Introduced at Black Hat 2014

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LAS VEGAS — This week the best and bright­est secu­ri­ty researchers have con­vened here in the smoth­er­ing desert heat to remind us how the com­mer­cial­iza­tion of the Inter­net con­tin­ues to be a two-edged sword, empow­er­ing good, but also mul­ti­ply­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for mali­cious and exploitive pursuits.

It’s the per­fect oppor­tu­ni­ty to intro­duce you to a new project: I’m Byron Aco­hi­do, Edi­tor-In-Chief, and this is where I’ve land­ed to con­tin­ue prac­tic­ing journalism.

In years past at Black Hat Vegas I’ve observed good guy hack­ers trig­ger an ATM to spew cash, remote­ly shut down a pace­mak­er and even use an RFID-enabled pass­port to det­o­nate a pack­age of explosives.

Trou­bling new expo­sures just keep on com­ing. Pre­sen­ters here this week will demon­strate exploitable secu­ri­ty flaws in Inter­net-con­nect­ed vehi­cles, lux­u­ry hotel rooms, Ama­zon-pow­ered web­sites, the cam­era tech­nol­o­gy used in Google Glass  and even in earth-orbit­ing satellites.

And while most of the intel­li­gence here at Black Hat point out fresh flaws ripe for exploita­tion, news sto­ries con­tin­ue to break high­light­ing how relent­less cyber crim­i­nals have become at tak­ing advan­tage of old, well-known vulnerabilities.

The New York Times scoop on a Russ­ian gang that has amassed over a bil­lion stolen pass­words is the lat­est example.

The uni­ver­sal les­son, which con­tin­ues to escape far too many of us, is this: it has become incum­bent upon each indi­vid­ual and each com­pa­ny  to assess risks and prac­tice safe behav­iors. This requires mak­ing the effort to under­stand a com­plex problem.

And that’s where Third­Cer­tain­ty intends to help.  I’ve embarked on the excit­ing chal­lenge of launch­ing a new online pub­li­ca­tion craft­ed to deliv­er author­i­ta­tive, help­ful con­tent to any one con­cerned with secu­ri­ty and pri­va­cy, which ought to be all of us.

This is a sneak pre­view.  We’re work­ing hard on a for­mal launch which should hap­pen a bit lat­er this year. Third­Cer­tain­ty will fea­ture news post­ing, videos, analy­sis pieces and Q&A columns to start. Our intent is to enlight­en busi­ness­es and indi­vid­u­als about the breadth of emerg­ing pri­va­cy and secu­ri­ty risks. And we will seek out and high­light best prac­tices and new tech­nolo­gies that can help mit­i­gate those risks.

I’m grate­ful for the oppor­tu­ni­ty to expand upon the work I did the past 13 years as a tech reporter and web pro­duc­er at USA TODAY, where I chron­i­cled the evo­lu­tion of cyber­crime in its for­ma­tive stages, includ­ing pro­duc­ing hun­dreds of print sto­ries and blog posts, scores of videos and an award-win­ning book Zero Day Threat: The Shock­ing Truth of How Banks and Cred­it Bureaus Help Cyber Crooks Steal Your Mon­ey and Identity

And I’m thrilled to have a blank can­vas and clear man­date to serve a glob­al audi­ence in dire need of use­ful intel­li­gence on these top­ics. As always, I wel­come and appre­ci­ate your feed­back. What’s more, I invite you to share your exper­tise and expe­ri­ences for the greater good. Let’s go do it!

Posted in News & Analysis