back to article Iran X.25 terrorists actually BANKERS

An innocent explanation has emerged after a security expert linked a group of Islamic extremists to Iran after supposedly discovering the crew on a list of state-sanctioned leased telephone lines in the Middle East nation. Mike Kemp, a co-founder of UK-based Xiphos Research, found two entries for "Ansar Al-Mujahideen" in a …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of Course if this info was seen by the US

    No amount of double checking would have saved them from a carpet bombing of his house

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Of Course if this info was seen by the US

      No amount of double checking would have saved them from a carpet bombing of his house

      That would have been easy to avoid: just stay in the house. Their aim isn't exactly sterling..

    2. Throatwobbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Of Course if this info was seen by the US

      Where are all the people from the other thread who swore this was a US-Iranian running dog imperialist plot?

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Of Course if this info was seen by the US

        Where are all the people from the other thread who swore this was a clearly proof of collusion between Iran and Osama/Al-Qaeda/Taliban, which everyone knows about anyway?

        Fox news must be showing something about Romney's Missus again.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Of Course if this info was seen by the US

      Allah must have been smiling down on the Bank of Ansar yesterday --- upon being alerted by The Register report I was able to call off the drone strike with only seconds to spare.

  2. Mystic Megabyte
    Happy

    I set up an X25 link to a Swiss bank from it's London office. It was interesting to see the passwords go through in plain text.

    Sent from my luxury yacht somewhere warm.

    1. John Deeb
      Boffin

      And plain text password transmission have what exactly to do with X.25 links? Probably you saw a link password being transmitted in BX.25. That's something at the link layer meant to "pair" requipment perhaps but not meant to seriously control access AFAIK. Even in those days the actual data transmissions were encrypted at most sites.

      1. Best Before:
        Facepalm

        Bank security

        And a fixed line between the 2 endpoints, I have had a hand in setting up a few SWIFT links with the old hardware encryptors on them and whilst you may have been able to see passwords go in via the entry points in cleartext those encyptors and the fixed lines (as well as the ambiguous message formatting) meant it was extremely challenging to intercept.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Terrorists, bankers? same thing. One person terrorist is another man's financial freedom fighter.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Terrorists / Freedom fighters

      A freedom fighter attacks the organs of the state (government, police, army, etc).

      A terrorist attacks the people, to induce terror.

      It's not difficult.

      1. Dr Scrum Master
        Holmes

        Re: Terrorists / Freedom fighters

        and governments, police, army, etc. are staffed by what?

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Terrorists / Freedom fighters

        > A freedom fighter attacks the organs of the state (government, police, army, etc).

        > A terrorist attacks the people, to induce terror.

        And when the organs of the state attack the people, we become terrorists.

  4. Frank Bitterlich
    Facepalm

    Not the best "naming convention"?

    Well, duh, it's called a "language", not "naming convention." Get yourself a Farsi dictionary, Mr. Kemp.

    1. Jamie Kitson

      Re: Not the best "naming convention"?

      Yeah, it sounds like he's blaming the bank for his own silly mistake.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Ansar Al-Mujahideen" vs "Ansar al-Mojahedin"?

    That sounds close enough to be a transcription/transliteration issue, rather than a different name.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: "Ansar Al-Mujahideen" vs "Ansar al-Mojahedin"?

      Iran/Iraq - only one letter different, does it matter which one we bomb?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That sound very much like a carefully-worded prepared statement. I wonder who was standing over him while he wrote it, and what type of weapon they were holding?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Devil

      Probably the dreaded Dumbass Attack Truncheon of Fail, a fearsome weapon that instantly covers the victim in ridicule and opprobium.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Xiphos Research Penetration Testing

    Why am I not surprised, sensationalism trumped genuine security research about 12 years ago. Good to know that Xiphos Research Penetration Testing is just as bad as the next guy!

  8. Mayday
    Pint

    The old days

    Ahhhh X25. Those were the days. When stuff just worked (after lots of messing around with no google there to see if someone else wrote about it in a blog post). Give me a VT100. They used to just work too.

    Cheers to all the bits and pieces that have either grown or fallen aside to get us where were are today.

    Boos to those who see the word "Iran" or "Islamic" and instantly assume it means "al-Qaeda" or "terrorist"

  9. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Meanwhile in London

    The International Reading Association is regretting it's new logo design

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only still used in Iran??!!!!

    Yeah right, I know of plenty of well known UK institutions who still use X.25, we're actually putting in new X.25 lines into a data centre right now so that we can support a major institutions back end infrastructure that still relies on X.25.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Only still used in Iran??!!!!

      Too true. We still sell lots of it, and the most recent version of the standard (a few years back now) added extra parameters that made it work on very high-speed, low-latency links ike satellite comms. It may have been the precursor to IP, but it isn't dead yet by a long chalk.

  11. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
    WTF?

    "a security researcher rather than a hacker"

    There's a difference?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    XOT

    You can run X.25 over IP, it is called XOT. It is RFC1613.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: XOT

      Strictly speaking XOT is X.25 over TCP, not just over IP. For completeness, RFC 877 (obsoleted by RFC 1356) describes how to run IP over X.25. You can build some interesting stacks...

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