* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Securing Office 365? There's always more you can do

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Wow - two full pages built on an assumption..

"Number of users probably doesn't reveal very much but the fact that large, publicly traded (and therefore open to scrutiny, required to conduct due diligence, etc ) companies, who employ professional network security teams use it does tell us something."

What does the number of large publicly traded companies who've paid up for ransomware scams tell you about the ability of their professional network security teams to protect against users?

Police raid India call centre, detain 500 in fraud probe

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Re: Hello, my name is [Anglicised], I'm calling from [major corporation/department]

"I put the phone down without hanging up and walk away"

But first say "could you hold the line a moment".

Is Apple's software getting worse or what?

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Re: What is going on?

"BTW, anyone else think that Google's search is pretty crummy these days?"


Google a place name: estate agent ads.

Google a surname in conjunction with a place where someone or family of that name was associated: estate agent ads for all the housing estates named after said person.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: little to do with apple

"The fail fast fix fast mentality of software development is insane."

That's one issue. The other is the converse, taking something that's fine as it is and them applying fix fast fail fast to it. Nobody seems to be immune to that and I don't think marketing is solely to blame.

Windows 10 market share fell in September

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Re: Margin of Error

"probably due to the ending of the enforced upgrade"


Early indications show UK favouring 'hard Brexit', says expert

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"It's okay, we hated labour laws anyway. Who needs sick pay and holiday time. Silly ideas."

OFFS! Does nobody have any knowledge of history?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

'"we" means herself and her parliamentary colleagues, not "us"'

As per previous comment, she's now pandering to the Leave vote. Reality will be along in a couple of years time.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I think the government may quickly find that in a global economy there is far less freedom than they would like to think. The main difference will be the loss of any influence on many of those rules"

I think the government by and large knows that. But now they have to pander to that slim majority of June voters who didn't, probably still don't and will eventually find out the hard way.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "how we label our food"

"Why would we want to change this exactly, Mrs. May?"

So we can call English Sparkling Wine Champagne.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "Great Repeal Bill"

" will they have it read aloud from Parliament by an ancestor of William Pitt the Younger"

Given that Pitt the Younger has been dead for over a couple of hundred years it's going to be hard finding a living ancestor to do that.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I have said it before, I will say it again

"She was running false colors in the Remain campaign throughout as she is in favor of exiting everything - including the Human Rights convention."

Whilst I agree with the first statement the ECHR is a separate entity and whatever she may be in favour of it's not as easily disposed of as you seem to think.

Google may just have silently snuffed the tablet computer

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I don't remember this weekend

"hexpads on the front panel."

Hexpads on the front panel. Luxury! In my day there were just rows of switches. Except when we had to take the switches out to boil them up for soup. Then we had to twist bits of wire together.

"nigh on 60!"

ah, that explains it. A youngster. Don't know they're born these days...

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Tablets aren't necessary, but they are really *handy* to have around. So once we have one, we're not going to replace it as often as a phone because it's a want not a necessity."

The phone you have now may well be a necessity but it's doing its job. The phone you want next is just that - a want. Maybe a keener one than a tablet, but still only a want. It's marketing that's codding you into thinking it's a necessity.

Psst. Need some spy-on-employees tech? Ask Oriium

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: The usual "credit card" string

"Every vendor in the spaces used Credit Card strings and they are really simple and unique format, and thus easily defined."

But not once you've encrypted the file. I'm assuming the system will unzip zipped files - if not that would be equally effective.

'My REPLACEMENT Samsung Galaxy Note 7 blew up on plane'

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Passengers are prevented from carrying liquids but allowed to take these onto aircraft?

My Nest smoke alarm was great … right up to the point it went nuts

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"You can't just discard it."

Not even after the hammer's gone through it?

If I had such a device here (big if) and it did that I'd head off to the garage where I have a choice of heavy implements and take my pick.

Prime Minister May hints at shaking up Blighty's 'dysfunctional' rural broadband

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Re: What a pile of poo

"720 million kilometers way & Rosetta can send us flicks of a space rock"

But did you check the bitrate?

TalkTalk gets record £400k slap-slap from Brit watchdog

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"The only choice in my area is them or BT"

Where's that? I find it difficult to believe that such an area exists.

‘You can’t opt out of IoT’: Our future is the Rise of the Sensor Machines

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Just searched it for mention of security & found nothing. So didn't bother reading it. Anybody who wants to start pushing IoT stuff must address security if they're to be taken seriously.

It's time for Microsoft to revisit dated defaults

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Re: So, where's the news?

"Since years we're using ADSL, Cable etc. with speeds of multiple mbit."

What happens when you lose the comms?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Not being of the MS tribe AD isn't a thing I've ever had to look at so I never realised it was that bad. Replication is fine for setting up a new site. After that you either need to push changes as they're made.

UK.biz ransom cluelessness

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Those who don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

Why do those whose skill set stops at being able to find their own arse with both hands get to run big businesses?

'Too big to fail' cloud giants like AWS threaten civilization as we know it

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Re: Business Continuity

"You use two different cloud providers to provision business continuity."

Both of which are at the mercy with a man with a back-hoe at the end of your road.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Lots of turkey's complaining about christmas on this thread.

"right up until the point you are no longer needed and replace (sic) by someone doing a better job delivering IT as a service."

Which they do right up until the time they break something by which time there's nobody left in house to fix it.

If you work in an in-house operation which is critical to the business you're aware of its impact. If it goes down it's the business that provides your pay and your colleagues' pay that's at risk. In that case getting it up and running becomes your one and only priority.

If you work in any form of out-sourced operation that operation might be critical to lots of businesses. But your priorities for getting it up and running will be concentrated on your biggest/loudest/most litigious customers. The rest can wait.

From the perspective of a business which has outsourced but isn't in the biggest/loudest/most litigious group they've gone from "one and only" to "the rest". They won't, of course, discover this until they're too late.

Good God, we've found a Google thing we like – the Pixel iPhone killer

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Google is offering unlimited storage (in the cloud) for free."

Until "some users are abusing it" etc. We've been there before.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I guess they've just become another corporation now - profit being the be all and end all..."


Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: How long until Google decides ...

"Windows Phone is a non-starter. My bank doesn't provide an app for it. My heating system doesn't have an app for it. My car doesn't have an app for it."

Put like that it starts to sound attractive: a phone that's a phone.

These diabetes pumps obey unencrypted radio commands – which is, frankly, f*%king stupid

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"And the FDA released a new set of proposed guidelines at the beginning of this year."

Something stronger than guidelines is needed.

Google says it would have a two-word answer for Feds seeking Yahoo!-style email backdoor

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Re: hang on...

"So who's the naughty boy here? Yahoo says: we had to comply with the law. Google says: we wouldn't comply with the law. Facebook say: we would fight the law."

And it's a matter of record that MS are fighting the law, at least in Europe and are making more efforts in protecting European data with their new data centre legal architecture. On the whole I'd trust MS on this - but not sufficiently to install W10.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Anyone using Yahoo is plainly an idiot."

Maybe it's not quite as simple as that. Other service providers have outsourced their email component to Yahoo. I'd hope that those still doing that must be having second thoughts by now.

SANS issues call to arms to battle IoT botnets

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"Maybe it's time for more vendors and organizations to start working together."

No maybe about it, it's time. But it still isn't going to happen until someone makes them.

Back in the C19th unscrupulous shop-owners adulterated food by adding cheap but not necessarily safe substances to bulk it out. It was time for them not to have done that but it required legislation to prevent it.

Children were employed* in mines. It was time for them not to have been but the practice wasn't stopped until legislation took place after a disaster at Silkstone.

The whole history of advances in safety of products and of working practices is the history of legislation and/or regulation. There's no reason to think that this is different. It's simple: until you can't bring such a device to market unless it's secure insecure devices will be sold and deployed.

*Yes, I know "employed" is an over-simplification.

Should Computer Misuse Act offences committed in UK be prosecuted in UK?

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Re: Why need it at all?

"Why is a computer misuse act needed at all?"

Because the actions complained of are offences under the Computer Misuse Act, not the Theft Act, not the Road Traffic Act, the Trades Description Act or some other random act. The act which applies is that which addresses the action complained of. Is that really so difficult?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Jurisdiction

"Which isn't to say that the Canadians would be unreasonable to claim jurisdiction."

Quite. If the action were an offence in only one country then there's scope for debate. If it's an offence in both then your posited reasonableness of the Canadian claim should tell you all you need to know. The gunman was in Canada, the gun was in Canada, the trigger was pulled in Canada, the action was contrary to Canadian law. No need to complicate matters.

"In the early 20th Century, some American robbers pioneered the use of cars to commit a crime in one state and drive across the border and out of that state's jurisdiction."

Your point is? The crime is committed in one state and the criminals flee to another. That, at least in the international sense, is what one expects an extradition to deal with. I've no idea what the US solution was to such interstate crime. The obvious one is to set up a mechanism whereby the suspects can be sent back into the original jurisdiction for trial. If they didn't do that I can see why their approach to extending their law over the entire planet comes from but it still doesn't make it a good idea.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Autism.

"Teaching a kid 'this is wrong because the law says so' is a SUCKY way to instill morality."

Maybe, but it is to the long term advantage of the kid.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"so if he was prosecuted in th UK , we would be obliged to look at a US websites security and attempt to fine them?"

It's the logical equivalent of what the US is claiming. So maybe if he's to be tried in the US we should do that very thing.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Have you ever heard of Betteridges Law?


Paging Herr Gödel.

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Re: A historian writes...

'The term "Britain" on its own, despite being generally used as a synonym for the United Kingdom, doesn't- strictly speaking- have any officially-defined meaning on its own, does it?'

When used as a synonym it isn't actually correct. The full expression is "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". So Great Britain, the whole island, is a component of the UK, not the whole.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Should be tried here.

"Although it seems that the bomb was placed on the aircarft at Heathrow"

So you're saying the trial should have been held at the Old Bailey under English law.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: How?

"The Greeks really, desperately, need to go back to having their own currency. There is no mechanism for leaving the Euro."

The fact that there's no mechanism agreed doesn't mean that they could make up their own. It's just that the implementation* would be so messy that staying there is actually the easier option.

*It's a case of "if I wanted to go there I wouldn't start from here".

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: How?

"And indeed Brexit wasn't an option without the express consent of the EU, as the EU only created the sainted Article 50 quite recently -- until they did, there was no mechanism for leaving."

Although I disagree with what's happening in regard to Brexit this bit doesn't make sense. There may have been no mechanism for leaving in terms of a defined procedure. There was certainly no mechanism to keep a country in the EU if it was determined to leave.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: How?

"As a fly in the ointment, how could it be tried here? The USA would not allow detailed security information of 'the hack' of US government organisations to be submitted to another Country's populous and the case would fall for lack of evidence."

Their choice. They should be told to take it or leave it.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Never thought I'd see Tam mentioned

"Completely wasted in the commons really but it's what he always wanted to do."

He did get out and about a bit more than that. He was a long-time columnist in the New Scientist.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"If a Saudi comes over here, marries nice english girl , beats the shit out of her, then goes home is that ok?"

Your sequence suggests that the beating was committed in the UK. In that case the action took place here, it's an offence here, why would it not be prosecuted here?

And to extend that same argument to the case in point, AIUI Laurie Love is allaged to have sat at a computer in the UK and performed acts which are an offence in the UK albeit the consequences were elsewhere. Why would that offence not be prosecuted here?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I've read in various places that the term Great comes from Roman writers who didn't have a firm grasp of geography or because of James VI/I holding the crowns of Scotland and England."

Well done for quoting two incorrect explanations. It goes back to the outcome of the migrations of the dark ages. At the time the Angles, Saxons & Jutes were crossing the N Sea into Britain the Armorican peninsular had a rather low population so a number of Britons emigrated there. That was Little Britain in contrast to the original island which, in comparison was Great Britain. Today, of course, that Little Britain is called Brittany; note the similarity, it's not an accident.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Take (NOT) back control

"This carries absolutely no meaning other than when a politician tries to gain some traction for the bullshit he / she's spewing in front of the camera."

Whether it carries meaning or not is irrelevant. It has had an effect. I think that as the consequences of that effect become clear it's perfectly right that those who uttered it should be held up to ridicule. That might be a disproportionately meagre punishment but it's probably all we'll be able to administer.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Take (NOT) back control

"The issue is that it will be impossible to build cases for prosecutions because the USA judicial system will refuse to cooperate. It presently operates under the auspices of a doctrine which specifies that American law is extraterritorial, applies to anyone and everyone, no other law exists, international law does not exist and a USA court can issue a judgment to apply anywhere in the world."

Well, if the rest of the world decides not to play that game the US has a clear choice: it can forgo the ability to have such crimes prosecuted or it can decide that maybe it's not everyone else that's out of step.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: spanish boiler rooms

"if people are being defrauded in the UK by people in spain , surely they should be tried in the UK , and the spanish police should hand them over with the extradition laws.

I'm sure they would be "not interested" if ronny biggs robbed a train in the UK and fled to spain. no crime has been committed in spain but theyd still be obliged to hand him over surely"

Thanks for showing up the difference in the two situations. Biggs committed a robbery in the UK and fled abroad. It's not only perfectly reasonable that he should be extradited to the UK for trial. That's where the action happened.

If, on the other hand the action happened in Spain: telephonists, telephones, computers & whatnot then that's the place for the trial.

HPE is mulling 'tuck-in' buys of cloud firms, gros fromage says

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

'the major structural work that has seen the PC and print units spun off, and the Enterprise Services and Software divisions offloaded, was “for the most part done”.'

So what is it that HPE actually does? Apart from sit on a pile of cash, use it to buy businesses and then sell them again at a loss?

‘Andromeda’ will be Google’s Windows NT

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I'd be much more concerned about a security model that prevented applications grabbing data without the user being aware of it and sending it off to places the user has never heard of "

I think you need to add a few more things along those lines. One being to stop the OS itself doing the same thing. Another being to protect malware vandalising rather than grabbing the data. The third being to prevent the system from being hijacked for Bitcoin mining, spamming, DDOS or anything else.

Those are the current concerns. There's always the possibility of something new coming down the line next year.

Sad isn't it? The main criteria for an OS in this day and age are more centred on what it needs to prevent than on what it needs to facilitate. I suppose the explanation is that the last several decades have been spent on providing facilities and not enough on security. It's time to redress the balance.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Since the tools for Linux are generally excellent and the runtime cost is zero, it's clearly going to be the defacto choice unless there is a reason to choose differently."

There is good reason and it's not even systemd. I don't see any of the current OS architectures, either Windows or Unix-like, offering the defensiveness needed under modern conditions. I think that over the next few years we're going to see a new architecture that places more emphasis on security. It's all very well providing perimeter security to try to keep invaders out. Let's not assume that we can do that all the time because PEBCAK won't let us. So what can we do to minimise damage if they're in?

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