First up this week, a white paper or report or ... I have no idea what these things should be called any more ... maybe a "glorified press release"? Whatever. Let's call it "a study" from Checkmarx, a company that specializes in automated security code review, titled "The Security State of WordPress' top 50 Plugins."
Yep, Checkmarx's conclusions are as depressing as you might have guessed: "20% of the 50 most popular WordPress plugins and 7 out of the top 10 most popular e-commerce plugins are vulnerable to common Web attacks. This amounts to nearly 8 million downloads of vulnerable plugins. Namely, these plugins are vulnerable to: SQL Injection (SQLi), Cross Site Scripting (XSS), Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF), and Path Traversal (PT)."
So, the bottom line of the study: Be very careful of your WordPress plugins ... oh, and use Checkmarx to check your code.
While we're talking about protection, how about protection from the dangers of cellphone radiation? I recently talked to a company named Bodywell that sells a product called the Bodywell Chip which, they claim:
"... is a revolutionary new approach to reducing exposure to cell phone radiation. Place the chip anywhere on your phone to lower radiation exposure without interfering with your cell phone's signal."
Bodywell's PR people (who shall remain nameless) waxed lyrical in their pitch: "The culprit. Our body cells use carefully balanced frequencies to store and transfer the information needed to function. These fields are easily disrupted by information from sources such as cellphones with incorrect or harmful frequency oscillations ... We discovered that certain minerals and metals contain natural frequencies that can be calibrated to 'counter' the cellphone's frequencies, lowering the radiation absorption for users ..."
The chip is not really a "chip," as such, but rather a plastic patch with what appears to be some embedded circuitry.
I've run the concept past several electrical engineers and physicists and, to a wo/man, they all snickered and, to cut to the chase, declared that the product sounded like nonsense.
Said one physicist: "Frequencies of what? Vibration? Rotation? Blood circulation? Oh ... you mean EM radiation frequencies? Great! Which exact frequencies does our body use? Describe how you 'balance' more than one frequency. Hell ... describe how you balance one frequency. Are there more frequencies than angels which can dance on the head of a pin?"
Another techie friend commented, "Ask them if it will also stop or reduce the CIA signals that control the voices in my head. I'm having a hard time with my tin foil headdress as the days grow warmer."
Even so, Bodywell spins a good yarn and it's true that there are concerns about cellphone radiation. As the Environmental Working Group explains:
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.