* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Guilty: NSA bloke who took home exploits at the heart of Kaspersky antivirus slurp row

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Re: Stealing, really?

"The opinion of the editor is quite visible here and it's even wrong."

Really? Just let's go back to the article and get the fuller version of what you quoted:

Pho is understood to be the Tailored Access Operations (TAO) programmer whose home computer was running Kaspersky Lab software that was allegedly used, one way or another, by Russian authorities to steal top-secret NSA documents and tools in 2015.

Do you notice that word there: "allegedly"? Maybe you also missed the reports of the USG making such allegations for some weeks now. This entire paragraph is just straight reportage.

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Re: 67?

"I bet he is WAY smarter than you are"

Who's "he" and who's "you"?

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Re: 67?

"they are employing the Gentrified Squad."

Gentrified? I didn't know the US had gentlemen.

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Re: The mind boggles.

"didn't Kapersky give a false positive and proceed to upload his secret stuff?"

His secret stuff was malware, recognised as such and uploaded for analysis. Subject to the user's configuration, that's what AV packages do. It's how they stay up-to-date on the malware they're supposed to be detecting. It just happened to be NSA-written malware.

As it was included in a zip file the whole zip was uploaded and found to contain the source. Oops.

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Re: The mind boggles.

"You'd think that a professional would be on top of such things."

It seems that offensive hacking and securing computers are very different skill sets. Govts drawing up policy really shouldn't take recommendations from the former; it puts us all at risk.

Ex-cop who 'kept private copies of data' fingers Cabinet Office minister in pr0nz at work claims

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Re: Confused

"Misuse of a computer the taxpayers paid for is a crime, pure and simple."

Such misuse would include making unauthorised copies of improperly obtained data. This was an MP's computer. It would be quite likely to contain all manner of confidential constituents' business and shadow cabinet documents, all covered by Parliamentary privilege. If there were documents shared between government and shadow cabinet an unauthorised copy might constitute a breach of the Official Secrets Act.

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Re: Constituents confidential details

I'd make a most unsuitable expert witness for either side: I'd be full of "ifs" and "buts". I couldn't in all conscience, sit there on the stand and say categorically (in terms a jury would understand) that fact X is true/false.

I think you'd make an excellent expert witness. A forensic scientist can only report on the basis of what they found. They can comment on how that might or might not be consistent with various accounts of what might have happened. You shouldn't put in a report something you're not prepared to stand over in court and that includes the limitations which you're aware of. Standing over those limitations is a reality; I've certainly experienced a persistent attempt by the counsel who'd called me to get me to go beyond what I'd written.

That doesn't mean that there aren't witnesses who take a different view or who stand as examples of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

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Re: What Proof It Was Him ???

"If Green was allowing somebody to use his PC for an extended period, (sending emails, and viewing documents) while logged in under his account then I think most people would see that as a considerable more serious issue than the porn thing. I really don’t think he (or anybody seeking to defend him) wants to go there."

And yet we're told of senior corporate types who have their PAs open and print out their emails so that they can read them. If it were the case here that an MP's assistant were using the MP's login to work on the MP's behalf it wouldn't be a unique situation.

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Re: What Proof It Was Him ???

"I am deeply concerned if plods, ex or otherwise, take their work home and use it to manipulate national politics."

The original seizure of the computer was manipulation of national politics.

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Re: The issue I have with this

"If anyone tried this in their workplace they'd be fired."

Think about this a little more carefully. What's the workplace and who was the user?

Now imagine that for whatever reason you had some sensitive personal issue that you needed to take up with your MP. Would you then be happy to learn that the Met had barged into your MP's office, seized his PC and taken it away to be examined?

Now do you see that an MP's office isn't like the average workplace?

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Re: The issue I have with this

"An MP is a member of parliament, not parliament"

An MP nevertheless has Parliamentary privilege and that's quite right; if it were possible for an MP to be hounded by government and/or police we'd be well on the way to being a police state. Bearing that in mind, the real issue here is that his computer was seized by the police when he was a shadow minister with the complicity of the Sergeant at Arms.

Ofcom proposes ways to stop BT undercutting broadband rivals

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Re: If BT can lower their prices........

"nationalise the UK's internet backbone infrastructure lower the prices for all and invest"

Historically these tend to be mutually exclusive options.

Badass alert: 1 in 5 Brits don't give a damn about webpage crypto-miners

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"Plus Google, Facebook et al likely have a TOS document you signed which allowes them to do that."

But which would be unenforceable if contrary to law.

Oracle rival chides UK councils for pricey database indulgence

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Re: poor data management

"The bill came to £80K."

I hope you deducted the cost of conducting the audit.

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Re: Just say no ...

"As with any organisation linked to electoral cycles"

Oh that that were true. My local council hasn't changed political ownership for years and in any case the officials seem to be entirely out of the elected representatives' control.

Russia threatens to set up its 'own internet' with China, India and pals – let's take a closer look

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"They should be under the ITU"

Or the wider internet community as a whole. They could take the steps outlined in the article as a possible response to a Trump meltdown. The time to have done that was when, as the article recounts, they failed to get adequate controls over ICANN.

User dialled his PC into a permanent state of 'Brown Alert'

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Re: So let's thanks technology...

"knobs in front of the monitors"

KIFOM. Another one to join PEBKAC, ID10T and PICNIC.

Will you be on Cloud9? AWS emits cloudy code editor it nabbed last year

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And on an unrelated note, AWS launched Amazon Time Sync Service, which provides a way to synchronize clocks over Network Time Protocol using "a fleet of redundant satellite-connected and atomic clocks" at no extra charge.

You make that sound like something new? Does it mean that previously they didn't have their servers set to the correct time?

Ands finally, really finally, there's now Alexa for Business so you can bung one of Amazon's voice-controlled assistants in an office and make it do biz-related tasks.

(Shouts) Alexa format the C drive.

That 70s Show: Windows sprouts Sets and Timeline features

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Re: Sets == Activities?

"Hopefully, as with Activities, it will be possible to ignore it."

And, at least with KDE you can just link whatever you want into a directory (or a folder in KDE speak).

I was intrigued to see on the video something called a research feature or words to that effect. I take it it's Bing embedded into whatever application was being used. Good luck with that if you want to research a geographical location - all you'll get is bloody estate agents.

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Re: Whitelist vs Blacklist

"metal/woodwork - the largely useless working class subject(s) that my generation was pushed through for no other reason than that we were working class."

Maybe your school was different to mine but nobody asked what class we were when drawing up the curriculum. So, yes, woodwork and metal work were not optional in earlier years, neither were Latin nor PE to my chagrin. And guess what - we working class kids were allowed to study real subjects such as physics, chemistry and biology. Is that chip on your shoulder a wooden one left over from woodwork?

Lauri Love's US extradition appeal judges reserve decision

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Re: Just send him over there and good riddance.

"He committed a crime (Let's be honest here and not use any 'allegedly'), and broke into a hornets nest in terms of targets, the US Government."

Where? Did he ever visit the US? If the actions he took were taken on UK soil irrespective of where their effects took place then surely the obvious thing would be to charge him under the UK legislation. If the US authorities find it too embarrassing hard to provide evidence to a UK court then he'll be found not guilty and can claim double jeopardy against any subsequent attempts at extradition.

UK.gov admits Investigatory Powers Act illegal under EU law

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Re: They knew

"So with Brexit we will lose our seat on the A29WP and any influence on how data protection law in our largest neighbouring market moves forward and we will have to comply fully to allow for trade to occur."

It's called taking back control. And when we've taken back sufficient control (and discovered that the reason all those non-EU countries were anxious for trade deals only so they could sell us stuff) that it's clear to the meanest intelligence that we have to go back to prop up what remains of our economy it'll be good-bye to the pound as a condition of re-entry.

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"they've got a standing manifesto commitment to repeal the Human Rights Act and thus get out of that as well."

The Good Friday Agreement is a fly in that ointment but the way things are going I can't see that lasting much longer.

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Re: No longer laughing

"In a long life, a wise man will leave his baggage many times."

And after a long flight his baggage will leave him many times.

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Re: No longer laughing

"I had my mother cry to me worrying that she's going to be deported (she's from Ireland) after the vote."

My sympathy to your mother and I'm sure you've reassured her. However she and you are the lucky ones. My wife and children were all born in Belfast so dual nationality is available to them and the grandchildren. So it's just me who doesn't have that line of retreat.

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But, the government added, creating such a body will require "significant" effort

Translation: What with HMSO being run down to practically nothing where can we buy rubber stamps these days?

Want a new HDMI cable? No? Bad luck. You'll need one for HDMI 2.1

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Sales staff unwittingly misleading customers due to not having sufficient knowledge of the product very definitely falls into the "professional diligence" category (as in "solicitor told me it does") .

That's unwittingly. Manglement's attitude will be that to do it wittingly is the professional approach.

Crown Prosecution Service is coming for crooks' cryptocurrency

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Once the speculators try to take their profits and the Bitcoin bubble bursts they might not find they get anything like what they expected to have confiscated.

From DevOps to No-Ops: El Reg chats serverless computing with NYT's CTO

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Re: 'serverless' - just another name for 'outsourcing'

And outsourcing, at least of computational resources is just another word for the old computing bureaux.

How many years do we give it before departments are trying to sneak PCs in and hide them under their desks to take back control (which will probably be a good deal more effective at that than Brexit)?

What will drive our cars when the combustion engine dies?

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Re: Not to mention investment...

"he costs just get added to your electricity bill."

And your taxes.

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Re: Sigh

"my consumption of grid generated electricity (all from renewable sources by the way)"

Really? Do you sit there checking the origin of individual electrons or do you use Maxwell's demon?

"Downvote this all you like but look at what happened to the american buggy whip makers when internal combustion engined vehicles appeared on the scene... They went out of business."

Familiar one. Perhaps you would remind us of the actual scale of the buggy whip making industry of the late C19th.

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Re: We won't be driving them, they'll be driving us.

"The problem is that remote working (even where possible) is always viewed with suspicion by management, and commuting costs are always somebody else's (i.e. the employee's) problem."

The half-way house is to break down the large agglomerations of work places into smaller units that can then be placed in walk to work distances f to where people live. This, of course, reverses the whole of post-war planning police which has produced this mess.

The only problem is the practical one that the best sites would be the old industrial sites which provided that walking distance employment. These are the sites which have been called brown-field and used for housing for workers to commute long distances into the cities.

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"Sailing ships"

Fusion powered gas turbines.

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Re: Just popping down the battery station for some half dead flowers

"arts graduates leapt on the idea of electric-everything"

And also shied away from nuclear because - well it's complicated and it might explode at any minute.

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Re: Just popping down the battery station for some half dead flowers

"They'll always want proprietary shapes, sizes and connectors to get a market edge."

For the ancient zinc carbon battery and its descendants the range of standard sizes has worked very well. Products are designed to fit around them. (Some of us even remember standard sizes for bricks to power the heaters in portable valve radios and the even larger 90V bricks to power their HT.) Anyone trying to produce their own would find a different meaning to "market edge".

Where standardisation works as an enabler vendors get dragged into line whether they want to or not.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: fossil fuel - we're addicted.

"There is only one question to answer about when we stop using the internal combustion engine:

Where will the watts come from?"

An alternative question for the long term is where will the fossil fuels come from?

We keep using them where other alternatives exist instead of confining their use to situations where there are no effective alternatives.

Ad-filtering fiend Eyeo: Morning has broken, like the first morning

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"the ad industry has got serious about removing the worst excesses of ad design."

I haven't seen any evidence of that but then I wouldn't - I'm running an ad blocker

But whatever the responsible end of the ad industry* does the ad delivery channel is also a channel for delivering malware so the need to keep blocking as a basic security measure isn't going to go away that easily.

* A quiet and lonely place, I suspect.

Today is your last chance to pick up a piece of channel history

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Re: "Misco is synonymous with glamour."

Journo needs to get out more.

Dawn of The Planet of the Phablets in 2019 will see off smartphones

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"by the time it comes around and their predictions don't pan out, everyone will have forgotten they said it."

However I do wish journalists would ask them for their predictions from a couple of years ago and the outcomes. Or simply dig the figures out for themselves if when IDCarnter don't respond.

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Re: IDC?

Could IDC share a few comparisons between predictions from a couple of years ago and the eventual outcomes?

Hey girl, what's that behind your Windows task bar? Looks like a hidden crypto-miner...

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"We pay nothing for no-script"

Be a good A/C and give them a donation now and again.

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Re: 'If malvertising wasn’t bad enough as is'

"Speculators made millionaires of a lot of wannacry extortionists and hacker scumbags etc this month."

Until that bubble bursts.

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Re: Finally, a reason to move the task bar

Just set the task bar to autohide.

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Re: Because you can't be arsed

"why would anyone take time out to find a way to secretly run it on a unix box"

It's written in Javascript so no effort at all is needed to make it run on a Unix box. The browser provides the platform. Pop-under windows are also a feature of the browser so what works on the browser on one OS is going to work on another.

Noscript is your friend.

Night before Xmas and all through American Airlines, not a pilot was flying, thanks to this bug

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Re: Or, as we would say in English ..

"They didn't give us the chance to screw even more money out of the company."

The company probably wanted sorted out for this Christmas, not the year after next.

Hacked Brit shipping giant Clarksons: A person may release some of our data today

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The announcement notes the firm is "working with the police in relation to this incident".

No mention of having reported it to the ICO - or have they emailed them a copy of their PDF?

Why does no one want to invest in full fibre broadband, wails UK.gov

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"when it comes to supermarkets you do have the choice of driving further to get to the type of supermarket you want."

There are still premises who don't get any options beyond ADSL. Should they continue to lose out because someone else, who already has FTTC, wants something better still?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I hear what you are saying, but it would be preferable if more consumers could make the choice to take a better service, rather than be stuck on the minimum possible the telco can get away with providing."

I hear what you say. But would these customers who want to make the choice be prepared to pay the full price on their own. And would they still want it when they found what that would cost? And what about those customers who don't have the choice of FTTC because the backbone for that isn't complete? Should they still stay on ADSL because resources have been diverted into FTTP?

Canadian! fella! admits! hacking! Gmail! inboxes! amid! Yahoo! megahack!

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Re: why don't we:

We won't generally go on the record and clearly state that "yes" we're prepared to make things easier for terrorists, paedophiles and assorted other nefarious characters.

It certainly isn't the binary alternative you present.

A backdoor is a backdoor for anyone who comes past to try turning its handle and they're not all good guys. Introduce a backdoor to aid law enforcement and you're also aiding some of those nefarious characters as well. Was that what you wanted?

Another factor is that a society that believes in freedom under the law has got to build on elements such as due process and presumption of innocence. Backdoors are antithetical to these.

And, for the record, I spent a good proportion of my working life in a job gathering evidence to prosecute, terrorists, sex offenders and other nefarious characters. One thing that I take away from that is a strong belief in due process of law and the presumption of innocence. Terrorists would remove those if they got their way so why should we give in to them by removing them ourselves?

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