* Posts by Robert Helpmann??

2477 posts • joined 31 May 2011

As Brit cyber-spies drop 'whitelist' and 'blacklist', tech boss says: If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother

Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
Mushroom

In Virginia ... the DMV ... is the absolute worst of anywhere I have lived or visited across four continents and dozens of countries.

Sorry, but some slight editing was in order to make the statement a bit more clear.

Prank warning: You do know your smart speaker's paired with Spotify over the internet, don't you?

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Childcatcher

No Way Out

"At no point does any authorisation the user is in control of happen, and there's no way to revoke it."

Use a router to block traffic from Spotify to your speaker home network. This will have the happy side effect of forcing you to move on to a more responsibly run service. Two birds, one stone.

For the past five years, every FBI secret spy court request to snoop on Americans has sucked, says watchdog

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Childcatcher

Re: However, they DO promise to do better in other areas

...I am 100% for every single terrorist act that's foiled but not at the expense of my own security and privacy.

Likewise. I do not want to be terrorized by anyone or any group, foreign or domestic, government or private. Rights are not a one-or-the-other affair. The loss of any is to be feared.

How many days of carefree wiping do you have left before life starts to look genuinely apocalyptic? Let's find out

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Boffin

Re: Short but available

In asia the masks are there to protecting others, not the wearer.

Pretty sure that is how it works everywhere. The US CDC recommends masks for patients to prevent their spreading the disease and also lays out when they should and shouldn't be worn by healthcare workers, et cetera.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/respirator-use-faq.html

Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
Childcatcher

Re: "rare as fake tan in a Trump hotel."

Haven't they closed shop to protect the unwashed covidiots from themselves and the rest of us from them? According to its site, "Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C. remains open for our guests due to its designation as an essential business. The safety of our guests and employees remains our top priority... By order of the Mayor of Washington, D.C., Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C. has temporarily closed our restaurants, spa, and fitness center. In-Room Dining will remain open during this time."

To be fair, hotels are essentially dual use in that they can be used for purely recreational purposes but also are important for people caught out of pocket by this pandemic and for those who have a legitimate and essential role to play and are forced to travel because of it. There are a varied classifications of hotels by different governments; it's a bit confusing for all involved, I think.

Stob's vital message to Britain's IT nation: And no, it's not about that

Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Inspirational message

Or here:

https://despair.com/collections/demotivators

Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge

I, like everyone else on here I am sure, had a few suggestions...

C is for Chthonian

E is for Eye

G is for Cough

H is also for Cough

J is for Ianto

L is for ... Nope. Can't do better than that.

M is for Mancy

P is for Phthalic

Q is for Queue

R is for Febuary

S is for Semicolon (at least it isn't a complete colon)

U is for Guilty

V is for VVhat

W is for Wrong

Internet use up 40 per cent in San Francisco Bay Area – but you know what’s even higher? Yep, alcohol, weed use

Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
Childcatcher

Re: Is this any surprise?

On the other hand, I predict a jump in births around the November to December time frame. Just as obvious as the increase in recreational chemical use, I know...

You're not fooling anyone on that vid-conference call: Walmart says shirt sales soaring, pants not pulled up

Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
Childcatcher

Re: Not new

Nothing new in this. Sean Connery and Harrison Ford during shooting of parts of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Just goes to show that with telework, we can all dress like movie stars.

Marriott Hotels hacked AGAIN: Two compromised employee logins abused to siphon off 5.2m guests' personal info

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Childcatcher

Re: Scratch Marriott off the list

Because the internet has all the answers...

https://www.marriott.com/marriott-brands.mi

Hunting for IT staff? Lost your job during the pandemic? Sysadmin vacancies – and a free job ads offer – inside

Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
Childcatcher

Surreal Times

The contract I work under is being subsumed by one held by the parent agency for the one I support. We've shifted to as much of a remote work model as we can (rotating shifts of who is allowed on site, reduced hours on site) to the point where the place is a figurative ghost town, and we are still moving forward with the change in leadership. I might not meet my new overlords for months while working in a sector that still requires continuous on-site support. It's the new normal I guess.

Are you extracting the urine, ESA? Why, yes it is, from Moon dwellers to build homes out of lunar regolith. Possibly

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Childcatcher

Re: ESA have been working on urine recyc for years on the ISS

I would think that it would only be used as mortar to hold cut blocks in place or to shore up tunnels. I can't imagine it would be particularly efficient to build entire structures out of the stuff.

16 years and counting: How ESA squeezed oodles of bonus science out of plucky Mars Express probe

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Headmaster

At least is isn't "Esa".

Leaving Las Vegas... for good? IT industry conference circuit won't look the same on other side of COVID-19 pandemic

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Childcatcher

Re: I disagree

It can be hoped, however, that people will have learned to properly wash their hands.

This flies in the face of your other observations, unfortunately. It's remarkably difficult to get the majority of people to do this, even at the risk of endangering themselves and everyone they come in contact with.

That awful moment when what you thought was a number 1 turned out to be a number 2

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Childcatcher

Re: You solved the problem, goodbye

When you find yourself in a bind and someone comes along to dig you out, you're supposed to gain experience and learn how not to get yourself in such a situation again.

It may be what he learned was that if he called the number and talked to this individual, his problem would be solved. Besides, you seem to be asking a lot of someone whose job description seems to have been "Open this spreadsheet".

Internet Archive opens National Emergency Library with unlimited lending of 1.4m books for stuck-at-home netizens amid virus pandemic

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Childcatcher

The Spirit is Willing...

Trying to do a basic search gets me a "503 Service Unavailable" error just now. Looks like folks are making use of this in as much as it is available.

Hypochondriacs – are your eyes all blurry? It's just YouTube trying to cut video-stream quality worldwide amid the coronavirus pandemic

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Childcatcher

Re: Huh?

Or maybe content providers could cut back on the ads. If there is actual concern about bandwidth, declaring an ad holiday would go a long way toward opening things up.

Asterix co-creator Albert Uderzo dies aged 92

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Childcatcher

Movie & Comic Marathon

I will be re-watching the movies and re-reading the books over the next few days. I especially love Depardieu as Obelix. Perfect casting.

Theranos vampire lives on: Owner of failed blood-testing biz's patents sues maker of actual COVID-19-testing kit

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Headmaster

It doesn't work like that.

I think what was being referred to by this comment was your tenuous grasp of capitalization and punctuation. At the risk of appearing purely antagonistic, I offer you one plea: stop that.

US Health and Human Services targeted by DDoS scum at just the time it's needed to be up and running

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Headmaster

Re: attack or incompetence masked as attack?

...any government, especially the ones that have lied time and again...

So all of them? What you have there is a bit redundant, though I agree with the sentiment.

Health workers are top of phishers' target lists thanks to data value

Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
Childcatcher

A number of businesses I have dealt with recently require you to submit your resume/CV through a web form often with an option to drag a document into it and let the site parse out everything for you. While this does present some surface area to attack, it is nowhere near as bad as the send email attachment route.

Alleged Vault 7 leaker trial finale: Want to know the CIA's password for its top-secret hacking tools? 123ABCdef

Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
Childcatcher

Re: Cell phones in prison

Set up mini cell towers throughout the facility. Easy to monitor and control but difficult to avoid.

Enable that MF-ing MFA: 1.2 million Azure Active Directory accounts compromised every month, reckons Microsoft

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Childcatcher

Re: enforce MFA - base level security policy

Hardware tokens and phone have a cost. Tokens may cost less, but people have to carry (all of) them around, and if they forget it they can't work. ... Sure, they strengthen security but not all companies and users are still ready to pay the price...

Most companies, when able to do a cost-benefits analysis with realist information concerning costs of implementation vs cost of breaches opt to pay the lesser of the two. This is typically cost of implementation.

It is 50 years since Blighty began a homegrown and all-too-brief foray into space

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Childcatcher

Why Choose One?

The first stage of that final Black Arrow was ... put on show as a reminder of capabilities dumped by the shortsighted powers-that-be ... Or as a celebration of British engineering and economy – take your pick.

A little of Column A, a little of Column B?

Maersk prepares to lay off the Maidenhead staffers who rescued it from NotPetya super-pwnage

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Coat

Maersk is losing its maidenhead...

And I thought it was the employees who were getting screwed!

Data science pusher Dataiku hooks arms with NATO on battlefield AI contract

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Childcatcher

Poh-tay-toh, Puh-dict-uh-bull

In an incredibly prescient imaginary scenario, participants were asked to assist in the control of a disease outbreak in a landlocked country.

Unfortunately, there is nothing incredible about this. Scenarios of this nature are used because this exact sort of thing happened in the past and had catastrophic results.

Apple tries to have VirnetX VPN patent ruling overturned again, US Supremes say no... again

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Pirate

Re: A Strange Admission to Make ..... for Does it Not Reek of a Ponzi Zombie on the Take ‽ ‽ ‽

...is the firm surely both ... things, ..... a patent troll farm and a beanfeast for IP lawyers?

Well spotted! My first thought when I read that was what were they in addition to those things? Schemers and scammers? I wonder if they would consider changing their corporate name to "Dewey, Cheatem & Howe"... or perhaps that is already claimed by Apple's patent team.

Password killer FIDO2 comes bounding into Azure Active Directory hybrid environments

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Coat

How's It Hanging?

...dropped and dangling dongles.

Hey! Hey! That's totally NSFW!

Microsoft uses its expertise in malware to help with fileless attack detection on Linux

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Coat

Peter Sellers Lives!

I'd rather have Inspector Clouseau guarding my Linux servers.

I can just hear his voice...

Clouseau: Could you sudo and run these Microsoft tools on your server?

PFY: Yes.

Clouseau: Well then, what are you waiting for?

PFY: This is not my server.

Mine comes with a slightly foxed fedora.

Worried about future planet-cleansing superbugs? But distrust AI? Guess you're not interested in these antibiotics

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Paris Hilton

Alternate Universe

The development of new antibiotics is proving problematic as ... drug companies go broke ...

Which drug companies are going broke?

Samsung cops to data leak after unsolicited '1/1' Find my Mobile push notification

Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
Childcatcher

Lost in Translation

...it remains to be seen whether Samsung's definition of "small number" is the same as that of the rest of the world.

Perhaps the original phrase was in terms of percent rather than overall numbers. 10% of their customer base is a significant but not large relative amount, but quite large in absolute terms considering the number of folks buying from them.

When the air gap is the space between the ears: A natural gas plant let ransomware spread from office IT to ops

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Childcatcher

Re: Hmmm

May not be a case of setting things up this way from day one as industrial systems of this nature often predate the widespread internet connectivity of most business networks of today. Once it became possible to monitor and control remotely, people did it for ease of use and accessibility without thinking through any security considerations. After that, it becomes a case of budget and not properly understanding the risks involved. Doctor Syntax's point illustrates this; the risk analysis was probably based on incorrect costs and likelihood of such an event. Once the actual information was made horribly clear, funds are made available because there is no way to avoid the knowledge.

$2.07bn? That's one Dell of a deal to offload infosec biz RSA

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Paris Hilton

A Bit Late

Intel-owned McAfee has considered an IPO and a tie-up with NortonLifeLock...

McAfee split up with Intel after a few years of (corporate) wedded bliss and has been an independent company since April, 2017. Intel still owns 49% of its stock, so it maintains some control over it, but that's not the same as falling under the same corporate governance. It is interesting that other articles give the same attribution (e.g. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/nortonlifelock-approached-by-intels-mcafee-and-private-equity-firms-2019-12-09).

Auf wiedersehen, pet: UK Deutsche Bank contractors plan to leave rather than take 25% pay cut for IR35 – report

Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge

Re: "the bank will only work with contractors [..] of its outsourcer, Resource Solutions"

This whole thing is seriously starting to look like an orchestrated plan to diminish costs...

Starting?

Judge Vulcan-nerve pinches JEDI deal after Amazon forks out $42m to pause Microsoft's military machinations

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Childcatcher

Re: In the jungle

My experience with Google products in government contracting is that they are capable of meeting the contract requirements on a technical level, but they are completely unusable in implementation. We were forced to use Google Office products in place of MS Office on one contract I had the misadventure to work and it was painful on a number of levels. I do not know about cloud services as it is outside my area of expertise, but that has certainly colored my view of all things coming out of the Chocolate Factory.

Voatz of no confidence: MIT boffins eviscerate US election app, claim fiends could exploit flaws to derail democracy

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Childcatcher

Re: Possible? Yes. Probable? No.

And that will still rely on the end users keeping their phone secure, not just anti-malware, but physically secure, with a proper unlock passcode\pattern.

Exactly! Running voting through an app introduces at least one more point of failure. This is the opposite of securing things.

Bloke forks out £12m, hands over keys to tropical island to shoo away claims that his web marketing biz was a scam

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Headmaster

Re: One born every minute

Still we shouldn't victim blame.

... or grammar use, apparently.

Parks and recreation escalate efforts to take back control of field terrorised by thug geese

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Headmaster

Re: Federally protected

Fortunately, swans don't come in flocks.

Quite right. They come in bevies and wedges.

US govt accuses four Chinese army soldiers of hacking Equifax and siphoning 145m Americans' personal info

Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
Childcatcher

Re: Grand Jury...

By the way, some sites I read suggest that once you are selected/accepted as a member of the Grand Jury, you could be in court a couple of days a week for up to two years! Is that (a) true and if so, (b) nationally or only in some states?

Grand juries are used at various levels of the US justice system (federal, state, county, municipality). The one on which I served was at the county level. We came in one day each month for three months. We only considered felonies unless there were misdemeanors also associated with a given case. I cannot speak to other jurisdictions' rules, but I am sure there is variation among them. I should also mention that the proceedings were nothing like I have seen depicted in popular media, but that is probably not a surprise to most.

Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
Childcatcher

Re: Grand Jury...

I similarly was going to point out that is not how a grand jury works and provide a link to any who actually wanted more details:

https://lmgtfy.com/?q=how+does+a+grand+jury+work

Having performed my civic duty in serving on one, I can say the experience I had was various officers of the state (police, fire marshal, etc) presented evidence and asked permission to proceed with an indictment. It is intended to be a check on the state by its citizens. While we allowed most cases to proceed, we did not do so for all. I fail to see what is bizarre about this concept.

NASA's Christina Koch returns to Earth as the longest-serving woman astronaut – after spending 328 days in space

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Childcatcher

Re: Brilliant job that Woman!

I will be very happy when these "first women", first black", first trans" news stories go away...because they are common and unremarkable.

Yeah, I would be happier if these were more along the lines of "first alien" and "first contact".

Oh buoy. Rich yacht bods' job agency leaves 17,000 sailors' details exposed in AWS bucket

Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
Childcatcher

Re: BoatyMcBoatFacepalm

...just how hard WOULD it be for AWS containers to be made 'secure' by default, so that the devs would really have to balls it up to leave them open.

They pretty much are. It takes someone opening them up for this sort of thing to happen. It's more a case of the devs being too lazy or incompetent to provide access properly, instead opting for the Allow-Any approach to security because of ease. The open access also may have been meant as a temporary measure for while the containers were being set up but someone forgot to close the intentionally opened hole.

Twitter says a certain someone tried to discover the phone numbers used by potentially millions of twits

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Childcatcher

Re: Just curious

..."it is possible that some of these IP addresses may have ties to state-sponsored actors.”

Ya think? It's also conceivable that a little forethought would have led to a design that didn't allow this.

Very little helps: Tesco flashes ancient Windows desktop on Scan-As-You-Shop device

Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
Paris Hilton

... they insist on shuffling all the shelves...

Why not order online for delivery or curbside pickup? Because they labor under the idea that making you traipse through the store will wear you down to the point where you will purchase things you never intended?

ICANN't approve the sale of .org to private equity – because California's Attorney General has... concerns

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Headmaster

Re: Good

bom·bas·tic

/ˌbämˈbastik/ adjective

high-sounding but with little meaning; inflated.

Needs to work on the high-sounding portion of the rant to achieve the stated effect. I give it a 6 out of a possible 10.

Cover for 'cyber' attacks is risky, complex and people don't trust us, moan insurers

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Big Brother

Re: I realise this ship has sailed...

I see what you did there. Keep it up and you will be exiled to Cyberia.

Flaws punched holes in Azure cloud, Apple patches pretty much everything, Eurocops cuff Maltese hackers, etc

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Coat

Taking the World by Storm

Bug-hunter Nitesh Surana spotted a DoD site running a vulnerable version of Jenkins along with a suspicious script.

Was it the Leeroy version of Jenkins? If it is, I can only say WoW!

Canadian insurer paid for ransomware decryptor. Now it's hunting the scum down

Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Cognitive Dissonance Much?

In October 2019 the American FBI softened its stance on paying off ransomware.

So it is OK to deal with criminals using encryption in an illegal act but it's not OK for law-abiding citizens to use it in a presumably legal fashion? Color me confused!

What is WebAssembly? And can you really compile C/C++ to it? And it'll run in browsers? Allow us to explain in this gentle introduction

Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
Childcatcher

Re: Runs outside the browser

I would even go so far posit Cross Platform = Greater Attack Surface.

Caveat: It's Monday and I am dealing with a worse-than-normal event today, so this may be coloring my outlook a bit.

Cisco Webex bug allowed anyone to join a password-protected meeting

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Headmaster

Re: 'an "unauthenticated" attendee'

As the AC noted, language changes. The admittedly few lexicographers I have spoken with take a descriptive rather than prescriptive approach to language. As far as the word of the moment, the first use of "attendee" predates most folks' time on this Earth (first recorded ca. 1935), so it seems a bit late to protest.

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