back to article UK white hats blacklisted by Cisco Talos after smart security code stumbles

UK security training company Hacker House briefly had its site blocked after being mistaken for malware by Cisco's security wing Talos' smart "threat intelligence" software. Hacker House runs training classes on ethical hacking and defense techniques, as well as its own business security services in areas like penetration …

  1. lglethal Silver badge
    Trollface

    It wasnt a mistake...

    The AI's dont like competition from the flesh sacks...

    1. GnuTzu Bronze badge

      Re: It wasnt a mistake...

      Funny as that is (voted up), categorization services generally do have ways to submit URL's for re-categorization--which means that humans still--at least for the time being--get to override the AI.

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: It wasnt a mistake...

      The AI's dont like competition from the flesh sacks... ...... iglethal

      Actually, the flesh sacks don't like competition from AI for Programs and IDEntities virtually autonomous and relatively anonymous are something novel and disruptively creative there is no effective successful defence sector or attack vector against. ‽

      Do you think AI cares a jot about the hot spot the flesh sacks are in?

  2. big_D Silver badge

    No charge...

    A Cisco spokesperson later confirmed this and said Hacker House would not be charged for any service related to lifting the block.

    You what now? That makes it sound like Talos usually charge people for correcting Talos' own mistakes. That sounds like a cushy number.

    Although it seems to be later cleared up, by saying that that is normal policy. If that is normal policy, why even mention that they weren't charged?

    And surely Talos should be liable for paying compensation for lost business due to their blooper.

    1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: No charge...

      My thoughts exactly.

      "Nice site you've got there. Shame if it got blocked for being a hacker haven. Pay us money & we'll make sure it doesn't happen."

      Or it has already happened & now you have to pay the fee to get it unblocked. In what universe is that NOT extortion?

    2. The Nazz Silver badge

      Re: No charge...

      Upvoted for your first three paragraphs.

      FFS can we get away from the "there must be compensation for everything" culture?

  3. Peter Galbavy

    So, considering they imply an option to charge a fee, how is this different from ransomware?

  4. iron Silver badge

    "no fee was charged as is consistent with Cisco Talos' policy"

    Sounds like a protection racket to me. Don't cross Talos or you might end up sleeping with da fishes.

  5. Spanners Silver badge
    Alien

    A worrying precedent?

    They need to be careful with this. If this system is supposed to be self educating, it might start intelligently blocking scams, hate groups extremists and other oxygen wasters.

    It might have inadvertently blocked everything from the EDL to UKIP. Where would this country be without "Tommy Robinson" or Nigel Farage? It might have gone really crazy and blocked Jacob Ree Smogg and other refugees from the 19th century. Where would we be then?

    1. Kane Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: A worrying precedent?

      I'm genuinely unsure whether to invoke Poe's Law on this one.

    2. The Nazz Silver badge

      Re: A worrying precedent?

      Indeed. Shame it wasn't around from say 1997, when it could have advertantly (is that permissible, if not, then deliberately) blocked one of Blairs biggest lies.

      Equally, it could be applied to any number of historical events.

      Perhaps why it shouldn't be applied to any future events.

      1. cynic56

        Re: A worrying precedent?

        All the sh*te the T*ries have dumped on us since 79 and you're still bothered by Blair's brief period of T*ries Lite. Never mind f*cking up whole communities and regions, destroying the infrastructure, giving away the nation's assets to their mates at discount prices, overpopulating the country to the point of breaking - all in the cause of cheap cheap labour, fubar of the entire housing sector, Brexit FFS, Brexit for the sole purpose of internal effing T*ry internal politics, Cameron, Osborne, The Witch, the needless deaths of thousands in The Falklands due to their own incompetent foreign policy, corporatism, homelessness, the surveillance state, stealing our pensions, corruption, control of the electorate by owning the media, endemic bigotry and racism.

        Sorry, but anyone who can look at modern day UK and claim that the problems are due to w*nker Blair needs to take a serious look at their logic circuits.

        1. TheMeerkat

          Re: A worrying precedent?

          Sounds like you need a holiday. Calm down, darling

  6. devTrail

    Deep Packed inspection

    This story reminds me the same moral issues behind Deep Packed inspection.

    How come they are able to read what is passing on? Are they acting as man in the middle with the ssl keys?

    But beside the technical implementation do they have the right to snoop into the communications of their customers?

  7. Curly4

    Why are you using racists terms in your titles?

    UK white hats blacklisted by Cisco . . .

    White meaning good and Black meaning bad. As a master of the English language surely better terms that are neutral can be found.

    1. Mephistro Silver badge

      In case your comment was serious, I'd like to point out that...

      ...most human cultures -including those of coloured people- have a bias against the black colour, due to it being associated with night and darkness and the known, unknown and imaginary dangers that lurk there. White is usually associated with daylight, with its own set of implications. In this context, the words "white" and "black" have no racist implications, full stop.

      1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: In case your comment was serious, I'd like to point out that...

        That works, @Mephisto, although the reason we use those terms today probably has more to do with the use of black and white hats in old films. It's become industry terminology but, as mentioned, has nothing to with race. If you prefer, you might substitute Red Team and Blue Team, but these have slightly different connotations.

    2. Alister Silver badge

      surely better terms that are neutral can be found

      Go on then, suggest some?

      Not everything has racist connotations, unless you deliberately choose to be offended.

      If I'm playing snooker, and I pot the black, that's not racist, is it, or should we perhaps look at renaming the ball?

  8. LordHighFixer

    Every fule nose

    Black hat and White hat are direct references to "spy vs. spy" from Mad Magazine.

    1. ILLQO

      Re: Every fule nose

      Or Cowboys in old Wild West Films.

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