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Yesterday’s Science Cafe NH in Nashua discusses cybersecurity, with panelists Tim Winters of UNH-Interoperability Lab and John Murphy of Flowtraq, a network-monitoring firm in Lebanon, N.H.  They were both excellent; unfortunately the Nashua SCNH is not filmed, so you can’t watch it – you have to attend!

A few notes from the session:

  • When it comes to timing, DDos attacks are like corporate press releases carrying bad news: “They always happen on a Friday,” said Winters.
  • The No. 1 security tip: Don’t leave the default password on any network-connected device. Smart thermostat, crockpot, television, whatever – change the #$%^$# default password, both men said (begged, really).
  • Murphy had an interesting psychological prod to get us to update our browsers/operating systems: “Keeping up to mean means you are making use of millions of dollars of R&D.” Never thought of it that way.
  • Many companies in the Internet of Things business have no previous experience with networking, which is why their security is so bad. Plus, sharing just the right amount of data with just the right actors, to make your IoT device work well, “is very, very hard.”
  • Email is a privacy security nightmare. “Even the tinfoil hat guys struggle with email” is how Winters put it.
  • If you think your IoT device might be infected (it can be hard to tell), do the factory reset and then put in a new password.

I’ve been part of Science Cafe NH since it started six years ago and have moderated more than 50 of them, but this was the first time I attended one strictly as an observer. No walking around with microphones looking for people with questions or any other tasks. That’s why I was able to take notes.

Science Cafe Concord meets Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 6 p.m. to discuss electric cars. Next month, both Nashua and Concord will discuss Seasonal Affective Disorder, or “winter blues”.

Keep up with it at the website,

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