* Posts by Alan Brown

8 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Mar 2008

Where has all the bad storage gone?

Alan Brown

Replication is not backup either!

Ditto on the comments about raid, but simply using rsync or other techniques to copy your files to a remote drive isn't a backup strategy either.

What happens when the file you just copied turns out to be corrupt? You need an older version.

How many older versions do you need? In one case where a telco killed their system, they had to go back 14 MONTHS to find data images for a phone exchange that weren't corrupted, then wind in all the incremental changes over a 4 week period. Meantime 90,000 people had dodgy phone service (I was one of them)

Home backups are a pain in the a***, primarily because of media fragility and where to keep it safely (backing up 1Tb+ onto DVDs is a no-go, big tapes are pricey and hard drives are touchy)

For $orkplace I use Bacula, but I'm backing up several tens of Terabytes with it and have all the right gear (tape robot, fibre, giant data safe, blah blah etc ) to go with it.

Bacula's fairly simple to setup for home use. It doesn't have a whizzy gui and you need a propellor beanie to set it up, BUT it works really well.

The online services seem like a good idea, modulo the question of "can you trust them?" - encypting your data BEFORE it goes upstream might solve that though - but you still have the issue of blowing your data cap every time you make a full backup. :(

Mine's the one with the tinfoil beanie in the shoulder pocket.

'Malware-friendly' Intercage back among the living

Alan Brown

Lest we forget...

Intercage and their previous incarnation (Atrivo) were caught redhanded on several occasions indulging in network hijackings - in most cases finding still-allocated netspace belonging to dead companies and taking control of them by putting in forged update paperwork.

In the first such case I found in early 2003, Atrivo simply just started broadcasting routes for netspace belonging to a NZ insurance company who use the address ranges in question behind a firewall. They switched to the paperwork forgery model shortly afterwards.

Alan Brown

Our networks - our rules, live with it.

"The Internet" isn't a public network, it's an interconnected network of privately owned networks.

Intercage and any other enity on the Internet get to do business or have access to other people's netscape for as long as those other people are prepared to let them have access.

if this sounds familiar it's because private property laws work the same way.

Noone's holding a gun to any entiy's head and telling them they MUST block Intercage or Rackspace or the RBN or anything else. Using BLs is voluntary and they're only advisory systems.

The author seems to be under the impression that by refusing to do business with a known bad actor "we" are bad people and that by walling off Intercage and their providers from our networks, that "we" are hurting Intercage and UnitedLayer's (or PIE's) business and "we" must be forced to change that. That sounds perilously like a fundamental breach of rights of free association (or freedom to NOT associate).

Get real, fella: If they want to PAY me for access to my network, then they can have it via contract, otherwise they get access as long as they don't cause trouble. If they do, the welcome mat is no longer out and they can pound sand. This principle has been upheld in multiple court cases worldwide.

if Intercage don't like it then tough, they've been making money off of network abusers for years. If Intercages non-abusive clients don't like it they can always move to a provider who doesn't tolerate spam and spam support operations.

If UnitedLayer don't like it, they can always remove their known abusive clients...

Registrars turn blind eye to sites selling illegal steroids

Alan Brown
Paris Hilton

Fake registrars

It's worth noting that Knujon recorded 67 _registrars_ have having no contact details at the beginning of this month.

Following an ICANN crackdown, 20 of the registrars are now listed at one location and at least one of the registrars (Parava) involved in the story above has FAKE registration details.

ICANN has played fast and loose with accountability, they have a consistent history of not following up to registrars on complaints about fake domain registration details (ICANN only created a procedure to handle this after sustained complaints of registrar inaction) and now they clearly aren't even bothering to verify if a registrar actually exists.

Given what i know about the people within ICANN, I'm not particularly surprised, Style over substance every step of the way...

Paris, because she's fake too.

Phone watchdog plans text spam clampdown

Alan Brown

replies to comments

Some comments for readers who have asked questions:

1: Banning texts without valid numbers - These are already illegal. No enforcement action is ever taken.

2: Escrow: already happening, but investigations don't stop payments being sent.

3: "Outside ICSTIS remit" - It's funny that, isn't it.... See my other posting.

4: Blocking origins of spam: Hard. It's trivial to forge SMS envelopes if you have access to the SMS network - it's even less secure than Email. Some telcos are trying harder than others , but the reality is that spammers simply walk around their blocks.

5: Following the money. "Why yes" - but Ofcom makes it pretty clear it is not interested in individual breaches of the law and that's WHY we have such a problem. Perhaps a lawsuit forcing them to enforce the laws is in order?

Alan Brown

Regulator? Yeah right!


It was created in the 80s/90s to avoid govt legislation on the phone sex line charges which were causing trouble then.

It exists to SEEM to be doing something, not to actually do anything.

It was delegated a very small amount of power recently by Ofcom (which now says that companies are obliged to do what ICSTIS tells them, but the fines aren't enforceable) If rulings are ignored all ICSTIS can do is refer to Ofcom.

ICSTIS/PhonepayPlus = Paper Tiger - something created to avoid REAL legal powers being used and hurting the members of ICSTIS.

Awed fraudsters defeated by UK's passport interviews

Alan Brown
Black Helicopters

Fraudulent applications? Terrorism or fraudsters?

It strikes me that the process is there to achieve 1 thing:

Gather biometrics to prevent one person assuming multiple identities and gathering a passport collection (more likely a fraudster than a terrorist, there are hundreds of times more of the former) - most likely as a precursor to the infamous Universal ID card.

It's being sold as an anti-terrorism weapon, but we're all tired of that old schtick - more to the point a birth certificate is NOT valid as ID - for 11 quid I can obtain any one I want to and there is very little currently being done to ensure people are who they say they are, so it's not going to stop an Al Quaeda footsoldier obtaining a single passport.

If Mr and Mrs Hussain from Peckham are given _any_ grief by the interviewer when they are entitled to a passport, that'd be grounds for legal action on the basis of institutional racism - and a determined fraudster is more likely to turn up in a pinstripe suit carrying a briefcase as that kind of applicant is far less likely to be given a second glance.

Black Helo, because the photos in ALL my passports (all legitimate) look like I should be on XYZ most-wanted list - a few immigration officials have said so too.

Army says farewell to UK's 'bugger-off' airbag drone

Alan Brown
Dead Vulture

Quality British workmanship.....

Were they designed/built by British Leyland^W^WRover by any chance?