Richard M. Smith

Richard M. Smith

Computer & Internet Security Expert
Joined on July 11, 2003
Total Post Views: 188,092

About

Richard M. Smith has been described by The New York Times as "perhaps the nation's most vocal authority on data privacy."

Smith has been in the computer business since the early 70s, and has been involved in microprocessors from day one. He began his career as a programmer, co-founded a software company, and became the head of the nonprofit Privacy Foundation, where he served until November, 2001. Since September 11, he has changed his focus from privacy to security.

He is now focuses on technology related to security issues and he operates a web site that reports "computer bites man" stories, named ComputerBytesMan.com. He lives and works in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Featured Blogs

Is Industry Underestimating the Ending Dot?

According to RFC1034, "cnn.com" and "cnn.com." should be the same domain names. However, it doesn't appear that programmers always understand that trailing dots can be added to domain names. Web servers also can't seem to agree what to do with a period at the end of a host name. IIS, thttp, and Akamai's Web server all get confused while Apache doesn't seem to care. How much other software behaves incorrectly because of a trailing period on a domain name? Can spam-filtering software be bypassed with dotted email addresses? Here is a situation when bad things can happen -- "WebShield SMTP infinite loop DoS Attack"... more»

SiteFinder Is Leaking Data

I just discovered that VeriSign's SiteFinder Web site is leaking data submitted in Web forms to its marketing analysis partner, Omniture. Forms can easily contain personal information such as an email address. For the problem to occur, a Web form must use the GET method. This data spill problem occurs if a Web page anywhere on the Internet submits a Web form to an action URL with a misspelled or expired domain name. Because of VeriSign's recent controversial changes to the DNS system, this form data is submitted to the SiteFinder Web site.  more»

Why Site Finder is Breaking MS Outlook & Windows Networking Utilities

I have discovered that VeriSign's SiteFinder service breaks Microsoft's Outlook and Microsoft's Outlook Express email readers as well as many of the standard Windows Networking Utilities by providing misleading error messages, temporary lockups, and incorrect status information.  more»

Bug Reveals the Snooper in VeriSign's Site Finder

Here's another interesting angle on the Verisign Site Finder Web site. VeriSign has hired a company called Omniture to snoop on people who make domain name typos. I found this Omniture Web bug on a VeriSign Site Finder Web page... more»

Moving Target: Spammer Using Over 1000 Home Computers as DNS

Some individual appears to have hijacked more than a 1,000 home computers starting in late June or early July and has been installing a new Trojan Horse program on them. The Trojan allows this person to run a number of small websites on the hijacked home computers. These websites consists of only a few web pages and apparently produce income by directing sign-ups to for-pay porn websites through affiliate programs. Spam emails messages get visitors to come to the small websites.

To make it more difficult for these websites to be shut down, a single home computer is used for only 10 minutes to host a site. After 10 minutes, the IP address of the website is changed to a different home computer... more»

Topic Interests

CybersecurityDNSDomain NamesIP AddressingSpamEmailRegistry ServicesPrivacyWhois

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Popular Posts

Bug Reveals the Snooper in VeriSign's Site Finder

Why Site Finder is Breaking MS Outlook & Windows Networking Utilities

Moving Target: Spammer Using Over 1000 Home Computers as DNS

SiteFinder Is Leaking Data

Is Industry Underestimating the Ending Dot?