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Security concerns

May 3, 2011 5 comments

With all the debacle about the Sony security breach and concern about their perhaps less than stellar security handling, it may be a good time to think about our own handling of personal data.

Sony is not the first and will not be the last where customer information may be compromised. It has become big news because it is a high profile company, but our personal information may still be just as much at risk with low profile entities with less than stellar security policies or policies that are not enforced.

A concern for outselves is how useful is that information at any single location? Do we have the same account name in multiple locations? Do we have the same password? Do we have the same account name and password and email address in multiple places? Is any of that information used in gaming context also used elsewhere in other parts of your life?

If a place has a not totally crap security handling they will never have your actual password stored, but instead a hash of it – essentially an long number calculated from the password which would be different for different words and one cannot revert the calculation to deduce the word from it.

Check what happens if you click on the “forgot the password” option most places have. If they will email or send you the actual password, then definitely think twice about using their services. Anyone that does actually store vital information in clear text that have no need whatsoever to be stored that way is a big potential disaster.

Places with better-than-crap security will always require you to create a new password in those cases and through a secure link. They should also send emails to notify that the password has been changed afterwards and send a notification that for other important information that have been changed as well.

In gaming context account identities should really also be different from anything that is shown in public; character names, in-game IDs, forum names etc. I think Cryptic screwed up a bit when they by default had account names and global in-game IDs to be the same. Using email addresses as account names are not ideal either IMHO, at least not when other vital information may be stored in the account information.

It is good to see that two-factor authentication is being used in some places (e.g. the Rift authenticator). It will not help if someone manages to break through to a company’s servers, but at least someone will not be able to use information from some other place, or simply get in through brute force if you have a bad password. I really hope more places start to use this, at the very least as an option.

In a market where we have an increase of online games, F2P games to try out etc we tend to increasingly leave digital footprints in many places we should think about what kind of prints we leave behind in various places.

Categories: Other

Rare Exports the movie

October 13, 2010 Comments off

Search on YouTube on “Rare Exports” and you will find links to some short movies made a few years ago about….well, a certain creature familiar to many.

The director of these short movies, Jalmari Helander, has now done a feature length movie on the same theme, see Rare Exports web site. Suitable to its horror/comedy Xmas theme it will start showing in movie theaters in Finland at least in December. I don’t know what other places it will show in.

Since I work in Helsinki during weekdays this will be a movie I will check out – hopefully they have been able to make a feature length story around the theme.

Categories: Other

The curious incident of the dog in the night-time

March 4, 2010 2 comments

The title is a book that my sister recommended and which I finished reading now. By British author Mark Haddon, the book is sort of a murder mystery novel, but the dead character is not a person, but a poodle. And the main character and story teller in the book is a boy with Asperger’s syndrome. And this is what makes the story fascinating, enjoyable and a bit sad.

The characters and environment are described and treated in a way quite different from a regular mystery novel – when human emotions and expressions are something that are foreign concepts and certain logic and pattern need to apply, the world becomes quite different. While I do not know how close Mark Haddon hits to describing the world for one with Asperger’s syndrome, he certainly manages to make a definite impact on me as a reader.

Worth to take alook at I think.

Categories: Other

Into Galactica

February 14, 2010 7 comments

At casa Sente, there is no TV. Well, a TV screen yes, but no TV receiver – no TV broadcasts are seen on that screen. There has not been much watching of TV in the past few years and last autumn the decision was made to get rid of any TV receiver (and thus the obligation to pay the Swedish TV license fee).

That does not exclude watching good TV series though, from time to time a good show can be bought on DVD or Blu-ray. Planet Earth is great BBC documentary that I watched before Xmas. I have also picked up a few SciFi TV series (complete) over the years, including Babylon 5 (my favourite), Farscape and Firefly.

My recent acqusition though has been the first season of Battlestar Galactica on Blu-ray. I have never seen the series before, neither the original nor the re-make. But it was highly recommended by some in-game friends from City of Villains/Heroes, so when a saw a package with the show at the shelf of the local Mediamarkt, I decided to pick it up.

So far I have seen two episodes and it is a good start indeed, looks promising. Will try to avoid googling on the subject though, since I do not want to run into any spoilers.

Categories: Other

Chrome at work

December 11, 2009 1 comment

No game post this time, just noting that I can now use my favourite browser at work as well. Chrome has been available for Windows for a while and I use it all the time at home.

At work I primarily run Linux on my laptop and run any Windows software that might be needed in a virtual machine.  But I do not go into Windows just for browsing.

But since a few days ago Chrome is available in a beta release for Linux (w00t), so I am happy. And I did enjoy the xkcd inspired description 🙂

Categories: Other