Rube Goldberg Would Have Been Proud

Responding to inquiries about a possible data breach involving customer credit and debit card information, upscale retailer Neiman Marcus acknowledged today that it is working with the U.S. Secret Service to investigate a hacker break-in that has exposed an unknown number of customer cards.
We're at a crisis point now with regard to the security of embedded systems, where computing is embedded into the hardware itself -- as with the Internet of Things. These embedded computers are riddled with vulnerabilities, and there's no good way to patch them.
Thousands of small satellite dish-based computer systems that transmit often-sensitive data from far flung locations worldwide – oil rigs, ships at sea, banks, and even power grid substations – are at high risk of being hacked, including many in the United States, a new cyber-security report has found.
Researchers have found vulnerabilities in industrial control systems that they say grant full control of systems running energy, chemical and transportation systems.
It's obviously a hacking report monday.  Do you use credit/debit cards?  Do you have a satellite dish system or a wireless router?  Do you use electricity?

Then you're vulnerable.

Young'uns... if you're thinking about going into CS/IT, give a thought to specializing in network security.  We're starting to realize that our computing infrastructure is in a horrible, awful, no-good state, and someone is going to end up getting paid the big bucks to fix this mess. (Now, where have I heard that before?)

It might as well be you.

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