Archive for November, 2008

Processors of the future

Posted in School with tags , , , , on November 11, 2008 by Lance Strzok

Processors of the Future

Considering the speed of light and the path length that data has to move as the limiting factors on moving bits around within any component between various components our goal will have to be to minimize the path lengths on each of them in relation to how often data is required to be used from these devices. Anticipating the need for data and moving data that is needed more often closer to a cpu or registers. No matter what the medium; fiber, metal, laser, or magnetic.

Next consider the clocking speed limitations. If they are dependent on the rise and decay time of capacitors, then we will have to remove capacitor technology and find a faster way of changing states of bits. This will have to be considered along with the path length issue to make sure that one is able to keep pace with the other. Clocking before the data gets to the processor or ALU would obviously cause problems, and would be the limiting factor in this case.

Software will have to change in order to fully utilize some features of future processors. Maybe there will be a way to do this on the fly (convert current software execution with one CPU to a parallel system that would allow other CPUs to process the instructions in parallel – faster). Be able to reconfigure the CPU for optimal execution of the software being used at the time.

Another gain to be had would be in the word sizes increasing in length, and with them, the busses and ALUs as well as memory address lengths that work with the data. But this could have software issues as well. Software not able to utilize these features would have to use another processor to convert the instructions to parallel then have the other CPUs execute the parallel instructions.

We will likely see hard drives continue to move to solid state hard drives which will improve access speeds greatly, and for all of the devices, lower power consumption (going green). Using technology that allows reliable state changes with less then 1 volt.

Maximize L1 and L2 caching by physically locating the fastest type of memory equidistant from the CPU (likely a circle or block around the CPU.

Each of the fundamental components (ram, rom, path medium, transistors, etc…) will continue to be explored in terms of materials that may increase speed, reduce power, not harm the environment when disposed of, be cheaper to manufacture, last longer, and be more reliable.

Implement some kind of executive function over the CPUs that would monitor and reconfigure the CPUs on the fly to maximize execution of the task at hand.

With all these considerations in mind, we will have incredibly fast, low power, environmentally friendly, reconfigurable CPUs that can work wonderfully as stand alone computers or be networked with other idle machines in the house or business to work on other problems when not fully utilized by the user.

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Social Engineering

Posted in School with tags , , on November 2, 2008 by Lance Strzok

Social Engineering

1. What are the different kinds of social engineering schemes? Describe at least three different types.

A) IVR- The use of Interactive Voice Response systems or systems that sound like them to get customers to give up their information to the IVR or get forwarded to a customer service person (bad guy) who will try to resolve your problems for you when the IVR appears to fail.

B) Baiting- Leaving a disk or thumbdrive with juicy title on it inside or near the targeted company that when inserted into a machine on the network likely enables the hacker access to the network or causes damage to the network security.

C) Quid Pro Quo- An attacker calls random numbers in a company posing as an IT support person and offers to help solve a problem for a user and requires information from the user to help them. May be started by causing problems with the network to begin with, followed up with the calls to the users.

2. How prevalent are social engineering schemes such as phishing? Are the rates of such attacks growing or diminishing?

It appears that the frequency of phishing is increasing and that there are some efforts for finding and dealing with phishing problems. An example of one of these efforts is discussed at the URL below.

3. List the necessary steps you should take to ensure you do not become a victim.

Use a firewall, use phishing filters, don’t use media you don’t know anything about, scan media before use, be aware of schemes and don’t give out information.

4. List several key organizations that can help if you are a victim of this type.