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Comment: Re:No big red button? (Score 1) 174

by sjames (#48647943) Attached to: Cyberattack On German Steel Factory Causes 'Massive Damage'

As I understand it, the damage was indirect. The software was left in such a state that the furnace was at the time undamaged but could not be properly shut down. That left only the emergency shutdown procedure which was the cause of the damage.

The real failure was not being able to physically operate the controls to at least manage a clean shutdown.

Comment: Re:"Cultural arrogance" (Score 1) 99

by hey! (#48647795) Attached to: US Seeks China's Help Against North Korean Cyberattacks

Where is the "only public enemy number one" rule written down?

Mockery is what we do to political leaders, our own included. Some of us even mock political leaders we support. And that's the test of whether you truly believe in someone or in a system. Everybody mocks people they disagree with, it takes real confidence to mock people you agree with. At least that's the way Americans view things. A leader who can't take a ribbing is weak, and the more elaborate the display of machismo or military trappings the weaker we think he is.

Comment: Re:NK instability (Score 1) 225

If North Korea actually did it, it was a brilliant move. They've gotten the US, including the government, via the president, to whip itself into an impotent frenzy. Impotent? There's a fair chance that North Korea has nukes, they certainly have the ability to deliver them to several large cities in the region, and they have a large and powerful neighbour who won't take kindly to hostile military action on their borders because of some stupid movie. Nobody is going to be invading North Korea. So Kim gets to laugh as the US is forced to back down.

I don't think NK managed to engineer so much. Some independents hacked Sony and the US government saw it as a great opportunity to get a few Internet surveillance laws passed.

Comment: Re:What took them so long? (Score 1) 174

by hey! (#48646633) Attached to: Cyberattack On German Steel Factory Causes 'Massive Damage'

You can turn that question around. Given the manifest possibility of such a act, why haven't more organizations taken steps to prevent them?

We keep hearing from the companies attacked and the press that these attacks are "sophisticated", but this attack started with a simple spear phishing attack. People use "sophisticated" to mean "more trouble than we were prepared for."

Comparisons to Stuxnet seem overblown and (in some cases) self-serving. Stuxnet was designed to undermine systems the perpetrator had no access to; it would work even if the administrators of the target system successfully locked the attacker out. In this case the administrator failed to secure the network from the attacker.

Not every persistent threat is an advanced one.

Comment: Re:Make it easier to hire people? (Score 1) 541

by sjames (#48645131) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Yes, but at that time, we still had a shortage of labor over all. In western society, we very recently doubled the eligible workforce through equal rights. Then with a bit of development in the 3rd world, we have multiplied it many times (but haven't given those workers a chance to become consumers). Now automation is cheap enough that even those very cheap workers are threatened with unemployment.

Comment: Re:Old news. (Score 3, Interesting) 217

by sjames (#48644215) Attached to: Study: Red Light Cameras Don't Improve Safety

If you are choosing between "slamming your brakes at the last second" or "running a red light" then you were driving unsafely.***

There is a significant correlation between installing the cameras and shortening the yellow. At the same time, even if the yellow was too short even before the cameras were installed, they increase the risk of accidents since people will no longer be willing to run the very beginning of the red (before traffic the other way starts moving).

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin