“treat your career like a bad relationship.”

Great advice to anyone no matter what generation they are classified as.  Compliments of Actress Amy Poehler.
Actor Amy Poehler of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and “Parks and Recreation” believes she has found the solution to your love and career woes: ambivalence.

Her counter-intuitive advice may be exactly what millennials need to hear.

In her book “Yes, Please,” the comedian argues that too often, people’s careers will leave them feeling mistreated and unfulfilled just like a romantic relationship can.

Your career won’t take care of you. It won’t call you back or introduce you to its parents. Your career will openly flirt with other people while you are around. It will forget you birthday and wreck your car. Your career will blow you off if you call it too much. It’s never going to leave its wife. Your career is f—— other people and everyone knows but you. Your career will never marry you.

Poehler makes a sharp distinction between career and passion. She describes creative passion as “the juicy stuff that lubricates our lives and helps us feel less alone in the world” and describes a career as “something that fools you into thinking you are in control and then takes pleasure in reminding you that you aren’t.”

She says you should not chase your career because “you will rarely feel done or complete or even successful.” You should, however, always chase your passion.

Millennials tend to agree with this line of thinking. One study shows that over 50 percent of millennials would take a pay cut in order to find work that aligns with their values and 94 percent of millennials say they want to use their skills for good.

In order to escape the often unhealthy relationship that people have with their jobs, Poehler suggests you “treat your career like a bad boyfriend.” In other words, stop chasing your current career and get it to pursue you. If this doesn’t work, find a new career.

Poehler argues that trying not to care about your career goals may actually increase your chances of achieving what you want. “Pretending to not want something can work,” she says. “Your career will chase you if you act like other things (passion, friendship, family, longevity) are more important to you.”

Taking a step back from work is something millennials are notoriously bad at. Millennials are often characterized by researchers as “workaholics” because they are the most likely to forfeit vacation days and obsess over work more often than their Gen X and Baby Boomer colleagues.

If a strategy of stepping back does not help you get closer to your goals, Poehler suggests you cut and run. “If your career is a bad boyfriend, it is healthy to remember you can always leave and go sleep with somebody else,” she writes.

This is where Poehler’s advice most fits the millennial mold. Harvard Business review reports that six in 10 millennials say they are open to different job opportunities, the highest percentage among all generations in the workplace.

Of course, her metaphor has its limits. You do not need a relationship to survive the same way you need a job, and earnings, to survive. Breaking up with one job before you have another lined up can have real, and often damaging, effects.

But the beauty of Poehler’s argument is that it can mean something different for everyone. Millennials are the largest and most diverse generation in American history. Giving all millennials the same standard advice to go to school, become professionals, buy houses and retire at 65 simply doesn’t make sense.

Poehler’s advice provides space for individuals to make the career and life decisions that will ultimately make them most fulfilled, and what is more millennial than that?

Ola opens sources its vulnerability analysis & management tool

This could be a game changer for open-source cyber systems.  Congrats to Jackhammer and all of those who worked on this project.  Keep it up. 

Read Article Below:

 

Ola opens sources its vulnerability analysis & management tool

Jackhammer’ – a first of its kind comprehensive vulnerability analysis and management tool will find security vulnerabilities within all kinds of applications including web app, mobile app, network, and source code, giving companies a streamlined view of their organizations’ security posture

In light of increasing security threats that several product companies face, Ola, India’s leading transportation platform has launched ‘Jackhammer’, a first-of-its-kind comprehensive vulnerability analysis and management tool for technology companies. Built in-house, Jackhammer finds security vulnerabilities in the target application (website, mobile app, network, source code and blogs) and it helps security teams to manage complex continuous integration and multiple deployments required for secure product development. Moreover, the application also has a customized dashboard that presents a consolidated set of vulnerable applications and helps the organization identify top vulnerabilities conveniently and work towards aligning efforts to address those vulnerabilities.

According to a recent report by VMware, nearly 80% of the product companies experience increased cyber attacks and security vulnerabilities for their products. While some product companies have tried to address this challenge by offering financial rewards to researchers who help them identify vulnerabilities, the cost and complexities involved in this process may not be suitable for many companies, especially start-ups. Privacy and security of customer data is taken very seriously at Ola. Some of the best talent at Ola have built this platform to ensure that there is no scope for missing any potential threats. By open sourcing Jackhammer, Ola has taken a step towards building a cost effective solution for all technology companies to efficiently identify and address vulnerabilities existing in their applications/code/network.

Speaking on the development, Shadab Siddiqui, Head – Security Engineering at Ola said, “As a homegrown technology company, we realize the importance of building security infrastructure that will help efficiently address vulnerabilities that may exist in product application, and there was a serious need for such a tool in the developer/security community. As part of the growing technology ecosystem in India, our aim is to share our knowledge and expertise to help other companies address similar challenges by using our application that is built to provide a comprehensive picture of all vulnerabilities, eliminating the need to shuffle between platforms. We have already reached out to a few of the leading product companies with Jackhammer and they are excited with the prospect of benefitting from our application.”

  • A collaborative tool between those focused on security, developers, quality assurance, Technical Program Managers (TPMs) and senior leadership (now even senior leadership can have a view of their company’s security protection and protocol)
  • Complete RBAC (Role Based Access Control) to make sure everyone has required privileges
  • Quick integration with third party (open/ commercial scanner) tools, for seamless experience
  • The in-built vulnerability management capability is integrated with the ticketing system, with just one tool users will have a comprehensive idea of the security and hygiene of their organization
  • Jackhammer can run all kinds of scans (on source code, web apps, WordPress, mobile apps, and networks, etc.) from one place and track them to closure

Massive, fast-moving cyberattack hits as many as 74 countries

Thank you to Jane and Elizabeth for writing about this updated hacker code.  There are a few tricks you can use to prevent this from occurring, so see my post on “tricks to use to prevent hackers…”

Happy Mothers Day…and you can read the full post below.
Jane Onyanga-Omara, and Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY

LONDON — As many as 74 countries have been hit by a huge, fast-moving and global ransomware attack that locks computers and demands the digital equivalent of $300 per computer, Kaspersky Lab, a Russian-based cybersecurity company, said Friday.

As many as 74 countries have been hit by a huge, fast-moving and global ransomware attack that locks more
The infections have disabled more than a dozen hospitals in the United Kingdom, Spain’s largest telecom company and universities in Italy as well as some FedEx computers. Ransomware encrypts the files on a computer or network demanding that payment be made in Bitcoin or another untraceable digital currency before the criminals will unlock the files.

Infected computers showed a screen giving the user three days to pay the ransom. After that, the price would be doubled. After seven days the files would be deleted, it threatened.
In Spain, the largest telecommunications company reportedly would have had to pay close to $550,000 to unlock all the encrypted computers hit on its network.
The ransomware code is named WanaCrypt and has been in use by criminals since at least February. It is available in at least 28 languages, including Bulgarian and Vietnamese, according to Avast, a Czech security company that is following the fast-moving attack.
However, a new variant dubbed WannaCry was created that makes use of a vulnerability in the Windows operating system that was patched by Microsoft on March 14. Computers that have not installed the patch are potentially vulnerable to the malicious code, according to a Kaspersky Lab blog post on Friday.

The attack seems to have first appeared around 2 am ET on Friday in Europe, said Kurt Baumgartner, a principal security researcher with Kaspersky Lab in Moscow.

“It’s very well-written code and there is no easy way to crack the encrypted files once they’re infected,” he said.

The ransomware is believed to be linked to an exploit, which is computer code that takes advantage of a computer vulnerability, known to have been used by the Equation Group, which many in the security world believe is connected to the National Security Agency (NSA).

That exploit was one of many hacking tools stolen from the NSA and later published online by a group that called itself the Shadow Brokers, according to Avast. That group has been leaking pieces of more than a gigabyte worth of older NSA software weapons since August.

Avast has recorded over 50,000 attacks globally as of Friday afternoon. The majority are targeted at Russia, the Ukraine and Taiwan but have also hit multiple other countries. Russia’s Interior Ministry said Friday it had come under cyberattack.
PERPETRATORS UNKNOWN

Exactly who is behind the attack is unknown.

Kasperksy’s Baumgartner did note that although the ransomware was able to offer “how to pay” documents in dozens of languages, the only language whose writing was perfect was Russian, with the others showing distinct signs that a non-native speaker had written them. “The English is very good, but there are a couple of quirks that would lead me to believe it wasn’t written by a native English speaker,” he said.

Also unknown is whether there are multiple coordinated attacks underway. It’s also possible that the code was released once and is now working its way around the globe.
It’s moving so quickly in part because the exploit it’s based on may allow it to because of a so-called “spreader” element it contains that allows it to spread quickly.
While the full code hasn’t yet been studied it’s possible that each computer network would only need to be infected once via a phishing attack, when a user unwittingly opened an email or clicked a link containing the ransomware malicious code.
That code might then be able to exploit vulnerabilities in the computer’s code to spread across any network it was a part of, said Philip Reitinger, president of the non-profit Global Cyber Alliance.
Sometimes called a “wormable” vulnerability, it is considered very serious because of the speed at which worms can infect and jump from system to system, he said.
Services in London, the central city of Nottingham, and the counties of Hertfordshire and Cumbria were affected, according to the BBC. The National Health Service (NHS) said 16 of its organizations reported they were victims.
The hackers behind the ransomware attack were demanding $300 worth of the online currency Bitcoin to release files from encryption, the Mirror and Telegraph reported.
NO EVIDENCE ‘PATIENT DATA HAS BEEN ACCESSED’

In a statement, the NHS said: “A number of NHS organizations have reported to NHS Digital that they have been affected by a ransomware attack which is affecting a number of different organizations. The investigation is at an early stage but we believe the malware variant is Wanna Decryptor.”
“At this stage we do not have any evidence that patient data has been accessed. We will continue to work with affected organizations to confirm this.”
The NHS said the attack was not specifically targeted at the NHS and was affecting other organizations. It said it was working to resolve the problem.
Hackers behind the Wanna Decryptor virus, a type of malware, often ask users for money to retrieve access to files they have encrypted.
NHS Merseyside, which operates a number of hospitals in northwestern England, tweeted, “we are taking all precautionary measures possible to protect our local NHS systems and services.” The NHS Merseyside website was down Friday afternoon local time.
East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs four hospitals north of London, said in a statement: “Immediately on discovery of the problem, the trust acted to protect its IT systems by shutting them down; it also meant that the trust’s telephone system is not able to accept incoming calls.”
It said it was postponing all non-urgent work and asked people not to come to the accident and emergency unit.
Doctors at some surgeries were forced to use pen and paper to record patient details following the attack.
John Caldwell, a doctor in Liverpool, told the Guardian he had “no access to record systems or results.”
Chris Mimnagh, another doctor in Liverpool, told the Guardian: “Unable to access our clinical system – as a precaution our area has severed links to the wider NHS, which means no access to our national systems, no computers means no records, no prescriptions, no results. We are dealing with urgent problems only. Our patients are being very understanding so far.”
NHS Million, a campaign which supports NHS staff and is separate from the NHS, tweeted: “We just don’t understand the mentality of some people. The only people suffering are people that need emergency care. #nhscyberattack”

L

Originally Published 10:57 a.m. EDT May. 12, 2017 

Updated 27 minutes ago

Salesforce Community ideal User Limits

For those of you who are operating SFDC Communities, here are the ideal limitations of users.  I’m willing to bet you can have 20% more before degradation slows, but this number is a good gage of use.  Hope this helps.

Chris

(Info below)

User limits depending on the type of community.

To avoid deployment problems and any degradation in service quality, we recommend that the number of users in your community not exceed the limits listed below. If you require additional users beyond these limits, contact your Salesforce account executive. If your growing community needs more users, contact your Salesforce account representative to understand how the product can scale to meet your demands.

Community License Type Number of Users
Partner or Customer Community Plus 1 million
Customer 10 million

Some community licenses, such as Customer Community Plus and Partner Community, require roles associated with an account. Role proliferation degrades performance for your org, so make sure you don’t use more roles than necessary in your org. The maximum number of roles used in an org’s portals or communities is 5000. This limit includes roles associated with all of the organization’s customer portals, partner portals, or communities. To prevent unnecessary growth of this number, we recommend reviewing and reducing the number of roles. You can also delete unused roles. If you require more roles, please contact Salesforce Customer Support.

Communities User Limits

Silicon Valley Murder Mystery: How Drugs and Paranoia Doomed Silk Road

This is an excellent article, in Vanity Fair, that details the ills of greed and how it can incarcerate our sensory thoughts.  A genius at work, who will never see the light of day… cudoz to the author.

You can read the article below: 

Silicon Valley Murder Mystery: How Drugs and Paranoia Doomed Silk Road
Silk Road once reigned as the Internet’s premier destination for drug deals and even more illicit fare. But as the Web site became a billion-dollar enterprise, its creator, Ross Ulbricht, went from idealistic to dangerous. An adaptation from Nick Bilton’s new book shows how the empire collapsed.

I. “You’re Sitting in the Big Chair . . .”

Ross Ulbricht had imagined that it might all come down to this one day. That at some point during the prodigious rise of his hot tech start-up he would be obliged to make a terrifyingly ruthless decision. Now, in early 2013, the time had arrived. The question was rather simple: Was he ready to kill someone to protect his billion-dollar company?

The technology business has long purported to change the world and make it a better place. But, in reality, there is a decidedly more cynical underside to all this euphoria. In Silicon Valley, after all, many founders will often do whatever is necessary to protect their creations—whether that means paying a hefty legal settlement to hush the people who helped hatch the idea for their company in the first place (Facebook, Square, Snapchat), callously vanquishing a co-founder (Twitter, Foursquare, Tinder), or remorselessly breaking laws and putting thousands of people out of work (Uber, Airbnb, among hundreds of others). But, for Ulbricht, the price was steeper. In order to save his beloved start-up, the Silk Road, an Amazon-like “everything store” for the Dark Web, he needed to “call on my muscle,” as he put it to one associate. He needed to have a guy whacked.

Ulbricht hadn’t intended for it to all come down to this. The Silk Road, like many start-ups, had begun simply enough, in 2011, as a college curiosity. As a rakishly handsome wanderlust kid from central Texas, Ulbricht had traveled north, away from his small life. He matriculated at Penn State University, where he studied materials science and engineering, and acquired interests not uncommon among contrarian millennials—particularly those who enter the technology business. Ulbricht, now 33, developed an affinity for Ayn Rand books and libertarian philosophy; he appeared to view the world not as it was, per se, but as he wanted it to be. Like Uber co-founder and C.E.O. Travis Kalanick, or early Facebook investor (and Donald Trump supporter) Peter Thiel, both of whom had been fans of Rand, Ulbricht adhered to a particularly defiant strain of Randian dogma: “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”

In political-debate clubs and at the Corner Room diner, on campus, the young Ulbricht fixated on the ostensible inconsistencies in how the U.S. government determined what was, and was not, legal. His philosophizing relied on a particularly college-aged line of argumentation. Big Macs led to diabetes and heart attacks, he would often argue, so why was McDonald’s lawful? Cars facilitated tens of thousands of casualties per year, he noted, yet they remained highly unregulated and were capable of going several times the speed limit. The same was true with alcohol and cigarettes, which have killed millions. So why, Ulbricht provoked, were recreational drugs illegal?

To Ulbricht, it seemed like an arbitrary distinction. Weren’t people inevitably responsible for what they put in their own bodies—be it fast food, booze, cigarettes, or, say, marijuana? The real problem with the drug business, he surmised, was that it was violent and opaque. So he came up with the germ of an idea: what if there were a Web site, like Yelp, that rated buyers and sellers, so that exchanges would be fair and more transparent? There would be fewer fatal overdoses, he reasoned.

But Ulbricht wasn’t simply a precocious and edgy libertarian. He was also a gifted, self-taught computer programmer—someone who could engineer code to the whims and vicissitudes of his wildest fancies. And so, like many bright kids in their 20s, Ulbricht eventually headed to San Francisco to develop his company. He arrived in Silicon Valley as the peninsula was feverishly bubbling with a new wave of start-ups (Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Slack), all of which were taking advantage of easy access to venture capital and low interest rates—and growing their valuations into the billions as they made stars of their founders.

Ulbricht’s idea for an e-commerce site that operated on the Dark Web, beyond the watchful eye of the government, may have seemed galling to some. But a new precedent was emerging in the Valley. Countless start-ups were already trying to capitalize on the legalization of marijuana in various states. Others operated in similarly opaque markets, like facilitating prostitution on pseudo dating Web sites. In Silicon Valley, indeed, pushing the letter of legality is not only admired but also financially rewarded as the very essence of “disruption.” By the time Ulbricht arrived in San Francisco, Uber and Airbnb had already staked their entire multi-billion-dollar business models on defying existing regulations, from what constituted a hotel room to who could offer a taxi ride. They were not only in heated battles with various unions but also in litigation with city governments. This new generation of Randian founders didn’t ask for permission. They just took it.

Ulbricht’s start-up, which he named the Silk Road, an homage to the ancient trade route of the Han dynasty, was no different. The Silk Road matched buyers and sellers, who shipped the product right to your door as if it were simply a hardcover book or sweater, all for a small commission. Sometimes drug dealers would take their “product” and tape it to the back of DVD cases or stuff it into hollowed-out batteries, but most drugs just appeared in a puffy envelope, undetected by federal enforcement agencies. The entire system, at least from a tech perspective, was admirably efficient.

Yet the site soon morphed from Ulbricht’s original, if naïve, plan. Despite his intent to disrupt the shady business of recreational-drug purchasing, Ulbricht saw the Silk Road become a hub for exchanging everything from hacking tools and drug-laboratory equipment to cocaine and cyanide. People soon started selling Berettas and AK-47 assault rifles, and eventually poisons that could be used to commit suicide. There were even discussions of selling body parts, such as livers and kidneys. Business was booming. Within 18 months of the operation, the Silk Road was processing $500,000 per week in sales and Ulbricht was sitting on millions in cash. If the Silk Road were valued by traditional venture capitalists, it would have been among the most successful early start-ups in Silicon Valley history. Whatever reservations Ulbricht may have had seemed quickly overwhelmed by his own ambitions to keep the site growing.

By early 2013, however, Ulbricht was encountering his first major management crisis. One Silk Road employee—a family man in central Utah, no less—had been arrested in a cocaine deal, and Ulbricht believed he’d stolen $350,000 of his money.

Ulbricht, who operated on the site under the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts”—a nod to the 80s movie The Princess Bride—treated security as his top priority. He discussed everything on a secure chat application. After the alleged theft, he consulted his consigliere, a Canadian whom he had never met in real life but who operated on the Silk Road under the nom de plume “Variety Jones.” The first solution to the management crisis seemed the easiest: to simply pay the employee, Curtis Green, a visit and subsequently scare him into returning the stolen money. The second solution involved beating Green up for his treason.

But Ulbricht feared that neither option would work. His site was based on trust and scruples. If word got out on the Silk Road that users could steal hundreds of thousands of dollars without reprisal, others might skim, too. For days, Ulbricht waffled over the decision; he was, after all, just a twentysomething physics geek and coder from the Texas Hill Country. Was he really capable of violence?

After a few days, Variety Jones messaged Ulbricht: “So, you’ve had your time to think. You’re sitting in the big chair, and you need to make a decision.”

“I would have no problem wasting this guy,” Ulbricht replied.

II. The Dark Side of the Valley

For all the wonderful promise that each new technology affords, people rarely use it in the way it was intended.

When the founders of Twitter started the social network, they had one simple goal: to connect with their friends in short, concise bursts while in a loud nightclub. One hundred and forty characters and 313 million active monthly users later, the site is now incessantly infected by trolls; it is a recruiting device for ISIS and undeniably helped elect Donald Trump. Similarly, Tinder was originally intended to allow unattached college kids to meet one another and maybe go on a date. The service has since been used by chauvinists to prey on women. Facebook’s newsfeed, likewise, was infiltrated by Russian operatives who fabricated stories that were used to sway the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The nerds who first used 3-D printers wanted to make plastic wall hooks for their bedroom, or a new iPhone case for a friend. Yet from almost the moment they were introduced to the public, 3-D printers were used to build fully functional plastic guns and other weapons that can’t be picked up by a metal detector.

The Silk Road was, in many ways, no different. Ulbricht started the site to make it safer to buy pot or magic mushrooms on campus. And, like many founders in the Valley, Ulbricht simply expected people to use his creation just as he had intended. Indeed, Silicon Valley may have created more wealth than any other locus in human history, but much of that wealth has been built on the ideas of young people without much in the way of business, or life, experience. There is a reason that you don’t hear middle-aged executives say, “Move fast and break things” (Mark Zuckerberg’s famous mantra), or “Make better mistakes tomorrow” (an early Twitter motto). In fact, many tech founders now follow a familiar arc, in which they spend the first part of their careers rapidly disrupting an industry and the second part fending off lawsuits and apologizing for their actions.

Ulbricht’s story follows a similar trajectory. When he launched the Silk Road, Ulbricht had daydreamed that perhaps a few people might use it. Almost immediately, however, it became a phenomenon. When he shared his charts and graphs showing sales and revenue with Variety Jones, it was apparent that the company would earn $100 million in sales its first year. After Jones did the math, he predicted that the site would earn $1 billion in sales the following year. It might grow by a multiple of 10—or “10x” in Valley parlance—by 2014. And as the sole owner of the site, Ulbricht reaped all of the profits directly.

During the course of 2012, as Ulbricht attempted to come to terms with the scale of his creation, he formally hired Variety Jones to become his de facto C.E.O. coach, no different from the coaches Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs had employed while their companies were growing so quickly, paying him as much as $60,000 per session. At first, Jones wanted to ensure that the creator of the site knew what was at stake. “Not to be a downer or anything,” Jones wrote to Ulbricht in a secure chat room on the site, but “understand that what we are doing falls under U.S. Drug Kingpin laws, which provides a maximum penalty of death upon conviction. . . . The mandatory minimum is life.”

But by that point, Ulbricht seemed concerned more with the growth of his company than with its collateral damage. Like start-up founders who eat and sleep their business, Ulbricht was unequivocally committed to the Silk Road. “Balls to the wall and all in my friend,” he replied.

Ulbricht’s quick pivot may seem remarkable, but for some inside the Valley, it fit into a larger paradigm. Once a shy kid from Texas, he had created a platform that was now being used across the world. But unlike Kalanick or, say, Airbnb’s Brian Chesky, Ulbricht was never going to be on the cover of Fast Company or Forbes. As his business grew, in fact, he was forced to become more reclusive. While Dread Pirate Roberts became the subject of stories in Forbes, Gawker, Techcrunch, and many other sites, Ulbricht operated the Silk Road anonymously from coffee shops and libraries throughout San Francisco. He hung out around Internet cafés, used dating Web sites to meet girls, and mostly kept to himself. He lived modestly in an apartment that he had found on Craigslist; he paid in cash and told his roommates that his name was “Josh,” not Ross. When family and friends wondered what he did on his computer all day, he told some he was trading currency or working on a secret project.

In a way, Ulbricht’s anonymity forced him to double down on his alter ego, Dread Pirate Roberts. The decision to murder Curtis Green was the most chilling example. Not only did Ulbricht willingly commission an $80,000 hit, but he also kept an image of Green, his jowl hanging to the side, in a folder on his computer.

At first, Ulbricht was upset about the situation, messaging the hit man he had hired that he was “a little disturbed.” Nevertheless, he soon found a way to justify his actions as a means of protecting his business. “I am pissed that he turned on me,” Ulbricht told the hit man. “I’m pissed I had to kill him. . . . I just wish more people had some integrity.”

III. “Create New Identity”

How quickly technology can change someone. Back in 2011, Ulbricht was making $300 a week as a lab researcher. He was sleeping in a basement, and his only belongings were two black garbage bags at the end of his bed, one full of clean clothes, the other dirty. Then a big idea dawned on him, no different from the ideas that spawned Uber, Airbnb, Twitter, or Facebook. Just like the 10,000 other entrepreneurs who land in San Francisco with a fantasy and a computer, Ulbricht typed lines of code and out came a world that didn’t exist before. There were no laws except his laws. He decided who was given power and who was not. In his world, he was God.

But as the Silk Road grew to become a billion-dollar business, achieving the scale that Silicon Valley start-ups dream of, Ulbricht began to grow more paranoid. He created fake identities for himself and worked on an escape plan to Dominica, a small Caribbean island nation where he felt he would be physically and financially safe. He kept most of his fortune in Bitcoin, the digital currency, and there was also some cash hidden in offshore bank accounts.

Ulbricht’s fear of being found out wasn’t hysterical. As early as June 2011, Adrian Chen, then a writer for Gawker, published a story on the Silk Road, which prompted Senator Chuck Schumer to demand that the Department of Justice take down the site. Subsequently, Ulbricht required that people who worked for him scan their real driver’s licenses or passports, to ensure they weren’t the “Feebs,” a nickname that he and Variety Jones used to refer to the feds. He added strong encryption to his computer. He started applying for citizenship in countries that would hide him and his millions. (Dominica had the best views.) He also created a checklist of what to do in the event that the “Feebs” knocked on his door. (“Find place to live on craigslist for cash; Create new identity.”) He bought fake IDs for himself on his Web site.

Ulbricht had hoped that ordering the hit on Green would bring a certain order to the Wild West that he had engineered. But it didn’t quite work out that way. Things move fast in the technology business, and within a few years the Silk Road had simply become ungovernable—it was growing so rapidly that it became a more vulnerable target. Outside hackers started knocking its servers off-line for ransom (anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000). Then others on the site became brazen and started trying to blackmail Dread Pirate Roberts.

Within a short period, Curtis Green’s murder would go from an exception to a playbook. Throughout early 2013, while tapping on his keyboard in public libraries and coffee shops, Ulbricht would hire hit men to murder drug dealers and hustlers who tried to steal from him. And while Ulbricht may have been a talented coder and fledgling manager, he was certainly not qualified to be running a criminal operation. The person whom he had hired to murder Curtis Green in Utah, as it turned out, was actually a D.E.A. agent. Green’s murder had been staged; a can of Campbell’s soup, no less, was used for gory effect. The maneuver provided the agency a powerful connection to its target, Dread Pirate Roberts.

Yet the faux hit, in some ways, also underscored a larger problem facing the Silk Road. Ulbricht wasn’t the only person vulnerable to his newfound riches. The D.E.A. agent who staged the hit had learned how to navigate the Silk Road so well during his research that he and an agent from the Secret Service would end up stealing $1.5 million from the site themselves. For all the wonderful promise that each new technology affords, indeed, people rarely ever use it in the way it was intended.

But Ulbricht’s fatal flaw would prove to be more prosaic. No matter how many experienced hackers he had hired to tighten security on the Silk Road, Ulbricht, like all programmers, made mistakes. Federal agents would eventually seize upon, among other things, an early coding error on the Silk Road that exposed the I.P. address of a coffee shop that Ulbricht frequented in San Francisco. By that point, the F.B.I., the I.R.S., the D.H.S., the D.O.J., and other agencies were all looking for Ulbricht. The I.P. address led to other revealing clues in Ulbricht’s early coding, which eventually pointed federal agents to a shaggy-haired guy quietly working away at his laptop one afternoon, in October 2013, in a library in the sleepy Glen Park area of San Francisco.

Ulbricht was found with tens of millions of dollars in Bitcoin on his laptop. Millions more had been stashed on two thumb drives sitting on his bedside table at the nearby apartment where he rented a room for $1,200 a month. He had $2 in his pocket.

IV. Move Fast and Fix Things

Ulbricht is now in prison in New York City, awaiting the results of an appeal of a double life sentence. He may be the most famous criminal in the short history of the Internet, and perhaps, as Variety Jones warned, the least likely American kingpin on record. But he is one nevertheless: this may be what Pablo Escobar looks like in the Internet Age. Ulbricht is currently housed in the same maximum-security New York City jail as the world’s most famous drug lord, “El Chapo.”

When I started reporting Ulbricht’s story, I couldn’t understand how someone had morphed so quickly and so much—and, frankly, in such an evil manner. But the more people I spoke to, the more I read of Ulbricht’s diaries—and chat logs and site comments, among other things—the more I realized that he had devolved in the exact same way as other tech entrepreneurs. The main difference was that he had chosen drugs to disrupt, rather than taxis, hotels, dating, or friendship, and that he had been held accountable for his decision to destroy other people’s lives in order to protect his business, rather than being able to look the other way, as so many successful tech C.E.O.’s do.

Those who support Ulbricht (and there are many) continue to argue that he achieved his goal, showing how drugs sold legally can save lives and make the world a better place. They have a point. In 2014, the year before Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison, a group of university researchers concluded that the rise of online drug buying could create a safer environment for recreational usage, and subsequent studies have come to similar conclusions. Another study released in 2016 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, noted that easy access to drugs had led to more deaths from heroin- and opioid-related overdoses than from gun violence for the first time in American history. The C.D.C.’s charts sure looked a lot like those that Variety Jones had studied.

Ulbricht had never imagined that his site would spawn all of these evils; he truly believed he was making the world a better place with it. I spoke to dozens of people who knew him through all phases of his life and work, and they said he was kind, compassionate, and caring. He still stopped to help old ladies across the street, surprised friends with thoughtful gifts, and always used the word “fudge” instead of “fuck” in e-mails and in conversations, even while he was running the site. But Ulbricht changed as the Silk Road did. The line between what was right and what was wrong got moved a little each day, until there was a chasm between the two and it was impossible to know where Ross Ulbricht ended and Dread Pirate Roberts began. If there was one thing that stood out, it was Ulbricht’s inability to see how his creation was being used for evil, even when he was the one committing the sin.

The generation that is building the technologies of tomorrow doesn’t always think about how its creations can be manipulated in nefarious ways. Driverless cars will surely free us up to nap or watch a movie on our commutes, and they will likely reduce the number of automobile fatalities each year. But why would North Korea or Iran build a nuclear weapon when either can drive countless cars into one another at 100 miles per hour? The same terrorizing possibility is true for artificial intelligence gone rogue, biotechnology research, and even the next generation of social networks.

We have now reached an inflection point. In the Age of Trump, Silicon Valley’s job is no longer to move fast and break things. Instead, it is to consider how its technologies can be used for horrendous evil. Sadly, Ross Ulbricht didn’t learn this until he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Adapted from American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road, by Nick Bilton, to be published this month by Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC; © 2017 by the author.

PHOTOS: Silicon Valley’s 14 Most Spectacular Failures

Really? Yes! Department of Homeland Security says these 7 Mitigation Strategies can prevent 85% of targeted cyber attacks! Do you follow them?

This article was published earlier this year, but it is still a good one to consider for organizations, and people to follow.  Some of these can be implemented at home.

Really? Yes! Department of Homeland Security says these 7 Mitigation Strategies can prevent 85% of targeted cyber attacks! Do you follow them?

DHS encourages network administrators to implement the recommendations below, which can prevent as many as 85 percent of targeted cyber-attacks. These strategies are common sense to many, but DHS continues to see intrusions because organizations fail to use these basic measures.

1. Patch applications and operating systems – Vulnerable applications and operating systems are the targets of most attacks. Ensuring these are patched with the latest updates greatly reduces the number of exploitable entry points available to an attacker. Use best practices when updating software and patches by only downloading updates from authenticated vendor sites.

2. Application whitelisting – Whitelisting is one of the best security strategies because it allows only specified programs to run while blocking all others, including malicious software.

3. Restrict administrative privileges – Threat actors are increasingly focused on gaining control of legitimate credentials, especially those associated with highly privileged accounts. Reduce privileges to only those needed for a user’s duties. Separate administrators into privilege tiers with limited access to other tiers.

4. Network Segmentation and Segregation into Security Zones – Segment networks into logical enclaves and restrict host-to-host communications paths. This helps protect sensitive information and critical services and limits damage from network perimeter breaches.

5. Input validation – Input validation is a method of sanitizing untrusted user input provided by users of a web application, and may prevent many types of web application security flaws, such as SQLi, XSS, and command injection.

6. File Reputation – Tune Anti-Virus file reputation systems to the most aggressive setting possible; some products can limit execution to only the highest reputation files, stopping a wide range of untrustworthy code from gaining control.

7. Understanding firewalls – When anyone or anything can access your network at any time, your network is more susceptible to being attacked. Firewalls can be configured to block data from certain locations (IP whitelisting) or applications while allowing relevant and necessary data through.

Responding to Unauthorized Access to Networks: Implement your security incident response and business continuity plan. It may take time for your organization’s IT professionals to isolate and remove threats to your systems and restore normal operations. Meanwhile, you should take steps to maintain your organization’s essential functions according to your business continuity plan. Organizations should maintain and regularly test backup plans, disaster recovery plans, and business continuity procedures.

Follow me on twitter @NarenNagpal

Credit: DHS, USA