* Posts by Midnight

321 posts • joined 24 Feb 2008


Tech support made the news after bomb squad and police showed up to 'defuse' leaky UPS


Re: You were lucky...

Err... so... what is a rubber button?

Navy names new attack sub HMS Agincourt


Re: So sad

"Right. Naming an expensive nuclear sub after a glorious British defeat would make so much sense?"

The H. M. S. Brexit, perhaps?

Fixing a printer ended with a dozen fire engines in the car park


Latest F-35 flight tests finish – and US stops accepting new jets


> > it's called socialism

> No, its classic capitalism.

It's called "The Aristrocrats".

The first rule of maths class: Don't start a fight club


Re: Spoiler follows if you haven't seen "Fight Club" after 19 years, but...

After watching the footage a few dozen more times he eventually concluded that it wasn't just the teacher, but also half of the class who only existed inside his head.

Wanna motivate staff to be more secure? Don't bother bribing 'em


Re: Dont' name and shame persistent offenders

"'don't shit in the boss's desk drawer' policy"

Where do you work that that is a policy?

And more to the point, just what happened the day before it became policy?

Feel like a little kid in the container world? Welcome to the club


Re: Serverless

Appless is so last Tuesday. We're going completely customerless nowadays.

As Apple fixes macOS root password hole, here's what went wrong


Re: Two stupid things happened

It was actually found weeks ago and spread around the Apple developer forums. By the time it went big yesterday it was already well known to a large group of people. This wasn't a case of a careless security researcher dropping a zero-day publicly because he didn't feel like reporting it, it was a developer who wasn't aware of the full impact of a bug complaining that Apple had not even acknowledged that it existed let alone discussed the possibility of a fix.

Was this the best way to handle the issue? Nah, not really. But is it "right" for one of the many people who discussed this issue publicly to be crucified for doing so, as you suggest? No, not that either.

Also if you read the technical details, the "root account without a password" already was eliminated from the auth DB and should have been completely inaccessible. The root of the problem was that the authentication code wrongly decided that it was time to enable the disabled account by creating it anew, with the (blank) password which had been provided by the user.

Sadly, things are never quite as simple as they look.

Researcher: DJI RCE-holes offered me $500 after I found Heartbleed etc on its servers


Clearly DJI would prefer that people in possession of information about critical vulnerabilities in their infrastructure offer it to other, more accommodating, buyers.

Samba needs two patches, unless you're happy for SMB servers to dance for evildoers


There's a bucketload of IoT devices out there with Samba sharing open to the world and nigh on zero chance of getting patched. Could get messy.

I have always wondered how people got the initialism "IoT" from the full name "Botnet of Things".

Drone maker DJI left its private SSL, firmware keys open to world+dog on GitHub FOR YEARS


I think you will find that the password is heavily encrypted with quadruple ROT13. That's the same encryption scheme that the NSA uses for their cafeteria menus, so you know it has to be good.

Thousand-dollar iPhone X's Face ID wrecked by '$150 3D-printed mask'


Re: and Added a SILICONE NOSE for realism.

But Picard would use 173467321476C32789777643T732V73117888732476789764376.

Sean Parker: I helped destroy humanity with Facebook


I believe the original name was going to be "The B-Ark", but they chose to change it to "The Face Book" at the last minute to avoid tipping off their Golgafrinchan investors.

Facebook's send-us-your-nudes service is coming to UK, America


Re: Why...

But the problem with that is, regular people aren't allowed access to that software unless they're a LEA or popular service like Facebook. (Which sucks, as I have a large anime artwork collection I'd love to sort through far more easily to remove duplicates.)


You're welcome.

I love disruptive computer jargon. It's so very William Burroughs


Re: Gif.

<quote>Don't get this - how can G(raphics) be pronounced as JIF.</quote>

The same way that the format created by the Joint Photographic Experts Group isn't pronounced Juh'Feg.

They've only gone and made a chemical-threat-detecting ring


If you can't see it, it can't bother you.

If they weren't a good idea, would the President of the Galaxy wear them?

Blade Runner 2049: Back to the Future – the movies that showed us what's to come


So 35 years between two "episodes" is a series?

Only if you are George R. R. Martin.

BYOD might be a hipster honeypot but it's rarely worth the extra hassle


Re: No hassle here.

This isn't a BYOD solution. It doesnt solve the issues discussed (laptops, desktops, macbooks etc).

Did you read the article?

I thought you knew. The comments section switched to a Bring Your Own Article policy several months ago. It adds a little bit of administrative overhead and may have some minor impact on the coherency of comments, but we feel that it makes the users happier in the long run.

Sysadmin tells user CSI-style password guessing never w– wait WTF?! It's 'PASSWORD1'!


...Followed by Feynman becoming quite unpopular with the secretaries and personal assistants due to a directive from On High that if he has spent any time at all in their offices, they needed to immediately change the combination of the filing cabinet and safe.


Re: Favourite

There are quite a few low-security systems around me where the password is "I already told you that."

Connect at mine free Wi-Fi! I would knew what I is do! I is cafe boss!


Re: Smart intercoms/bells are a good idea, that are usually badly implemented

"So a "ding dong" is a warning signal of visitor, post, or circular. If followed by a Westminster chime then it means someone is ringing the bell."

And if it is followed closely by the sound of barking dogs and screaming then the bell has been rung by a door-to-door soul saver, utilities fraud team or a salesperson from Citrix.


Re: Please to be using our free WiFimabob.

Fortunately, advanced devices[1] using MAC address randomisation when connecting to public wifi..

[1] iOS devices and some Androids..

Or Windows 10 and Windows Phone devices, which technically qualify as advanced.

Crowdfunding scheme hopes to pay legal fees for Marcus Hutchins


I know, right? Most people who go on vacation just spend the whole week in a youth hostel reading paperback romance novels.

It's unheard of for a 23 year old guy to be throwing money around like that, especially in Las Vegas, a city which prides itself on sober, quiet contemplation.

WannaCry-slayer Marcus Hutchins 'built Kronos banking trojan' – FBI


Re: Also Wannacry?

"There is something a little off with this."

There sure is. I think you should look at changing the vendor you purchase domain names from, as it really shouldn't take "a few hours minimum" to sign in to a control panel, type or paste in a domain name, check the box that says "Yes please put this domain on the same domain name servers I always use" and then push a button to buy it. It's a five minute job at most, and that includes typing your password wrong four times and swearing a bit before you turn Caps Lock back off. And if you're concerned about the cost, which is less than the price of buying warm drinks for the entire team one time, you can typically 'return' the domain a few days later and end up paying nothing.

What you may be missing is that checking in with a mysteriously named domain is a fairly common technique for malware to use, and that it is not unusual to take control of expired, unregistered or cancelled domains to 'sinkhole' them, effectively shutting down an entire botnet by not only removing its central command and control facility but also redirecting the C&C traffic to a friendly site where you can keeps tabs on botnet infections and activity. The value isn't just in stopping a single infection on your local network, but also in seeing what every other infected host in the world is doing, so taking a few minutes to register a domain and point it to your existing sinkhole server is a reasonable thing to do.

This is exactly what MalwareTech described in his original write-up of WannaCrypt ( https://www.malwaretech.com/2017/05/how-to-accidentally-stop-a-global-cyber-attacks.html ), and he includes some data he was able to collect on global and regional infection rates through the sinkholed domain.

It may seem odd if you're not familiar with modern botnet hunting, but what MalwareTech did wasn't that unusual.

'Real' people want govts to spy on them, argues UK Home Secretary


Steve Bannon wants Facebook, Google 'regulated like utilities'


Re: YOS!

What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Mac ransomware author is giving away malicious code to script kiddies


Re: Given how unsophisticated the average Mac user is

A hacker group known as "The Genius Bar" has been engaged in this kind of ransomware-as-a-retail-service for almost sixteen years.

'My PC needs to lose weight' says user with FAT filesystem


Re: Scuh-zee IS the official pronunciation in some circles

"There's never been a period that I've NOT heard SCSI pronounced that way."

When Larry Boucher invented SCSI he wanted it to be pronounced "Sek-see". Everyone else on the committee thought that sounded unprofessional and decided it should be "Scuh-zee" instead.

I'm pretty sure that this was the same group which later renamed the seventh planet to "Urectum" because its old name sounded impolite.

PAH! Four decades of Star Wars: No lightsabers, no palm-sized video calls


Re: future displays are rubbish

I used to think that way. Then I "upgraded" the antenna sitting on top of my TV to an IP-based...



...streaming ser...





Re: SW was never about our future.

"Thanks for pointing that out. I'd spent the last 40 years thinking it was a documentary."

I also get Star Wars confused with Galaxy Quest all the time.

Trump's lips sealed on surveillance, complains EU privacy chief


It's just temporary

It's just that nobody in the White House understands how the phones work. Once they figure that out, they'll be in touch.

Now... It's pick up the receiver, then select a line... No wait, select a line, then press the speaker button, then dial '9' for an outside line? Or is it '6' for international calls, then '011'? No, use '9', but drop the '0' and dial --

Hello? Is someone there?

Boss swore by 'For Dummies' book about an OS his org didn't run


Re: But the real issue is

Out of interest what would american chocolate be classified as?

As a previous poster kindly pointed out, it is formally classed as "cheese" and only just escapes being labelled as "tile grout" on grounds of colour.

Kaspersky launches a range of perfumes to, er, defend your odour


Re: Fear awakens our senses

Remember, the "S" in "IoT" stands for security.

Road accident nuisance callers fined £270,000 for being absolute sh*tbags


"Our partner specifically required your number so they could deliver services which you technically didn't _not_ request, so that's pretty much the same as having requested them."

So everything's good now, and the robocalls can continue, right?

BOFH: Elf of Safety? Orc of Admin. Pleased to meet you


Re: reduced fat lard?

Isn't that when you use half as much?


Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

I heard that he moonlights as a speechwriter for a recently elected US politician.

BOFH: Password HELL. For you, mate, not for me


Re: Obligatory XKCD

correct horse battery staple is nice, but I prefer the Bruce Schneier password: uTVM,TPw55:utvm,tpwstillsecure.

You're taking the p... Linux encryption app Cryptkeeper has universal password: 'p'


Re: Does this mean

Y'know, there is a bug report which explains all of these things. It's even linked from the article.

Here, I'll read it for you. Cryptkeeper calls encfs to create an encrypted filesystem interactively and feeds it answers through stdin. The code is even included in the bug report:

execlp ("encfs", "encfs", "-S", crypt_dir, mount_dir, NULL);

exit (0);


// paranoid default setup mode

//write (fd[1], "y\n", 2);

//write (fd[1], "y\n", 2);

write (fd[1], "p\n", 2);

write (fd[1], password, strlen (password));

write (fd[1], "\n", 1);

Not only does it answer "p" to the "Paranoid or eXpert mode?" prompt, it also used to answer "y" twice before that, presumably to answer questions about creating the filesystem and mount point specified in crypt_dir and mount_dir. The man page for encfs even specifically warns about that possibility:

-S, --stdinpass

Read password from standard input, without prompting. This may be useful for scripting encfs mounts.

Note that you should make sure the filesystem and mount points exist first. Otherwise encfs will prompt for the filesystem creation options, which may interfere with your script.

The end result of this is that Cryptkeeper will ignore the user supplied passphrase and create an encrypted filesystem with the password "p". Since the error was restricted to the creation code, any further attempts to mount the newly created filesystem with the correct password would fail.

While the real source of this error is the sloppy use of an interactive session with encfs in Cryptkeeper, the trigger was a recent fix made to encfs which removed the "paranoid?" prompt. Since this fix was committed on December 12th, when Cryptkeeper was no longer maintained, it was not caught until the next time a Debian testing user tried to create a new encrypted filesystem and found that it didn't work.

How the NYE leap second clocked Cloudflare – and how a single character fixed it


Re: There is the theory of the moebius...

Programs assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.

New Android-infecting malware brew hijacks devices. Why, you ask? Your router


Re: Infection Vector

The linked writeup goes into some depth about this, but here's an overly brief summary which probably misses several important details:

1) End user downloads a copy of a popular search app or free wifi app onto their phone and installs it, presumably by sideloading.

2) The trojan app then runs, checks to see if it has connected to a new wifi network and then phones home for instructions.

3) The app then uses a range of super-secret military grade encrypted ciphers such as "admin/admin" and "admin/123456" to log in as an administrator to the wifi access point it just connected to.

4) Once it has admin access to the AP the trojan will then reconfigure it to use a rogue DNS server for itself and for all DHCP clients which connect to it from then on. According to the article it seems to only understand the web interface for common TP-LINK routers

5) The trojan-infected phone can then be switched off, wiped clean, fed into a wood chipper and then have its ashes launched into the sun, but the damage to the WIFI AP will still remain.

So the initial infection is done by sideloading an app, but once the AP has been owned every user of that WiFi network who uses the provided DNS addresses will be affected.

Sysadmin told to spend 20+ hours changing user names, for no reason


I think you do have those backwards.


And the carbon-units are not an infestation. They are a natural function of the Creator's planet.

AI gives porn peddlers a helping hand



"Clothed Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics"?


Post-outage King's College London orders staff to never make their own backups


Throw in some phones with cords, octagon shaped paper, and Edward James Olmos in a dark blue jacket and you've got something good there.

Trump's taxing problem: The end of 'affordable' iPhones


Re: Trump's business for more than 10 years has been LICENSING HIS NAME.

"Being president of the USA is 'The road to nowhere' job."

But... David Byrne is Scottish.

Robot solves Rubik's Cubes in 637 milliseconds


Re: As for that time...

Most humans in competitions _do_ use speed cubes, which are designed to avoid unfortunate accidents like popping or corner cutting and then disassembled, lubricated, adjusted and reassembled at least twenty times during the lead-up to a competition. The first adjustment ensures that all of the cube's parts will be turning at top speed with exactly the amount of friction required while the next nineteen or so are just to give the cube's owner something to do with their hands while waiting.

Microsoft goes back to the drawing board – literally, with 28" tablet and hockey puck knob


I'm confused.

I can understand the screen. It's a 3:2 aspect, big enough to display two pages side by side at something around 200 dpi, so it's great for doing print work.

It's touch and has a fancy pen so that you can draw right on it. The Soar Knob does the job of a mouse wheel and give you something to do with your left hand while you're drawing that won't get you arrested.

The screen can tilt from vertical down to almost flat so that it can act like a traditional desktop or a drafting table, and the whole thing is counterweighted to make the transition as smooth as possible.

There's a ridiculously high resolution camera built into the top bezel so that you can share all of your conversations with Skype and that the botnet owners can watch your expression right after you realize that all of your files have just been encrypted with unbreakable triple-ROT13.

That all makes sense.

Why does a desktop computer, designed to be placed with its back against a wall or tilted so that its back goes down to the desk, have both front _and_ back mounted cameras?

If we can't fix this printer tonight, the bank's core app will stop working


Immediate result: Helpdesk calls the printer technician first. For every possible incident.


Re: Some time ago...

"You might need to explain to some of the youngsters here [...] what a "punched card" is..."

I'll give it a go...


"It's something like an iPhone, only even thinner."

Elon Musk says SpaceX Falcon 9 fireball investigation is 'biggest challenge yet'


"""SpaceX quickly released a statement calling the explosion an anomaly"

No shit, Sherlock."

Their original plan was to release a statement saying "We meant to do that!" and hope that nobody noticed.

Black Helicopters

The sixth and final explosion—frame 313—starts on the Falcon 9 in the oxygen tank near the front. This is the big one. The Falcon 9 going back to its left. The explosion came from the front and right. Totally inconsistent with a routine filling operation. Again... back and to the left… back and to the left… back and to the left… back and to the left.


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