* Posts by Brent Beach

83 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Mar 2009


New UK Home Sec invokes infosec nerd rage by calling for an end to end-to-end encryption

Brent Beach

Re: Same old tune

The latest US version of this demand exempts BIG COMPANIES - they are allowed to have encryption. Presumably this includes people communicating with big companies.

This elevates the corporation once more step further above the mere person. Not only are they people for purposes of free speech and donation of unlimited amounts to political campaigns (making bribes legal), they now can conduct their business - off-shoring money to tax shelters - without fear of police snooping (making tax cheating impossible to detect).

The dupes in the Five Eyes countries outside the US will all bobble head this. Australia has already made encryption illegal.

I hereby define the Murdoch law of Mass Media - the more Murdoch media there is in a country, the lower the intelligence of the elected politicians.

Excluding Huawei from UK's 5G will harm security, MPs warn

Brent Beach

Re: Hurry up and decide?

'I bet he doesn't remember and I doubt he was ever aware of it in the first place.'

Of course he has no personal technical opinion.

Since most US tech would be devastated if they could not sell to Huawei, he did not base his claims on their lobbying.

His wacko advisors probably know nothing about it either.

That means the pushback on China on all fronts, including telecom, is simply a trade war. When Trump thinks there is an opening for a Trump solution - another best trade deal every- all the claims about security will vanish.

The same legitimate concerns continue to exist, as with any gear. Can it be hacked? Is it reliable? What is the hardware half life? Will it perform to spec under load?

Trump's bogus security claims are probably slowing down the necessary testing and trials to verify the hardware.

It's official! The Register is fake news… according to .uk overlord Nominet. Just a few problems with that claim, though

Brent Beach

Re: Money, money, money.

Pick the 1,000 wealthiest people, register domains under their actual names, then send them an email offering them the domain for x thousand pounds. This capitalism at its ultimate. Its ugliest.

No Huawei out: Prez Trump's game of chicken with China has serious consequences

Brent Beach

Re: Huawei forward

China is busy dumping its US$ holdings into the Silk Road. It is buying up what it can with those US$ around the world, turning paper into real property. Anyone with US$ holdings should do the same.

Oh dear. Secret Huawei enterprise router snoop 'backdoor' was Telnet service, sighs Vodafone

Brent Beach

Re: "We all want to see hard proof—" No, we don't.

@Justthefacts Excellent post.

To summarize:

1. There is a known, small window through which Huawei could peer and the security folks are checking it.

2 There is co-located hardware that can see everything, controlled by telco and national security services that can see everything.

3.Five eyes is not a partnership, but one big US Dawg and 4 little puppies who will do what they are told (see Snowden materials).

In the Huawei case, US actions are not motivated by the usual paranoia. Rather the US security establishment is being used as a big stick in trade negotiations between Trump and China.

The four puppies might reconsider their security arrangements with Trump Inc (formerly known as the US of A) if they want to be serious about national security.

Brent Beach

Tactic 42

This bit of trade negotiation - which involves accusing a Chinese company of espionage in order to get a better trade deal and is Trump negotiation tactic number 42 - will eventually be resolved with a trade deal. The deal will be called Trump China Best Ever Trade Deal.

At that point, all the misdirection about Huawei back doors will end and the poor American back door vigilantes will be left with nothing. No great conspiracy that they thought they had discerned through the use of their back-door detecting super power. The Huawei back door conspiracy theory will slip from the front pages of American newspapers (particularly in Bloomberg) and Fox Opinion programs into some deep part of Reddit.

Huawei savaged by Brit code review board over pisspoor dev practices

Brent Beach

The report was written to be as bad as possible, given that no back doors were found.

Why as that? Could it be that British security is totally under the thumb of the US security establishment? Which in turn is totally controlled by the Trumpstr? Who is totally out of control, living in a fact free universe.

Would any report from any 5Is country say anything else?

Added to the Brexit reports released over the last few years, the UK is getting a reputation for being a laughing stock. No longer a serious player in anything.

Android clampdown on calls and texts access trashes bunch of apps

Brent Beach

Google should expect a call soon from the EU competition commissioner and she won't be happy.

If Shadow Home Sec Diane Abbott can be reeled in by phishers, truly no one is safe

Brent Beach

Re: Eh?

Given that the Conservatives have been doing their best to destroy public education at all levels since Thatcher, it is amazing that there are any public schools left.

Ordinarily the Conservatives would not actually be able to do anything, but when it comes to austerity - cutting public services to reduce taxes for their plutocrat backers - they are masters.

Solid state of fear: Euro boffins bust open SSD, Bitlocker encryption (it's really, really dumb)

Brent Beach
Big Brother

A bug or a mandated back door?

Zip it! 3 more reasons to be glad you didn't jump on Windows 10 1809

Brent Beach


My desktop PC 4 core 3.6Ghz went dumb in early October, perhaps associated with this update.

With no apps running it often has 100% disk utilization, with the antimalware task often the most active.

The PC seems to go to sleep about half the time, no response to any click or keyboard for up to 2 minutes.

Anyone have a similar problem? Any fix?

F-35 'incomparable' to Harrier jump jet, top test pilot tells El Reg

Brent Beach

Suicide Drones

Small drones pulled into jet engines can do serious damage.

A drone with software that can detect the air intake of the F35 jets and position itself to be sucked in to the engine would be relatively inexpensive and be programmed easily in the near future. No radar needed, just a cheap camera and software. No bomb, the drone itself is enough to cripple the engine. No operator intervention required. The F35 pilot won't even see the drone before it cripples his single engine.

The comparable cost - $1,000 to $70,000,000 or 70,000 to 1.

Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

Brent Beach

Just sayin'

I wonder if we are going to hear from the design engineer at Intel who said, many years ago,

"You know if we do this pre-fetch thingee we are losing data security ...

and was promptly shut down by his boss who was far more concerned about AMD having faster processors than data security?

Russia could chop vital undersea web cables, warns Brit military chief

Brent Beach

Re: Stay calm and lay more cable...

Brexit already threatens to cut all communications with the EU so the chunnel is not an option.

Perhaps Trump will pay for a chunnel from London to Washington, right after he pays for the wall along the Mexican border.

FCC douses America's net neutrality in gas, tosses over a lit match

Brent Beach

Leader of the Free World?

Innovation has always come from the edges, never from the carriers.

The US will slowly slide into internet innovation oblivion.

In 10 years the US will be 9 years behind the rest of the world that continues to require net neutrality. Trump will be running for his 4th term - who cares if it is against the law.

US leadership will be a distant memory, retained only by a few old farts on their rocking chairs in the ghost towns of silicon valley.

Where hackers haven't directly influenced polls, they've undermined our faith in democracy

Brent Beach

"anonym[it]y just adds another barrier" - and is at the root of this entire problem.

Cambridge Analytica happens to be very good at what they do. They are hired guns. They will work for anyone with the money. Most of their work is done through anonymous posting on social media. They need not reveal who hires them or how much they are paid. Can this go on?

Who gave DUP 420,000 pounds?

We seem to think anonymity is important. Is it important enough to risk our electoral systems?

When we said don't link to the article, Google, we meant DON'T LINK TO THE ARTICLE!

Brent Beach

Re: Not so easy...

If you were in NY doing the search, Google would put the local Bullet Burrito first. If you were in West Virginia it would put that information first.

Bad example.

Still looking for a good example.

Expect this case was decided by some local judge who was convinced that the big bad google was being mean to some local company.

Microsoft to spooks: WannaCrypt was inevitable, quit hoarding

Brent Beach

What is criminal is Microsoft deciding that millions of PCs running its software are suddenly obsolete and will no longer be given crucial security updates, as it did with Win XP machines.

We all know this was done to try to force owners to dump the old PCs and buy new copies of Microsoft's operating system. It was a cash grab that failed. It failed for many reasons. In the NHS case, it failed because NHS could not afford to upgrade. If failed in my case because I have an old netbook (Dec 08) that still works just fine and I am not throwing it away just because MS has a quarter coming up.

Yes, NSA and GCHQ should spend more time defending citizens and public IT infrastructure and less time on seeing who can build the biggest useless metadata database.

But MS, as long as there are millions of XP machines out there, should still be required (if it won't do the right thing voluntarily) to distribute key security upgrades.

Go, GoDaddy! Domain-slinger decapitates email patent troll in court

Brent Beach

Re: Seriously!?

At least in Canada, costs are not actual costs. Rather they are based on a standard set of costs totally unrelated to current costs. Although GoDaddy may have spent 50 times that amount, they only get standard costs.

Any attorney that is able to win against a patent troll attorney is going to be very good and very expensive.

Patent trolls are ambulance chasers, bottom feeders and pond scum. That is, the most highly evolved form of neoliberal capitalism.

WWW daddy Sir Tim Berners-Lee stands up for end-to-end crypto

Brent Beach

More security means no security - no problem

Those responsible for mandating weak security must pay the full costs of their regulations.

If the government demands back doors and those back doors are breached by criminals then the government must pay those hacked the costs incurred because of the hacking.

It stuns me that the Security departments in government do not understand the consequences of their demands.

Head of US military kit-testing slams F-35, says it's scarcely fit to fly

Brent Beach

The Gold Standard for Stupid

It is unfortunate, but Brexit and the election of Trump have become the gold standard for stupid self-inflicted harm.

All you Brexit fans will just have to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Trump fans and live with this.

Thought your data was safe outside America after the Microsoft ruling? Think again

Brent Beach

Re: Is it a bird? is it a plane?

"at war with the US courts"

You do know who appoints judges? Already appointed judges can try, but they age out of the system. The US congress has control and has been Republican for most of the last 2 decades.

Expecting justice from US courts! Welcome to the Emerald City.

President Donald Trump taken on by unlikely foe: Badass park rangers

Brent Beach

It happened in Canada

This suppression of science in support of ideological goals - in particular climate change - happened during the Harper administration in Canada 2006 - 2015. If science disagrees with your ideology, get rid of the science.

Unfortunately, we did not have twitter back then to the degree we do now, so the scientists had no venue to report on what was happening.

It was a bleak 10 years for science in Canada.

Trump will find ways to clamp down on all dissent - it can happen in the US.

Good thing the way back machine is mirroring outside the US.

The UK's Investigatory Powers Act allows the State to tell lies in court

Brent Beach

No safe laws?

Governments should only pass laws they are comfortable with being in place when the worst possible opposition party gains power.

The danger is that while the government passing laws that create the potential for a country to become lawless - if those in power want it to be lawless - may not use the full extent of those powers, there is always the possibility of a government being elected that will use those powers without restraint.

All the powers Obama has used, has failed to sunlight, has failed to make illegal, but used perhaps responsibly, are now available to Trump.

The hated Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal will soon be dead. Yay?

Brent Beach

Good one - assume Trump will keep his promises!

The author makes the absurd assumption that just because Trump said he would scrap the TPP he will actually scarp the TPP.

Not going to happen.

If anything, it is even more likely to get passed now. With e Republican congress of corporate yes-men, it will be passed on Jan 22, 2017.

UK gov says new Home Sec will have powers to ban end-to-end encryption

Brent Beach

After passing this impossible law, the next law they want to consider is a gun law.

Manufacturers must include a back door in all guns such that at a signal from the Home Office the gun will stop working. Then explosives - same idea. Then trucks - Nice setting the horrible example.

If one back door works, why not insist on them everywhere?

EU cybersecurity directive will reach Britain, come what May

Brent Beach

Re: Bigger Problem: May's stance on encryption

Somewhat sad that the best the Conservative Party has to offer is a person who showed staggering incompetence in her previous job, on a technical level.

Her main quality as a leader appears to be her blind and unshakable ability to follow orders.

You have to wonder who is giving the orders these days.

No one in the party appears to have the least idea and no one else wants the job.

The worst casualty of these neoliberal times appears to be the political class itself.

Win 10 Anniversary: 'We're beginning to check in final code' says Microsoft

Brent Beach

For the second time in the last 10 months, Windows 10 bricked my netbook for several days after, I presume, an update.

One morning it would not turn on. After 10 minutes of nothing, I gave up.

Tried again a few days later. Nothing. Black screen.

About 3 weeks later, on about the 5th try, it woke up as if nothing had happened over that time. No - Sorry, got a little busy there. Sorry you were without your netbook for 4 weeks. This is a came with W10 netbook.

My other came with 8.1 which I inadvertently upgraded to W10, is constantly slowed by the compressed memory system task. I cannot type on it - there is a 1 second or longer delay between displaying key strokes. Now and then the cursor freezes for 30 seconds.

If I could put W7 or WXP on these I would.

MS is in a death spiral.

Line by line, how the US anti-encryption bill will kill our privacy, security

Brent Beach

This bill ensures that there can never be a safe harbour for EU data on any US server.

When this bill passes, the US ceases to be a part of the internet - no one will allow any of their data to ever reside on the US. I suspect many US citizens will insist their data go offshore as well.

We will have Data Havens popping up in small countries around the world - they will allow strong encryption and deny all access to the data. Data Havens will soon have a value beyond that of Tax Havens. Small islands will have to install nuclear reactors to power the server farms.

This may also mean owning an enigma machine will be illegal.

Science fiction writers are going to have a field day with this.

'Panama papers' came from email server hack at Mossack Fonseca

Brent Beach

The general conclusion that given the scarcity of US names of the list there must be some US connection filtering the material has a weakness - it is possible that for legal reasons US citizens don't use a Panama legal firm when doing this. The US - Panama connection may have legal flaws.

Just saying there could well be another explanation.

It seems to me it is likely that this dump is clean - it arrived at the German newspaper clean, no filtering.

Look for another reason for the scarcity of US names on the list.

Ransomware now using disk-level encryption

Brent Beach

If the Intelligence services in the UK and the US really want the public to support what they do, they should bust these ransomware rings.

They have all the metadata - they should be able to link back from ransomware demands to the sources.

William Hague: Brussels attacks mean we must destroy crypto ASAP

Brent Beach

It is fun, of course, to point out all the blunders in the Hague article.

Ask yourself - is he stupid? Are all his advisers stupid? Does he consult with Intelligence agencies who are all stupid?

The answer is that he must know that what he is saying is wrong. He also knows it is plausible. That many will believe him and agree to more and more power for the Intelligence Industry. People will be afraid and hence compliant - not just compliant on security issues, but compliant on other issues.

He praises the strength of the British people - in effect saying that you are brave enough to get through this and you will if you trust your leaders and give us just a little more power.

He is not stupid, he is attempting a propaganda coup and will probably succeed.

Snowden 'more helpful than dangerous' says ex-Colin Powell aide

Brent Beach

"And I don't see him ever being accepted back here"

The US is in a death spiral - Trump, Cruz, ...

When the US admits its errors and takes Snowden back without penalty, the rest of the world will understand that the US has snapped out of that death spiral.

Like Wilkerson, I don't think that will ever happen.

Mud sticks: Microsoft, Windows 10 and reputational damage

Brent Beach

"runs faster than 7"

Makes me wonder if you ever used either.

My experience is that both XP and 7 give instant response to keystrokes, while Win 10 almost never does and can take several seconds to display a keystroke in a browser - for example, when entering this text into Chrome.

If I could move my two netbooks (4GB, 4 core) back to win 7 I would not hesitate.

Brent Beach

Many problems with win10 noted and yes they are problems.

For me though, the big problem is that it has made my two small laptops (netbooks) virtually unusable.

The original article mentions the periods of no response. That comment should be in capitals with exclamation marks.

If I were typing this comment on my win 10 machines it would take 2 or 3 times as long. On this humble win 7 machine, characters appear as they are typed. On my very old XP netbook (1GB, atom processor), characters appear as they are typed. On my two win 10 netbooks, there is almost always a short delay - quarter, half, one second - and sometimes a long delay - 5 seconds. For the first hour or two after the win 10s are turned on from a cold start, the delays can be terrible.

Then of course, when you turn on the netbook and it shows the orange screen installing updates for 20 minutes. Occasionally as long as an hour before you can log in to the machine.

MS has managed to turn my netbooks - both 4 GB 4 core machines - into bricks.

MS has no one to blame but itself for the death of its products.

FBI backs down against Apple: Feds may be able to crack killer's iPhone without iGiant's help

Brent Beach

Is this going to be one of those Staring at Goats solutions so favoured by top military brass?

You do know the Yanks seriously considered converting ice bergs into air craft carriers during WWII?

Anything is possible.

Hey Windows 10, weren't you supposed to help PC sales?

Brent Beach

If my experience with an upgraded 8.1 to Win 10 and a native Win 10 machine are any guides, people should be avoiding Win 10 in droves.

Both machines are constantly getting busy with weird internal processes (what is System and Compressed Memory and why is it sucking the life out of my machines?) that shut down keyboard input for 5 seconds, 10 seconds at a time. When you are typing an email and everything shuts down for 5 seconds, that is annoying. In fact, when you are typing and they is a delay of any sort, that is annoying.

I am typing this on my Win 7 machine, which never seems to not display the character typed immediately. I have a old Win XP netbook with an atom processor that works just as well.

But my multicore machines running Win 10 suck. If I could move them back to Win 7 I would with no reservations.

Microsoft has some agenda they are pursuing, it improving the user experience is not a priority for them.

Norman Conquest, King Edward, cyber pathogen and illegal gambling all emerge in Apple v FBI

Brent Beach

The FBI treats this as if it was an inexhaustible resource. Crime committed - just break the phone and crime solved. Not so. A few big cases and people stop using phones in a way that leaves evidence around.

However, once you put a back door into phones, phones as safe repositories of personal data that could lead to ID theft are gone. If people get hacked because their phones are hacked and we are soon back to land lines (I actually only have a land line, so that would not bother me).

The FBI/police were able to solve most cases before phones and the incriminating information that they claim is in those phones. They relied on physical evidence and that physical evidence still exists.

Do phones create crime. Do people become crazed and decide to kidnap a child because they have a phone? Does the phone allow them to hide the other evidence of the kidnapping?

The US is spending billions on security every year. That should allow far better crime solving than ever before even without cracking phones.

Or, is all the money spent on show with no real results?

Microsoft urges law rewrite to keep US govt's mitts off overseas data

Brent Beach

Re: But I want it . . .

Never watch a British police show?

Know anything about the world outside the exceptional US of A?

Nah, didn't think so.

Well the <sarcasm>land of the free</sarcasm> is now the land of the spied upon and the spied upon keep demanding more.

And, with President Trump, they will get it.

Feds look left and right for support – and see everyone backing Apple

Brent Beach

"The irony ... is that ... there is nothing of value on the phone of Syed Farook anyway."

Irony, perhaps. Certainty, more likely.

The phone was protected a few days before the event. All his other phones have been hacked. Why would he suddenly start putting links to terrorists on his phone, password protected or not?

Clearly this is a cheap trick by the FBI to open the backdoor pandora's box.

Good for the world minus paranoid law enforcement that Cook shut them down.

When the Trump-et is against you, you know you are in the right.

Safe Harbor crunch time: Today's the day to hammer out privacy deal

Brent Beach

People often say that just because their banking system is completely corrupt, that does not mean that all Americans are corrupt.

People often say that just because all their politicians are corrupt - and in at least one of the two parties - probably certifiable - that does not mean that all Americans are corrupt and certifiable.

People are now saying that just because their Security establishment is obsessed with committing illegal acts that are of no possible use to anyone, that not all Americans are crazy when it comes to security. However, the land of the free is now clearly the land ruled by the paranoid.

I am beginning to wonder if perhaps these examples that have been portrayed as outliers, not representative of average Americans, are in fact accurate scientific evidence of a national ethical and moral collapse.

31 nations sign data-sharing pact to tax multinationals

Brent Beach

Re: I note that America...

"sending their money to the US"

Not exactly. They are sending their money through tax havens and may be buying US dollars in those tax havens. I very much doubt they are letting their money actually sit in the US.

Even US billionaires don't do that.

Sued for using HTTPS: Big brands told to cough up in crypto patent fight

Brent Beach

Re: Personal Liability

"give judges the power to debar lawyers"

Unfortunately, those judges were all once lawyers. Professional courtesy, doncha know ..

'Hypocritical' Europe is just as bad as the USA for data protection

Brent Beach

We have been in a race to the bottom on privacy. The UK is heading down the spiral with unseemly haste. Its leaders jumping up and down and screaming 'The Sky is Falling' like Chicken Little.

The ECJ decision in the Schrems case, Snowden, have shown we have a problem.

With country based enforcement, real privacy could easily become a national advantage. Countries that have the strongest privacy rules will end up having all the data centres. People will opt to use companies based in the safest countries.

That means, of course, that the US and UK will get no business at all.

Like offshore banking, offshore data storage with complete privacy could be in our future.

Who's right on crypto: An American prosecutor or a Lebanese coder?

Brent Beach

The DA says that he should have the same effective access to your phone as your home.

In not one of the cases cited would the police have found the particular evidence in the home of the perp that they found on the phone. The DA is not asking for the same power, he is asking for additional power.

In the examples, information from phones was used. That does not mean that no other clues would have turned up in a thorough investigation. Most criminals were caught before cell phones. Most will continue to be caught.

Once it becomes clear that having a cell phone increases your chances of getting caught, criminals will stop using those devices and we will be back at conventional investigations. The use of fingerprints caught a few people when the mechanism was first discovered. The high tech countermeasure - gloves - eliminated that method pretty quickly. The terrorists in Paris may well have not used cell phones.

The high tech countermeasure for all their snooping prowess - don't use a phone - will become common after a few high profile convictions and all the money and manpower and loss of privacy will have been invested for nothing.

Will it then be illegal to not have a cell phone? To wear gloves?

And law enforcement, busy looking at terabytes of meta data won't notice the guy with the Uzi walking down the street because they don't have any time to look.

Google wins book scan battle. Again. Can post pages online. Again

Brent Beach

Re: Another Viewpoint

Sour grapes? Perhaps.

Fair use in this case is being stretched quite a bit.

Usually fair use involves putting a bit of a copyrighted work into a new larger work, adding new material, creating new content.

For many of these books, google adds nothing but the index. There is no new content, only old content in a new form. Google adds access, not content.

Where a book is still in copyright, it makes sense that google share some of its revenue (after its costs have been recovered) with the copyright owner.

No change in US law, no data transfer deals – German state DPA

Brent Beach

Re: Let me get this straight

Nicely done, AC. You epitomize the US "our way or the highway" attitude.

This of course creates space for EU based companies to provide facebook/google/microsoft type services.Time for open source, crowd sourced social media, mail, search.

It is about time those big US monopolies got broken up.

Then to find a way to break the hold of Wall Street on the rest of the planet as well.

British killer robot takes out two Britons in Syria strike

Brent Beach

Re: Write the Law

"we have to find a justification for lethal police action"

It has been 14 years since 9/11, over 12 years since the invasion of Iraq, and still we do not have any laws that explain what we are doing there.

All the war machines and all the death and disruption and still we have not passed the laws that make our actions legal.

All the war and the area is in much worse shape that it was 14 years ago. The people are much worse off, with hundreds of thousands dead and millions dislocated. The enemy holds more land and governs more people. The ideology is spreading to neighbouring countries.

Killing these two people is not solving any problem. It could even convince 3 Britons to join IS. Are we any farther ahead?

This action is probably not effective and probably not legal.

Why are so many so happy it was done?

Brent Beach

Re: Victims?

"playing real life Call of Duty"

Wait ... Call of Duty is not REAL LIFE?

Ex-Prez Bush, Cheney sued for email, phone spying during Olympics

Brent Beach

Long shot

"EFF and ACLU too busy"

This is telling. Were they too busy or were they certain it was a waste of their time?

No cover up, just a very low probability law suit.