Mafia Games Monday (MGM) – Break!

October 31, 2016

As I haven’t done one of these lately, I thought I would update all of you as to what I have been doing the past few months, especially since I haven’t been writing blog posts.

Well, I took a break from things for a little while. I cannot say that this break was necessarily planned, but that was what happened. This break to me felt more necessary as time went on, and it was very beneficial to me in order to use this break to be able to do some things that I wanted to do.

Once the summer was over, I knew I was ready to get back into things; however, I got lazy. Yes, I admit that I got lazy. This laziness caused some depression, and this time really helped me realize that this kind of stuff is what really keeps me going. You guys that read these posts do help me keep myself going. And for that I thank all of you.

What else have I learned during this time? I learned that you have to keep striving to learn more and get better at what you do. These past few months may have set me back a little bit, but I know that I can learn a lot more before the year is over and get some really neat things done, including taking apart/building the multiple PCs that I have laying around. Once I get those done, I will post some pictures on my Twitter and Facebook pages.

If you were here before I took my break, you probably can see that I did re-do my website during this time, which I am quite proud of. If you notice any issues with my site, please let me know.

So again, to those of you who have helped me one way or another (including those who read my blog posts), I thank you. This year is not over yet, and there will be much more to come on this blog before the year is up!

That’s all for now, until next time…keep that tech gear ticking.

~Goliath7470

The Internet of Things – Risk VS Reward

October 27, 2016

We are a relatively lazy society. We are, and I cannot say that’s necessarily a bad thing. That kind of “laziness” drives us to figure out how to do more things in less time with less effort, which gave way to modern computers as well as other modern technology.

However, there is something that has been on my mind for quite a long time now, and I think it should be on yours as well: The Internet of Things, or IoT for short.

The Internet of Things, for those of you who don’t know, are essentially items in your house that are connected to the Internet. This could be your refrigerator, your toaster, your TV, your lamp, and many other items (including alarm systems). Now I’m not going to get into the nitty-gritty of how this all works, but basically, these household items have a small computer within them that allows them to perform certain actions, like notify you that your toast is ready, check the inside of your refrigerator, turn a lamp on or off, and etc. The possibilities are endless for all that you can do in order to make things a little bit easier for you.

However, with everything, there comes a risk in having these items hooked up to the Internet. What are those risks exactly? Well, they are then susceptible to hackers. This past Friday, a botnet performed a Distributed Denial-Of-Service (DDoS for short) attack on Dyn, which is a DNS provider. DNS is what is used in order to give user-friendly address names (such as twitter.com or facebook.com) and maps that to an IP address, which is where the site is actually located. So because of this, many people found that they could not access many different sites online this past Friday. Why am I telling you this? I am because this botnet was composed mostly of household items that are hooked up to the Internet. Essentially, those that fall under the “Internet of Things”.

What other risks do we have? Well, those same hacks can be performed to turn something on that you did not turn on, access video cameras in your house that you set up, and much more. Unfortunately, for those smaller appliances, it is required to build the computers within them small and simple. Also, they are difficult to update. Because of all of this, when a security vulnerability occurs, those smaller computers do not stand a chance, and prove to be easy targets for botnets such as these.

Now am I saying that you should not have any of these “smart” appliances in your house? No, of course not. They can provide some really nice benefits. Just be aware of the security risks out there. However, no matter what those outside security risks are, the biggest security risk that does exist (and will ever exist) with these appliances is you. Yes, you, the user. Human error is the biggest cause of breaches one way or another, so let’s try to ensure that we are not the cause of these hacks as best as we can.

That’s all for now, until next time…keep that tech gear ticking.

~Goliath7470