Morning security notes

April 28, 2009

It's 8:30 a.m. here on the East Coast and the coffee pot is helping me think positive thoughts. Here's what I'm finding in security this morning:

  • Steve Hunt, a consultant/analyst/rabble-rouser who we're fans of, was inducted into the ISSA Hall of Fame this week during the RSA conference.
  • Super Bowl rings have been stolen...again....and it looks suspicious to have such rings stolen twice. Both times thieves used an M.O. of dropping in via a hole cut in a roof.
  • Checking out Ugolog. This is a site that allows you to do recording and monitoring using webcams and put it on the web. No, it's not a professional surveillance system, although it's getting that way since the service is now supporting cameras from Axis and Panasonic, and not just USB webcams. If I'm right, Singularity Blog got it wrong. Somehow they thought it was a system that gave everyone access to all cameras, calling it a "single website that would centralize the video data for anyone to search, view, and manipulate." It's not that at all, but just an online monitoring and recording service. The free account gets you 500 daily snapshots, which are stills that you can instantly look at as you review your day. I've got an inquiry into Ugolog, but I'm thinking this service needs JPEG streams. You get 24 hour monitoring for 2 cameras on the free version and 5 minutes of recorded video per day. The "Plus" and "Pro" accounts (which are free during this beta test; see Ugolog plans page) get 1 or 4 hours of recording and scores more of these "snapshots". I'm thinking they could be easily overwhelmed by data costs if their free service takes off. The one thing I really want to point out to the professional security industry is how easy and clean and simple they make managing your video on their site. I've seen a lot of managed/hosted video offerings lately, but none are this easy. Sometimes more features does not equal a better service for the customer. Ugolog gets it -- people like to scan through snapshots and easily watch video. Professional service offerings should be as simple, maybe with a GUI that allows you to toggle between simple monitoring and full-featured monitoring. MVaaS (managed video as a service) companies should take a quick pointer from Ugolog.
  • Looking over some advisories on swine flu pulled together by ASIS. There seems to be a ton of fear-mongering right now in mainstream media about swine flu. Time will tell if it's warranted. I'm interested by the indication that the disease seems to weaken the further away from hot & humid climates it is. It makes me thing about Jared Diamond's treatise in the book "Guns, Germs and Steel" which looked at the spread of food cultivation and domestic animals along a longitudinal access (Americas) versus a latitudinal axis (Eurasia).
  • Playing around with Twitter programs Twhirl (for PC) and Tweetdeck (for Apple OSX). Come follow on Twitter; we are SecInfoWatch.

Ok, back to the news grind for me, but by all means, please share your thoughts on swine flu: Is it all hype or is this as serious as the media is making it out to be? Use the comments below.