Only thing I Accomplished was this Win

Yesterday I could NOT get it together. 

I read, daydreamed, laughed over lunch and that’s it. 

Despite the lack of posts here, I spent the weekend working. Sunday I had an appointment at Apple to have my cracked screen and took the moment to wipe my entire computing environment. Ever done that? It’s a good idea to do regularly, same as how a car is sent in for routine maintenance. 


Big undertaking though. At the very least change your bank / email / Facebook passwords this week, because when was the last time you did? 

I’m en route downtown on a bus. Going to meet those behind my new writing job. How old school of me eh, wanting to physically shake a hand. 

Send get better vibes, been fighting a fever since last week and it’s starting to win. 

xo Keri 

Yanking the Computers from a ’99 Pontiac Sunfire

It’s my neighbours car. We spent a Sunday pulling out all the computers we could find.

Note the plural – computers.

Because there’s up to 100 computers in your car. Learn more in this column – the Computers in your Car.

Above – on the left are the fuses, on the right is the OBD port.

The brain of a 1999 vehicle

Whew, being a mechanic is physically taxing eh – hold a weirdo yoga-ish position for an extended time, hands above your head wrenching on wires.

Below are some of the connectors.

1 – there’s just one port you should know – the OBD II port. More here.

Was it assembled more cleanly and elegantly in your mind?

Was for me. There was no electrical tape in mine.

After all this turns out there’s no point in me hooking the computers up to my laptop for testing, since the protocols have changed drastically since 1999.

Made a nice blog header though.



Don’t Get “Vished” – Attacked via the Phone

Basically – the phone is used as an attack vector to get information.

Vishing – attacker calls you and extracts sensitive information you’d otherwise not share

This type of psychological attack takes advantage of trust, manners, and our social nature to want to be helpful.

The Attack

A stranger calls you at work. They will usually assume 1 of 2 personas – friendly, or intimidating.

1 – the caller is friendly and fun, making you feel rude saying no to their request

2 – the caller poses as someone higher up the corporate ladder. They’ll create a sense of urgency and obligation for you to provide them the requested information. So not wanting to disappoint your “boss”, you give it to them.

While the above are just 2 of the many possible personas, they’re the most popular. See chart below for more angles.

The Defence

– your gut. If something feels off, don’t be shy to say “I can’t” or flat out “no”

– be the outgoing call. Say, “I can probably help you with that, let me finish this email and I’ll call you right back… what’s you number?”

– phone number spoofing is easy, as in, caller ID is not reliable

– vishing attacks often happen while you’re very busy and distracted, so your defences are already down

– remember no information is inconsequential. The attacker may be seeking a tiny piece of information that seems small and frivolous, but really, it’s a key piece to a bigger puzzle

– someone recently tried to vish me, read the anatomy of the attack here

This has been Part 1/3 in a series with Michele Fincher of Social Engineer, Inc., a premier consulting and training company which specializes in the art and science of social engineering (SE.)

Meet Michele here.