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The Voice of the DBA

BYOD Fingerprint Concerns

Many modern devices, whether modbile phones, tablets, or laptops, contain fingerprint readers. We've had readers for a long time, but they were very expensive and not widely deployed. That changed with mobile phones and now many devices include fingerprint readers as standard equipment. So much so that this see a very common way of authenticating access on lots of devices.

This isn't necessarily a very secure way of protecting data. An ArsTechnica article notes that fake fingerprints were able to access these devices 80% of the time. That's a success rate that might worry a lot of security personnel. Most organizations allow some sort of BYOD device, including many financial, medical, and other organizations that deal with sensitive data. Since control of a device often includes saved credentials and the ability to approve 2FA implementations, this could be an issue.

Certainly nation states might try to take advantage of this to gain control of a device and access data, but I'm sure corporate espionage is in play here as well. I wouldn't be surprised if this also becomes a technique for pranksters and jokers. Imagine you can bypass the fingerprint on a colleague's phone. Maybe you want to change their wallpaper. Maybe you want to send an embarrassing email to friends. Maybe you want to add a backdoor to some code using their GitHub credentials. You could do anything from an innocuous joke to a malicious career threatening action. Imagine you choose to do this while your colleague is at lunch, with their phone on their desk.

No security is perfect. Many of us that work with someone often might be able to guess a PIN or pattern on a device if we see it often enough. We certainly could easily put a keylogger on a wired keyboard at someone's desk. There are plenty of vulnerabilities, and in this age of being highly connected through our devices, there are potential issues with all access. There's no perfect solution, but we should be diligent with physical control of our devices and react swiftly if we think one might be stolen. Remote disable and a good backup might be top of my list.

Steve Jones - SSC Editor

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  Featured Contents
Stairway to Exploring Database Metadata

Idempotent DDL Scripts That Always Achieve The Same Result - Making Changes Only Once: Stairway to Exploring Database Metadata Level 6

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Idempotence is the property of certain operations in mathematics and computer science, that can be applied multiple times without changing the result beyond the first time they are run. When you are making changes to a database to deploy a new version, you need to be sure that certain changes aren’t made twice, or in the wrong order.

Advanced Performance Tuning for Microsoft SQL Server

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No matter where you run your SQL Server® instances—on-premises, in a virtual machine, or in an Azure SQL Database Managed instance—the challenge is the same. How do you ensure you get optimum performance? Is the virtual machine impacting your database instance performance? Which queries cause the most blocking or deadlocking? Are you consuming more DTUs in your Azure SQL Database than you budgeted for?

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From the SQL Server Central Blogs - SSMS 18.5 Fixes from Redgate

Steve Jones - SSC Editor from The Voice of the DBA

I wrote yesterday about the issues with SSMS 18.5 and some of the add-ins from Redgate. I posted the release of the SQL Prompt fix (here: ). The teams...

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - A Smattering of Thoughts About Applying Site Reliability Engineering principles

Sheldon Hull from Sheldon Hull

What's This about
I figured I'd go ahead and take this article which I've gutted several times and share some thoughts, even if it's not an authority on the topic....


  Question of the Day

Today's question (by Steve Jones - SSC Editor):


Reading a Datafile

I have a dataset that is stored in the R data file format as counties.rds. I want to read this into a variable in R. What code should I use?

Think you know the answer? Click here, and find out if you are right.



  Yesterday's Question of the Day (by Steve Jones - SSC Editor)

The Linestring

I run this code in SSMS 18.4.

DECLARE @g geometry;  
SET @g = geometry::STGeomFromText('LINESTRING (100 100, 20 180, 180 180, 100 100)', 0);  

If I click the Spatial Results tab, what shape is graphed?

Answer: a triangle

Explanation: This Linestring is a triangle. The linestring is made up of coordinate points that define a series of lines connected to each other. In this case, we start at 100,100. There is a line to 20, 180, which is an angled line up and to the left. The next coordinate is 180, 180, which is a straight horizontal line from 20,180. Finally, the 180, 180 point is connected back to 100,100. Ref:

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