Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

TLA Computer Security

2017/05/23

(FTB stderr) – Marcus Ranum:

There are many agencies that have some degree of charter for computer security – but “defense” has been a bit of a hot potato. Meanwhile, the NSA (and now we know CIA, and probably every other Three Letter Agency) used to go to security conferences like DEFCON and advertise that they were hiring hackers. Of course they were.

If you know anything about how the US empire operates, you’d predict right away that the effort in computer security has been pretty much all offense and no defense – like our Department of “Defense” and you’d be pretty much right. …

stderr 2017/05/18 sounds-about-right

Marcus J. Ranum: The Myth of Homeland Security

Better Call Bob!

2017/05/20

(The Intercept) – Trevor Aaronson:

When Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel to investigate possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, he called on Washington’s consummate clean-up man. …

theintercept 2017/05/18 better-call-bob

Robert S. Mueller iii

Trolling GCHQ

2017/05/14

(indy100) – Harriet Marsden:

While the effects were felt all over the world in almost 100 countries, the NHS was the most terrifyingly significant target for us in Britain – literally, the lifeline of the UK.

Malicious ransomware called ‘WannaCry‘ infected thousands of computers, holding patients’ medical records captive via encryption and demanding a BitCoin payment for their release.

In other equally important news, it was also National Limerick Day. …

indy100 7733896

Twitter trolling GCHQ

Walking Back The Cat

2017/04/24

(FTB stderr) – Marcus Ranum:

The origin of the expression “walking back the cat” is lost in the early cold war, but it refers to the process of decompiling and recompiling intelligence after a breach, usually caused by a mole.

I’m quite sure that nowadays it’s got a lot to do with computer forensics; it’s probably a tremendous amount of fun for anyone who hasn’t got a stake in the outcome. For anyone who does, historically, it’s a slice of hell. …

stderr 2017/04/23 walking-back-the-cat

To Protect Your Entire Country

2017/04/15

(FTB stderr) – Marcus Ranum:

This is certainly unexpected: FBI Director James B. Comey emailed me.

Federal Bureau Of Investigation.
935 Pennsylvania Avenue NW,
Washington, D.C. 20535 USA.

Attention: Dear Sir/Madam, …

stderr 2017/04/13 i-get-letters

Spam

Phoned-Home Info Revealed by Microsoft

2017/04/09

(The Register) – Iain Thomson:

Put down your coffee and admire the sheer amount of data Windows 10 Creators Update will slurp from your PC. …

theregister 2017/04/06 creators_update

Big Brother Microsoft Windows

Reforming Government First Requires Understanding It

2017/03/30

(Atlantic Politics) – Elaine Kamarck:

Jared Kushner’s new initiative promises to tap the expertise of the business community – but government isn’t a business. …

theatlantic 2017/03 521004

Bill Clinton and Al Gore examine stacks of paperwork at a National Performance Review event in 1993

Strong Encryption Makes us all Safer

2017/03/28

(Guardian Comments) – Editorial:

There are many things the web giants could do to help combat terrorism, but weakening privacy protection is not one of them. …

theguardian 2017/mar/27 strong-encryption

Peace in America

2017/03/21

(Indian Country Media Network) – Gyasi Ross:

The story of the Great Laws is the story of the Great Peacemaker, who travels among the people and “combs their hair.” In other words, he speaks to them and works on untangling old traumas that stand in the way of peace. …

indiancountrymedianetwork peace-in-america

Deganawida

It’s Worse Than You Think

2017/03/13

(FTB stderr) – Marcus Ranum:

I’m usually surprised by the coverage regarding NSA/CIA/FBI spying: there’s some stuff we definitely should be scared of, and there’s other stuff that I file under “so, what?”

For example, the fact that the US government has consistently ignored its own laws regarding wiretapping: nobody who has observed any government in action should be surprised by that.

For example, Herbert Yardley published “The American Black Chamber” in 1931, documenting a slightly fictionalized version of his exploits monitoring communications during WWI, before, and after. …

stderr 2017/03/11 worse-than-you-think

Herbert Yardley: The American Black Chamber