Archive for September, 2007

HIPAA video

Good video about network security, mentions HIPAA, security and the economics of spam.


Computer security has recently imported a lot of ideas from economics, psychology and sociology, leading to fresh insights and new tools. I will describe one thread of research that draws together techniques from fields as diverse as signals intelligence and sociology to search for artificial communities.

Evildoers online divide roughly into two categories – those who don’t want their websites to be found, such as phishermen, and those who do. The latter category runs from fake escrow sites through dodgy stores to postmodern Ponzi schemes. A few of them buy ads, but many set up fake communities in the hope of having victims driven to their sites for free. How can these reputation thieves be detected?

Some of our work in security economics and social networking may give an insight into the practical effects of network topology. These tie up in various ways with traffic analysis, long used by the signals intelligence agencies which trawl the airwaves and networks looking for interesting targets. I’ll describe a number of dubious business enterprises we’ve unearthed. Recent advances in algorithms, such as Newman’s modularity matrix, have increased the robustness of covert community detection. But much scope remains for wrongdoers to hide themselves better as they become topologically aware; we can expect attack and defence to go through several rounds of coevolution. I’ll therefore end up by talking about some strategic issues, such as the extent to which search engines and other service providers could, or should, share information in the interests of wickedness detection.

Speaker: Ross Anderson Ross Anderson is one of the top security researchers in the world.

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11 Years of HIPAA and it’s still not easy for consumers

NPR NPR did a good audio story on Morning Edition about the current state of HIPAA that is worth a listen.

Holding on to health insurance can be a big challenge if you have a chronic disease or history of illness. But it wasn’t supposed to be that way. Eleven years ago this month, Congress passed a law intended to free people who felt trapped in their jobs because they were afraid of losing their health insurance.

Click the Listen button to hear this story: Portable Health Insurance Faces Challenges –

A good link for consumers from the story:

(story found via