* Posts by Brad Ackerman

244 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Aug 2008

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Ransomware payment ban: Wrong idea at the wrong time

Brad Ackerman

Re: Hospitals

Why would a ransomware gang give you the ability to decrypt your data once they've got your money? It happens from time to time, but so does winning after dropping all your money on 00 at the roulette wheel.

Formal ban on ransomware payments? Asking orgs nicely to not cough up ain't working

Brad Ackerman
Mushroom

Re: A simpler solution…

Existing sanctions would be more than adequate when combined with requiring affirmative identification of the recipient of cryptocurrency transfers and correcting any lack of whistleblower commission. If you can identify the recipient and it’s a sanctioned entity, the transfer has to be blocked. If you lie about it and the US takes an interest, say hello to several years of prison1 for everyone who signed off on that transaction; and probably several more people who didn’t directly participate, but commit misprision by deleting communications about it.

The odds of any cryptocurrency industry surviving a regime with that level of AML enforcement border on nonexistent; but if cryptocurrency can find a legal use2 and environmental concerns are addressed with a carbon tax, it should be allowed to continue existing.

1 Conspiracy to fund a sanctioned entity is a big-boy federal offence, so state parole policies do not apply. You serve the sentence you get, and by “several years” I'm assuming your C-suite has no previous record and the gratuity paid to attackers isn’t more than a megabuck. More money is more jail, possibly getting into double-digit years — not that it’s likely to happen more than once with a 10% whistleblower commission.

2 Stranger things have happened.

FBI develops decryptor for BlackCat ransomware, seizes gang's website

Brad Ackerman

Re: Sophisticated and Prolific Cybercriminals

If someone from Russia or North Korea drops a dime, State would either need a license from OFAC to pay the reward or have internal procedures comparable to getting a license; so "may" is correct.

Musk tells advertisers to 'go f**k' themselves as $44B X gamble spirals into chaos

Brad Ackerman

Re: Delusional narcissist

The house speaker is 3rd in line to the presidency. What would happen if someone filled that role who was ineligible to be president and the president & VP both became unable to fill the roles? Would it skip past them to the next in line?

Yes. The order of succession is statutory; the requirement to be a citizen from birth is constitutional.

X's legal eagles swoop on Media Matters over antisemitic content row

Brad Ackerman

Re: I assume that the eagles have been paid up front

These aren't top lawyers. Musk has retained biglaw for the suits he's defending, but this one is too dumb for them to risk their reputation on even if they were to be paid in advance.

This suit was filed by some political hacks whose sole qualification is having worked for the Texas AG/SG offices and not yet having been disbarred.

HP sued over use of forfeited 401(k) retirement contributions

Brad Ackerman
FAIL

Also, only matching 4% is incredibly weak. They're probably paying under market since their employees apparently don't mind the 3 year vest and 4% match.

Ex-GCHQ software dev jailed for stabbing NSA staffer

Brad Ackerman
Mushroom

Re: Stabby stab

Let's ban motorcycles, cars and trucks! Won't all y'all think of the children?

Banning Chelsea tractors would be a quick win. Cars need a weight tax. But what's needed for safety in the US (unless leftpondia has seen a recent influx of monster trucks) are German driving education requirements, actual safety standards that consider people outside of the vehicle (this one is in progress, but slowly), and a fsckton of bollards.

GNOME developer proposes removing the X11 session

Brad Ackerman
Holmes

If IBM's or Canonical's customers care, they'll put some FTEs on DE X11 support. I hope they do that until the accessibility and screensharing issues with Wayland are resolved, but it's not surprising that nobody wants to touch a katamari anymore unless they're being paid.

CDW data to be leaked next week after negotiations with LockBit break down

Brad Ackerman
Facepalm

Re: General question

The ransomware group has the data. It's already been released and legal liability has been incurred. The choice is strictly whether or not to provide a gratuity to them and potentially win a long vacation at His Majesty's pleasure.

Bombshell biography: Fearing nuclear war, Musk blocked Starlink to stymie Ukraine attack on Russia

Brad Ackerman
Holmes

Re: So Musk has blood on his hands

Oryx has photos of all the assets they count so it would be easy to eliminate decoys. But yes, both sides are using them; albeit cardboard isn't AFAIK used for that. (They're wooden or inflatable; cardboard is used for drones, however.)

Pity the story from WWII about the UK dropping a wooden bomb on a group of wooden German decoys is likely fake.

The Pentagon has the worst IT helpdesk in the US govt

Brad Ackerman

Re: Money is funny that way

Some people don't know how much lower DoD contractor salaries are. Some would prefer to work for the government, but the DoD component can't get a waiver to hire a separating servicemember. Some have family or other reasons to stay in the DC area.

Apple security boss faces iPads-for-gun-permits bribery charge... again

Brad Ackerman
Holmes

The ability to give special privileges to your friends is the best-case explanation of why may-issue CCW regimes are in place in the US. You'll know an American jurisdiction is serious about gun control when there is an objective licensing process that applies equally to all, and someone who needs otherwise-illegal firearms for their job (whether it's police officers or private-sector workers) has to check them out of their employer's armory at the start of their shift and check them back in at the end.

OpenZFS 2.2 is nearly here, and ZFSBootMenu 2.2 already is

Brad Ackerman
Boffin

Re: ZFS... pls explain

To enlarge a ZFS pool by replacing drives, you need to replace each drive in a zvol with a larger one. Assuming your zvol is composed of one or more 2-wide mirrors, you would add the new drive to a mirror, wait for resilvering to complete, drop one of the two existing drives from that mirror, and repeat for the other. Here, you created a new 1-wide mirror, which is indeed a pain to recover from and not an uncommon error (especially when attempting to add a cache disk).

If you don't actually have any free drive bays, you can use an external dock to resilver the new drive or YOLO drop one of the existing mirror drives to add the new drive in its place.

Dan Langille has written up this procedure on his blog.

CISA boss says US alliance with Ukraine over past year is closer than Five Eyes

Brad Ackerman
Devil

khat?

That's an interesting crop of the photo; I can't decide if the pun is intended or not.

AWS: IPv4 addresses cost too much, so you’re going to pay

Brad Ackerman

Amazon buys IPv4 blocks at auction or in private sales that track auction prices just like the rest of us who aren't the US DoD.

World's most internetty firm tries life off the net, and it's sillier than it seems

Brad Ackerman
Devil

What Google is doing here is what Microsoft already does (and I assume Google and Amazon) for privileged access—a locked-down computer with only specified applications/websites allowed. If you need something that's not available in that list, you can open a remote desktop session to a less restricted system or use your phone or other laptop.

Goodbye Azure AD, Entra the drag on your time and money

Brad Ackerman

IBM systems never stopped having planars.

Google HR hounds threaten 'next steps' for slackers not coming in 3 days a week

Brad Ackerman
Holmes

Of course there's a substitute for 'coming together in person'

Working on your local airport's flight line is a great substitute, assuming you've got a takeoff at least every minute or two. A data center might work, but you'll probably need a boom box pumping out something unmusical to ensure you can't hear yourself think.

If your employer wants productivity, they'll let you work from home or provide a private office. (Or both. Both is perfectly cromulent.)

US Air Force AI drone 'killed operator, attacked comms towers in simulation'

Brad Ackerman
Boffin

I have been Roland, Beowulf, Achilles, Gilgamesh; and I seem to have left my coat aboard UESC Marathon.

Dyson moans about state of UK science and tech, forgets to suck up his own mess

Brad Ackerman
WTF?

Re: Pay

Everything's backwards in the US - the more you make, the less you pay for healthcare.

Fancy trying the granddaddy of Windows NT for free? Now's your chance

Brad Ackerman
Meh

Re: Kernel design

The stupidly short MAX_PATH is correctable with a registry setting; I have no idea why it's not turned on by default at least in 2022, but I'm not particularly wise in the ways of WNT heavy wizardry. (I'm a MS employee, but my attempts to parse the os.2020 repository typically end in a headache.)

When Google cost cutting goes molecular: Staples, sticky tape, and PC sweating

Brad Ackerman
Holmes

It seems a bit of a stretch for cutting coffee and doughnuts to be in any way responsible for Carly Fiorina buying Compaq and spinning off Agilent.

Psst! Infosec bigwigs: Wanna be head of security at HM Treasury for £50k?

Brad Ackerman
Thumb Down

Re: Top-up

Even in the US, police officer doesn't make the list of most dangerous occupations. The paperwork might bore you to death, though.

University staff voice 'urgent, profound concern' as Oracle finance system delays payments

Brad Ackerman
Mushroom

IOW they can frak up as well as the US DoD. Congratulations. I think.

Breached health insurer won't pay ransom to protect customers, warns of more attacks

Brad Ackerman
Black Helicopters

Re: Good!

It would generally be illegal for a private entity to put that sort of reward up, yes. But the government could do it. (Whether they should is more complicated even if we can all agree that they deserve it.)

Indeed, the Australian government is currently providing lethal aid for Ukraine; doing in Russian ransomware operators is a third-level effect of doing in the Russian Armed Forces and not a direct goal, but it doesn't matter whether the cat is black or white so long as it catches mice.

Brad Ackerman
FAIL

The legal theory would presumably be that Medibank negligently allowed unauthorised persons access to information they were required to protect. Paying the perpetrators doesn't somehow retroactively render them authorised.

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket launches after three-year hiatus with secret US sats

Brad Ackerman
Black Helicopters

Re: Yeah the fog was disappointing

Jewish space lasers are USAF (or USSF?) assets, not NSA. DoD takes its turf wars very seriously, possibly even more so than actual wars.

I never figured out how a laser manages to be shomer kashrut, but that's a different story.

FYI: Microsoft Office 365 Message Encryption relies on insecure block cipher

Brad Ackerman
Devil

Re: The "ECB penguin"

That's why ECB stands for "Electronic Colouring Book".

The CHIPS Act won't end US reliance on foreign foundries

Brad Ackerman
Stop

Re: water

That should be "the free-market capitalism that Texas claims to support". They'll happily send men with guns to stop Safeway from selling whiskey on Sunday morning; and forget about opening a card room that competes with the state-run numbers racket. Even the gun laws aren't very permissive compared to hard-core red states like (checks notes) Washington.

Nomad to crypto thieves: Please give us back 90%, keep 10% as a reward. Deal?

Brad Ackerman
Facepalm

Control of a cryptocurrency wallet is irrelevant to whether a transfer of ownership has been perfected. The government doesn't give a flying toaster what a smart contract does when deciding if someone has broken the law.

Intel ships crypto-mining ASIC at the worst possible time

Brad Ackerman
Devil

Are they at least usable (and economical) for password cracking?

Google said to be taking steps to keep political campaign emails out of Gmail spam bin

Brad Ackerman
Trollface

Re: Seen this poo before

867-5309. The area code is unimportant; Jenny is omnipresent.

Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes

Brad Ackerman
Devil

Re: RE: Simple question: if knowledge is so completely lost...

I'm being nibbled to death by cats.

Who you gonna call? Premium numbers, but a not-so-premium service

Brad Ackerman
Devil

666-HWHY gets you the St. Judas Church of Holy Tribulation and Tax Evasion.

The Ministry of Silly Printing: But I don't want my golf club correspondence to say 'UNCLASSIFIED' at the bottom

Brad Ackerman
Holmes

Re: Back in the early 90's

Emacs still calls them frames, and the thing most applications call a tab is what Emacs calls a window.

Facebook may soon reveal new name – we're sure Reg readers will be more creative than Zuck's marketroids

Brad Ackerman
Boffin

Protogen, not that Zuck is a fraction as competent as Jules-Pierre Mao.

Dell won't ship energy-hungry PCs to California and five other US states due to power regulations

Brad Ackerman
FAIL

Re: As a Californian, all I can sat is "Who cares?".

If the GOP weren't lying through its teeth about wanting small government, TX would indeed be a libertarian paradise. Make sure to try the unicorn brisket when you go there, because we don't have that stuff in the real world.

Anyone fancy a Snowmobile full of Bags O'Crap? It'll be on the list somewhere

Brad Ackerman

Day 6: bobcat

Gung-ho tank gamer spills classified docs in effort to win online argument

Brad Ackerman

Re: Does OSA apply if you are outside UK?

In the US it's illegal for someone who has lawful access to classified information to disseminate it in an unauthorised manner. But someone who receives classified information doesn't share the obligation to STFU if they didn't direct the unauthorised dissemination. (New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971))

Big Blue's big email blues signal terminal decline – unless it learns to migrate itself

Brad Ackerman
Facepalm

All the virtualization technology that Amazon and Microsoft are making big bucks off of today was invented by IBM so long ago that the patents expired before Amazon was a thing. The big cloud companies are having to vertically integrate to work around some vendors' *cough*Intel*cough* inability to deliver and to cut out other vendors who are at risk of being bought by a direct competitor. You know which company other than 3M was really good at vertical integration? Three guesses, and the first two don't count.

Gerstner had some of the right ideas; if he had been a better CEO IBM could have become what Amazon is today. Instead, they bootstrapped a competitor and sold off critical businesses to them; abandoned and then sold off many of their software lines; ditched their microelectronics fabrication capability; and so on. Even the current IBM could be doing a lot better; Intel's inability to give a shit has pushed everyone to start moving off x86_64, but IBM could and should have sold hot and cold running POWER9s where we now have wall-to-wall ARM64.

India tweaks telecoms laws to make itself an even more attractive offshoring destination

Brad Ackerman
Happy

Re: Offshoring destination…

I suspect the scammers don't exactly care about following either the current or previous rules, since, y'know, they're not following the (unchanged) laws that prohibit wire fraud.

This change is about allowing multinational companies to not run a totally separate PBX with reduced functionality for their users in India; the previous law was an own-goal that the Union government has finally fixed.

Dem, Repub senators propose tax credits for factories that churn out chips on US soil

Brad Ackerman
Boffin

There are definitely national security reasons to want more modern process nodes in the US. Whether this is the best way to acquire them remains to be seen, although I'm more worried about companies pulling a Foxconn and pocketing billions for a massive current-gen facility that turns out to be one guy in a Portakabin making minimum wage.

There are some things that Congress could do, if it actually gave a flying toaster, to address this problem; all of them benefit literally everyone in the country other than the rentiers. Bringing down health care spending to French levels would be a good start. Then eliminate all federal spending on highway expansion, redirecting it to system maintenance. (Inputs don't magically appear at the factory.) Pick an EU country and copy their telecom regulatory scheme wholesale; better regulation of e.g. special access service and not catering to cablecos and ILECs would cut communications costs in half and increase the available workforce for remoteable jobs.

But if Congress really wanted to make US manufacturing great again they'd repeal the Trump tariffs; change the law so presidentially-imposed tariffs expire in 60 days without a Congressional bill affirming them; repeal the Jones Act and Buy America Act; and finish full metrication ASAP.

That sounds too much like actual work for Congresscritters to be bothered with, though.

Lenovo refreshes workstation ThinkPads with 11th-gen Intel CPUs, RTX graphics, 5G

Brad Ackerman

Re: Just one question

While there aren't many, Lenovo is assuredly getting a large percentage of the ones Nvidia does ship since they're the largest PC vendor; and P ThinkPads should be a higher-margin product so Lenovo will prefer to use the GPUs they get to build them rather than, say, consumer laptops.

Say helloSystem: Mac-like FreeBSD project emits 0.5 release

Brad Ackerman
Alert

Wayland may be more complex than X11, but how functional will X11 bindings for GTK/KDE still be in five years? They may as well get it working for the 1.0 release of this DE and avoid making it a lot more work later on.

Frontier sued by FTC, six states for allegedly over-promising, under-delivering broadband

Brad Ackerman
Holmes

Re: "has retained many satisfied customers"

Three could reasonably be described as "many".

Ah, you know what? Keep your crappy space station, we're gonna try to make our own, Russia tells world

Brad Ackerman
Flame

Re: @FF22 - Don't believe it for a second!

Between budgetary constraints and corruption (probably more the latter), Russia can't even build an aircraft carrier that is capable of spending more time out of drydock than in—and speaking of drydocks, they managed to sink one. At least they haven't managed to pick a fight with an unarmed civilian cruise ship and lose in record time, unlike some countries I could name.

If the Russian government cares more about defense than lining their pockets (spoiler: they don't), they'll focus on objectives that they can actually achieve.

Foxconn and Wisconsin reach new deal to do something different at Donald Trump's favourite (flop of a) factory

Brad Ackerman
Holmes

Would you believe 3000 people? 300? One guy in a Portakabin making minimum wage?

Sherlock because Max Smart wasn't an option.

Guilty: Sister and brother who over-ordered hundreds of MacBooks for university and sold the kit for millions

Brad Ackerman
FAIL

Re: Assets disappears

When I order a computer at work, it comes with the corporate asset barcode already applied by the reseller. Stanford is big enough that it should be doing the same thing.

Splunk junks 'hanging' processes, suggests you don't 'hit' a key: More peaceful words now preferred in docs

Brad Ackerman

Re: Primary...

However, most of the black folks' grandparents would have been slaves without the right to vote, so pretty much none of the illiterate blacks would be grandfathered in, compared to the majority of illiterate whites.

Whether someone's grandfather was actually registered to vote was totally irrelevant; White people would be allowed to vote unchallenged and Black people would be required to prove their eligibility.

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