* Posts by Guy Fawkes

9 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Feb 2008

Fraud guardian LifeLock accused of fraud

Guy Fawkes

It's worse than that...

The three major credit reporting agencies *sell* the data they collect. Experian has in the past even run their own spam-for-hire operation. And if an enterprising ID thief has sufficient resources, they can buy large blocks of consumer names, addresses, and social security information - it has been done.

And there is almost no legal protection against these parasites in the USA. The law requires the CRAs to remove derogatory information automatically after a certain period of time, and to place an annotation from the consumer on disputed debts, but unless you have the financial resources of Bill Gates (so that yo ucan take the CRAs to court), there's no enforcement; and a phony "creditor" can renew derogatory information simply by "selling the debt" to another branch of the same company, under a different corporate name, so the only way to really get the info removed is to pay the blackmailer.

I'd be enormously happy if LifeLock and Experian drove each other, and the other 2 CRAs, out of business.

Geordie cops arrest two for Wi-Fi squatting

Guy Fawkes

@ Fraser

"how many OSes automatically connect to any WiFi access point that they can? My XP laptop certainly doesn't, I would regard this as a massive security flaw if it did."

Either you are a liar, or you have specifically configured your XP laptop to *not* connect to any signal it can. The default configuration of Windows XP (at least as recently as Service Pack 2) is to connect to any signal it sees - whether that be an AP, or an ad-hoc (aka "per-to-peer") network. And that's why any time you see "free Public Wi-Fi" you should suspect a "man-in-the-middle" attack, but I digress...

It *is* a massive security flaw. But it's also Microsoft Windows. The Windows design philosophy is to build a system that can be used by idiots (and sure enough, it *is* used by idiots).

Guy Fawkes

@ James Bassett

"So are you lot seriously suggesting that because someone doesn't have the technical know-how to lock down their WiFi YOU should be allowed to steal it?"

Indeed, I advocate exactly that position. WiFi routers *should* come from the factory with, at a minimum, WEP enabled, and clear instructions on how to connect to the router without disabling encryption.

If you consider your WiFi signal to be a valuable item, subject to theft, and you don't know how to secure it, then you can hire a professional to secure it for you, just as you would hire a locksmith if you are not capable of installing your own deadbolt on your front door. Or, indeed, just as you would hire someone to install a front door if you haven't one (which is a bit closer analogy to unsecured WiFi).

I am a network professional; I grasp the concepts of WiFi handshaking and authorization. Access Points which are secured are not open for public use; Access Points which are not secured ought to be considered by the law to be open for public use. Full stop.

And for the record, I use only my own AP, and the ones provided explicitly for my own use. My neighbor's signal is unsecured and gives me a full "five bars," but I don't use it; however, I feel he has invited me to do so.

Microsoft bares all - play by play

Guy Fawkes

Open to interpretation?

"Microsoft will publish most of its major protocol data and license the protocols at a reasonable fee."

In the past, when talking about monies coming into the Corporate coffers (as opposed to those flowing out), Microsoft has always defined "reasonable fee" as "easily afforded by a national budget. Like that of Kuwait, Dubai, or Switzerland, for example"

US cruiser nails crippled spy-sat on first shot

Guy Fawkes

@ AC

"Do you get fireballs in a near-vacuum?"

Yes, when you have both fuel and an oxidizer released in close proximity. Did you suppose the hyrdazine was onboard alone, as ballast perhaps? And there was most likely a self-destruct explosive charge on board, too (which couldn't be fired off because the satellite simply never responded to ground commands).

And for those of you smarmy bastards going on about US friendly fire incidents, let me remind you again that UK-inflicted friendly fire has been documented since at least Agincourt (although technically, I suppose that was pre-UK; it's still British, however). The fact that the US military's fire is much more effective than your "modern" Enfields has just made you envious and caused all your bitchy remarks.Why don't you lot have any man-rated oribital launch vehicles, hmm? Is it because British fire control officers can't hit something as big as outer space?

Not so funny when the shoe's on the other foot, is it, Bruce?

Wikileaks judge gets Pirate Bay treatment

Guy Fawkes

@ bob_blah

"Judge White has been pilloried for doing what he, and every other judge presiding in common law jurisdictions, do every day."

And he should be pilloried for it. It's his *job* to make judgments based on arguments presented. Failing (or refusing) to hear the arguments of one side in a dispute makes it impossible to make an impartial judgment.

Judges who simply rubber-stamp the orders drafted by the plaintiff ought to be deported to France.

Guy Fawkes

Re: Military encryption

"Anyone got any idae what is inside those little black encryption boxes used to handle top-secret government and military of data?"

Yes, actually. I held a top Secret/Special Compartmented Information clearance.

GPG 2048-bit keys are significantly more secure than "those little black encryption boxes" you like so much. The "strength" of an encryption method is measured in how long it will take to crack it. The LBEB is good enough, because the value of the information encrypted degrades faster than the time it takes to crack the encryption. GPG cracks can be measured in centuries, which is probably long enough to protect anyone posting a leaked document.

Die for Gaia, save the planet?

Guy Fawkes

@ Neil Hoskins

"Assumption: that viable electric guns are developed that can put stuff into space at escape velocity ..."

It can be done with the technology we have now. Getting someone to pay for the railgun up Mount Everest is the real roadblock.

"Question: with current/predicted technology, does a fission power station produce enough power to heat up my shower, and have enough left over to get rid of its waste at the aforementioned escape velocity?"

A single fission plant to power the railgun (and probably every electricity consumer in Tibet as well) would be able to manage all of the waste from all of the plants needed to convert every single fossil-fuel power plant on the planet. It would also give us the capability of putting large unmanned objects into high orbit without burning any chemical fuel.

Another such launcher in the Andes could expand our capacity enough to make Lunar holidays affordable.

Of course, the nation that controls such a launcher would also have the capacity to put asteroidal bodies *down* anywhere on Earth, without an subsequent nuclear fallout to contaminate places beyond the target zone, so there are certain political issues to worry about, also.

Northern Rock FOI gag 'out of order' say Tories

Guy Fawkes

@ Jamie