back to article Call us immediately if your child uses Kali Linux, squawks West Mids Police

The UK's National Crime Agency has publicly distanced itself from a poster urging parents to call police if their child has installed Kali Linux, Tor or – brace yourself – Discord. Issued by the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (WMROCU) via local area councils, the poster in question lists a slack handful of common …

  1. xyz

    Maybe...

    They're looking for cheap tech support but are too shy to say so.

    1. big_D Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Maybe...

      Yes, it is a recruitment drive:

      VM tools - operators

      Discord - emergency calls

      Metasploit - data forensics experts.

      TOR - Special Branch, they know how to cover their tracks.

      /sarcasm

      The icon is obvious.

  2. Crisp Silver badge
    Coat

    Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

    Act now for a 3rd glorious decade of law enforcement!

    1. Julz Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

      You used the wrong icon. Fixed it for you.

      1. Ochib
        Headmaster

        Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

        Red Dwarf surely and not 1984

        1. SotarrTheWizard
          Trollface

          Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

          Well, they're certainly smegging idiots. Probably even have a member of the Rimmer clan on staff. . .

          1. MrDamage

            Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

            It would have to be A.J himself. From memory, the rest of the clan were all quite competent, intelligent, charming, and attractive.

            1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

              Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

              Humble, too.

              Smegging goyts.

        2. P. Lee Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

          After calling on people "to check their thinking" and recording "non-crime hate-incidents" (on "criminal incident" forms) I think we can safely say its both.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

      And have Hacker on your child's resume for the rest of their life.

      Because it's too time consuming/difficult/they don't know how to delete, to remove it from the record.

      1. Ochib

        Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

        "And have Hacker on your child's resume for the rest of their life."

        If they truly are hackers, then they shouldn't have a problem getting that deleted from their record

        1. SotarrTheWizard
          FAIL

          Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

          What, it's not the "permanent record that will follow you throughout your life" that my elementary school teachers kept threatening me with ???

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

            You really should have returned your library books on time.

          2. Amos1

            Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

            It turns out that my elementary school teachers were simply referring to the Internet almost three decades before it went mainstream.

            1. SotarrTheWizard
              Trollface

              Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

              Indeed. Ask Libby Hoeler. . .(evil grin)

      2. nerdbert
        Facepalm

        Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

        Actually, my son has nearly every one of those tools on his computer, I know about it, and commend him for it.

        He's actually taking courses at the local community college on network security and computer administration, as well as being a devout gamer so if he didn't have those on his computer, I'd be upset.

        1. jgarbo Bronze badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

          But is he sharpening the bread knife with no bread in sight??? You have spawned a potential serial killer! Oh dear...

          1. Muscleguy Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

            If a kid is competently sharpening a bread knife they are to be commended for excellent skill. Bread knives are serrated causing a sharpening challenge. Ironically the better quality knives with bigger serrations are easier to sharpen than cheap ones.

            But then that’s how it as the bottom of many cutting tools. Buy a plastic handled hardpoint hand saw and throw it away when it gets blunt since you can’t resharpen it anyway.

            Also a bread knife would make a TERRIBLE serial killer tool. Aside from being useless for stabbing and for slashing work it would get stuck. Really only useful for dismembering the body though a green wood saw (a metal frame saw, big teeth) or a heavy cleaver would be better. I have both and my cleaver is deathly sharp as well. I have a really good quality bread knife too inherited from the eldest’s chef partner. I sharpened it.

            BTW the curve on the cleaver blade and the sharpness means it’s excellent for chopping herbs holding the blade rather than the handle. I probably use it more for that than dismembering dead things.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

              BTW the curve on the cleaver blade and the sharpness means it’s excellent for chopping herbs holding the blade rather than the handle. I probably use it more for that than dismembering dead things.

              But.. Arent't the herbs rather dead once you've harvested them, and isn't the act of chopping them up dismembering them?

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

                "Arent't the herbs rather dead once you've harvested them"

                No. Most herbs stay alive for quite awhile after harvesting, and can easily be rooted to clone the original plant.

                Incidentally, if you prefer the rocking action for chopping herbs, look into purchasing a mezzaluna, an Italian tool which is designed for just that. You might also find it under it's French name, hachoir. They sell 'em in one, two and three blade versions, but I only use the single bladed one for ease of sharpening and cleanup.

                1. ds6 Bronze badge
                  Windows

                  Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

                  Right proper chef to ignore a joke and talk about more culinary tools.

                  I always thought it looked like he was eating a burrito.

                2. Huw D Silver badge
                  Alien

                  Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

                  They always reminded me of a rudimentary Bat'leth

            2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

              it’s excellent for chopping herbs

              We have a mezzaluna blade for that. Also useful for cutting pizza..

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mezzaluna

        2. SmartAlec

          Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

          you realise that you're not the norm right?

          It's like seeing a Russian with a base-ball bat, that country sells maybe 5 base-balls a year, a few of them might be carrying it for playing with.....

          TBH with this I wonder what they wanted to do. Like if you rang up with "my child uses Virtualbox" what happens next?

          Watchlist? = bad

          shitty presentation on why computer crime is bad -maybe (bad=anti-piracy style, some warnings like "you're probably not good enough to cover your tracks" maybe wouldn't hurt)

          Lack of formal computer science is part (IMhumbleO) why modern software is so shit.

          That could be a good thing?

          The poster doesn't make it clear what their intentions are. But if parents cannot warn or caution kids maybe someone should.

          I can kinda see why virtualbox is on there. It is handy to erase or rollback an entire machine, if the host is windows and you gotta keep that on there I totally get it. I will admit "WTF to Discord"

          I urge you lot to remember that there are false positives for things. Like Russians and having baseball bats, circa 5-10 of them may use it to hit baseballs.

          1. Wayland Bronze badge

            Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

            I found this poster informative, there was some black hat stuff I want to try now.

    3. macjules Silver badge
      Meh

      Positive Diversions

      I have just spent days teaching my eldest daughter (aged 12) how to use Kali with Metasploit and Postgres to run PenTests on websites. I suppose now I should teach her something boring like Python, although judging from that advert I suspect I could be arrested for encouraging a 12 year old to play with snakes.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Positive Diversions

        " I could be arrested for encouraging a 12 year old to play with snakes."

        Maybe need to rethink the usage of that phrase on a public website....

        1. moiety Silver badge

          Re: Positive Diversions

          Think of the chi.....Oh hang on. Don't do that.

          1. ds6 Bronze badge
            Black Helicopters

            Re: Positive Diversions

            Can't stop me, thought police! I'm wearing tinfoil!

      2. macjules Silver badge

        Re: Positive Diversions

        I might add that a 12 year old girl just pen-tested a local estate agent in Chichester, demonstrated where there were fixable failings in their Response Headers and where there were injectable breaches in their Wordpress CMS WYSIWYG fields.

        They have offered her £1000 to fix their website.

        I am one very happy and very proud father indeed, so kindly take note West Midlands anti-internet police force.

        1. Wayland Bronze badge

          Re: Positive Diversions

          Surely this is just the type of skill West Midlands Police want to clamp down on. How can you be sure she won't turn bad and use this skill to rob Lloyds Bank? Shoulda kept her dumb.

      3. Around120Days

        Re: Positive Diversions

        I don't suppose you have a link for a guide how to do that. I'd like to know myself.

    4. big_D Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

      Erich Honecker would be proud.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

        As would Erich Mielke.

    5. fajensen Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

      Everything done shoddily and and on-the-cheap: STASI would pay their informants!

    6. Wayland Bronze badge

      Re: Be a government informer! Betray your family and friends! Fabulous prizes to be won!

      Even if these tools were totally illegal use then it would still be immoral to call the police on your child. At least talk to them about it and see if you can resolve it without calling the cops.

      Typical police though, want people to snitch to give them some easy arrests.

  3. knarf

    I told my Dad I use Kali

    He's in his 70s and after an hour explaining what Linux was he call the doctor instead for some better tablets.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: I told my Dad I use Kali

      I went to school with a girl called Kali.

      1. monty75
        Coat

        Re: I told my Dad I use Kali

        Did you have any luck with penetration testing?

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: I told my Dad I use Kali

          Alas, I did not.

          1. SotarrTheWizard

            Re: I told my Dad I use Kali

            Quite the firewall and intrusion protection. . . or you simply didn't raise privilege enough to access her resources ???

            1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

              Re: I told my Dad I use Kali

              Needed more RAM

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I told my Dad I use Kali

                There's a pill for that now...

      2. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: I told my Dad I use Kali

        As a child I wanted to be Cally. Or Jenna.... or in any case stick it to the Galactic Federation

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: I told my Dad I use Kali

          In my youth I was all for Soolin. As I got older I really fancied Jenna.

          However, as I matured and went into IT I was a sucker for ServerLAN.

        2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: I told my Dad I use Kali

          I could go with Cally, but I'd be thinking of Jenna.

      3. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: I told my Dad I use Kali

        "I went to school with a girl called Kali."

        How many arms did she have?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "How many arms did she have?"

          Eight arms to hold you.

          Or was that Kodi rather than Kali. I get them muxed ip.

          1. ds6 Bronze badge
            Boffin

            Re: "How many arms did she have?"

            After demuxing your statement, I have deduced that you may have gone to a school for tarantulas.

      4. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: I told my Dad I use Kali

        "I went to school with a girl called Kali."

        yeah she was "all hands" right?

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: I told my Dad I use Kali

          Dance, Kali, dance.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I told my Dad I use Kali

      I'm 68 and I use Kali, it's a great operating system and fun when I have to go to the doctors office and sit in the waiting room for an hour or too. The literature out there tells you that, as you age, doing things with you brain is very helpful - sure, I like crossword puzzles and Scrabble but playing Kali is much more fun.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: I told my Dad I use Kali

        You might want to investigate the 'escape room' games, such as 'The Room' (1,2,3 and 4).

        Apparently they are working on a PSVR version of the game - can't wait as Statik was really cool and I definitely want more.

        1. baud Bronze badge

          Re: I told my Dad I use Kali

          I only played The Room 1, it was pretty cool, but it was more getting inside a box than escaping a room.

          1. SotarrTheWizard
            Happy

            Re: I told my Dad I use Kali

            4 was interesting: layers of a dollhouse. . .

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

              Re: I told my Dad I use Kali

              Overall I think I prefer #3, although 4 was definitely interesting.

      2. NATTtrash
        Trollface

        Re: I told my Dad I use Kali

        Oh crap! Sir, do you realise you just raised the alert level to RED for our defenders of public safety and well-being?!

        WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO? Now we don't have to only fight those pesky, rebellious, nonconformist youngsters, but even our pensioners, who turn out to wear hoodies in the homes for the elderly, outside the range of our facial recognition cameras (*OS* Hello!), conspiring on the DarkNet!

        1. Wayland Bronze badge

          Re: I told my Dad I use Kali

          With the Coronavirus pensioners can now wear masks as well as hoodies. You won't be able to tell the Kali users from the Coronavirus carriers.

  4. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    I play rugger with a few of the local plod, I shall now take the piss out of them more than usual.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      And in response they'll kidney punch you in the scrum more often than normal.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        They're my team mates, so... probably.

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Coat

          Is a punch in the scrum-

          worse than being picked up by the fuzz?

          1. Korev Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Is a punch in the scrum-

            Fair Cop Guvnor

          2. Paul Crawford Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Is a punch in the scrum-

            Ah, so that is why the shot that Brazilian, no pubes to pick him up by!

  5. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    They walk amongst us...

    ...and by 'they' I mean stupid naive politicians, law enforcement and self appointed busy-bodies. I think I'll get some of those special glasses that you see in the documentary 'They live!'.

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: They walk amongst us...

      And if he were still alive, put them all in the ring with rowdy Roddy Piper for a few rounds and see how they all fare...

  6. Gary Heard

    Deep do-do

    I'm not a junior and I'd be in deep do-do with the list presented there, as would my 13yo granddaughter who knows how to spin up a VM because I've shown her how to. At least I'm not in the West Midlands.

    At the latest count there are 5 VirtualBox VM's on my home PC and 4 KVM VM's on my laptop

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: not in the West Midlands

      I am. Running a bunch of different OS in 4 Hyper-V VMs on my work machine here at home. Does that make me some kind of subversive deviant? (Feelings about Hyper-V aside).

      Granted that's not the same master-criminal league as you, though. I bow to your evil genius.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Deep do-do

      4 KVM VM's on my laptop

      I have about 10 VMs running under KVM on my server at home.. (mix of Windows server, FreeBSD and various flavours of linux).

  7. tfb Silver badge
    Big Brother

    The obvious result of this

    I didn't have an installation of Kali Linux on my machine. I do now.

    (Well, OK, I have a BT client pulling down an image so I can play with it.)

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: The obvious result of this

      You'll learn a lot. But the poster they released is excellent evidence that shows why the police are incompetent at catching hackers, malware delivery and bank fraudsters. They simply have no idea about the difference between bad actors and modern technology.

      1. tfb Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: The obvious result of this

        I probably won't: I've slightly lost count of the Linux VMs I have currently, and I suspect I'm not interested enough in the details of the sorts of thing Kali lets you do to spend much time on it, even if I should be.

        But the point is: I have it now, and I bet a lot of people (children even) also have copies who otherwise would not have done.

        1. ds6 Bronze badge
          Pint

          Re: The obvious result of this

          You're at the shop with your 9yo daughter and upon happening along this poster, you ask your daughter: "Honey, what's a Kali? Is it a kind of drink?"

          Your daughter idly remarks you will not be given supper this evening.

      2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: difference between bad actors and modern technology

        They have no idea, and they don't want to have any idea. Learning about stuff takes time, effort and gets in the way of blanket labelling and the crusade against anyone not toeing the "hacker" line.

    2. Wayland Bronze badge

      Re: The obvious result of this

      Yes that's quite an informative list. It will certainly get people interested. Maybe the police are promoting those tools to give them some easy arrests in future.

  8. moiety Silver badge

    "If you see any of these on their computer, or have a child you think is hacking, let us know so we can give advice and engage them into positive diversions,"

    Any child with that list of software on their computer is more likely to be able to give plod advice.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      That assumes the local plods can understand the advice. Given what they listed I doubt any of the plods knows anything about computer security.

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        In fairness to the boys and girls in blue they are probably too busy getting hit or puked on by random members of the public. This may well have come from a civilian member of staff.

        1. tiggity Silver badge

          And a lot of the "girls in blue" are busy suffering varying levels of sexual harassment / discrimination from some of the "boys in blue".

          This comes from someone who knows several (ex) "girls in blue" that quit due to the toxic environment faced as a woman (& was even worse for the non white woman I knew who quit)

          1. The Nazz Silver badge

            There are of course exceptions. I know first hand from two serving female officers and one of my best female friends who has recently retired from the force,they are far more likley to use the word "opportunities" rather than harrassment. Couple of weeks back, the youngest of them was quite openly laughing about it.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I don't think that we can blame the police for being underfunded, overworked and unsupported by the Tory government austerity program for the last 10 years. The utter lack of support for the police by the Tories is just an attempt to keep the crime rate up so that the Tories get reelected by claiming to be the law and order party - fact is they are the boor and order lunch party.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            While 30years ago under Thatcher they were well paid/funded and models of community engagement and cultural sensitivity

            1. TimMaher Bronze badge

              Yeah. Ask any miner. Or any minor for that matter.

              Did I miss the snarkasm tag?

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                A comment on t'reg that mentions thatcher, wots tha think ?

            2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              cultural sensitivity

              The SPG just *loved* minorities..

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "This may well have come from a civilian member of staff."

          Who may have been a police officer working in the back room - who was "let go" as part of cuts. Then re-employed after the minimum statutory waiting time - as a civilian to fill the same role. Makes sense - they have the legal background and the institutional "close ranks" ethos.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    When I was young...

    When I was younger I had a beaten up old Ford Cortina. Presumably as someone somewhere had also once used one in a bank robbery then that model of car should have been banned or confiscated as well?

    Whatever next in the UK... reporting our neighbours for harbouring Jews?

    1. Dr Dan Holdsworth
      Joke

      Re: When I was young...

      It's this internet thing, it is simply deadly to everything!

      https://folk.uio.no/joakimt/tull/cake.html

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whatever next in the UK... reporting our neighbours for harbouring Jews?

      EVERYBODY harbours Jews :)

      1. Jeffrey Nonken

        Re: Whatever next in the UK... reporting our neighbours for harbouring Jews?

        I married one, so... Quite so.

      2. theblackhand Silver badge

        Re: Whatever next in the UK... reporting our neighbours for harbouring Jews?

        Not me!!!!

        I'm too far from the sea.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Whatever next in the UK... reporting our neighbours for harbouring Jews?

          How can you be far from the sea in Blighty? Is there a single point in the UK that is more than 70 kilometers (call it 45 miles) from a body of water that experiences ocean tides? From here to Bodega Bay is about that, and I go there for lunch fairly often ...

          1. tfewster Silver badge

            Re: Whatever next in the UK... reporting our neighbours for harbouring Jews?

            Close - it's 70 miles

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coton_in_the_Elms

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Whatever next in the UK... reporting our neighbours for harbouring Jews?

              Ta for the name. A little poking around turns up this link (BBC, SFW) from 17 years ago.

              That's entirely too close for my initial estimate to be nothing more than a WAG ... I must have read it somewhere and my lizard hind-brain dredged it out of the depths. What is it that they say is the first thing to go?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: When I was young...

      Only if they are members of the peoples front of judea.

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: When I was young...

        Fuuuck off!!! It's the Judean Peoples' Front.

    4. Muscleguy Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: When I was young...

      Back when we lived in London one of the porters in the institute told us how it was when he used to get stopped and often arrested for ‘Driving while Irish’. For obvious economic reasons he drove an old banger and would often be pulled over for checks on it and as soon as he opened his mouth it was ‘step out of the car NOW’.

      On a couple of occasions he was whisked off to the nick for questioning with his car, keys in the ignition (no he could not claim them and lock his vehicle) left on the side of the road.

    5. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: When I was young...

      I had a beaten up old Ford Cortina

      As was traditional. I suspect a large cross-section of people able to drive in the 1970s and 1980s probably did. If only because they had nicked them by opening the doors with a penknife..

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And if accompanied by Bitcoin wallet apps

    Then they're not hacking, they're buying drugs.

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

      Re: And if accompanied by Bitcoin wallet apps

      Just pray they don't have a webcam as well.

    2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: And if accompanied by Bitcoin wallet apps

      If they're using Bitcoin, they're doing it wrong and should be grounded. Tumblers can be deanonymised now. They should use Monero.

      1. RM Mynez-Arefzlash

        Re: And if accompanied by Bitcoin wallet apps

        Maybe that's what the article's penultimate paragraph meant by "snark aside".

    3. The Nazz Silver badge

      Re: And if accompanied by Bitcoin wallet apps

      Or indeed selling.

  11. Adam Foxton

    Wasnt this a spoof?

    Way back in the mists of time...

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/01/11/is_your_son_a_computer/

    1. VicMortimer

      Re: Wasnt this a spoof?

      And of course the full story: https://web.archive.org/web/20190721034849/http://www.adequacy.org/public/stories/2001.12.2.42056.2147.html

      8. Is your son obsessed with "Lunix"?

      BSD, Lunix, Debian and Mandrake are all versions of an illegal hacker operation system, invented by a Soviet computer hacker named Linyos Torovoltos, before the Russians lost the Cold War. It is based on a program called " xenix", which was written by Microsoft for the US government. These programs are used by hackers to break into other people's computer systems to steal credit card numbers. They may also be used to break into people's stereos to steal their music, using the "mp3" program. Torovoltos is a notorious hacker, responsible for writing many hacker programs, such as "telnet", which is used by hackers to connect to machines on the internet without using a telephone.

      Your son may try to install " lunix" on your hard drive. If he is careful, you may not notice its presence, however, lunix is a capricious beast, and if handled incorrectly, your son may damage your computer, and even break it completely by deleting Windows, at which point you will have to have your computer repaired by a professional.

      If you see the word "LILO" during your windows startup (just after you turn the machine on), your son has installed lunix. In order to get rid of it, you will have to send your computer back to the manufacturer, and have them fit a new hard drive. Lunix is extremely dangerous software, and cannot be removed without destroying part of your hard disk surface.

  12. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Let's hope West Midlands Police learns something useful

    They have a lot to catch up on.

    As it happens, ROCUWM are recruiting. Linux is significantly absent from a list of required skills that does, however include:

    Highly competent in the use of Microsoft packages, advanced skills in Microsoft Excel

    so at least we know how reliable the crime statistics will be. The successful applicant will also be expected to have experience of working with covertly obtained products, though, so perhaps Microsoft need to do a licence audit...

    There's another counter terrorism job on offer which says the force aims to maximise the potential of people from all backgrounds through a culture of fairness and inclusion and immediately after that marriage to, or cohabitation with, a person who isn't a British citizen after appointment may, in some circumstances, result in the withdrawal of security clearance and ... dismissal. Cognitive dissonants welcome, presumably.

    Every day I despair a little more.

    1. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Let's hope West Midlands Police learns something useful

      Given that in the USA (at least) applicants to be plods can be rejected for doing too well on a test, I am not that surprised.

      I started out doing machine code and assembly (it simply doesn't get lower level than that) and I would expect this lot to consider someone who understands the internal operation of microprocessors in great detail to be a threat to be reported.

      So if the kids have microcontroller starter kits (great for learning about the internals) are they to be reported as well?

      I sense an ID ten T error here.

      I also share your despair over completely uneducated idiots trying to make themselves look as if they actually know something; in this case they have just shown the world just how stupid they really are.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: Let's hope West Midlands Police learns something useful

        I started out doing machine code and assembly (it simply doesn't get lower level than that) [...]

        Well, there's always micro-coding bit-slices....

        1. Phil Endecott Silver badge

          Re: Let's hope West Midlands Police learns something useful

          > micro-coding bit-slices....

          Micro-coding bit-slices! Pah. We just had a soldering iron and a box of resistors and capacitors in our hole in t’road.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Let's hope West Midlands Police learns something useful

            A soldering iron? Luxury! We used wirewrap and relays ... and we liked it! It was an upgrade from the beads on sticks that out forefathers used. Try telling that to kids today ...

            The funny thing about the above paragraph is that it's actually true :-)

          2. Will Godfrey Silver badge
            Angel

            Re: Let's hope West Midlands Police learns something useful

            You had a soldering iron?

            All we had was wires we had to twist together... and we had to draw the wires by hand from copper ingots.

            P.S.

            Ingots our dad had forged from raw copper ore.

            1. Aussie Doc
              Windows

              Re: Let's hope West Midlands Police learns something useful

              Ewe 'ad wires?

              Looxury.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Let's hope West Midlands Police learns something useful

              My transistor radio kit in 1961 was supplied with 8BA nuts and bolts to connect wires and components together. No breadboard - either figurative or literal. Then I progressed to soldering - heating the large copper tip in the living room's coal fire.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Let's hope West Midlands Police learns something useful

        >applicants to be plods can be rejected for doing too well on a test

        That's why they don't have Border Collies as police dogs

        The MoD plod have German Shepherds because one of the team has to have an IQ > 60

    2. Rasslin ' in the mud
      WTF?

      Re: Let's hope West Midlands Police learns something useful

      I'm unfamiliar with the concept of "unsafe convictions" which appears in the first sentence of the linked Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_failed_and_overturned_convictions_involving_the_West_Midlands_Serious_Crime_Squad). Does that refer to a guilty verdict for someone who has the wherewithal to do harm to the judge/jurors? I figure it's a product of the British Orwellian Government Uninformed justice System (BOGUS) but my lack of familiarity with your culture forces me to ask.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Let's hope West Midlands Police learns something useful

        It refers to a small number of convictions where the West Midlands Serious Crime squad obtained a false confession from somebody after their arrest

        This was strictly against their normal policing procedure - which was to write a confession first and then arrest somebody of the appropriate colour later

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Let's hope West Midlands Police learns something useful

          This poster should help them get together a list of suspects in advance of any major hack, it will speed time to close the case.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let's hope West Midlands Police learns something useful

      Essential skill requirement:

      "interpreting and simplifying complex datasets"

      With Excel? :O

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Let's hope West Midlands Police learns something useful

        Why Not? Key Management Skill is to have minions beat the crap* out of any given dataset and distill everything into one PowerPoint slide with five PKI-Wheels on, where Three of them Shall BE Green!

        The task is not dissimilar to producing an Illuminated Manuscript - except the durability of the modern version is much lower!

        *) Complex == Crap, Data that goes against 'The Truth' == Crap!

  13. Martin Summers Silver badge

    Fantastic, I need a copy of this poster to put up at home so I can point to it when my Discord using teenager is being a pain in the ass. Seriously though, I do wish my boy knew how to use all of these off his own back, I'd be quite proud. Unfortunately past gaming he doesn't take an interest.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Give your kid a WiFi Pineapple to play with and their cell phone use security will shoot sky high and they and their friends will learn how the world tracks and hacks everyone's phone while leaving no traces.

    2. fajensen Silver badge

      You never know: People can do a lot of supposedly very hard things if the motivation is there.

      My young teenage son and his slacker friends had a period where they were busy building levels for CounterStrike, managing to use the swine of a compiler which came as part of the development kit (which ONLY a developer would love). None of that lot had any ideas of computer programming or SDK's but they could do program and compile levels because they wanted to game hard enough.

  14. JakeMS
    Joke

    Yikes

    Does that make me a criminal?

    I have a virtual machines both on servers and my PC! Oh no!

    And oh my god! I also have Kali Linux which is used for checking my own systems! Oh no!

    What have I become?!!!

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Virtual Machines

      Aren't all those lovely cloud instances that you have on Azure or AWS basically Virtual Machines.

      Quick. Close down Azure and AWS!

    2. Chris King Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Yikes

      So, let's see...

      I'm with AAISP, so static IP's and an unfiltered internet connection...

      I've got various VPN accounts and Tor on at least one machine...

      I've got multiple VM's including Kali...

      I use encryption at rest and in transit...

      That probably makes me a criminal mastermind in their eyes, and only missing a dormant volcano hideout or a Legion of Doom.

      Icon, because even a fictitious Victorian detective would have more luck finding real cybercriminals.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yikes

        "I'm with AAISP, so static IP's and an unfiltered internet connection..."

        AAISP advise their customers that they cannot guarantee that their bulk link supplier is not snooping up-stream. Also their lawyers have advised them against a canary tactic if they are ever coerced to permit monitoring.

        Consequently they advise you should take end-to-end security measures.

        1. Chris King Silver badge

          Re: Yikes

          Indeed, they're one of the few ISP out there that still treats their customers like adults - but that also means you have to take responsibilty for your own security and not rely on them to look after you,

          I like that, because it means I can choose and use my own router/firewall to protect myself, and not rely on a some cheap, nasty ISP-supplied device.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Yikes

            few ISP out there that still treats their customers like adults

            As does Zen. Who supply me with an unfiltered line. Which is why I have two firewalls..

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Yikes

        I've got multiple VM's including Kali...

        And I host my stuff on a VM running Nextcloud on my own server! I'm a rebel, me!

        (And, naturally, host my own emails on my own server - and have done since the late 1990s.. Qmail, I love you)

    3. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Yikes

      What have I become?!!!

      Smart?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yikes

      "What have I become?!!!"

      If you calmly grab yourself by the scruff of the neck, take yourself to the nearest Police station and hand yourself in.

      With good behaviour, you'll probably just spend a weekend in the holding cells until someone works out why you're there on Monday and tells you to go home. At worst, the may assume you have some sort of mental illness and make you a white van driver.

    5. Pascal

      Re: Yikes

      Yeah I think I'm f****d, being in the process of setting up 48 VMs :)

      1. Chris King Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Yikes

        Hey Blofeld, is this your cat ? ->

        (The icon will have to do, it's got ears and fangs, and most pissed-off cats look like they're possessed anyway)

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Yikes

          is this your cat ?

          No - I don;t have any red cats. (Or Red Hats).

          (I do have one full ginger, one ginger-'n-white, one calico and one tortie though. And two blacknesses and a lone brown-tabby-and-white. I keep telling t'missus that we are missing a few colour combinations and we need to get more cats but she just keeps telling me that we have enough cats. As if that's a thing!)

  15. AndyMulhearn
    Coat

    Do you know someone that owns a knife?

    Do you know someone that owns a knife?

    if so, call 999 immediately as they may be on the verge of becoming a knife murderer.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do you know someone that owns a knife?

      Or maybe making lunch.

      1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: Do you know someone that owns a knife?

        Why not both!?

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Do you know someone that owns a knife?

          Perhaps... they are murdering lunch

          Time for a post lunch/pre pint walk.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Do you know someone that owns a knife?

            "Perhaps... they are murdering lunch"

            I harvested a dozen chickens this morning.

        2. EvilDrSmith

          Re: Do you know someone that owns a knife?

          Well, Meat is Murder.

          Quick - eat the evidence.

          1. TheProf Silver badge
            Pint

            Theft

            "Meat is Murder.

            Quick - eat the evidence."

            Wonderful! Bacon all round.

        3. wegie

          Re: Do you know someone that owns a knife?

          ...Why not both!?

          Him indoors christened the drop-forged carving knife and meat chopper he bought for me "murder weapon" and "skull splitter" respectively. I suppose I should let up on the hints that I'd really like a hot composter for my birthday...

        4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Do you know someone that owns a knife?

          Why not both!?

          Hmm.. long pig..

          (Wanders off humming 'you can't eat people' by Flanders and Swann)

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Do you know someone that owns a knife?

      >Do you know someone that owns a knife?

      Except this is more like, do you know anyone who has some iron ore

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Do you know someone that owns a knife?

        I've got about 100 pounds of black sand from Lake Superior leftover from a couple forging projects.

        1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Do you know someone that owns a knife?

          So! You have equipment likely to be of use to a terry-wrist then. Off to jail with you now!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    urging parents to call police if their child has installed

    I'm sorry, but there is not number to call. I can't call 112 or 999 because I'll get bollocking (and rightly) so. And I can't be arsed to wait 30 min or more on a 12 p per minute non-emergency number. These are the only two options to call police in the UK in 2020. Oh, well, I guess there are some "police" numbers (most probably outsourced) that deal with rape, terrorism, domestic violence, etc. On the other hand tor = piracy = terrorism...

    1. JohnG

      Re: urging parents to call police if their child has installed

      You can call 101 to have a chat with your local constabulary.

    2. Terry Crisp
      Coat

      Re: urging parents to call police if their child has installed

      You should use the new number - 0118 999 881 999 119 725... 3

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: urging parents to call police if their child has installed

        Strongly worded e-mail may be better.

        Fire! Fire!

        I'd like to report a fire in the vicinity of..

        wait, perhaps that's too aggressive.

    3. Arachnoid

      Re: urging parents to call police if their child has installed

      Shirley in these days of social media it easier to post it on their facebook or Twitter page to get ignored by them but laughed at by everyone else

  17. Waldorf
    Holmes

    He's not a hacker.... He's a very naughty boy!

    1. wolfetone

      Thomas Shelby from Peaky Blinders pretends to be from the WMP.

      "No hacking. No hacking. No f**king hacking. No Hacking. NO F**KING HACKING."

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Thomas Shelby from Peaky Blinders

        Pretty hard to hack when you are lying in hospital with no eyeballs..

  18. wolfetone

    "Engage in to positive diversions"

    Like they did with the Birmingham 6 and Hillsborough inquiries?

  19. AIBailey Silver badge

    "There are many tools which tech-savvy children use...

    ...some of which can be used for both legal & illegal purposes,"

    So almost any software development tools are right out then, as they could be used to create all manner of nefarious tools.

    Or yet another calculator app.

    "Tools" could even apply in a literal sense to things like screwdrivers and hammers. If my kids can use a screwdriver to open a PC case and change a graphics card (they can), should I also assume they will go and commit an assault with it as well?

  20. steelpillow Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Well, blow me down me hearties!

    Here I am living in the West Midlands. But I am reading a news item that a judge just smacked down coppers for interfering with freedom of speech, by interrogating somebody who is alleged to have tweeted criticisms of certain rainbow gender stuff, and remarking "In this country we have never had a Cheka, a Gestapo or a Stasi. We have never lived in an Orwellian society." Can it be that reporting and interrogating those who download and install perfectly legal software might fall under the same cloud?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: parallel universe

      Parts of Lincolnshire are relatively well known for existing in a parallel universe. The one you mention is presumably one where these words were never uttered by a very senior judge:

      "Just consider the course of events if their action were to proceed to trial… [...] If they won, it would mean that the police were guilty of perjury; that they were guilty of violence and threats; that the confessions were involuntary and improperly admitted in evidence; and that the convictions were erroneous… That was such an appalling vista that every sensible person would say, ‘It cannot be right that these actions should go any further’.”

      Can you tell who it is yet?

    2. The Nazz Silver badge

      Re: Well, blow me down me hearties!

      From the BBC : https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-51501202

      Interestingly, the Judge also stated that whilst the investigation itself was unlawful, the police were justified in RECORDING his tweets as being a hate incident. From a complaint made by a single person.

      Shame, as i quite liked his mammal, fish comment.

    3. steelpillow Silver badge

      Re: Well, blow me down me hearties!

      Having now seen a follow-up news report I should just like to make it clear that I do not endorse ignorant, bigoted and nasty-minded twerps in any way, shape or form, I just don't think they should have their human rights abused any more than their hate targets should.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Well, blow me down me hearties!

        Quite reasonable.

        What's scary at times is that even pathological cretins like Farrage and Ree-Smogg may say something sensible and reasonable on occasion. Obviously it neither validates nor justifies the vile bile that they come out with normally but if one's stomach is up to it, it's worth listening just in case there is a valid point, or a point of view, to consider.

        Except Trump, of course. Trump is purely about Trump and nothing else. :)

  21. lafnlab
    Childcatcher

    Moral panic

    I worry that my local police department may be getting ready to create a moral panic. What can I do as a concerned citizen? Should I be concerned about their use of Photoshop? Is there someone to talk to about engaging them in positive diversions?

  22. Dwarf Silver badge

    All corporations are in trouble now then

    I expect you will be hard pressed to find a single company that doesn't run virtual machines (locally or in the cloud); has a VoIP based phone system; uses PEN testers who use such Kali and Metasploit. I expect that some even have peer to peer messaging like Skype, Slack and Teams (rather than Discord)

    What a bunch of muppets. It makes you wonder where they are getting their guidance from. I just hope they are not paying for it.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Graphic design fail

    For me, the worst thing about that poster is that they've used a ROCU logo image with neither a transparent background, nor any margin around the edges...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Graphic design fail

      Given that they seemed not to have had permission to use the other logo maybe they just right-clicked and downloaded a JPEG from a web page. I've seen that quite a lot. I have had to do it myself when pleas of "if you want me to include your logo you will have to provide it to me in a suitable format" are returned as "sorry I don't understand".

      One of the things the children picked up quite early on when doing searches for images to include in the interminable number of presentations they have to do at school is to add "png" as a search term as that more often than not turns up images with proper transparency.

      1. un

        Re: Graphic design fail

        Thats a good point, pretty certain they will not have permission to use any of the logos or trademarks that they have. They should probably hand themselves in.

      2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Graphic design fail

        Often when I've stressed the requirement for a vector, or at worst a very high resolution pixelmap (bitmapped) image, what do I get instead? A .jpeg file either saved as a vector (they can include images) or expanded to a high resolution size and then saved back down.

        For my next request, I don't want the master copy of a document, I'd like one that's been faxed twice, then a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy made from the resultant faxed document. Or alternaticely they could email me the file. Preferably not as the said multiple copied document scanned as an image into .pdf form of course...

        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: Graphic design fail

          We have one projection at work which we often use for company logos (or whatever) when they've hired the place. Because of its "normal" job, it has a really odd format of 3072 x 423 pixels and is projected by three projectors side-by-side*. The line-up of the projectors isn't precise (though all things considered it's pretty good) so I always advise not running smallish text across the 1024 and 2048 boundaries and anyway there's not really a lot of pixels to play with so images and large text are best, as are dark backgrounds.

          I am not a graphic designer, and my boss doesn't appreciate me spending hours sorting out things like this instead of fixing the computers or the video players, so it really helps if I can persuade people to send me something I can just upload to the display computers and be done with.

          Few companies have people who can understand that kind of detail. Most often I get submissions ranging from 4:3 format logos, usually JPEG, often at very low resolution, through to collections of phone camera images, all taken in portrait mode. You can sort of understand that - people just don't understand what I'm saying.

          Very occasionally I get people sending beautifully designed images in exactly the correct aspect ratio, but saved out from Photoshop or Illustrator at 600 dpi, so that the JPEG (and it's almost invariably a JPEG) I receive is some enormous number of pixels (600dpi would result in something about 19,200 pixels across). These I find more difficult to understand - they must have put "3072 x 423" into the thing to start with, in order to end up with the exact correct aspect ratio, so how come it gets exported at several times the required number of pixels?

          M.

          *The actual resolution now that we've fitted new projectors is 3840 x 528 pixels, but because of the way the thing works, it is still (for now) being driven at 3072 x 423.

  24. heyrick Silver badge

    engage them into positive diversions

    If I was the proud owner of a child that I thought was "liable to be hacking", all the positive encouragement that she would require would be provided by her father...

  25. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coat

    what about Tails

    What if your kid has Tails installed? or or Qubes??

    1. The Central Scrutinizer

      Re: what about Tails

      Geezes, I've used Tails. I must be a criminal mastermind/terrorist/evil hacker.

  26. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. BGatez Bronze badge

    Puts the "plod" in plod

  28. Winkypop Silver badge
    Joke

    Kids today eh?

    In my day it was getting warned off stealing apples from Mrs Johnson's yard.

    Now it's international espionage, hacking and money laundering!

    Bah!

    1. steelpillow Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Kids today eh?

      Oh, I dunno. Enid Blyton never wrote "Don't try this at home, kids!"

      I spent most of my school holidays getting beaten up by racially-stereotyped smugglers in underground passages.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Kids today eh?

        In my years as a mining engineer it always annoyed me that every tunnel and cave they found was always perfectly dry with a nice soft sand floor - bastards

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Kids today eh?

      money laundering!

      It was a thing back in the 70's! I still owe Billy S $2.00. He hounded me for years! Glad I moved continents! I hate to think of the black market interest!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Discord

    While I can understand the stupidity of the usual copper about warning against Kali and metasploit, the TOR thing is more worrying.

    And what to say about discord ? WTF ? Discord is used by any gamer out there ! If you are to handcuff all discord users, then Steam will see a dramatic reduction of usage !

    1. Truckle The Uncivil

      Re: Discord

      Is Tor effective anymore anyway? I thought there were some issues.

  30. E 2

    Perhaps the kids could install Red Flag Linux instead.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      As long as less than 1/3 of physical/virtual machines running at your address are using Chinese software, you're within GCHQ guidelines....

  31. Joe Gurman

    OMG Mum

    .... stop using stock photos with manufacturers’ logos Photoshopped out of laptop covers.

  32. Androgynous Cow Herd

    Streisand effect

    Saw this in the "Normal" news channels as well.

    Kali Linux could not pay enough for the kind of advertising it is currently getting for free...

  33. TomPhan

    We need a full sized poster

    I bet there's lots of people who want to have that poster on their wall.

  34. jason_derp

    I had a bizarre first impression

    I thought for sure for the titel it was going to be like "Kali Linux...it's not a daily driver! Be responsible, use a different distro!". I'm so naive.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Err, my teenage son was encouraged to download and use Kali Linux at a summer school run by a well known government agency...

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      well known government agency...

      ..who are (usually) noted as being notably tech-savvy.

      Unlike West Midlands Police..

  36. JohnG

    So kids, the solution here is to install a Kali VM but rename it to something like "Ubuntu UK Schools Edition". And all the other stuff - put that in a renamed VM too.

  37. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Kali

    Is the problem that it's named after a supernatural entity of Indian extraction?

    Could it be safely renamed after a suitably pure Ayran deity ?

    1. jason_derp

      Re: Kali

      Well, technically, Indian people are some of the closest to the original Aryans that exist as far as descendants go.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Kali

        Shhhh... You'll hurt their little minds... also don't tell them that people from the middle east are generally middle eastern and not somewhat more Bavarian or at worst Scandivian in typical skin tone (crass generalities intended).

        1. Huw D Silver badge

          Re: Kali

          Ah, the same amount of fun you can invoke by telling an American Fundamentalist that the Son of God couldn't be a white man.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Kali

        Just Imagine how many Salutes she could do with all those arms.

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Kali

        original Aryans

        You mean those Aryans who came from northern India?

        It amused me to read a news item where they managed to do a gene analysis of someone who lived in Denmark just after the last ice age. It's very, very likely that she had dark skin..

    2. TimMaher Bronze badge
      Linux

      Re: Kali

      Couldn’t they have called it Shitti?

      Named after the Hindu goddess of programmers.

  38. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Heaven forbid that our children should be permitted to communicate in ways that the government cannot intercept.

    Meanwhile, if I rat out my children to the police, do I get a black armband?

  39. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Coat

    Well.. I'm a

    criminal

    Uses Linux (ok its mint, fedora, centOS, and whatever the hell it is that Heidenhain use on thier TNC series controls(but they're german so thats doubley dangerous))

    Uses discord .. oh dear

    Uses VMs on my linux box... mostly to run a windows XP snapshot to watch film 4

    As for the other tools not had much call for them.

    However I'll be bidding you all farewell as I'm off to hand myself in for punishment (mostly likely,... 4 yrs hard labour trying to get win 10 to talk to our machine tools using our old winxp/win 7 software (current project status: about to kick the win 10 laptop to bits))

    1. Mad Chaz

      Re: Well.. I'm a

      you need to install smb 1 on the win10 machine. It's in windows features

  40. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    hey lighten up and cut them some slack, it's not like they're beating up random Irishmen.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Bugger. Has the wheel of morality gone all the way round again and the Irish are now the national enemy? I'm so behind the times..

  41. jake Silver badge

    My daughter reads here, and just called in ...

    ... and wondered if I should have shot her when she was 12, after I discovered she was dual booting Slackware and BSD.

    She had four partitions on a huge 800 meg IDE drive: BSD, Slack, swap and her personal directories. She was afraid I'd get mad at her for blowing away Windows to make room for a persistent partition for personal stuff ...

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: My daughter reads here, and just called in ...

      if I should have shot her when she was 12

      I suspect that, with most kids, the answer is almost always "no".

  42. Mr Humbug

    Proof that Microsoft is leading children astray

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/p/kali-linux/9pkr34tncv07

    Kali Linux, free from the Microsoft Store

  43. Stuart Halliday
    Facepalm

    Please inform the Police if you see Process Explorer on your Child's computer.

    It's obvious they're at hacking level...

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This for a FoI request to see how many times they have used their RIPA snooping powers to try to identify people using said tools. The idiots who made that poster are probably (guessing) also abusing their powers :/

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      The vast majority of the computers that are 'hacked' are running Windows.

      So if your teen has Windows on their machine, the chances are they're practising exploits on it.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe the West Midlands Police should follow BackTrack/Kali's advice....

    "The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear"

  46. hittitezombie

    Kali usb sticks

    Now I have an idea of giving out handful of Kali running usb sticks.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it just me, or is even encouraging a parent to call the police to report their own children for something, just.. weird? As a concept? The expectation that anyone would follow the advice of that poster is unsettling. Like.. has there ever been any situation in which it's a good thing that you or your child are 'known to the police'. It's actually starting to infuriate me the waste of resources going into producing posters that are not only complete bollocks but betray an orwellian desire to supplant family relationships for loyalty. And don't think I've not forgotten 'accidentally' including XR in that list of extremist symbols and ideology manual. Drip drip drip etc.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Flame

      has there ever been any situation in which it's a good thing that you or your child are 'known to the police'.

      No.

      The best thing to say to the police is NOTHING. Maybe except in the case of an emergency, but basically as little as possible. It's their job to get you to speak, for by speaking you give them words they can then twist to help them get another conviction.

      They don't care if the person convicted is guilty, or even if a crime was committed. They just care about the conviction - enough of them and they get a healthy bonus, and hey - "everyone is guilty of something".

      (El Reg, can we get a "sour grapes", "bitter pill", or "soapbox psychorant" icon please?)

    2. Mog_X

      If you have a problem and call the police, then you now have two problems.

  48. Aussie Doc
    Windows

    Yeah, sure.

    Damn my Linux/TOR using delinquent kids.

    At least they promise me a decent nursing home in my old age from the proceeds of all their misdeeds.

  49. -tim

    Kids these days...

    I overheard some girls on a train talking about how they install virtual machines on their school provided laptop so they can have games and how there is a hack that makes the school image look like it has all the memory it should have. They also discussed how they had used social engineering to get most teachers to drop the anti-plagiarism software by jacking up the false positive rates. I expect the kids weren't over 12 based on the expensive school they attend.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kids these days...

      Well, my son managed to crack my password security by setting up a hidden IPhone to video the keyboard on my computer.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Kids these days...

        5 out of 5 for inventiveness!

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Kids these days...

        That's worth both a paddling and an ice cream cone. You just need to guide them that, for political reasons, you don't hack some people or if you do, you never let them be in a position to prove that you did it.

        Places like the MoD are also something you don't want to mess with. Never hack from home. See if you can simulate your target and practice off-line before going in for reals.

  50. Kiwi Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Guilty of teaching kids bad things...

    Not too many years back I was asked to guide a kid who was causing his parents all sorts of grief, namely trying stuff with the family computer that constantly had related problems.

    One of the first things I taught was the use of virtual box and using VMs to help protect his computer, and also a spare box I gave the family where I taught him how to use images to quickly revert to a 'fresh install'.

    I won't say what he does now, but I will say it's linked to one of my less-liked organisations and he's involved in a certain form of "security".

    If someone didn't give this kid a decent start (and that's all I did, he took the hand-up I gave him and flew) the "white hats" wouldn't have him on side. If his parents had reported him for the tools he was using, he'd have been "turned around" by the local dodogooders society/been introduced to nasty criminals like psychologists, and the person he is now would never have existed.

    The use of the tools can go both ways, just like the number of people who as teens engage in small levels of what is often called "crime" like trying dope, under-age drinking, speeding and so on (even small levels of theft or vandalism) yet with decent support manage to turn things around and actually be valuable. It's not what we grow up with on the computer that makes or breaks, it's how we're treated.

  51. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    If you see you child using a pencil - report them! Pencils can be used to write offensive letters!

  52. A.P. Veening Silver badge

    The German language as a very nice expression for things like this: "Polizeiwidrig dumm". The best translation into English is "criminally stupid" but misses the part where in German it says "against police regulations".

  53. Steve 114
    Holmes

    Be fair

    Friend is a lawyer and technophobe, but his teen son has gone all furtive using the family desktop into the small hours. It's not games, so Dad asked me what to be aware of. That list isn't all bad (actually I think he's doing 'currency trading' scams though). What advice do all you experts give?

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: Be fair

      Talk to him. Like a proper parent would.

      Oh, and keep him away from immoral influences such as lawyers.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Be fair

      Teen son, all furtive, in the small hours?

      It's pr0n. It's always pr0n.

  54. TheSkunkyMonk

    Atleast they keep up with the times good on the plods! I'm still running a build of Backtrack.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Backtrack?

      How twentyteens. I occasionally still use a much hacked, patched, modified, massaged and otherwise molested version of Dan Farmer's SATAN.

      Does your distro of choice come with nmap? You too might be a 31337 h4><0r.

  55. Pu02
    Coat

    It's a cue, i mean a clue...

    This is just the same list of tools they look for in internet histories, people's downloads, or on devices when they find them. Maybe it is a rare case of our glorious Authoritarian rulers telling us what we are being surveyed for, and what gets top marks in their current round of telemetry-driven 'raid and seek'.

    Be aware, be very aware. They do collect traces of these tools online, so why not look in your devices, your home, anywhere the criminal you might be stashing subversive, seditionary tooling- or thoughts of it.

  56. MacroRodent Silver badge
    Linux

    Would be happy ...

    to see my kid with Kali Linux. I have been trying to interest him with other aspects of computers besides just playing games, but to no avail.

    1. 2Fat2Bald

      Re: Would be happy ...

      I developed my wider interests in IT as a result of;

      A) Needing/Wanting to play games and requiring technology in order to do so.

      B) Being pretty well useless for anything else, having spent my formative years playing video games.

  57. VulcanV5
    Flame

    Lying self justifying bunch of know-nothings

    What's also worth mentioning to The Fuzz should El reg ever get to the stage of "engaging" with it is the fact that folks are not as dumb as the police would like them to be, and that when it's time to apologise, best thing to do is say "sorry" instead of attempting to lie your way through it --

    "the software mentioned is legal, and in the vast majority of cases is used legitimately, giving great benefit to those interested in developing legitimate skills. The purpose of this poster was to provide a quick reference guide to the range

    ["of legal software available that will be of so great a benefit to children that we believe parents should report them to us so we can send several patrol cars round to your front door and the kids can be personally congratulated and given signed photographs of our Chief Constable"]

    I added the sentence's latter part because the police response inadvertently omitted it. Also, clarification was needed lest anyone think the assertion about "the purpose of this poster" was anything other than a blatant lie.

    The sooner police and their PR departments stop preening themselves on their non-existent IT expertise andcommunication skills, and get back to nicking lawbreakers, the better. Setting an example to children by actually telling the truth when in the wrong and caught out would also be useful.

  58. 2Fat2Bald

    The police have a massive cultural problem in dealing with high-tech crime. The kind of person who is good at picking through complex high tech evidence and building a case against someone is almost the diametric opposite of the kind of person who integrated well with police "Van Culture". Historically what they've tried to do it take someone who's good an investigating burglaries and re-train them to be good at investigating tech crime. Which doesn't work, not least because the subject is far too complex, nuanced and fast changing to be covered in a 2-week one-time course.

    The NCA was supposed to be the answer to this. However, they flunked the execution stage by - you guessed it - staffing it with coppers. Which was the problem all along. They've been positively selected to be crap at this.

  59. Drefsab_UK

    Best turn myself in then

    Found my 8 Year old son playing about with the developer tools and console managing to post dodgy data back at a site for his school, so decided to encouring him and teach him properly so now he has a laptop with VM's including Kali, his own account on hackthebox and oh had as hes also a gamer he has discord. Bad dad hear teaching him ethical hacking and research I guess.

  60. Huw D Silver badge

    Didn't HCI outfit Scale have a video of a child (IIRC of one of the directors) setting up VMs as part of their marketing material to show how easy it was?

  61. W4YBO

    "However, as with any software, it can also be misused by those with less legitimate intentions."

    As can authority.

  62. trevorde
    Joke

    Too much...

    Kali Linux? They've been watching too much 'Mr Robot'.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worked on a Police system which moved to virtualisation many years back, and before it went live they did a few weeks worth of pen testing on it. Pretty sure they used tools like [shock horror]; nmap, mass scan, metasploit and of course kali linux. They made some fundamental errors in the architecture so the system was slow and generally shite.

  64. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "However, as with any software, it can also be misused by those with less legitimate intentions."

    I've heard of this awful thing called "Windows" that can be used for hacking.

    Discord? That's all my son uses for chatting... Should I call the police right away?

  65. Trigonoceps occipitalis

    Let's hope West Midlands Police learns something useful from this cockup.

    A triumph of hope over experience.

  66. martinusher Silver badge

    But where can I get one?

    This poster is destined to be a classic like "Marijuana, Assasin of Youth". As such it should be a collectible....but there's no information about how to get one.

    (Where I live the current big Assassian of Youth are Juul vaping devices. We get these 'epidemic' stories and occasionally they tease legislators into some kind of precipitate action. The actual numbers tell a different story but why let a bit of factual information get in the way of a good scare?)

  67. Bill Michaelson

    Be really worried if...

    ...your kid has a programming language compiler installed.

  68. Silverburn

    Pineapple

    Note to self: Install Pineapple.

    Thanks rozzers!

  69. mr_souter_Working

    already spamming Facebook.

    Thanks to this, I have already seen Failbook posts about how Discord is a grooming tool for peadophiles, and the police are involved.

    :(

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well at least

    I know my kids are safe only accessing porn sites with Firefox and not some nefarious browser

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So maybe the West Midlands will arrest the Minister who authorised this....

    ....and head down to Cheltenham to arrest the spooks who executed the hack.....

    I thought not!

    Ref: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/21/british-spies-hacked-into-belgacom-on-ministers-orders-claims-report

  72. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Quis costodiet?

    Despite being (apparently) too under-resourced to respond effectively to crimes such as domestic burglary, our police forces seem now to be trying to make up the rules as they go along. We used to have non-hate crime and hate crime, but recently non-crime hate emerged, for which, on the basis of an assumption about motive, you can get a permanent record - presumably not a criminal record, but potentially just as damaging to reputation.

    As far as I know there's no statutory definition of this offence. While one cannot condone the insulting behaviour that was so classified, it should not be within the remit of the police to create novel offences to classify it - that's the prerogative of the Crown via Parliament.

    Similarly, the tacit assumption that the police have a remit to monitor activities of our children that do not contravene any law is not supported by statute, but smacks of "precrime", which didn't even work well in the movie.

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