Extra Dimensions

Hiding Places

What socks, masks, readers and APTs have in common​

Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . .

blue background with molecules

One of the more interesting offshoots of quantum mechanics and, in particular, string theory, is the notion that there are more than four dimensions. Some physicists say there are as many as 11 dimensions, some of which are running backwards in time.

That’s what caught my attention. If only I could get time to run backwards, it would be so much easier to post Dan’s New Leaf articles weekly!

Popular culture has been producing books and movies on this possibility of an extra dimension since the 1950s. When I was a kid, ESP was a big thing. And there was a band called The 5th Dimension.

And of course, the popular TV show, The Twilight Zone.

But I maintain that we all have experienced a certain “extra dimension.” I might sound a little bit like Rod Serling when I say this, but where the hell do our socks go?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, the world wants to hear from you. The rest of us want to know how you can keep both pairs of your socks ‘til they’re old. Long before holes emerge, most humans end up replacing our socks, due to losing one of the pair.

And we can never figure out where they go.

About 15 years ago, in a frantic hour or so, I started worrying that USB sticks also go to this extra dimension. But I found the missing USB drive, updated a policy or two, and we no longer store sensitive information on USB sticks. 

During the pandemic, I suspected that my masks found that extra dimension. And they hid there.

I ended up with the same problem I had with socks. My masks would disappear, and I could not figure out where they went.

Post pandemic: I am convinced there is this extra dimension. You know how some people say that the pandemic aged us? Well, in the short 10 months I was locked down, my eyesight declined significantly, and I now carry readers with me, everywhere I go, just to see my cell phone.

And guess what? The readers have found that dimension. They too hide. They too go missing. 


It is in the spirit of this extra dimension that I again express my concern about the advanced persistent threat (APT). Our threat-hunters are always learning new ways that the APT can hide. It’s like we’re trying to find that extra dimension on your network. 

As cybersecurity professionals, we should always be looking for new indicators of compromise. (IOCs). We should always be trying to find that extra dimension on our network – that place where malicious actors can hide, until they finish their reconnaissance and move into delivery and weaponization.

Where socks, masks, and readers can be replaced, the APT must be found and removed. We can’t just shrug, wondering if there is an extra dimension. 

That’s why I “absolutely” cannot wait to declare that the talk Michael Hartke and Will Summers recently delivered, on IOCs, will be coming to our video library.  I just saw it in a forum in Ohio.

You need to see it.

We all need to see it.

We may never find that extra dimension for socks, masks, and readers – but we MUST find it for a much more serious threat.

The APT.

Original article by Dan Hadaway CRISC CISA CISM. Founder and Information Architect, infotex

Dan’s New Leaf – a fun blog to inspire thought in  IT Governance.

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