back to article Security guru Bruce Schneier to leave employer BT

Noted security guru Bruce Schneier, who has spent a great deal of energy publicly analysing the Edward Snowden leaks into the activities of the NSA and allied spy agencies, is to leave UK telco BT. A spokesman for BT said: “We can confirm that Bruce Schneier, BT’s security futurologist, is leaving BT at the end of December …

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writing for you

He's the best, you should sign him up at all costs.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: writing for you

Seconded.

"Bruce Schneier knows the state of schroedinger's cat" - http://www.schneierfacts.com/

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Re: writing for you

No offence to El Reg, but I doubt they could afford him.

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Re: BS writing for you

He's the best, you should sign him up at all costs....... mhoneywell Posted Monday 16th December 2013 11:46 GMT

Methinks if he was of any future use he would be still be invaluable in leading thoughts for BT, ergo ....... El Reg doesn't surely need any old school dead wood. I'm sure there are enough burdens they be carrying in these times of rapidly evolving tales that be virtual realities for presentation/future event promotions and global productions.

Which is surely a position, with lot of available posts, that BT should be definitely leading, if they are to be considered in any way worthy of being a trusted and competent international and internetional communications carrier, rather than just going through the motions as if a sprog cog in the machine.

Hi, mhoneywell,

Is that you, Bruce?

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@amanfrommars1

Seriously? You think that's Bruce Schneier posting under a pseudonym suggesting El Reg hire him? Have you ANY idea who Bruce Schneier is and how influential and respected he is? Calling him "dead wood" has single-handedly relegated any future posts by you to the "probably doesn't know what he's talking about" pile, in my mind.

Go read his website for a little while and then admit you don't know what you're talking about.

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Re: writing for you

"http://www.schneierfacts.com/"

Brilliant!

But it leaves me wondering... who wins out of Bruce Schneier or Chuck Norris?

(I'm not telling. Find out for yourselves!)

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Re: BS writing for you

Bruce Schneier "dead wood"? DEAD WOOD????? Um... You are, apologies for being blunt, an idiot. Have you been reading ANY security-related news during the last six months? P.S. You're not an idiot for not knowing who Schneier is; you're an idiot for running your MOUTH about things you clearly know ABSOLUTELY nothing about. P.P.S. "Methinks"???

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Anonymous Coward

Re: BS writing for you

@aman - You'll get flack for this, but I agree. I personally prefer Ross Anderson - he is really independent, and is not that interested in self marketing. This doesn't mean that I don't acknowledge his contribution to security (especially his books are good), but for raw credentials I think Ross trumps..

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Re: writing for you

Big deal, Christopher Lee kicks Chuck Norris's ass!

As if there was any doubt, Mr. Lee rules!

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Tomorrows always bring something else to tempt and discourage you from thinking too much

BT and GCHQ are joined at the hip with the latter unable to even try to function secretly and efficiently without the compliance and conspiring of the former in the best stealthy interests of …. well, they probably like y’all to not think too deeply when in IT and it be country, but you need to morph that thought into something personal with human faces on it, for such dumb ass myopic patriotic nationalism is that which blinds y’all to vast personal fortunes able to be readily made at great public expense and future general population indebtedness to …… well, y’all tell me what mad phantom has you all fired up and ready to go and do anything and everything. There’s some real crazy clever folk into communicating with man and machines out there, and they have your sad and sorry asses in a sling and your life in their hands, hearts and minds to play with, and your ignorance is making it with IT, so easy for them. Although hanging on to Future IT Command and Control with Media Mogul Support is one of those Enigmatic MetaDataBase Problems which Defy and Deny Stupid Solution with Risky Resolutions.

So why would such a valuable security voice like what Bruce Schneier apparently supposedly is according to his fans, be walking the long lonely walk down the road and kicking stones rather than leading with thoughts that build commands that control the future with telecommunicating giants?

Are you telling me that BT and GCHQ can’t handle a little speculative flack ack ack/prime[s]d[/s] sub-prime comment from one of their own camping within the puzzle palace gates, without drawing any/so much attention to themselves.

Wow, if that be the case they both need new leading lights to show them the new directions they need to be taking, and tout de fcuking suite, mate. Check.

And yes, I do read Bruce’s blog but have never imagined the words shared there be capable of ensuring and insuring and assuring others it be of secure futurologistic leading thought.

So, the earlier post stands in all of its undoubted ugliness and brutal truth and probable virtual reality.

And is ”Hi, mhoneywell, Is that you, Bruce?” idiotic sarcasm for those who would recognise fools in the gallery?

P.S. How very wise of you methinks, uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh494 [who posted Monday 16th December 2013 18:23 GMT] to have hedged all of those bets, for idiots would surely have no desire for anything El Reg spends time and resources on sourcing and reporting and even less interest in providing commentary on it and IT too.

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Holmes

Writing for Cryptome too

Bruce also seems to have been responsible for Cryptome's recent Full Disclosure leak, ostensibly authored by "The Adversaries", which is almost entirely about BT, its HomeHub routers and its cosy relationship with GCHQ/NSA.

Having read it, I can now see why his position at BT was untenable. Even if he didn't write that document, he must surely have contributed the highly detailed information upon which it's based. My guess would be that BT and its cohorts are spitting blood.

The proposed solution comprises various security hardening techniques, including never, ever using BT-supplied hardware, using open firmware like OpenWRT, and something that I hadn't heard of before called Tcpcrypt.

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Re: BS writing for you

Six months? Make that about 20 years and I second your comment ;)

Applied Cryptography is still pretty much the definitive work, and from 1996 in it's current form. And that was before Blowfish etc.

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Unhappy

Rarely downvote amanfromMars1

...even when I can't decipher him. But really, Mars?...Really?!? Someone must have gotten up on the wrong side of the planet today, eh?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tomorrows always bring something else to tempt and discourage you from thinking too much

You're sounding very tired Graham.

I think you should get some fresh air, maybe take a walk in the woods.

These two gentleman in white coats and their friends in military uniform and dark glasses are here to help you.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: BS writing for you

"for raw credentials I think Ross trumps.."

Absolutely agree, though I am pleased that both of them exist.

I can only imagine those downvoting you haven't read Anderson's (and/or his team's?) work on e.g. smartmeters or more recently on electronic tagging. Not to mention his stuff on payment card security and the like. Real day to day stuff. It needs to be read.

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Everybody looks forward to a woody walk on the wild side .... it's so exciting and invigorating

They certainly took their time, AC. Were they sleeping on duty and letting the side down? Hold on a moment and I'll grab my coat and laptop just in case they be needed.

Proper Preparation and Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance Permitting Prime Prize Penetration and Perfect Pursuit of Project Parameters, don't you know, old bean.

And bean counters just love that for it excuses them having to make implausible excuses for regular expensive catastrophic failures which always dog dodgy deeds and perverse subversive feeds with corrupt and impotent seeds.

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Re: writing for you

who wins out of Bruce Schneier or Chuck Norris?

Didn't we tell you not to cross the streams?

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Re: BS writing for you

for raw credentials I think Ross trumps

It's not a fucking contest. Anyone with an ounce of sense and an interest in the subject is familiar with the work of both. There's no need to denigrate one in favor of the other.

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Leaving BT

Coming from one who left BT because of Phorm, I'd be surprised if this was down to Bruce's comments.

Bruce has always taken a pragmatic approach to comments that involve BT, everyone knows he was working for them and had to toe the line up to a point - but, BUT - he would always make a personal comment about this stuff in general and you could usually take what he says to the bank.

I have no idea what kind of NDA he might still be under after leaving BT, but I am *really* looking forward to hearing from him.

If you're reading this Bruce, have a great Christmas, and get busy writing!! (Any old pseudonym will do!)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Leaving BT

"get busy writing"

I'd use snailmail if I were you.

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B3

"...the telecoms giant was no different from any other large private sector firm in the UK."

Triple distilled bullshit. Many BT exchanges used to (and I suspect still do) have classified compartments, mostly in basements, sometimes lower basements that are themselves, ummm... hard to get into. BT carries all government comms and had (has?) crews security cleared to high levels in order to service this.

Of course - Hughes may actually be telling the truth, as in: all the major UK telcos now have the same relationships with government security services.

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Linux

Re: B3

i was told a similar story by "bloke what installed my virgin cable" in my first flat in Oxford...

Didn't sound outrageous then....

P.

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Re: B3

"..Many BT exchanges used to (and I suspect still do) have classified compartments"

Quite true. However, it does not set them apart from other large companies. For example, it's no secret that Vodafone runs the GSI network, which deals with a lot of the classified data traffic in the UK. Most large players in the managed datacentre field have secured DCs that can be used to house classified services and data.

So what was your point?

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Re: B3

For the former official state owned government telecoms provider who were privatised to become the unofficial government telecoms provider to claim that its relationship with GCHQ is no different from Tesco's is a little disingenuous. It's like QuintiQ claiming it is just another software company.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: B3

I thought the GCF (formally GSx) type networks were operated by Cable & Wireless? With them moving to the PSN this will be even less reliant on BT than they already are...

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Holmes

Re: B3

"Of course - Hughes may actually be telling the truth, as in: all the major UK telcos now have the same relationships with government security services."

The best way to lie is to hide it in the truth.

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Re: B3

Cable & Wireless Worldwide became part of Vodafone in April this year.

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Re: B3

"Cable & Wireless Worldwide became part of Vodafone in April this year."

Yep. C&W have run those networks for many years. A few years back, they lost the contract to Energis - remeber them? They won the gov contract and were then quickly bought by .. Cable and Wireless .. odd, that ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: B3

Vodafone own Cable & Wireless

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This post has been deleted by its author

Linux

Good in parts

It was always with hope that we heard that Schneier had joined BT, to provide some clue to them about the issues on which he is expert, but a slim hope, given BT's reputation in IT circles. It says much for him that he remained a reliable source of security thought in the years since 2006 (golly - that long ago) in spite of the BT taint.

Tux - 'cos maybe now he can ditch windows

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Anonymous Coward

"natural end", "great asset"

Geez, those ties can't really speak real, can they ?

I was once called a "valuable asset" after I left from a soon to be driven to the ground firm, by a moron near Aix-en-Provence, so all my sympathy goes to M. Scheiner, whose "Applied Cryptography" I still have somewhere, of course amongst other notable publications.

Also kudos for the papers on Snowden leaks, very interesting ...

AC, cos' morons can read. Sometimes.

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Re: "natural end", "great asset"

His US consulting company got bought by BT in 2006 when it (BT) was trying to pretend to be a world player.

They are now either annoyed at the Chuck Norris of crypto, or have abandoned the US business or having his company made an internal report go onto a second page and it was easier to get rid of them than reformat it.

Either way it's not like they marched him from the desk with a bin-liner of his stuff.

He will probably get more work now he isn't associated with BT.

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WTF?

'thought leadership'?

Is this a commonly used phrase in England (but which might perplex us 'merkins) or is it actually just what it sounds like - fatuous, management blathering.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 'thought leadership'?

Inside BT this mean someone (an expert) who can tell them what they should be doing, so that the management can ignore it and jump in to bed with the nearest politician anyway.

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Re: 'thought leadership'?

so that the management can ignore it and jump in to bed with the nearest politician anyway.

Remember Patricia Hewitt? First she was secretary of state for trade and industry, then she ended up being a non-executive director at BT.

There seems to be a lot of quid quo pro going on in both directions...

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Re: 'thought leadership'?

It's been spreading relentlessly after metastasising at the heart of the BBC; it can usually be found beating up the English language in conjunction with the chilling phrases 'blue skies thinking' and 'innovative leadership'.

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Trollface

Re: 'thought leadership'?

My boss is trying to become a "thought leader" in "enterprise feedback management (EFM)"... basically you become a thought leader by blogging and commenting on subjects and having other people blog about your blogging and comments, like your facebook posts, and retweet your twits - eventually you get invited to give speeches at conferences because you are now recognised as a "thought leader" on the subject the conference is about, as you have produced so much web 2.0ish crap and social guff.

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Re: 'thought leadership'?

Yeah, Dr. Peter Cochrane OBE suffered the same fate. If he'd been listened to, we'd have FTTP and picocells nationally by now.

But, as ever, the visionaries were ignored.

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Re: 'thought leadership'?

@RISC OS

You forgot to add "It helps if you don't have the faintest idea what your organisation actually does'

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Re: 'thought leadership'?

My company is trying to position themselves as a 'thought leader' -- they are hiring old hacks who freelance for the magazines catering to our business niche to churn out the bleedin' obvious and package it as 'white papers' and 'thought leadership releases.' The true thought leaders are the ones actually thinking and sharing new ideas, and they don't need to market themselves as 'though leaders', because they natural accrue followers.

I think the idea was that 'thought leadership' would be cheaper than massive advertising -- sort of like viral marketing. But it turns out to be pretty expensive, at least when you have to hire brains to do your thinking for you and, no, I don't think anyone is taken in by our posturing.

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Thumb Up

@RISC OS Re: 'thought leadership'?

+1 Insightful

+2 A well-needed chuckle

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Cryptogram

Looking forward to reading all about it in this month's Cryptogram.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Cryptogram

....which I normally receive on the 15th.

It's the 16th now, and no sign of it.

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Re: Cryptogram

Mine arrived Sunday. Nothing about leaving BT in it. It does say that he has changed the mailing list server:

"Crypto-Gram Has Moved

"The Crypto-Gram mailing list has moved to a new server and new software (Mailman). Most of you won't notice any difference -- except that this month's newsletter should get to you much faster than last month's. However, if you've saved any old subscribe/unsubscribe instructions that involve sending e-mail or visiting http://listserv.modwest.com, those will no longer work.If you want to unsubscribe, the easiest thing is to use the personalized unsubscribe link at the bottom of this e-mail. And you can always find the current instructions here: https://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-sub.html"

Don't know if that helps.

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Anonymous Coward

Unfortunately, he will probably be constrained

by a gagging clause in his BT contract conflating with "Commercial Confidentiality".

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Joke

Re: Unfortunately, he will probably be constrained

But haven't BT just dissolved that very contract?

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favorite terms

one of my favorite terms is "sophisticated attack". it seems to be a favorite of the media.

and when you get info on the issue they always seem to be the same old crap. after a while one would begin to think this stuff is just so much propaganda: some elements of the industry want us to think security is not possible. that would indeed be propaganda. has anything Bruce has written dispelled this concept?

articles around the net late last week and this morning report that google yanked the app control feature out of their android. yeah, go figure.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: favorite terms

Well a "dumb attack" is just a DDOS surely?

So a sophisticated one is an attack that isn't a brute force style attack.

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