Welcome to Black Hat

This past July, thousands of a particular breed of professionals gathered for their annual convention at Las Vegas.  These attendees were all computer hackers.  Hackers, be they good or bad, are identified by the hat they wear.  Of course, most of them do not wear hats, it’s simply a label, but the bad guys are known as black hats and the good guys white.  Hackers or computer security specialists who work for the government or companies are known as blue hats, while the ones who can’t decide if they’re good or bad are called grey hats.  Most hackers change hats quite often and their affiliation depends on the task at hand.

Take Charlie Miller, as an example.  At one time, he worked for the National Security Agency (NSA), definitely a blue hat.  He “found” or developed a hack into the Apple software system in 2008.  The first time Apple was hit with a virus.  Charlie was a black hat.  He also hacked the I-phone in 2009, still a black hat, but now he is working as a security consultant for Uber.  He is a blue hat, again.

Anything connected to a computer system is at risk to be hacked.  Charlie and Chris Valasek hacked the brake system on a vehicle a few years ago.  They are now in the process of taking control of a vehicle while it is being driven.

The reach of hackers continues to grow.  Hacking through a network of smart lightbulbs is now possible, medical systems (not just records) are now at risk and a new kind of skimming hack can milk thousands of dollars from ATMs in mere minutes.  Hackers are also using home-security video recorders and most of the homeowners who have been hacked aren’t aware of the danger.

If you read “The Ghost in the Mini Skirt,” you know Jack Mill.  Jack is a hacker and computer security expert who, like Charlie Miller and many others, got his start working for the government.  Like many others, he became disillusioned and jumped ship to work on his own.  Jack works predominately with casino security systems and makes a very good living at it.  I haven’t had a chance to talk to him about it, but I’m sure he was at Black Hat.

I have been busy putting the final efforts into my new book, “The Tenth Nail,” and Jack is in the story.  It is the story of a murder and murder investigation and Jack assists the detective Nate Burns, with the case.  It is a fast-paced book and the characters are some of my best.  I’m inviting you to get the book by pre-order.

If you pre-order the e-Book from Amazon right now, you can get it for $.99.  When the e-Book goes live, on August 30th, the book will be priced at $5.99.  I’m offering the readers of my blog a $5.00 discount.  I hope you take advantage of it.

If you will allow me to ask two favors: One – when the book is delivered and you read it, please leave a review on Amazon.  Two – please spread the word to your friends and family.  You can use Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, or even carrier pigeon, if you would like, but believe me, this is a good book.  I think the best I have written to date.

I hope you enjoy it and help me with the countdown.

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