27 posts • joined 24 Apr 2008
"these cyber-crime syndicates aren't really your standard cyber-crime syndicates"
Yes, they are. The problem is that most people still view them as a sneaky gang of nerds doing "nasty" stuff with their computer to make a few extra bucks, not as the thugs they are. Highly organized, extremely well funded crime organizations of the likes of major drug dealer, human trafficking and weapons sales syndicates.
I don't believe for a minute that cyber crime syndicates don't get involved in mentioned 'old school' crimes, and vice versa. More likely that they are the same people that simply found a new "revenue stream".
And as they have the means to pay a lot more than the industry would they get the best developers working for them. That is at least what we have to assume looking at the sophistication of their 'products'.
Don't make the mistake to always assume involvement of some "governmental authorities" whenever things become "big" like some conspiracy theory dimwit (although I like conspiracy theories for their entertainment value ;-) ).
The Mafia, Mob, Syndicates or whatever you want to call it have always had the advantage of being better funded and less restricted in their methods than the authorities who ought to wipe them out. They can go where no governmental organization ever could.
And they are actually not even that "organized", more a huge but lose conglomerate of small groups with the same interests working together where it suits them. There is no master plan, no uber boss. No single point to take out to stop it all.
It you want to get rid of an Ant plague in your garden, poison the queen, and the case is solved (until the next tribe moves into the same den). In this case I guess it is more like fighting rats or roaches. In every way...
Cyberwarfare is guerrilla warfare, no matter who is involved, and on what scale. And it will more often than not be answered with guerrilla tactics of some- probably more physical- kind. There are only so many morons out there willing to answer a cyber attack with an open war with conventional weapons- and most of those are situated right next of this institution in question.
Whats worse, the attacked party will be faced with a overwhelming but intangible opponent- only knowing roughly the "region" where to look. Rage mixed with helplessness and nothing to loose makes people easy to manipulate leads to desperate measures. And the world has god knows enough desperate and mislead individuals willing to go out with the literal bang.
I am afraid that if this cyberwarfare station will be used for anything else than to keep their own population in check it will create exactly the kind of problems used as alibi to build it in the first place.
Plus, it will stay completely ineffective in fending off government funded espionage, which I claim is the kind of threat a governmental agency should focus on.
The biggest cyber attacks are exploiting human flaws, not technological ones. The real problem here is a lack of awareness, something a "you don't need to know, hand over your civil rights and we will keep you save" attitude is not likely solve...
All in all things are getting worse, with the spiral having been turned downwards another circle more or two...
@ "Just Thinking": You maybe might feel that way...
--- but there are many who find OUR way of living sick, sad and unworthy, and everything our "education" has to offer useless, poisenous and destructive.
And, although some "accident of birth" has placed me in the "developed" world I can somewhat see why.
Who are you do judge and despise their way of living? I am sorry for you who can't see beyond your fence.
Maria Theresa refused to spend the rest of her old days in "Western Europe" saying she couldn't face the poverty and misery. She talked about a spiritual poverty rather than a material one, showing that there are different views on the world, and how numb we have become to big parts of it.
I hope that the way of life of those "People Close To nature" will survive as long as they choose it. As it implies there to remain some of that nature to start with...
Haven't actually been thinking that much, have you.
It will happen, if you like it or not.
What is needed is to lower the potential for abuse.
First step to take is to remove any monopolies there are left. That means opening internet infrastructure to anyone willing to start a new ISP business venture, the same way phone lines have been opened for new providers.
This will not only increase competition and have a positive impact on service quality and pricing, it also ensures that ISPs have to act in their customers interest. In monopoly unfriendly environment the consumer is in fact the strongest lobby.
The phone business in those European countries where infrastructure owners are obliged to lease their lines to anyone asking for it, for a regulated, competitive price, has greatly benefited from that- at least from the consumers point of view :-)
I am aware that the same rules apply to internet lines in some countries, but by far not in all.
On this background, YES, PLEASE make sure that every machine that spews out malware traffic gets redirected to a quarantine network and will be only permitted back to join the big wide web after a proper cleanup.
There is no such thing as the right to spread malware, same as there is no such thing as the right to spread the plague. If you have a dangerous, contagious disease you will be removed from public, quarantined, and offered treatment until you are no threat to others anymore. The more this should apply to the online world where the impact on your life is much lower (at least I wouldn't file internet access into any of the first three steps of Maslow's "Pyramid of Needs")
The technology exists long time already, the problem is that ISPs are not very eager to implement it as long as they are not liable for what happens in their networks.
Once they are obliged to keep their networks clean, and the legal frameworks are building as we speak, this kind of analysis (and in a way censoring) technology will become common, if you like it or not.
I for one can't wait for it to happen.
Sure there is a potential for abuse, but I can't see how it would be any bigger than in any other aspect of economy and society as long as we have choices.
When geography knowlegde is as precise as a compass...
You have a funny interpretation of "Eastern"...
Not the same, dude, not at all!
The problem is not the kids console but the parents TV!
"Watching TV, usually a film, is a treat, not a right. (...) I intend to have multiplayer consoles so that one of us can play along with/against them"
... that pretty much sums it up for me. I aim to rather be that "facist parent' than a lazy, disinterested, nonsupporting, non guiding, "leave me alone I am tired from work" type couch potato.
I realize that too many people don't consider time dedicated fully and undivided to their kids as quality time- which is hard fort me to understand. Most problems kids can cause or get into result IMHO directly or indirectly from exactly this.
Bad scores in school included.
doody, you totally managed to drive the articles point home!
Ore maybe it's exactly the other way?
My manager for instance is a woman. And and no cliches You can throw at this, also not the ones I will offer below, would apply. She deserves to be the boss. Period.
Generally, looking at the rate of female managers in our line of work, even though they are (unfortunately) a minority, their ratio seems to increase the higher You go up in hierarchy. (True, currently no female on "C" level, but there is less than a handful, isn't there.)
Say: If in any given company the lower charges shows some 5% of female workers, and it becomes some >10% in middle management, and get's even higher from there- wouldn't that suggest that women are twice or more likely to be promoted than men?
And couldn't the reason be in many cases overcompensation for the threat to look sexist?
The principle of unfair advantage of minorities based on fear to be blamed for discrimination is as old the constitution of equal rights for minorities itself. And while I am absolutely for equal rights, and have friends in quite some different minority groups, I find this pattern, and the way some minorities are exploiting it, irritating.
That applies especially to feminists.
I can't see any signs of discrimination for women in IT at all- at least not in my workplace. They are highly appreciated! And I actually believe they do make the better (people-) managers. I simply don't see enough women around here in the first place...
Thank good for crank powered torches...
...bicycles, camping stoves and everything else that will keep functioning without connection to any network, powergrid or other infrastructure.
Mine is the one with the "boyscouts survivalguide" in the pocket...
Gone are the times...
... where at least business networking sites were (mostly) clean, and free from self consumed bullshit canons letting the whole world know the consistency of their stool and how they slept last night.
Cat's n' Dogs
@ john 154: taste just like rabbits. Without claws and head You won't spot the difference (so i heard)
@ wickedwitchwest: Full ACK
Similar in our house :-)
@ Simon Brown: Don' worry, cats don't kill each other when they fight. As soon as the 'ranking' is fought out peace is restored
Harboring fugitives of both species in my home (to protect them from a brain heavy, sociopathic, emotionally challenged and over anxious lynch mob), I really can't say who has the bigger potential to cause trouble: cats or dogs.
( I guess it's catually our children I will have to blame my grey hair on in the end ;-) )
All I can say is: the problem is never with the animal. It's ALWAYS the owner who screws up when an animal becomes rogue, usually with the owner being screwed up in the first place. But it's the animal that pays the bill by being euthanize.
And there is also no better or worse breed, not for dogs or for cats. Only inbred, overpriced purebreds may turn out psychopathic be lost cases from the start sometimes. But then, we have a Doberman (uncut, with papers), and she is the most gentle creature You can imagine- to anyone and anything, actually.
Anyways. IMHO there is more trouble to be had from a cow sized Mastino, even 'though they are absolutely friendly by nature, simply because they are massive and clumsy, than from a 'triple sized' cat. If You allow it to be a cat, that is...
Justice IS blind!
Only in the wrong way. I doubt that judge had the slightest understanding for the matter or at least enough background information when passing that judgment.
The smart boy deserves a slap on the rist for being cheesy, no question. But no more.
I would like to see what law he actually broke doing what he did! Impersonating somebody else? Then 80% of all internet users would be crime offenders!
Instead he is executed for making the lords ridiculous.
An 'execution' is at least what that fine comes down to when looking at how dept of that size will destroy the young fellas future. (unless he has rich parents)
The real responsibles are the ones who implemented flawed processes combined with a lack of appropriate security measures. Their registration process virtually called for being abused.
What's even worse, they failed to monitor and maintain their systems with due diligence, in a highly sensitive area! (that I believe the financial sector to be) Else they would have noticed in a matter of days, not month.
They should at least pay a heft fine, and get a court ordered deadline to fix those flaws! Instead they get rewarded for their stupidity.
What's the message for the rest of us, apart from "Don't mess with the big guys!" ? (nothing new there)
"Unless it's not explicitly encouraged, it's forbidden!"
I believe in law school they teach You something else... But what's that worth, anyways.
I rest my case, then.
Laughing at Wankels design, geeks?
@ Oliver Mayes et al
about: Wankel Rotary Engine
A perfectly working combustion engine with many advantages against piston engines like smaller form factor, better energy efficiency and less vibration.
Would we have put as much research into Wankels design as in the piston engine we would laugh at this riduculous "up'n down, up'n down nonsense" today.
Looking at the Otto and Diesel engine closely we have never left the age of steam engines, really, just took them way further. Until the end of the line actually- this technology has reached soon it's absolute limits.
While Wankels priciple has just been taken a step further. How would You like an engine with a ball shaped "piston"?
P.S: For those who still don't believe Wankels engines work:
Look at the Mazda RX5 and RX8:
Nice quote:"The rotors turn at 1/3 the speed of the crankshaft, so the stresses on it are far less than those on pistons moving at similar crankshaft speeds, which boosts reliability -- as demonstrated by Mazda's overall win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991 (which led to banning Wankels from the race)"
There are also dozens of Wankel aircraft engine manufacturers and the APUs in big aircrafts are Wankels.
I welcome any even so little sign of more transparency!
There is a big difference between the protection of ones privacy and the overprotective hogging of data.
@ Allan George Dyer: I don't get Your logic. Isn't that just a bit too paranoid?
In Finland everyone's last tax report is public information. I can send a SMS with a persons name and address to a special number and get his tax amount and % back- which tells me what the persons taxable income was last year.
I can already hear Your outcries...
But step back once and think twice: what damage can You possibly do to me by knowing what I earn? I can't think of any... Really none! Neither would I know how to harm anyone else with such knowledge.
So ask Yourself why You wouldn't want people to know. I think if You are ashamed of Your salary, or wealth in general, You probably can't feel You earned it, at least righteously, I guess.
There is zero danger involved in most information revealed. Knowing how much is on my bank account wouldn't still give You the possibility to raid it if the banks security is tight. Knowing what car I drive doesn't give You more or less possibility to steal it if it has a proper protection system.
And in case anybody would set out to stalk me or harm me they would succeed regardless on how easy personal information about me is available. It would take them only insignificantly longer.
Finland has been voted for good reason many years in row the worlds least corrupted and most transparent country (by Transparency International). It is at the same time probably the country with the worlds lowest crime rate. Both physical crimes, and financial crimes like e.g. tax fraud...
Transparency comes with a price, 'though:
As You can't just hide everything from everyone trusting that enough obscurity will protect You privacy, You have to consider the value of information and the possible consequences of its misuse very carefully.
You will suddenly have to deal with the problem to implement measure that REALLY protect those sets of data that are in the light of rationality worth protecting- from Your neighbor, and Yes, from the very authorities that implement those measure as well.
But maybe that's too inconvenient- for all parties involved...
Let's face it, this can happen anywhere, anytime.
Prepare to see more of this.
It's the new form of 'political engagement'. A while ago people would go on the street, waving transparents and expose themselves to bashing with batons. Today You can get 'involved' from the safety of Your home, feel modern and smart, and part of a 'global movement', not realizing that You are no more than a puppet of some smart badasses.
Rogue governments are known to instigate cyber attacks and engage in cyper espionage. And often enough they use criminals to do the dirty work for them. But no ever so conclusive evidence will be enough to prove it.
Naive who thinks any governmental body concerned with intelligence or national security, no matter where, would have reason to refrain from exploring all options. If they can then turn around and use the havoc they create to justify measures to legally invade their citizens privacy, why wouldn't they?
So let's hear it for the cowards who turn their computers into weapons.
They might not long from now give reason to the authorities of even the most liberal and democratic countries to alter the legislation and illegalize almost everything You can do on Your computer apart from clicking buttons on state approved applications.
What is really troublesome...
... is that people with narrow, national radicalistic minds, obviously with no clue of cybercriminality whatsoever, can hold functions that put them into position to make such preposterous public announcements. All we can do is hope that it is NOT up to such people to make the correcponding decisions, or even influence them.
But really, nobody can take such blurp serious, it was nothing but a unfiltered brainfart.
Apart from that:
Fully agree with Chris C
re: "I wear my sunglasses at night..."
I know another song, this time from Nazareth: "Dreeam Oon, it's so hard to see, the data You stream to me..."
Just some 'romatic' thoughts:
When working I rely on the light my screen is emitting, using some additional, low ambient light to save my eyes. I HATE white light, it is unatural and makes me uncomfortable (and I am not alone on that). That is why I don't use any energy saving lamps, LEDs, etc. I use a s good as no other light sources other than 40W warm toned glow bulbs- or candles- except for places like above kitchen sink or in the bathroom. I offset this pretentious use of inefficient lamps with using them really only where and when needed.
And in any household I have been so far people prefer dimmed, warm toned light to stadium floodlights.
Even in offices light designed to enhance wellbeing is becoming more and more popular. Less LUX of 'good quality light' are actually more ergonomic than abundant LUX of 'poor quality light' like white (actually green or blue) neon tubes.
I don't believe that LEDs will ever become popular as a source of ambient light. Which means the whole idea of wireless-light@home or in the office is DOA.
Leaves us only the streetlights. Well, it actually might work in public places. If I feel the need to browse the web while walking down the street or waiting for the bus, that is.
The glasses because a tinfoil hat won't be enough anymore...
Learn Your history
Everybody who is only the least bit concerned about civil rights and who does not believe that government will use their power always only to the publics best interest would do good reading up on the history of Europe between WW1 and WW2, especially the early 30th. And there especially German history, as Germany is the only nation that thoroughly dealt with it's fascist past. While it is far from the only country gotten carried away by it, nor the last one...
Then when the shit hits the fan, which starts to look more and more likely to me, at least nobody can say they didn't see the signs.
Using a fake, created or exaggerated crisis to make people give up their civil rights, like seen recently with the "worlds most powerful nation", or creating user databases with the sole purpose of political harassment, like here with the "worlds greatest nation", or gagging the press and any slightly public organ as currently seen with the "worlds biggest nation". It's all just history repeating.
From there the slope to a totalitarian regime is steep and slippery, and the more 'patriotism' the leaders can generate in their people to more likely it will be a fascist one.
-- The Alien, because sometimes I feel like switching planet...
You haven't seen "Quiet Earth", did you? Then You should know how such things end!
They never learn, they never learn...
Now where's that pack of sleeping pills? And when was it they want to fire that thing up?
@ Colin Mountford
I can see Your point, but:
If You have a purely theoretical idea and not the resources to do a reality check, there is nothing to claim for.
I have, like probably most of us, several ideas which are not too far out of the way and would have a real practical application, but I have in some case not the resources, in other not the determination, to check if any of them actually can be done. So no patent... If someone comes up with the same idea and makes it work HE will get the credit- and that's fair, isn't it?
As soon as an inventor has done a fair deal of research he has inevitably put at least some parts of the idea into practice; that in my book qualifies for a "serious attempt to put the idea into practical use". If You build a complete working model You even have a prototype!
And if You can't get the whole thing of the ground in 10 years it is better if someone with the appropriate ressources takes it up and puts it into use than have it never built.
For the sake of innovation and the greater good!
No, I am not kidding!
Paris, for she invented herself, and didn't even file for a patent.
(well, actually she stole the idea from Pam Anderson ;-) )
the flaw is in the system
It can be pretty difficult to tell bona fide technology companies protecting their investment apart from greedy a**holes, w*nkers and v*ltures perverting the whole idea behind patents and and protection of intellectual property.
While the flaw is in the legislative sytems themselves:
There is no need to prove that You are actually doing something with Your "idea". Thus there is no need to prove that there is a investment, revenue or other tangible value to protect in the first place.
Intellectual Property per se has become a "protected value", which is fine for arts if applied with reason, but for technology and science it is simply wrong. Period!
In my opinion anyone who is not putting a patented technology into practical use two years after getting the patent approved, or at least is able to prove that he seriously attempts to, should loose the patent, and it becomes public domain. Same should apply to all patents some 'one digit number' of years after the first application hits the market.
It is just fair to give the inventor a good head start to protect his investment in research and development, but todays practice leads only to three things:
- competition is stifled and monopolies built
- good but inconvenient ideas are silenced
(let's buy this patent and lock it away! First we exploit our outdated technology to the last bit, later we maybe release this new technology- see e.g. fuel efficient cars)
- extortion of bona fide technology companies by vultures with no interest in any productive venture
Nothing more to say...
like the copy cats they are...
... they will always limp on step behind, calling stolen ideas "innovation", trying to give things their own "twist", and f*cking them up while doing so...
A few other of their "victims":
VMWare => Virtual PC
CItrix => Terminal Server
...well, that whole OS (Overbloated System), actually!
No thanks. Why wouldn't I stick to the 'alternatives', especially when they are the originals?
Mine is the one with the 'Hoogo Bozz' label inside!
not sure why they're put together ?
"Mexico and Russia (we're not sure why they're put together either)"
You can throw in Brazil, too, if You like. Due to a very different business culture and a different interpretation of "truth" You need to be made from a special kind of wood to deal with those countries if You are raised in a rather, how do I say, tame society.
Let's compare it to a card game:
If You play cards in, say, a Scandinavian country with a fella, and he cheats You, You will wrap it up and not play with him anymore.
In the named countries the card game will be only a facade. The real game is about who cheats whom smarter. And nobody gets upset! In the contrary, the better cheater gets a lot of respect for his skills.
That's where they are similar. Having them handled by the same team makes a lot sense to me.
Please note that I don't mean to judge here. Different country, different customs. Me personally, I love Brazil ;-)
ever vlooked beyond that "add thing"?
Maybe it is time to look a bit further down the road Google is on?
While MS is a threat to free trade, and Yes, they did some damage there, Google is a potential threat to democracy.
Being a threat to democracy and freedom does not require a totalistic attitude- the threat starts much earlier...
It is enough if any given body, be it governmental, commercial, military or private, starts building the tools and gathering the power that enables it to gain control over the foundations of democracy .
Democracy is not about the right to vote yaddayadda. Most totalistic regimes are mocking many of the procedures simpler people think make a democracy.
Democracy and personal freedom are based on free access to information and freedom of speech. All other traits of democracy are a a direct result of these.
So here is the price question: Who has the power to control what information You will find on the internet for any given topic? Who has the power to control who will hear what You have to say if You want to share it online?
I am aware that Google in a way helped the internet to make a "quantum leap", and that way enhanced the availability of information significantly. But this pattern isn't new, either. Totalistic governments are always first doing good to the people to gain their trust before they close down the borders and take over the new agencies.
I guess it needs the sensibilization of living in an region (not just nation!) with a fascist or totalistic past, and not be be blinded by economic security, to see the early signs. All through history those have never been seen by the masses before it was too late- although they were written all over the walls (often even in blood...)
Any one making an effort reading up on the history of countries with a fascist or totalistic past will see the same pattern over and over. Then stepping back, forgetting daily small-business, and taking an open look on our worlds situation might result in shock for many.
I don't believe in global conspiracy and similar stupidities at all, so if I caught You on that foot You unfortunately got me all wrong...
I also don't mean to dispense any accusations, just pointing out a _potential_ for wrongdoing on a scale we will have no means tomprotect ourselves against...
Power will always be where the money and the information is. And too much power in one place has never done good, is all I say.
Concentrating power is a direct contradiction to democracy as defined.
the problem is not with the bags...
The problem here is that most airport personal does not know the reasons behind those security regulations themselves.
True, the reason I have to remove the laptop is that the machine can't be properly identified when overlaid with external hard drives, power cables, etc.
I carry my laptop in a second, thin, one layer sleeve for extra protection. When I take it out of the 'big' bag for scanning most airport personnel still demands I remove the sleeve as well.
Why? Because someone told them the laptop cannot be in a bag and the sleeve looks like a bag.
Another example: I carry my liquids in a little bag _especially designed_ for air travel. It is of sturdy transparent material, with a robust zipper, 800ml in volume, filled with transparent small plastic bottles of 50ml and 80ml where I fill in what I need from the bigger bottles. All requirements for transporting liquids in Your hand luggage are more than met. You wouldn't believe how often I have to remove the liquids from that bag and stuff them into a phony ziplock.
If airport personnel would be properly educated about the reasons behind the regulations they are enforcing they would know that 0.something millimeters of fabric have no effect on the x-rays scanning the machine, as well as the regulation for liqids is not "has to be in a ziplock bag" but "has to be in a transparent bag of max. 1000ml volume yadaydda"
Oh, but wait!
That would require to actually hire smart people to do the job and not monkeys, and invest in education before releasing them on the crowd.
I am afraid the new laptop bags will not work as expected...
it's not only eBay
The French authorities are literally hunting counterfeits, making it even illegal to own them. While that applies to French brands only. @ "Name": I agree with point2.
One might think France has made brand counterfeits a matter of national security, and the measure they take clearly overshoot the target.
At airports and similar places of mass congregation special officers are watching out for people wearing or using counterfeits. When You are caught wearing a counterfeit watch that would cost 20.000€ as a original, but cost You 50€ as a fake, You might have to pay up to the real price of the watch as a fine. And lose it. I kid You not!
whoever cares for a LV bag or similar overpriced, ugly crap doesn't deserve other. Look at the quality: the fake VT bags are from leather, the real one from plastic. Does anyone see irony here? Take any cheap shit, print some stomach turning ugly pattern on it, rivet a LV logo on it, and sell for 20 times the price it it worth.
Some people need an opportunity to show of their money by using openly things everyone knows are ridiculously expensive. Let the wannabe artists called 'designer' help those haute couture posers out here. They fit perfectly together. What drives me out are people who try to pretend to be wealthy, trendy, whatever, by using fake brand stuff. Can't they see how pathetic that is? They don't deserve other than pay for their stupidity. It is not that they wouldn't know it's a fake, is it?
Bill, because he showed how a fakes can become the original...
ask who they get their money from...
I stopped buying from E-bay long ago, after a few unpleasant incidents where buyers withdrew from sales because the price they achieved in an auction turned out to be too low (it was the time before minimum prices...).
I complained, no results. On the other hand, didn't answer to a seller within a few days after the auction because I was traveling, immediately got a warning...
That was when I realized with whom the loyalty of e-Bay really is. Not with You, dear buyer. Their valued customer is the seller, from whom they get their money through fees and commissions.
Who do You think will they piss of first, 100 buyers or one seller?
I bet that even scamers have to pay their fees and commissions to be able to keep scaming, else their accounts would be suspended.
So as long as e-Bay can refuse to take liability for the scams or other illegal actions happening on their portal, how big can their motivation be to stop them in the first place?
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