* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Iranian hackers targeted New York dam, had a quick nosy around

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"The analysts detected a machine that was crawling the internet for vulnerable US industrial-control systems."

My first reaction was that maybe DHS should be doing such crawling themselves and advising the manglements of the systems they find.

However, if they're monitoring someone else doing it they're not only achieving the same thing but by being able to tell the manglements that not only do they have an insecure system but that it's been hacked they should be able to provide the manglements with a brown-underware moment that results in the matter being taken seriously.

Free Wi-Fi for the NHS, promises health secretary Jeremy Hunt

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"Only slightly tongue in cheek"

Is there an operation for that?

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Re: Silliest thing I've read in a long time

" I've already joined one such scheme to track my own blood test results"

This means that the hospital's systems are linked to the network running the WiFi which is linked to the internet. So with a misconfigured router, or one with a security hole your blood tests are potentially accessible to the internet, and could potentially be deleted or changed from there. Doesn't this worry you a little?

Scandal-hit Toshiba cutting 7,000 jobs, heads for $4.5bn loss

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Re: The payroll pyramid

"They did fire half the C-suite."

Half measures?

DEAD MAN'S SOCKS and other delightful gifts from clients

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Re: A dozen Easter Eggs.

"I hear that Easter Eggs are on sale already in some shops"

My granddaughter will be pleased to hear that.

Juniper 'fesses up to TWO attacks from 'unauthorised code'

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Re: Where is the QA?

"it is impossible for a beanie to value the stuff-ups avoided by having 'enough' QA"

Just get an insurance quote to cover fines, class actions, loss of income due to loss of reputation, cost of remediation & anything else you can think of. Avoiding that's the value.

New bill would require public companies to disclose cybersecurity credentials

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"I suppose the presumption for the bill is that it will help the corp. in some way (financially) by demonstrating expertise and hence investors will come flocking."

Not by demonstrating expertise but by acquiring it.

Windows for Warships? Not on our new aircraft carriers, says MoD

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Re: better than 28 backspaces ...

I had the updated version of grub notified through the usual Debian upgrade channel and installed on my laptop before I even got round to reading the article on el Reg. No waiting until patch Tuesday. Downloaded and installed in a fraction of the time I've ever seen any Windows patch arrive and no attempt to force a multi-gigabyte OS ?upgrade onto it.

ICO slaps HIV support group with £250 fine following email blunder

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Re: It's 2016 for cripes sake....

"Who can be THAT unfamiliar with how email works?"

Most users AFAICS.

T'was the night before Christmas, and an industrial control system needed an upgrade

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I've seen the opposite. Vendor's support ending at the end of the year so we proposed to cut over to a replacement during the Christmas break. Top management said no. Subsequently discovered that external accountants were sneaked in over the break to value the business for acquisition.

Congress strips out privacy protections from CISA 'security' bill

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Re: Looks the Safe Harbour demise didn't make them more careful...

"I don't think they give a shit because they have got ISPs routing everything through the US anyway."

Which "they" is your "they"? NSA might not worry. BigCos losing business to EU companies (the best outcome all round) will. And I suppose they will make their concern$ known to politician$ in the time-honoured way.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

This idea of Trumps about pulling the plugs. From this side of the pond it sounds like a good idea.

Canadian live route map highlights vulnerabilities to NSA spying efforts

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Re: The Traveling Salesman Problem

"Perhaps the routing algorithm is distance-unaware and is optimizing based on other, similar parameters"

First found?

Dixons Carphone CEO dances on rivals’ graves, swipes share from survivors

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Re: Comet

"I wasn't harassed by salesmen either"

But did they try to sell you extended warranty for your thermal compound?

After safe harbour: Navigating data sovereignty

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"But there is the option of encrypting a customer's data with their own key(s) in such a way that the cloud service never has access to said keys."

If this is just the customer using the service for storage, then yes. But the problems start when the service company is doing some processing. Think, for instance, of your pension company processing your data in the US. Or your employer using an online HR system there.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"There is also a move in the US to pass the Judicial Redress Act, which would give non-US residents a chance to complain to the same degree as US citizens if their data is mishandled."

Which again fails on exactly the same basis as Safe Harbour did.

It really is very simple. You cannot export EU citizens' personal data from the EU to the US. If you want to process it in any way you have to do so in the EU or any country with equivalent rules and with a sufficient legal air-gap to stop the US's view that they're entitled to go anywhere they please to get any data they choose. Nothing else will do. Now stop whining & just get on with doing what you know you have to do.

And yes, I know about GCHQ & the rest. I've a feeling they'll be on the receiving end of a challenge sooner rather than later. One step at a time.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Schrems has nothing to answer for

"Schrems has also taken out a new case against the Standard Contractual Clauses."

Excellent news. I suppose it's too much to expect whoever the defendants are to fold on the basis that such clauses have exactly the same problem that Safe Harbour did.

Strict new EU data protection rules formally adopted by MEPs

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The ECHR should be behind this. The ECHR decision on Safe Harbour came about because Schrems wasn't satisfied with the relevant regulator's response (in that case Ireland). So if the ICO doesn't get their finger out then they also might be taken to court. I suppose the Treasury might be egging them on as well - the thought of 4% of the global turnover of Google or Facebook or MS. Mmmm all that data from W10....

Vote now to name HPE's London boozer

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I'm sorry to find that both of what I considered the best two suggestions are AWOL: The Offshore Inn and The Jolly Coda.

Hollywood given two months to get real about the price of piracy

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Re: Out on a limb here

"Someone stole their stuff "

Did they? In that case they should be made to give it back.

Philips backs down over firmware that adds DRM to light

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'Such things are always done to offer users the best "experience"'

Experience. There's a word on the same level as "your call is important to us". Why do they never realise that all this clap-trap just makes things worse?

AFAICS they actually had a good story - whether true or not I don't know - that some "compatible" kit wasn't. They could have reiterated that & said something along the lines of "Some of you insist on taking the risks. OK, on your heads be it."

Let's shut down the internet: Republicans vacate their mind bowels

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These smartest people he wants to use. How does he define smartest? If he means smarter than himself he's setting the bar fairly low.

Former Sugar babe of Viglen fame set for Chrimbo exit

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“I’ve been running Alan Sugar’s companies for the last 25 years, and that’s why I know a little bit about technology,”

What a wonderful sentence. One could spend hours thinking about the possible interpretations.

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"Seems a lot of turnover for a company with no apparent market presence."

I didn't even realise they were among those still present.

Be afraid, Apple and Samsung: Huawei's IoT home looks cheaper and better

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cheaper and better

Better fits into the scale good>better>best.

I have yet to be persuaded that "good" applies to the IoT let alone "better".

At least 10 major loyalty card schemes compromised in industry-wide scam

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"Some of your information (e.g. your email address) is only as safe as the weakest link."

Which email address would than be? People who are likely to be long term suppliers get their own address, these days the rest get one which is used for a few weeks & then torn down (they used to get a hotmail address). An email address doesn't need to be "your information" for any greater value of "your" than you choose to make it.

IT infrastructure on demand? Yeah right, say devs

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If your business thinks that 8 hours or even a week is reasonable notice you're doing things wrong. If you have some project that requires resources then the time to bring operation into the planning is at the start along with everyone else.

Having said that I have been in the situation of arriving at work one morning and being grabbed by the data input team because they had several temps just arrived to enter data for which no software existed because it hadn't even been mentioned to anybody in IT. And another instance when my first meeting with the project team was a day or so before go-live - fortunately I'd heard about that one on the grape-vine & although I hadn't done any coding I'd thought it through & realised it wasn't difficult. Those were exceptions because usually I and my team had good working relations with the rest of the business and because, in those far off days, we did S/W, DBA & Unix admin as a single team we didn't get into the sort of face-offs implied by this report.

Cyber security buck stops with me, says Dido Harding

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In view of http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-35110909 maybe the board should consider leaving security in the hands of someone who actually knows about it.

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Re: Really?

"Rather less if, as is usual, the scrotes are happily ensconced in Russia"

Fortunately the "dumbest, pigshit-thick woodentop" appears to have been brighter than you as several suspects have been apprehended and the nearest to any of them being ensconced in a foreign country is one in Co Antrim, N Ireland.

Lettuce-nibbling veggies menace Mother Earth

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Re: But what about the one true root vegetable....?

"So we call them spuds, or tubers if we went to agricultural college."

A tuber is a storage organ formed from a stem.

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Re: Yawn

"Actually, it's not closed."

You missed the fact that I completely ignored the hydraulic cycle.

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Re: But what about the one true root vegetable....?


Sorry, but they're not roots, they're stems. Those eyes? They're buds which you find on stems, not roots.

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Re: Yawn

"Turning camel manure into CO2 and NOx doesn't seem to be an entirely rational approach to reducing GHGs. How about composting the manure and feeding the grass with that. More grass, more camels, less pollution."

The grass will fix the CO2 and the NOx will be rained out of the atmosphere into the ground & taken up by the grass. It's not strictly a closed system unless you put a big glass box over your house, lawn and camel but it's balanced.

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"But where will the raw materials for our food grade 3D printers come from?"

HP. But you'll be able to donate the "empty" cartridges to the poor.

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"Are there any long term studies regarding growing, harvesting, and consumption of tomatoes, given they are related to nightshade ?"

As are spuds. The fruit of spuds look rather like tomatoes but are poisonous as they contain alkaloids similar to those of nightshade. Spuds also develop alkaloids if they're exposed to sunlight & turn green. The vegetative parts of tomatoes also contain alkaloids. OTOH many commercially produced tomatoes seem to contain little but water.

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"It was producing 2 to 3 300 mm long cukes per day for many weeks"

SWMBO here only grows the dwarf variety & gets to eat the lot. Horrible fruit although the cuco-melons she tried one year were worse.

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I'd have thought the T of the BLT would have been as bad as cucumbers. Both are predominantly greenhouse crops, at least in the UK.

Beleaguered Microsoft customers: Streamline your licensing

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Re: how about the SME's then?

"Not everyone is like you."

Be fair. He's got a job to protect.

Mine's the one with a copy of the GPL in the pocket.

New data porting rules mustn't overburden businesses with costs, says UK minister

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Re: Is it just me

No it's not just you. Having read the article I still don't know what problem they're supposed to be solving.

Red Hat launches dedicated enterprise cloud platform

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"For $48,000 a year, the Linux distro provides a high-availability cluster with five nodes, four application nodes, 48TB of bandwidth, premium support, and 100GB of data."

Alternatively, for $48,000 a year you could buy a lot of PCs.

EU mobile roaming rules to save customers billions in bills

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"They'll make up the loss by jacking up non-EU roaming."

More likely they'll jack up all rates. Why stop at non-EU roaming?

3 continents, 8 countries and one cyber attack on a fake petrol company

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I don't know whether the scenario has much effect on the exercise but if it does then this seems to follow a traditional military strategy planning pattern: fighting the last war or the war before that. Even a scenario modelled on Sony would have been more recent than that chosen but the current attack-de-jour seems to be DDOS.

New gear needed to capture net connection records, say ISPs

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Cheap solution

3rd hand old tape drive.

Access? "See that pile of unlabelled QICs there? You're welcome to look through them. No you can't borrow our drive, it's in use."

Expert welcomes UK’s digital health recommendations

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"Among the advice she gave was a recommendation that the UK government ensure that there is access to free Wi-Fi within all NHS buildings in England."

Why? Does she also recommend that ISPs give free health treatments?

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Re: They're not serious about this

"Repeat prescriptions actually work!"

Lucky old you. After several reissued passwords SWMBO still hasn't been able to log on to get repeat prescriptions.

HMRC aims for fully digital tax system by 2020. Yeah, whatever

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Re: No end to tax returns

"And you have to check that they've calculated it right. If they get it wrong... who's fault is it?"

That's easy. If the tax came out too small it was your fault but if it came out too much then it's your fault for misunderstanding because obviously it was correct all along.

Microsoft to OneDrive users: We're sorry, click the magic link to keep your free storage

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Re: The Problem Seems To Be Both Simple And Predictable.

"the complete failure of the IT industry to make a simple and secure server product suitable for home use"

Failure to make? No, there've been such products about for years. Failure to sell, apparently so. But I suspect that the demand for storage as a service comes mostly from people wanting to access storage from mobile devices. Providing that from a home device would mean punching holes in the home router's firewall (apart from those pre-punched by too many vendors!) which would be beyond most of the potential market.

Maybe what's needed is a home device that can combine storage with router/firewall pre-configured to provide external access AND good security.

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Re: it is practically impossible to not use it.

" but the default when setting up a new windows machine is to create a cloudy account and use that"

On 7? That's what the original claim was about.

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Re: Bah

"This is an irrefutable, documented fact."

Citation or it's neither.

Assange inquisition closer after Sweden, Ecuador sign pact

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Re: Once

"deliver him to the authorities in the UK"

Who might well deport him back to Australia after he's served his sentence.

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