* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16427 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

PC World's cloudy backup failed when exposed to ransomware

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Re: There are two options here...

"the major weak point was her just not being savvy enough."

And that's what these scum prey on.

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Re: "years of work and important documents"

"You don't need to be an IT pro to check backups"

Think about this for a moment. I assume you're a sysadmin. How often do your users come round to you to check your backups? She's the user, PCW are her sysadmins. Why should she even know about checking?

Personal story here. I had a gig to replace two non-Y2K-capable boxes. They'd been set up so that one of them did an NFS copy to the other, the warm standby, overnight (they were situated at opposite end of a large industrial site - a disaster large enough to affect both boxes would have given them more problems than the loss of both boxes). In the course of looking at the existing setup I discovered that the overnight window wasn't long enough to allow a complete backup. I've no idea how long they'd been without an effective warm standby.

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Re: "years of work and important documents"

Pascal,

I think you're being unfair to the victim here. She's a member of the public, not an IT pro.

The public put their trust in people to whom they've paid money (just like DWP does) and are not equipped to evaluate whether the advice they're given is right (DWP again!). Only when there's a failure on a scale big enough to attract widespread attention such as TalkTalk's break-in do they realise that their vendor reassurances are worthless. Apart from the fact that it's then too late they have the problem of knowing what advice they should take for the future.

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Re: Something doesn't add up here...

"I'm trying to figure out why renamed encrypted files would overwrite the originals on the backup, from my experience with ransomware it rarely leaves the originals and you'll have tons of .abc .locky etc files instead."

This puzzles me as well.

Also, my (very limited) experience of recovering a ransomed PC was that the malware, in that case Tesla3, wrote out the encrypted versions and then deleted the originals so that the encrypted version didn't overwrite the original. It would be possible, of course, in the case of a disk with little spare room that the space released by one "deleted" file would be overwritten by a subsequent encrypt. If not something like Photorec can recover the files from free space of the original disk. Because of this the best advice that can be given is: kill the PC immediately and do not reboot except from something like Trinity Rescue with a USB drive attached to which recovered data can be written.

Reposting 8-second sports clips infringes copyright

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Re: ??

"The trick is to get bought by Facebook /Yahoo etc. before hitting step 3."

Surely that is step 3?

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"Cricket board should FO and sell to terrestrial broadcasters"

Couldn't agree more. I'd looked forward to spending a good deal of my retirement watching the Beeb test match covering apart from fulminating when they seem to think that tennis fans can watch two channels at once. But not at the expense of paying Uncle Rupert.

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“fanatix seeks to disrupt the US$40 billion global sports media rights market”

I suspect that comments like this might have sunk him. Something presented as a fan site might have got through. Going head to head with your supporters isn't a good idea & ECB might have realised that but that sort of talk would be too much of a challenge.

French publishers join Swedish 'Block Party' to pester ad refuseniks

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The ad industry really should shut up about ad blockers. If they make enough noise they have another hit from the law of intended consequences. The punters - those who pay for the ads - will catch on to the huge negative impact advertising can have and walk away. However the industry is full of people who are so full of themselves they're not going to work that out before the punters; their self-image wouldn't stand the damage.

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Re: Let's see how it plays out, shall we?

' Let's face it, a lot of people have no idea that their web browser is not "the internet"'

A fair number have no idea that their browse is not "my computer".

Look who just joined Salesforce... it's former European commish Neelie Kroes

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Maybe she'll be able to help them set up their arm's length EU operation. The one they'll need when the Privacy Figleaf gets torn down.

Micro Focus spends $540m to add Serena its software brand museum

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"once great, now slightly dusty software brands....high EBITDA margins, with consistently strong cash generation"

A good business model once you get over the notion that you've got to grow and grow and grow.... And more rational because at some point the market's saturated and there's no more growth to be had.

True believers mind-meld FreeBSD with Ubuntu to burn systemd

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Re: Haters gonna hate

"that's a coup against all distros by RH"

And where does one now have to go to get a supported systemd-free Linux distro? RH6 maybe?

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Re: Haters gonna hate

"What on earth is so wrong with specifying mount points in fstab that meant that systemd has to do something different?"

NIH

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Happy

Re: Ubuntu?

"I wasn't including KDE as a modern desktop (really should have put quotes round 'modern')."

Right. I think we're on the same wavelength there.

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"Ok, but why not run FreeBSD directly?"

I've tried it out. I don't need to cut over permanently until Debian 7 runs out of LTS. My immediate impression is that the FreeBSD community has a little of the hair-shirt mentality that Linux used to have:

The installer is rough round the edges (he Install option on the menu is labelled Multiuser or something lose to that as nobody could be arsed to change it and it doesn't offer to make the installation bootable, you have to know the command line incantations for that and they're not documented in the generally excellent documentation).

There's a command-line package installer similar to apt but nothing equivalent to aptitude or synaptic to search for packages; you have to break out to a web site for that. Searching the forums reveals that suggestions for something better have been met by hostility. PC-BSD does have a GUI package handler but my experience was that trying to use it chewed up an Atom processor for long periods which was incomprehensible given that the FreeBSD version is so fast.

What's needed is the sort of polish that Ubuntu brought to Linux.

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Re: Interesting hack. I've fiddled with it. Might have legs.

"Slackware on the desktops"

As upstream development in Linux assumes systemd is there I wonder how viable it will be for the likes of Slackware to avoid it in the future.

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Re: Ubuntu?

"Any group not willing to use Systemd has got to include as a subset (at least) those not willing to use Unity (or any modern desktop)."

AIUI Gnome 3 depends on systemd or at least on a shim to replace it. So anything based on Gnome 3 is going to be excluded but that's not the entirety of modern desktops. KDE is fine on BSD.

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Re: Debian GNU/kFreeBSD

@keithpeter

Quite likely it was the discontinuance of Debian_GNU/kFreeBSD that prompted this.

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"Why wouldn't they just not use systemd on Linux, rather than making the effort required to not use it on FreeBSD?"

A good question. The quick answer is that the way Linux is evolving more and more stuff is expecting systemd to be there. However they've clearly had to work round such expectations in Ubuntu in order to achieve this so why not work round it with a Linux kernel and sysv init.

My guess, without taking a closer look at it, is that init, logging, log-in & anything else that systemd's scope creep has hit in Linux comes from BSD as upstream Linux development has largely if not entirely ceased. It's stuff outside that - binutils and desktop for instance - that weill come from Ubuntu.

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Re: Beliebers..

"Could. Not. Resist.."

More's the pity.

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"*nix true believers"

Unix. Try writing it out properly. It doesn't hurt and it doesn't conjure up the devil, not even a daemon.

IETF group proposes better SMTP hardening to secure email. At last

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While its all well and good to see encryption in transit improved the more urgent need might be to get something like PGP baked into the protocols

As things stand one can get an email purporting to be from manager@mybank.co.uk & only by drilling down into the headers does one discover that it's from marketroid@brainfartsrus.com or scum@scamsrus.ru. Most recipients don't have the skills for this even if they've got the time to check every email. The protocol needs the receiver to be able to go to the purported source and get a public key to check the signature so that a fake email can be bounced. At the same time it would enable end-to-end encryption.

And to forestall the usual reply - yes I do know PGP is available for my mail client. The problem with using it is that I don't know anybody who uses it because anybody I exchange emails with doesn't know anybody who uses it because....well, because there's absolutely nothing in SMTP which expects it to be used by default. And the lack of a PKI. The solution would be to have SMTP extended to use the mail servers to provide the PKI and, after an interim roll-out phase, expect its use by default.

Hands on with the BBC's Micro:Bit computer. You know, for kids

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I worry that we're going to see politicians visiting schools, being proudly shown kids doing drag and drop and going away thinking "That's all programming is. What do they make all that fuss about?".

Flash memory will send hyperconvergence to hyper-speed

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Too much hyper, too much hype.

Microsoft will rest its jackboot on Windows 7, 8.1's throat on new Intel CPUs in 2018 – not 2017

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Re: EOL.

"Rumour has it if you purchase JetBrains software for Linux, when you try to install it a crack team of beardies may break down your door and drag you off for reeducation down at the FSF."

How's the hangover today?

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Re: Microsoft has lost it's way.

"They don't give a shit as long as they can run their apps and browser."

Until an update borks one of them. Then they start to give it second thoughts.

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Re: "One solution is to boot a Linux USB stick ..."

"With that one simple word added to GPL V3 the great unwashed RMS absolutely DESTROYED any hope Linux had for mainstream adoption."

Oops! Only just noticed this. You do realise. don't you, that the Linux kernel is GPL v2?

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Re: Microsoft has lost it's way.

@kb

Once again, you've got the right icon for your attempt at argument.

Let's recall that the Windows interface was modelled on those that were around at the time running on top of Unix. W3 was much improved by having HP's New Wave running on top of it and it was in part that that contributed to W95 (if anyone noticed HP had copyright labels on W95). And frankly it was 95 that finally got the interface right having borrowed even more from CDE. In fact I'm quite happy to agree that the 95 interface hit a sweet spot that no Unix GUI I remember from that time had managed.

Since about 2K the Windows interface, in my view, has been going downhill. Unix-like systems, OTOH, by never having a specific GUI tied into the guts of the OS (the earlier comments about how limited the Unix kernel was are directly relevant) were free to explore alternatives. So KDE, for example, has taken the W95 idioms and built on them with such features as multiple workspaces. No Linux or Unix user need to be tied to a specific user interface; we feel really sorry for you poor Windows users, stuck with whatever mistakes MS have made this time round.

And that test-based interface you sneer at? Quite often I use KDE to throw up a terminal screen so I can use it for those tasks where no GUI is quite as slick or where I need the world's best text editor.

In terms of user interface I have the best of both worlds. I have choice.

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Re: Microsoft has lost it's way.

"Its a legacy thing, these days."

Those of us who've been around long enough have seen various things come and go. Everything that seemed that got displaced had seems to be here to stay. Those who can't visualise Windows being displaced in that way are those who don't have a long enough perspective. To be blunt, not only can I see Windows being displaced in relatively short order I can also see the beginning of the end for Linux.

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Re: I give it a month ..

"I get so many requests for migration advice"

I almost wish I hadn't retired. It could have been a whole new and very profitable line of business.

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Re: "One solution is to boot a Linux USB stick ..."

@kb

Your icon is well chosen. It applies to your understanding of the issue.

Firstly, There's lots of S/W that provides for everyday uses - including A/V creation.

As to your SMB accounting argument, I can only assume that you're very young. Those of us who've been round the block a few times remember running SMB accounting on the likes of SCO Unix boxes before Linus had ever set finger to keyboard and when the best use of a M/S operating system was to run a terminal emulator to connect to said boxes. It may be beyond your imagination but that's how it was.

The real problem lies with very specialised S/W where the vendor has gone out of business or which were written to commission and the source was never provided to the customer. Worst of all are those that drive some external piece of H/W such as industrial machinery or medical instruments. In many such cases the S/W is limited to specific releases of Windows. Not only can the software be moved to non-Windows platforms, it can't even be moved beyond XP.

Now let's consider your comment about the hostility of FOSS to proprietary S/W. Yes it exists and no, it's of little consequence. Any OS is simply a platform. You can run nothing but FOSS on it if that's your religion. Alternatively it's there for any proprietary developer to build anything they want on top and that's what happens. This Linux laptop of mine can - and does - run the same Informix RDBMS software that I've supported on servers for big businesses. It could equally well run DB2 and, should I ever lose my marbles, Oracle. All proprietary databases. And if you'd pull your head out of your arse long enough to look around you'd find that your beloved Microsoft has realised that if it can't beat them it has to join them and ported SQL Server to Linux as well.

Oracle fights Russian software policy with Postgres smear

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"Russia's got a very handy fig leaf for any action that hurts western firms: Edward Snowden's exploits"

Is shooting the messenger elReg editorial policy? Probably not but this one got through.

Iain Duncan Smith's Universal Credit: A timeline

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"cancelling the project would result in a huge write-off, something that the department will be particularly reluctant to do"

An alternative view would be to ask if there's actually anything salvageable.

Mystery Kindle update will block readers from books after Wednesday

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"Could just be a matter they have to revoke their secure connection keys"

An update needing several reboots seems a bit excessive if it's nothing more than that.

Microsoft sets date for SQL Server on Linux

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Re: This is actually largely irrelevant

@ Spanky_McPherson

Apart from the free Linux databases there are a number of established commercial databases that have come from the Unix world. I'd have thought that it would be preferable to use one of those rather than a recent port.

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Re: This is actually largely irrelevant

" a web system based on Linux, and want a member of staff who knows SQL Server from their internal Windows systems to be able to code a database for it"

This assumes that SQL Server devs are incapable of working with any other SQL databases. Is that really the case?

Apple engineers rebel, refuse to work on iOS amid FBI iPhone battle

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Re: The end of Apple

"This is marketing baloney and if YOU had lost anyone in that shooting you would want law enforcement to have that info."

At least one of the relatives has expressed support for Apple in this.

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Re: The end of Apple

"They would be arguing, to a Judge no less"

Maybe you haven't spent as much time as I have in courts.

Arguing is what lawyers do. But it's each other they argue with. And when it gets above the first level of tribunal the lawyers for the appellant are essentially arguing that the previous judge was wrong. In this particular case that argument in respect of the first level tribunal is very easy to make: the warrant was issued without Apple even being able to argue their case at all.

And the argument would very simply be that part of their reputation as far as their customers are concerned is their security. If they were forced to degrade that their product would be less valuable.

"The FBI have been pretty clever with this one"

You're right there. They have chosen a specific case where some of the arguments are eliminated because the suspect is dead and wasn't the owner. It's a case where they stand the best chance of getting a precedent set although some of their colleagues have already blown the "just this once" aspect by publicly lining up all the other cases. And if they got a precedent restricted to cases where the suspect was dead this would be very dangerous indeed: an incentive to shoot first and ask questions later.

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Re: You're missing one point

"those engineers really won't have any choice. If they refuse to do as they are told, they could be held personally accountable"

Not if they cease to be employees. They wouldn't be allowed back into the building.

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Re: Source Code

"You just store the encrypted Source Code in a Country, on a Server where you can't be forced to hand it over."

Microsoft's new German centre? How ironic.

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"But the iPhone 6 and 7 aren't invulnerable from this setting precedent which says the feds can use a 200 year old law to force Apple to "do anything it takes to enable access" = fit a backdoor"

Only if Apple were to remain a US company.

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"I'd say it's dragged on long enough and the Apple iPhone product is now fu@'d in marketing terms and brand loyalty."

OTOH making a principled stand Apple's reputation may well have been boosted.

"Any product produced by a business that actively defies the law of the land?"

Maybe you don't understand case law. The law of the land on something that's likely to be appealed to the bitter end is undecided until the Supreme Court rules on it. Look on it as being the legal equivalent of Schroedinger's cat if that makes the idea easier for you to grasp.

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Re: The end of Apple

"It's always going to be difficult for Apple to argue that it's an unreasonable burden."

No it wouldn't. The greater part of the burden would be the loss of reputation, a point the OP made & which you've ignored.

Telling your wife why you were fired is the only punishment

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Re: Computer repair and porn

"I always remove the drives before sending the computer for servicing. If it is a software problem I sort it myself if it is hardware the shop can do it without the drives just give them a newly created and never used Linux USB to boot it off."

You & I can do that. Most people can't.

UK.gov's Major Projects Authority ain't saving us any money, say MPs

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Re: Perfect storm

"IDS still at the helm."

Correction: not any longer.

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Re: Perfect storm

"Universal Credit and IDS who at least stayed with the sinking ship"

But it hasn't sunk. It's still afloat, just drifting about with IDS still at the helm.

Web ads are reading my keystrokes and I can’t even spel propperlie

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Re: Awful

That's what happens when you combine a failure to understand the perils of small samples with someone's Christmas present list.

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Re: Advertising in general --

'Repeat the phrase, "It's not a pack of waffle-words, doublespeak, and lies, it's really useful information that helps the consumer" often enough, and the general public begins to believe it.'

No they don't. It's the advertisers themselves, those with stuff to advertise, that come to believe it. The advertising industry's true success is selling themselves to advertisers.

How to make the trains run on time? Satellites. That's how

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Re: Not really necessary

"don't have conflicting traffic to slow them down"

Back in pre-denationalisation days when I commuted on the Chiltern line they'd frequently send a stopping service out just before a delayed through train. It wouldn't have mattered so much but they'd reduced a number of 4 line stations down to 2 so there was no chance to overtake.

Buhtrap hacks whack Russian bank chaps; phish bait works great

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Re: over-reliance on traditional security measures, such as licensed and updating antivirus.

"They think that they can escape the cost of a well trained IT team"

Given that phishing emails were involved it sounds as if it was the general user population that needed to be well trained.

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