Can we stop Credit Card Fraud Forever Now Please ?!?

Simplest and most effective way to stop credit card fraud dead in its tracks would be to…

Make every Credit/Debit Card Holder buy a cheap ($9.95) security dongle that issues a 6 digit number – Corporations use these to secure their networks and this works !!!  Security dongle make a Bluetooth connection with your Credit/Debit card (obviously must be some kind of smart card…) which means any time your security dongle is not within 30 feet of your Credit/Debit Card your bank cancels your card for you automatically along with your security dongle and they reissue both as a paired set.  This allows the Security Dongle to automatically issue the 6 digit number for you when making a purchase at a merchant (gotta make sure the data is encrypted however – banks really suck at using encryption for this purpose…).

Every time you want to use your Credit/Debit Card you have to press a button on your security dongle to get a new 6 digit code that you enter when making a purchase.

Even if someone does manage to get your credit card number and zip code they won’t have your security dongle unless they steal it from you.

Done – no more credit card fraud !!!

Very little cost to banks other than development of a smart card and Bluetooth security dongle.  Banks could even use your Android of iOS smart phones in-place of a smart credit/debit card but then this has always been an option for the last 3-4 years.

Why banks don’t go this route is the amazingly stupid thing in my humble mind but then I am just the boob whose credit/debit card was recently hijacked which I don’t mind saying is what got me thinking about this problem in the first place.  I really seriously doubt anyone would ever both trying to hijack anyone’s credit/debit cards once this level of security was in-place and widely used.

Dual-Key or Public-Private key security has been around for many years.  It would not be difficult to create a very secure system at very little cost using Android/iOS Smart Phones with the ability for the customer to recreate a new Key-pair before or after each purchase in a safe and secure manner such that credit/debit card fraud could be eliminated completely.

Oh yeah, if Smart Phones could be used in-place of credit/debit cards I as a customer would be able to limit who can use my card to only those who fall within a very small geographic area simply by geotagging purchases, but again this just makes perfect sense.

Just my 2 cents now that I have to visit my local banking branch just to get the ability to use my own money now that my credit/debit card was cancelled and is in the process of being replaced for me simply because my stupid bank was too lazy or too stupid to figure-out how to ensure my money is as safe as it would be were it sitting in my own mattress at home.

Rant ends.

P.S. You all can thank me later when your credit/debit cards can also never be hijacked again !!!

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Cloud Security

Secure your Virtual Machines in the cloud by doing the following:

  1. Reduce your open ports to as few as possible.
  2. Do NOT allow any process serving as a TCP/IP listener to run as root.
  3. Change your SSH port from 22 to something other than 22.
    1. Change this every day if you are paranoid.
    2. Change this every hour if your are crazy paranoid.
  4. Use only Public Key Encryption for SSH access.
    1. Change your Public Keys every day if you are paranoid.
    2. Change your Public Keys every hour if you are crazy paranoid.
    3. Use only 2048 bit keys whether paranoid or not.
  5. Deny root level access for all users other than via the console and ensure the console requires physical access in a secure building.
    1. Deny root level access completely if paranoid.
  6. Encrypt your disks – this keeps those who may steal your VM Image from being able to use it.

Hackers will exploit those details you have neglected !!!

Leave too many ports open with root level access and YOU will be hacked !!!

Make things too convenient for your own use and YOU will be hacked !!!

Remain ignorant of how hackers work and YOU will be hacked !!!

Be lazy and stupid and YOU will be hacked !!!

 

 

 

Yeah, I do Bash Shell Scripts !!!

Yeah, I do Bash Shell Scripts !!! 

Poor Man’s Linux Service

Quick and dirty way to make your own Linux Services

Warning this may be just too simple for most people to comprehend however this does work and it works very well.

This is a very nice short bash shell script that does just one thing, it starts a background service which in this case happens to be a tornado process while capturing the PID so the service can be stopped later.

This is another nice short bash shell script that stops the previously started tornado service.

Keeping it Simple

I like simple scripts that handle complex tasks.

Keep it simple also means keeping it Agile and there is nothing more agile than a nice short simple script.

See also

http://kvz.io/blog/2009/12/15/run-nodejs-as-a-service-on-ubuntu-karmic/

I would have written a post like this one but I wanted to get back to writing some code for a change…

Just for fun !!!

So today, just for fun, I had a wild idea !!!

Windows Web Server 2008 hosting IIS 7 running Python 2.7 + Tornado + Django 1.3 doing the same thing I was able to achieve with Ubuntu + Python 2.7 + Django + wsgi + Tornado + nginx !!!

I doubt the Windows performance will match that of Ubuntu however this has been all kinds of fun !!!

See also:  Running Django on Windows (with performance tests) !!!

I was originally interested in doing Django 1.3 with Windows Web Server 2008 and IIS 7 so what I found was pretty darned cool.

Point and click installations for all this stuff was nothing less than amazing !!!  Especially for Windows !!!  WTG Microsoft !!!

What I really want is WebDav so I can share my huge pile of files with myself and only myself via the Internet and WebDav seems to do the trick…  problem is Windows Web Server 2008 doesn’t seem to know how to do WebDav so I have to improvise a bit by making this do the trick as follows:

Tornado does wsgi !!!

Now IIS 7 does Tornado !!!

Easy as 1,2,3 !!!

Oh, and this puts me one step closer to having my own Private Cloud in my home !!!

 

 

 

Built-In Unit Test !!!

This code has a built-in Unit Test

You know what…  I think this means I know how to write Unit Tests !!!

Well I wrote this one anyway – this is my story and I am sticking to it… LOL

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