Conficker and the Corridors of Power

I was asked this morning about a malicious program called Conficker that demanded a great deal of the security industry’s attention a few years ago. While refreshing my memory, I was reminded of a very-loosely-connected story from the BBC at the time (connected only in that I quoted it in a Conficker-centred blog article at the time).

The article mentions a warning to House of Commons staff and MPs against: “knowingly accessing or transmitting e-mails, text, images or internet material which might reasonably be considered offensive, unless on official business”.

As I said at the time:

So there it is: it’s official. It really is a politician’s job to be offensive.

But if you’ve been watching the news in recent months – actually, since the invention of television – that won’t come as news to you.

David Harley

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Next-gen Ethical Hacking

This morning I was amused to find comment spam advertising the services of a hacker for hire for ‘ethical hacks, school upgrade, money transfer, blank a.t.m’s, clear your credit score’. Well, that’s an unexpected view of what constitutes ethical hacking. (If you’re not sure what I’m getting at, read the above as ‘falsify your grades’, ‘be tricked into buying an ATM card that’s supposed to allow you to fraudulently draw unlimited funds’, and so on.)

No, it wasn’t on this blog, but I bet if I put the word ‘hacker’ or ‘hacking’ into the title of this article, something similar will turn up. Of course, if it does, you’ll have to take my word for it, since I’m not going to approve it.

David Harley

Bored* of All I Survey

Dear Conference Organizers

If you want me to respond to a survey, it’s probably a good idea not to address me as ‘Dear madame’… I realize I’m not particularly famous, but I have spoken at your conference many times and I’m even on this year’s programme committee, so you should have some idea of my gender. (My connection with the programme committee also means that I have some idea of how well attended the conference is really likely to be, so let’s not big it up too much.)

Oh, and I don’t really need the email in triplicate.

Excuse me while I wipe the brick dust from my forehead before I consider whether there’s any point in answering your questions.

David Harley

*The quote I’m parodying from Cowper’s The Solitude of Alexander Selkirk is actually ‘I AM monarch of all I survey’, but it’s misquoted so often as ‘Lord of all I survey’ that I’m happy to go with the popular misconception on this occasion. Besides, I can’t think of a suitable word to rhyme with monarch.

 

More Flattening than Flattering

Jude finally found something useful to do with a couple of my author’s copies: specifically, two volumes of a very bulky, heavy and expensive book for which I wrote a couple of chapters a few years ago. That is, for flattening photographs that have spent the past few years rolled up in a cardboard tube.

flattening

However, she also put this up in my studio. I’m hoping she isn’t implying that I’m too loud and a bit dozy.

dreamers

David Harley