Dec 26 2011

Open Tabs 12/26/11

Christmas is over!  I hope yours was good, but I personally find the whole build up and let down stressful and I’m glad when it’s done with.  Especially the part where my kids are home from school for a week and whine every time I tell them to get out of the house for a little while before I have to hurt them.  Not that I’d actually hurt my kids, but it’s sometimes the only threat that will get them moving. 

There have been some interesting stories leading up to Christmas and it’ll be interesting to see what’s been happening behind the scenes while the majority of us have been chomping on candy and ripping open our presents.  I have nothing to support the theory yet, but I strongly suspect most of the bad guys left their tools running while they took some time off, so their might be reports of compromises in the not too distant future.  After all, there were a couple of reports that came out before the weekend, perhaps hoping to get ignored and bypassed in Christmas craziness.

A quick thought on the boycott of GoDaddy over the SOPA legislation.  GoDaddy is such a minor player in this realm and probably signed on to the legislation like a little brother following his older brother, Big Media; they wanted to sound and act cool in the eyes of everyone else without having the faintest idea that what they were doing had real world consequences.  Boycotting GoDaddy is like bullying the little brother when what you really want to do is punch the elder brother in the eye!  It’s ineffective, both in the long run and in the short term, to boycott GoDaddy when what we should really be doing is making the larger players behind SOPA aware this is an evil and unacceptable way to try to regulate the internet.  A crowdsourced version of the list of supporters on the list is available as a Google doc.  If you really want to do something important, boycott some of the big boys on the list and quit going to their movies and buying their products. 

Open Tabs – 12/26/11

  • Chinese computer hackers hit U.S. Chamber of Commerce – I wonder what our hackers are doing to the Chinese behind the scenes.  Not the vocal ones on the con scene, the ones employed by the Three Letter Agencies.  Never mind, we don’t do that, do we.
  • LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon) – DoS attacking tool – The tool is old news, but this is a pretty good writeup.  If you want to know more though, one of my co-workers could tell you a few things more about how it works.
  • The Thought Leader … One year later – Chris Eng’s further harpooning of the information security thought leaders.  I know about half of the video applies to me at least as much as it does anyone else. 
  • How hackers gave Subway a $30 million lesson in point-of-sale security – There’s another meaning for POS, especially when you don’t bother changing default passwords and trust owners to follow procedures.
  • The Dark side of B-Sides – I’m staying out of this fight, since I know all the players.  But I know there’s a lot of truth to both sides of the stories, and the sooner this can be opened up and the aired out, the better for everyone involved.
  • Hackers steal data on millions of Chinese net users – No need for nefarious government hackers when criminals will hack into Chinese sites because they data they hold might be worth something.
  • Insurance against cyber attacks expected to boom – Let’s just insure our systems rather than taking the time to secure them!  Because the insurance companies won’t place caveats on what’s ensured and what constitutes a breach of contract to include poor maintenance control, will they?  “What do you mean our insurance doesn’t cover this?” is a phrase I expect to hear once cyber insurance (I shudder at the name) becomes common place.
  • Congress calls on Twitter to block Taliban – Oh yeah, because it takes so much to set up another account and tell everyone to go there instead.  And because censorship should always be one of the first tools used by a free, democratic system.  These people spend too much time thinking in hyperbole and too little time thinking in reality.

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