The Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Cybersecurity, Security Technologies, and the Privacy Issues Surrounding Us All – CF003

Christian Johnson joins Jim (@jcollison) for show #3 of Cyber Frontiers brought to you by the Average Guy Network.

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Cyber Frontiers is all about Exploring Cyber security, Big Data, and the Technologies Shaping the Future Through an Academic Perspective!   Christian Johnson, a student at the University of Maryland will bring fresh and relevant topics to the show based on the current work he does.  Never on a schedule, but always up to date!

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Special Guest: Dr. Jim Purtilo – Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, College Park

While Dr. Purtilo is an associate professor of computer science, he is also an expert in privacy interests, and other academic programs in business

Highlights from the Show:

[18:30] – What are the multi-disciplinary aspects of cybersecurity? Where are the overlaps in academic disciplines that are relevant to answering modern challenges in cybersecurity?

[27:00] – Crowd sourcing, software engineering, and how it pertains to cybersecurity.

[41:00] – Big data – how does it relate to cybersecurity, and how is it shaping the privacy issues in the modern tech era?

[1:00:00] – What is the value of journalism in privacy and cybersecurity? What role does journalism play in influencing privacy law in the U.S.?

Tools for Privacy on the Web from Dr. Purtilo

Ad-block Plus for Firefox – – Gives you more than blocking adds, but allows filtering other objects of the DOM (Document Object Model) which might be hiding in web pages you visit.

Block Site for Firefox –

There are tools to help you with proxy servers – not interested in naming any in particular – but generally you should have care not to trust such servers unless they are ones you run for yourself. On top of that, User Agent Switcher is probably the simplest I’ve found for toying with browser signatures.

Try avoiding a browser entirely sometimes – For example, some Python scripting with excellent packages like Beautiful Soup will let you manipulate traffic from a variety of hosts not necessarily where you happen to be sitting. They take some getting used to in order to manage sessions and track cookies, but a bit of investment of effort to learn how that works can pay off. All that becomes even more useful if you do it through tunnels – but know the limits of those too, since you can slip just ONCE accessing the wrong site, using a standard browser on local machine which will supply your regular host signatures, and it won’t matter what tunnel, VPN or other bit of tasteful indirection you once enjoyed, you’ve left a breadcrumb that connects new traffic to the old in a way that anyone examining a log – in particular some trace tool – can see immediately.

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