Christopher Boyd: February 2006 Archives

....kind of. There's something of a storm brewing, and it all centers on this writeup by Ben Edelman, and his refusal to hand over the rogue affiliate details to 180 Solutions.

On the one hand, 180 are claiming that their security procedures are fine...on the other, they are essentially making the security researchers a part of their seemingly broken loop. I'm reminded of that old line about not having your cake and eating it, but oh well. You can try, I guess...

As Wayne Porter says on his Revenews Weblog:

Many researchers have done this to help educate the public, law enforcement and the legal eagles, and it has had some effect. However the routine grows stale when Company X utilizes said research to clean up their network and then claim how great they are at making the Internet a better place and being proactive. (These are my words not those of any company I work for.)

Can you almost feel the inflection point shimmering before you in the battlefield air? Can you see the line in the sand being drawn? I can. I think in the future the anti-spyware minutemen will continue to fire volley after volley only instead of giving out the full dose of lead they are going to release only what needs to be released to call attention to the bad behavior and leave the rest in reserve as ammo for the real guns that are slowly pivoting into the battlefield.

Yep. I can see the line in the sand.

When Computers Get Snatched...

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...you'd better invest in a bigger set of padlocks. Take this case for instance:


In the six hours between crashing into bed and rolling out of it, the 21-year-old hacker has broken into nearly 2,000 personal computers around the globe. He slept while software he wrote scoured the Internet for vulnerable computers and infected them with viruses that turned them into slaves.

Now, with the smoke of his day's first Marlboro curling across the living room of his parents' brick rambler, the hacker known online as "0x80" (pronounced X-eighty) plops his wiry frame into a tan, weathered couch, sets his new laptop on the coffee table and punches in a series of commands. At his behest, the commandeered PCs will begin downloading and installing software that will bombard their users with advertisements for pornographic Web sites. After the installation, 0x80 orders the machines to search the Internet for other potential victims.

Brian Krebbs has a stunning writeup over at Security Fix. A must read.

Welcome to India...

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Well, one of the worst plane trips of all time ended at about 4AM this morning - all it needed was Indy asking what happened to the pilots. Along with customary delhi-belly (in...er...Bangalore), and a horrifically bad ache in my jaw that just...wouldn't....quit....it's safe to say I had a rough ride out. However, I'm now in India and looking to see what goes on in spyware land.

Did you know FaceTime have a whole R&D lab out here? Yeah, well you do now. And it rocks. I'm here with the American contingent to see what the deal is.

Well, that was the plan at any rate. Because of said sickness, I spent the whole day rolling around in my bed. Not a pleasant sensation when you've spent what feels like about a fortnight sitting in a tin-can at 30,000 feet.

On the bright side, I can now name, recite and dance to every single song in the Bangalore charts. I can tell you how many times I have stumbled out of my room, comedy fashion, only to find the others had already gone out before shambling back in again. I can tell you how many monsters I fragged on Unreal Tournament 2004. But mainly, I can tell you that I have WiFi access in my room and it rocks.

The trip from the airport was pretty scary - next time I go somewhere, I'm sitting upfront with a seatbelt, as opposed to bouncing round in the back praying for a quick death. If you love cars that go honk, you'll love Bangalore. They just love tooting those things.

I also talked to some guy at Heathrow airport about spyware (the plane was delayed, what else were we supposed to do)? Turns out I'd actually cleaned one of his PCs out not so long ago on a forum, and he's like, Big Chief Important-pants of a well known Hotel chain. Next time I go abroad, it's free rooms for teh win!

Comedy moment of the day? Taking the bizarre "clean for your comfort" banner (which looked for all the world like the police tape at a murder scene) off the toilet bowl, only for it to then (of course) fall in the toilet is was previously protecting. Plunging your hand down the accursed thing to extract a "clean for your comfort" ticker tape ain't really my idea of clean, or even comfort. Oh well.

Haven't actually eaten anything as of yet, for obvious reasons - just walking around at the moment is making my stomach do flip-flops. I might attempt to carve up a biscuit later.

As for the rest of the week, well, what do I have in store for you?

Assuming I can keep down the four minstrels I just ate long enough to get something done, well, er, a whole load of spyware kicking goodness. And that.

Well, what else did you expect?

My trip to India...

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...because you want to hear all about it, don't you?

/ hypno-eyes

See, here's the deal. I traveled to India in January, to take part in a Spyware research summit in Bangalore. There, I would meet the guys from the US and the guys based in India. A jolly good time would be had by all. Now, I know what you're thinking. Oh noes, you're thinking - the dates, they are all messed up.

Well, yes and no.

See, I can't backdate my entries before the date the Spywareguide Weblog was launched - that'd be stupid. Plus, I'd have to invent time travel, and I'm just too busy at the moment. So, rather than have a permanent record of my travels forever stored in the limbo that is Paperghost.com, I thought I'd haul a whole bunch of stuff over here complete with some new entries. Yes, the dates are out of whack, but then if you visit the "Travel" section everything is in order anyway. Dates really don't matter too much when you're busting spyware and feeling ill (more on that next time). You just gotta' roll with it, baby.

So yeah...strap yourself in and prepare for travelling aplenty.

You're gonna' need more jiggawatts.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Christopher Boyd in February 2006.

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