* Posts by Alexander J. Martin

88 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Sep 2015


I was targeted by North Korean 0-day hackers using a Visual Studio project, vuln hunter tells El Reg

Alexander J. Martin

Fixing your headline:

'North Korean Willy tried to get inside my box'

A short note to say I'm off: Vulture taps claws on Reg keyboard for last time

Alexander J. Martin

A brilliant journalist and great colleague

I loved working with Kat (or Kitty as she prefers to be known by her friends) during my time at The Register. She is genuinely one of the best reporters I've ever worked with and I am sure she is going to continue doing great work at the Bureau. She is a fantastic hire for them.

Cyberlaw wonks squint at NotPetya insurance smackdown: Should 'war exclusion' clauses apply to network hacks?

Alexander J. Martin

Re: The "physical loss or damage" clause is key, no?

Mondelez isn't claiming for damage "to electronic data, programs, or software" though, it's claiming for damage to "electronic data processing equipment or media" as the complaint states in paragraph eight. It is certainly a matter of interpretation. And it isn't cyber insurance because Zurich has a specific policy for that which would probably have required Mondelez to patch in a reasonable amount of time.

Alexander J. Martin

The "physical loss or damage" clause is key, no?

Zurich has spent a lot of time stating that it has a cyber insurance policy which Mondelez did not purchase, instead claiming the damage it suffered from NotPetya against a property insurance policy. The "physical loss or damage" clause and how that's interpreted is key, no?

Also, a lot of cyber insurance policies will be the requirement on companies to keep their systems patched - and Microsoft had issued a patch for the SMB vulnerability months before. Surely it can't be that Mondelez (revenue $25bn) claims it had exercised due diligence?

Veteran vulture Andrew Orlowski is offski after 19 years at The Register

Alexander J. Martin

It was a pleasure working with Andrew

Andrew is a great journalist. As all my fellow commenters are very aware, he's a fiercely independent thinker, often contrary, but never aggressiv.e. And very funny. He's easily among the best company in a newsroom or pub you could wish for. It was a great pleasure to work with him during my stint at El Reg.

Best of luck to you to in the future mate.

Mm, sacrilicious: Greggs advent calendar features sausage roll in a manger

Alexander J. Martin

“Pie love thee, Lord Jesus”

Pie Jesu, surely?

Canadian sniper makes kill shot at distance of 3.5 KILOMETRES

Alexander J. Martin



High Court hands Lauri Love permission to appeal extradition to US

Alexander J. Martin

> Love is a spoilt brat,he has no more autism than 35% of the population.

I'd love it if you'd read the coverage before offering up your unqualified opinion. From here: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/09/16/lauri_love_extradition_judgment/

> Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the University of Cambridge's Autism Research Centre, stating that “there is absolutely no question that [Love] has Asperger's [Syndrome]” as well as severe depression and aggressive anxiety-related eczema, and was at a “very high” risk of committing suicide if imprisoned within the US system.

Prisoners built two PCs from parts, hid them in ceiling, connected to the state's network and did cybershenanigans

Alexander J. Martin

Re: VLC?

This is an American prison, though. Legitimate uses for us free folk are going to be some kind of infraction or another for the incarcerated.

Kaspersky launches a range of perfumes to, er, defend your odour

Alexander J. Martin

Re: Fear awakens our senses

A beer token for that. We are chuckled.

I can DB clearly now the clouds are gone: Oracle 12c on-premises for Linux, SPARC

Alexander J. Martin

Re: Commenting just for the headline...

I could, yeah, but then I wouldn't get the satisfaction of reading these erudite comments from such lovely, beautiful, intelligent commentards.

HSBC Business internet banking goes TITSUP*

Alexander J. Martin


If we don't coin a meaning for it now, I fear it will be stolen by a rapper.

UnBrex-pected move: Amazon raises UK workforce to 24,000

Alexander J. Martin

Re: Personally I'm glad

Very good. It is Monday for us too.

UK Snoopers' Charter gagging order drafted for London Internet Exchange directors

Alexander J. Martin

> The Home Office did not respond for comment at the time of writing.

It was probably gagged.

UK uni KCL spunks IT budget on 'reputation management' after IT disaster headlines

Alexander J. Martin

Re: Reputation Management

I've heard stories of bruisers being sent over to chat to the editor of a publication in the olden days, though I don't think that happens so much now. RiskEye made a number of phone calls to every department at Situation Publishing except for editorial, aiming to panic financial and sales staff by claiming that an article was wrong and needed to be taken down. Fortunately, the article wasn't wrong and didn't need to be taken down, and we hire very sturdy folk who redirected the chap calling to us in editorial, where we said the article would not be taken down. I've been informed that the guy responsible is no longer with RiskEye too, although the firm didn't explain why.

Polish banks hit by malware sent through hacked financial regulator

Alexander J. Martin

I think these miscreants need to be sent to Borschtal.

Well-rested women in danger of bouncing their men into early grave

Alexander J. Martin

Eight hours sleep a night!

Phwoar, can you imagine? Retirement is going to be awesome, and it's only about 50 years until I can manage it too!

Web-exposed MongoDB installs wiped by bitcoin ransoming script scum

Alexander J. Martin



Still too much discretion when it comes to that 'terrorism' stuff, repeats David Anderson QC

Alexander J. Martin

Re: 'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said ...

Indeed, but section 1.2 of the TA2000 defines 'action' in that sense as that which:

(a)involves serious violence against a person,

(b)involves serious damage to property,

(c)endangers a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action,

(d)creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or

(e)is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.

Eugene Kaspersky is now personally defending your feet

Alexander J. Martin

What if you said Kaspersky was going in two-footed on malware?

Alexander J. Martin

Re: What a pity

They are exceptionally small socks. Something something, joke about winning them and giving them away to proxy feet.

Fleeing Aussie burglar shot in arse with bow and arrow

Alexander J. Martin

Re: An arrowing experience

I'm all a-quiver trying to think of a suitable response.

Bookmakers William Hill under siege from DDoS internet flood

Alexander J. Martin

From the brochure

> The online gambling industry faces an increasing risk posed by cyber-attackers, dominated by distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks...

And later

> Having full visibility of all digital interactions enables it to identify early signs of suspicious activity, regardless of whether they originate from within, or the outside, or if the threat had never been seen before

I think it's a fair inference when Darktrace mentions that is protecting William Hill, and that it recognises DDoS attacks as a dominant risk that William Hill faces, that it is protecting William Hill from such attacks, no?

Bloody robots! 860k public sector jobs to be automated by 2030, say researchers

Alexander J. Martin

Re: The myth that refuses to die

Our moderators have just confirmed to me that this user is himself actually posting from a known Whitehall IP address. Quiet day, Rich?

Parliamentarians ask Obama to withdraw Lauri Love extradition request

Alexander J. Martin

Re: Aspergers when it suits

Love's Asperger's is not being used an an "excuse" for any crimes which he allegedly committed, I'm not sure what has given you that impression.

Asperger's has been cited as the reason why Love lives at home, why he depends upon his family, and why to extradite him to the US where he has no support network would be to unduly infringe on his human rights.

The court was told, and the judge accepted, that without that support network, Love, as a vulnerable man with a long history of mental health issues and Asperger's Syndrome, would be exposed to an unacceptable risk of suicide. Previous articles have covered these details in depth, and they are linked to in this piece.

As for your "to what degree does Love truly suffer from Aspergers... [sic]", it isn't my place to doubt your expertise in diagnosing a man you've never met as I've never met you and don't know your background (oh wait...) but in case you have memory issues the article does state:

> Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the University of Cambridge's Autism Research Centre, stating that “there is absolutely no question that [Love] has Asperger's [Syndrome]”

> The judge hearing this case agreed with this assessment of Love's mental health

Please let me know if you have any more questions.

Apple hires CMU AI guru Russ Salakhutdinov to lure over more talent

Alexander J. Martin

"Asked about this, Apple did not respond to a request for comment."

Has Kieren tried sending Alan Hely another email?

Idris Elba thrashes Night Manager Hiddleston for James Bond job vacancy

Alexander J. Martin

Re: T'was I... [Palindrome thread]

Rise to vote sir.

Azure is on fire, your DNS is terrified

Alexander J. Martin
IT Angle

Re: Blimey!

I've asked a lot for the chance to spend a week covering Will Grigg's life. Alas, management keeps bringing up that old (see image) chestnut.

I've pleaded and begged. "Please," I've said, "We can look at what OS he's running. I heard he likes Arch!"

Cameth then the order to get back to work. Nobody uses Arch.

Inside our three-month effort to attend Apple's iPhone 7 launch party

Alexander J. Martin

Re: bitter much?

Nice try, Alan.

False Northern Lights alert issued to entire UK because of a lawnmower

Alexander J. Martin

> I thought the alert was odd, as I have been watching the sun closely,

This is probably my favourite opening line to a comment ever. Have one of these ->

French data wrangler Talend has done it: Voila, it's a tech IPO

Alexander J. Martin

Re: Wine-er

Nous soupçonnons qu'il a évité de mentionner le vin pour des raisons évidentes.

Avnet sees Dätwyler's bid for Raspberry Pi slinger, raises to £868m

Alexander J. Martin

Re: "... to spoil German acquisition..."

You're absolutely right, my bad. Cheers for pointing it out.

Gullible Essex Police are now using junk science lie detectors

Alexander J. Martin

Celebrated eye hospital Moorfields lets Google eyeball 1 million scans

Alexander J. Martin

Re: Retinal identification as a consequence?

Please see Mark 4:39.

That said, my retinal scan will be among those shared and I do wish they had asked my permission.

PM resigns as Britain votes to leave EU

Alexander J. Martin

There's little so depressing as the sanctimony of those who, the referendum having not gone as they wanted, wish to simply assert their moral superiority and say I told you so.

Holy kittens! YouTube screens go blank

Alexander J. Martin

It's intermittent as far as I can see. I could access it fine when we first got the complaint, but it was unavailable recently, does seem to be back up now.

Ireland goes Big Brother as police upgrade IT snooping abilities

Alexander J. Martin

Re: Nice to see the UK

The comment was about Irish plod following the UK's example, I think.

Did you know there's a mega cybercrime backlog in Ireland? Now you do

Alexander J. Martin

That's really interesting. Please may you ask him to give me a ping me at ajmartin@theregister.co.uk? My PGP is here if he's so inclined, and he could even make a throwaway account on Protonmail to do so too.

Alexander J. Martin

I enjoy daydreaming about what this is like

My favourite outcome in that table is Cybersecurity enhanced.

If The Register made reality music TV, this is what it would look like

Alexander J. Martin

Link's Links: In which Zelda's hero does his best to ease web-travel for netizens, or something, etc.

That's the comment thread for the lazy, is what I mean.

Brexit? Cutting the old-school ties would do more for Brit tech world

Alexander J. Martin

Re: You don't need money to get into Oxford or Cambridge

Conspiracy theory rubbish. The children of those with money do go to better schools, get a better education, and have a better chance of entering the best universities. You cannot purchase entry to either Oxford or Cambridge.

Alexander J. Martin

I’ve seen this trajectory a few times: Applicants from non-Oxbridge universities are not even looked at for influential posts in the City; to get into Oxford and Cambridge, you need to have money and the ability to speak and handwave in a very articulate way (these essay and interview questions mostly seem to test the level of sophistication, rarely an aptitude for the subject); and to learn these essential skills, you better had training from an expensive school and come from the right family background.

Anecdotal rubbish, frankly.

Disclosure: Cambridge graduate. Lived in a council flat.

Telegram in Iran crackdown

Alexander J. Martin

Supreme Council of Cyberspace

FOURTH bank hit by SWIFT hackers

Alexander J. Martin

Really interesting, but how would such large thefts be cashed by the Norks?

Should space be a biz-free zone? Join us on June 22 to find out

Alexander J. Martin

French authorities raid Google's Paris HQ over tax allegations

Alexander J. Martin

Re: 財閥? (zaibatsu)

While indirectly a reference to the Japanese family-run businesses, the use of zaibatsu is here more directly a nod to the mega-corporations with, er, questionable ethical commitments that prominently feature in William Gibson's fiction and related works in the ouevre, like the Cyberpunk 2020 game.

Queen's Speech: Ministers, release the spaceplanes!*

Alexander J. Martin

Re: wait a minute....

I understand the SPB will be revealing Satoshi's identity in the LOHAN payload.

Alexander J. Martin

Age Verification

Over on Twitter, Graham Smith has noted a statutory instrument from 2014 which already ensures that "specially restricted material" must not be available to under 18s. The act of verifying the ages of 'net users is something else and pretty much unworkable, it seems to me. How do readers expect it could be handled?

Home Office declares: Detained immigrants shall have internet

Alexander J. Martin

Indeed, and it isn't nice to think that we're not welcoming genuine asylum seekers (let's not lie to ourselves, there are certainly those who are merely breaking the law) but where there is a need for border control there is also a need to ensure that we're treating those being detained at our borders with dignity, and the ability to communicate with family and have access to news and other factors affecting claims is widely recognised to be an important part of that. It's interesting that the Home Office is running against the findings of both those running these centres and the indie reviewer in denying them access to social media.