* Posts by Dennis

229 posts • joined 23 Mar 2007


Home Secretary in ID card gaffe


Re: I don't get it...

"How's it going to work then, if it's not 'online'?

To check someone's ID some sort of comparison needs to be made the reference (ie. the NIR), but if it's not 'online' how's that possible? Or is Ms Smith's definition of 'online' different to everyone else's?"

I've no idea how the real system will work, but how about ....

The card reader checks your biometrics against the details on the card. The card reader then ask the central system if the hash of the data on the card is correct.

You only need a database of hash values available online.

Man cuffed for lamppost sex outrage


Playground rhyme

Reminds me of a playground rhyme

In days of old

When knights were bold

And women hadn’t been invented

Men cut holes

In telegraph poles

To keep themselves contented

Confidential Home Office data turns up in laptop on eBay


Re: @ CD under the keyboard

"This reminds me of the stories in the 80's and 90's of users 'missing' the floppy or cd drive slot and a service engineer finding a neat little pile of disks inside the machine.

A very slim chance, but maybe that's what happened here?"

Yes. How about the CD wasn't properly seated in the CD drive and the CD got pushed under the keyboard.

I've just taken a look at a Dell laptop and you'd need a bent or loose case, but it looks possible.

So, some sausage fingers in the HO looses a CD inside the laptop and fails to own up and send the laptop for repair to get the CD out. Or they'd been stiffed with a money grabbing support contract and a repair would cost more than a new laptop. "It costs too much to get the CD out - just make another".

It looks like another example of not following the rules about documents with protective marking. Okay, the data was encrypted. But the CD was still marked confidential and should have been handled accordingly.

Gilligan's bomb: Is it time to panic yet?


Re: Detonator

Are modern aircraft less robust than those 50 years ago?

Two 8-foot by 4-foot holes in opposite sides of the aircraft. And still landed at night.


A longer description of the incident is in "Great Mysteries of the Air" by Ralph Barker.

Drunken Korean attempts to cook landlady's Chihuahua


Re: Korean cookbook bestseller...

Jasper Carrott wrote "Sweet and Sour Labrador" .... although the title refers to eating in Hong Kong. You can find second-hand copies around.

Hacker holds onto ill-gotten gains thanks to US courts

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Re: Crime what crime?

While Oleksandr Dorozhko may not have hacked into the system it is likely that he has a connection to the person who did. If that link can be established (even if the hacker isn't identified) then we have a conspiracy.

So even if he didn't hack into the system he could be charged with conspiracy to hack or defraud.

'Suspicious comment' provokes LAX terminal evacuation


He'd just seen his mate ....

Obviously he had just seen his mate and called across the lounge: "Hi Jack".

I'm off to delete all Johns from my address book.

Students win appeal against cyberjihad convictions


Re: Sometimes I worry

Exactly. One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist.

If you saw last Sunday's Timeteam they were excavating WW2 defences on Shooter's Hill, London. In the background explanations they said that the Home Guard was expected to fight "to the last man, to the last bullet". They also said that there were plans for secret squads who's task was to hide behind the lines and disrupt the enemy until killed. If the Home Guard had used suicide bombing tactics would we now brand them as terrorists?

How believable are government claims on ID cards?

Black Helicopters

Lies, damn lies and statistics

It's interesting to spot the bias that is built into the available answers.

Look at Section 5 - believability. There are five possible answers:

Very believable

Somewhat believable

Slightly believable

Not at all believable

Don't know

So with three of the answers you believe in these fairy stories. Cunning. Where is the "Somewhat unbelievable" or "Slightly unbelievable"?

Then on the next page we read: "mean score out of 5, where 5 is very important and 1 is not at all important". But there were only two options between these choices. So they are mapping four answers onto the range 1 to 5.

Eighty-three percent of statistics are made up on the spot.

Email trail from navy man to London 'terror' site goes fuzzy

Black Helicopters

Mr Arab-Sounding-Name must be a terrorist because ....

FBI Agent: Do you want to buy some guns? They would be useful for terrorist actions.

Mr Arab-Sounding-Name: No thank you, I am not interested.

<< move on five years >>

Prosecutor: Mr Arab-Sounding-Name must be a terrorist because he participated in a discussion on preparing for a terrorist action.

The Thought Police have been and gone. You're now guilty if you have a foreign name and use the word "terrorist".

Is there no end to this madness?


Rhetoric is not enough to justify the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and the millions spent by DHS. You need to find a terrorist. If you can't find one, make one.

Amateur code breaker honoured for defeating Colossus


Re: Short sighted oaf.

Doesn't history show that Churchill was not a successful leader in peace time?

By destroying the machines he hid the success of Bletchley Park. This avoided the question of whether we could have made better use of the information. If you make too much use of the information the enemy can conclude the code is broken. Can you save both Coventry and the Atlantic convoys?

Leaked email reveals civil service laptop rules


Re: But WTF...

Laptops are very popular in offices when you can't rely on the electrical supply. Desktop systems suck if you get brownouts several times a day. Laptops were suddenly very popular in Californian offices when they ran out of electricity.

Anyway, the point that is being hammered home is you can take the laptop out but you must leave the personal data behind ... unless it is properly encrypted.

I'm sure the MRC has lots of statistical data or technical data that escape these restrictions. Statistical data on a drug trial may be commercially sensitive but it's not personal data.

Spirit discovers life on Mars

Black Helicopters

Looking in the wrong place

Damn. We've all been looking in the wrong place. It's not Area 51. The Martians have visited Copenhagen and tried to copy the Little Mermaid statue.

UK gov sets rules for hacker tool ban

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Re: hmm.. most people on the reg cannot read it seems... including the reg themselves


"if one reads the 1990 act amendment, you'll notice that it states that the offence only applies IF the accused *knowingly* adapts or supplies the application for use in a criminal offence... i.e. it's not what the software can do for you, but what you are guilty of using it for, with intent..."

Reading Section 37 of The Police And Justice Act 2006


The word "knowlingly" doesn't appear.

The problem we face is with the new section 3A(2).

"A person is guilty of an offence if he supplies or offers to supply any article believing that it is likely to be used to commit, or to assist in the commission of, an offence"

So I write a new improved vulnerability scanner. Can I circulate it around bugtraq for pier review? While I know it will be used responsibly by many people I also know that it will be used by some Bad Guys(TM) to find systems they can hack into.

The problem faced by the open source and free tool community is how to avoid "believing that it is likely to be used to commit an offence". If we create a tool and circulate it openly it *will* be picked up by someone and used to do bad things.

In the CPS guidance we see: "what, if any, thought the suspect gave to who would use it; whether for example the article was circulated to a closed and vetted list of IT security professionals or was posted openly". This seems to imply that posting a tool openly risks a charge under Section 3A.

Bloke finds missus working in brothel


Re: Could be worse

Even worse - his mother.

I guess that would make him a real MF.

Ransomware Trojan locks up infected PCs


Ransomware packages

"Ransomware packages (which began appearing early in 2006)"

What about the AIDS Trojan Horse distributed by Dr Joseph Popp in 1989. He was extradited from the US to the UK and charged with blackmail.


Crime-busting gator kills Florida fugitive


'Gator dancing

Perhaps he was trying to be James Bond.

In Live and Let Die, James Bond escapes by running across the backs of crocodiles. I guess this just doesn't work with alligators.

Vista attacked by 13-year-old virus


Windows for Workgroups

Windows for Workgroups. Ah, those were the days.

I remember asking my French flatmate, "Do you know Word for Windows?"

He said, "Yes, fenetre."

Time to go home.

Master crim leaves vital clue at scene of burglary


Village Idiot

I think we should be told ....

.... which village allowed their idiot to wander off.

No data protection exemption for YouTube baby battle video


Someone should tell the Information Commissioner

Someone should tell the Information Commissioner about this European Court of Justice decision.

I've just consulted the Information Commissioner's web site and tried the Self Assessment Guide to determine whether I need to register. My family tree is on my web site.


If you answer YES you are told "YOU ARE UNDER NO REQUIREMENT TO NOTIFY". There is no explanation to Q5 indicating the if you publish personal, family or houshold data you need to register.

Perhaps I will submit a Notification to see what happens.

Motorbike crash man fails to notice loss of leg


Re: Brakes

"Er, many modern machines have the rear brake linked to the front".

Okay, so he didn't need his right foot for breaking. But, what happened when he reached the junction? He'll need to put at least one foot on the ground. If he left his left foot on the gear shift ready for a quick getaway then he found out about the missing appendage when the bike fell over.

Wi-Fi spam man avoids can


Re: Concern

The article indicates that the coffee shop provided a Wi-Fi network for customers to use for free. Peterson was not a customer. Therefore he had no permission to use the network. His actions were beyond accidental use of a free connection, he chose to use the coffee shop's Wi-Fi network.

Consider supermarkets. They provide free plastic carrier bags for their customers. What would happen if I walked into a supermarket, took hundreds of carrier bags and walked out? Surely this is theft.

ISPs face down Tories on file sharing


Re: fool

"So if I get run over by a car on my way home tonight, I should go and sue the manufacturer of the car then Mr Cameron?"

No, no. Don't sue the car manufacturer. Sue the road builder.

We all know that it's the responsibility of the road builders to enforce driving laws. Make the roads narrower and full of potholes so that you can't drive too fast. Remove all roads near pubs. And build phone jammers into the road surface.

The Mirror website cracked


But which mirror?

Google tells me that the web site for The Daily Mirror is www.mirror.co.uk

A quick whois on themirror.co.uk shows it to be a "UK individual" not a limited company.

It looks like www.themirror.co.uk is a small scarlet fish and is just domain sitting by "Andrew Michael Phillips".

But, this doesn't explain why there is no response from www.mirror.co.uk

Judges define scope of McKinnon appeal


re: Extradition

Don't forget Joseph Popp was extradited from the US to the UK after distributing the AIDS Trojan.

Of course, since this was before the Computer Misuse Act 1990 he was extradited on a charge of blackmail. Nevertheless, it was an attack on computer systems here in the UK. And he was extradited. Irritatingly he pulled a "Saunders" and avoided trial by virtue of his apparent mental illness.

Computer saves shredded Stasi files


Shredding or torn?

"600 million shreds from 45 million documents"

That's thirteen shreds for each document. That's not shredding, that's simply tearing it up.

To be effective you need a cross-cut shredder. A shredder that produces pieces of paper the size of a Didcot {cf. The Meaning of Liff].

Ukrainian woman smuggled dope in vibrator


Re: What if

> Instead of carrying it in her bag, she'd had it secreted in her person?

Now that would be a cunning stunt.

Sex with dead deer is illegal, US man finds


Nearly a classic headline

Now that he has been sent for treatment we may never know if he was about to extend his repertoire. If only he had added flagellation to his activities we would have had the headline: Man jailed for flogging a dead horse.


Re: Sooo...

Is that rump roasts or hump roasts?



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