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Security Now: Podcasts for the security conscious

Security is one issue that is on the forefront of everyone's mind and to make sure I am up to speed on anything pertaining to security I listen to Steve Gibson's Security Now podcasts.

Back in February, Jason Hiner, TechRepublic's executive editor, did me a favor. He posted the article "Sanity check: The 10 best technology podcasts." It may not seem like much to most people, but it had a huge impact on me. So many choices, I felt like a kid in a candy shop. Even today, I still refer to the list and tell everyone I can about all of the neat podcasts.

My primary interests are wireless networking and security. So when I noticed Steve Gibson (a hero of mine) had created Security Now, a podcast series with TechTV's Leo Laporte, I had to check it out. I'm very glad I did as their podcasts cover many aspects of security that are of interest to me.

I've actually listened to all the Security Now podcasts and have gleaned something new from just about every podcast. One thing I quickly learned to appreciate was the extra effort Mr. Gibson uses to explain normally overlooked details. Finally in hope of spreading the word, I thought I might point out some of the more significant podcasts.

Wi-Fi security

Episode 10: The security and privacy considerations of using nonencrypted or wireless access points at home and in public locations.

Episode 11: A detailed discussion of the lack of security from MAC address filtering, the futility of disabling SSIDs for security, and the extremely poor security offered by the first-generation WEP encryption system.

Episode 13: A discussion of Wi-Fi security, demystifying the many confusing flavors of WPA encryption and presenting several critical MUST DO tips for WPA users.

Episode 89: Review the operation of wireless network security and discuss in detail the operation of the latest attack on the increasingly insecure WEP encryption system.

VPN Series
Episodes 14, 15, 17, 18, and 19: Mr. Gibson and Mr. Laporte developed a series of podcasts pertaining to VPN theory and solutions. I felt the series was very informative, especially for road warriors who may be trying to increase their security while using public Wi-Fi networks.
Cryptography Series
Episodes 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, and 37: This is a multi-episode discussion on how cryptography works. This series explains a complicated subject thoroughly and in a manner that allows everyone to understand crypto.
PayPal and SecurID
Episodes 103 and 119: A "must listen to" couple of podcasts if you're a PayPal user or are thinking about using the service.
Final thoughts

I've personally learned several very useful tidbits from listening to the podcasts. For example, I wasn't a big fan of PayPal, but now I am. I even have their securID key. Finally I've only mentioned a few of the podcasts that are available at the Security Now Web site. Check the rest out and let me know what you think.

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Information is my field...Writing is my passion...Coupling the two is my mission.

2 comments
Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

I'm curious how members rate the Security Now podcasts to others they listen to? On a different note, I'd like to learn about member's experience with using the Secure ID key with PayPal and eBay?

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

and listen in when it looks interesting. Overall, its a big commercial for spinrite, which I have to add, works magic under the right circumstances, and I have owned a copy for years. I do learn a fair bit on the podcast occasionally, more often then not, its a good solid foundation in the "theory" or concepts behind the days topic. Its a very solid security 101/201 kind of environment. I also like the fact that he (Steve Gibson) does not limit himself to only FOSS/Commercial software, but looks for tools that do the job correctly.

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