Draco Torre

David G Shrock - Software Developer / Writer

Sunrise


Mt Hood at sunrise on February 22nd taken with Canon Rebel.

Lenovo, Superfish, Komodia Security Blunder

Security on the web must be taken seriously, and people should trust software and PC makers to help them remain secure when conducting business online. Sadly, too often PC makers or software publishers put your security at risk for other motivations.

Since at least September 2014, customers of Lenovo PCs have been complaining on the Lenovo forum about mysterious advertisements showing up generated by pre-installed software, Superfish, that also posed a security threat. In January 2015, security researcher, Chris Palmer, purchased a Lenovo Yoga 2 and confirmed the Superfish adware created a self-signed certificate with the same private key as on other Lenovo PCs as reported by Ars Technica. Worse yet, another security expert at Errata Security extracted the Superfish certificate by cracking the password which turned out to be, komodia. The Superfish adware makes it much easier for attackers perform a man in the middle theft by using the same certificate key to spoof other websites and fool visitors into handing over sensitive information.

Writing in Markdown Syntax

Markdown, created by John Gruber, is a plain-text syntax and a software tool that converts plain text to HTML. Of course, it’s also simple for other tools to convert text in Markdown’s syntax to other formats such as Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF.

Markdown is intended to be as easy-to-read and easy-to-write as is feasible. –John Gruber

Basic characters denote format such as surrounding text with asterisks for emphasis or pound signs (#) leading a header. The symbols often look like what one would expect, or similar in usage within email, making them easy to remember and the syntax easy to read.

I’ve been writing my blog posts in Markdown syntax, but I’ve also begun writing short stories and novels in Markdown as well using a distraction-free editor. This allows me to focus on writing and later let software help me prepare for proper formatted output.