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Category: Security

Software Distribution Simplified with GuancheMOS

In an ideal world there is a person responsible for every step in software development, from coding, UI design, distribution, documentation, marketing and support. All of this can seem really overwhelming for independent developers and small businesses. But if you break it down and take it one piece at a time, it’s manageable by even the smallest team of one. Right now, let’s look at software distribution.

For software, distribution usually means generating and validating unique serial numbers for each of your products and users. Serial numbers (or license keys) help you manage your users, unlock a free trial or demo version for full use and, of course, minimize illegal use of your apps.

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A compromise to security is always just that.

Last month the Australian government suggested they might require tech companies to provide back doors into their systems to help law enforcement use those back doors to catch bad guys. Apple immediately dispatched people to go talk with them about it. Apple’s stance has been that such back doors don’t help catch bad guys and just make the rest of us less secure. Is that really true?

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RSA: Private/Public keys between Xojo and PHP

Among other topics, Cryptography and data ciphering always fascinated me. Beyond their mathematical perspective, most of the time it is a matter of putting them in practice with developed solutions: dealing with data only visible between the transmitter and the receiver. As it happens, the Xojo framework makes it really easy to deal with ciphered data.

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The Ultimate Password Solution

World Password Day brings attention to some simple steps everyone can take to secure their digital life: 1. Create Strong Passwords, 2. Use a different password for each account, and 3. Get a password manager, no, not a post-it note in your desk drawer!

The best password is one that is diffcult to guess. But difficult to guess takes on a new meaning when hackers use computers to do the guessing. Hence, the best password becomes one that would take a computer so long to guess that it’s not practical to do so. That means a long series of random characters and the longer and more random, the better, and a different password for every site you use.

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There’s No Excuse For Storing Passwords

A few years ago it was reported that Russian hackers had stolen 1.2 billion usernames and passwords from a variety of websites. This was only possible because those websites were storing the actual password. Because it’s World Password Day and because this is web security 101, let’s discuss why there’s really no excuse for a website to store your password – ever.

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If Smartphone Encryption Is A Red Herring, How Do We Track The Bad Guys?

In the blog post Smartphone Encryption is a Red Herring, I pointed out the folly of requiring an encryption back door for the Good Guys to use. So the question arises- “What can be done? If we don’t want a global encryption back door that can be used by anyone, can we still track the Bad Guys?”

The answer is yes. There are plenty of options that don’t require a global back door. I’m not passing judgment on whether these are inherently good or bad options, just that they are available when there is a reason to track a Bad Guy.

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Smartphone Encryption is a Red Herring

EnigmaMachine.pngAs the Founder and CEO of a software company that makes a development tool for mobile platforms, as well as for desktop and web, I have a lot of experience with encryption. The current controversy over encryption is really important to me. During World War II, the Germans created a way of sending encrypted messages to commanders in the field. The device came to be known as an Engima machine. It looked like a typewriter but had an encryption key that changed a message into unreadable noise. That message could only be decoded if you knew the key used to encrypt it. The Allies worked very hard to get their hands on one of these devices so they could learn how it works and be able to decrypt the messages and know what the German military plans. Ultimately the Allies figured it out and it helped them win the war. If this has peaked your curiosity, check out the movie U-571 (a fictional account of the effort to obtain an Enigma machine) and The Imitation Game about the team that figured out the encryption key.

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