition released

We’ve just released CompleteFTP Free Edition, a free version of our popular CompleteFTP secure file server supporting FTP and FTPS. Completely free for commercial use, it is a direct competitor to Filezilla server, which supports the same protocols.

Why would you use CompleteFTP Free instead of Filezilla server? Some of the key reasons are:

it’s a commercial product, and it is not in […]

By |July 18th, 2016|Announcements, Blogs, CompleteFTP|Comments Off on CompleteFTP Free Edition released

Brexit and IT security

There are many uncertainties regarding the UK’s recent referendum vote to leave the EU. Only time will tell if the benefits of “taking back control” will outweigh the short term costs.  But this isn’t a political blog, and so we won’t be discussing the wider implications of leaving the EU. Here, we’re interested in […]

By |July 5th, 2016|Blogs, Discussion, Security|Comments Off on Brexit and IT security

Massive account takeover attacks

The massive account takeover attacks reported by Akamai recently illustrate what corporations are up against when it comes to cyberattacks.

Account takeover attacks are when cyber-attackers obtain credentials from a stolen password dump or through a SQL injection attack. They then try to validate the usernames and passwords that have been stolen by logging into […]

By |June 24th, 2016|Blogs, CompleteFTP, Discussion|Comments Off on Massive account takeover attacks

Operational technology security and the Internet of Things

One aspect not discussed in our recent post on security issues and the Internet of Things (IoT) is the increasing trend of connecting operational technology systems to the internet. This leads us to the vitally important issue of operational technology security.

Operational Technology (OT) refers to hardware and software that monitors and controls physical devices, processes and […]

By |June 16th, 2016|Blogs, Discussion|Comments Off on Operational technology security and the Internet of Things

Ransomware again

We only just discussed the growing threat of ransomware – cyberattacks where victims’ data is encrypted by attackers and they must pay a fee to have their data decrypted.

The University of Calgary confirmed this week that it has been forced to pay $20,000 in bitcoins to decrypt its email server and other files after a ransomware attack. Apparently, decryption […]

By |June 11th, 2016|Blogs, Discussion, Hacking|Comments Off on Ransomware again

The growing threat of ransomware

What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a real and growing threat. Although it has been around for many years, it is only more recently that ransomware has become more prominent. The release and rapid spread of the ransomware program Cryptolocker in 2013 was primarily responsible, although there are now a variety of imitators.

What is ransomware? As the name suggests, […]

By |June 3rd, 2016|Discussion|Comments Off on The growing threat of ransomware

LinkedIn hack and password encryption

You might remember the LinkedIn hack of 2012. Their password encryption was extremely poor, and it was easy for anyone who obtained the leaked password files to retrieve the original passwords. At the time it was announced that 6.5 million accounts had been compromised.

Password hashing
Actually, passwords are rarely encrypted (which implies they can be decrypted) – instead […]

By |May 26th, 2016|Announcements, Blogs|Comments Off on LinkedIn hack and password encryption

Major advance in random number generation

An advance in random number generation? Who cares? What’s so important about improving the way we generate random numbers, and how does this tie in with security?
What are random numbers?
Random numbers are numbers that are completely unpredictable, and they are of paramount importance in cryptography.  Most cryptographic algorithms depend in some way on random numbers, usually […]

By |May 20th, 2016|Announcements, Blogs|Comments Off on Major advance in random number generation