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+ - My School Has Tricked Pupils Into Installing a Root CA on Their Laptops->

Submitted by paddysteed
paddysteed (2380072) writes "I go to secondary school in the UK. I went digging around the computers there and found that on the schools machines, there was a root CA from the school. I then suspected that the software they instruct windows users to install on their own hardware to gain access to the BYOD network installed the same certificate. I created a windows virtual machine and connected to the network the way that was recommended. Immediately afterwards I checked the list of root CA's, and found my school's.
Screenshot.

I thought the story posted a few days ago was bad but what my school has done is install their certificate on people's own machines which I think is far worse. This basically allows them to intercept and modify any HTTPS traffic on their network. Considering this is a boarding school, and our only method of communicating to the outside world is over their network, I feel this is particularly bad.

We were not told about this policy and we have not signed anything which would excuse it. I confronted the IT department and they initially denied everything. I left and within 5 mins, the WiFi network was down then as quickly as it had gone down, it was back up. I went back and they confirmed that there was a mistake and they had "fixed" it. They also told me that the risk was very low and the head of networks told me he was willing to bet his job on it. I asked them to instruct people to remove the bad certificate from their own machines, but they claimed this was unnecessary due to the very low risk.

I want to take this further but to get the school's management interested I will need to explain what has happened and why it is bad to non technical people and provide evidence that what has been done is potentially illegal."

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Comment: 16 Y/O UK (Score 1) 632

by paddysteed (#41589609) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Were You Taught About Computers In High School?
Nothing of note. I did a GCSE in IT and it was rubbish, basically Facebook ethics and how to use Word. I did not chose IT at A level even though I want to do CS at uni. This is because it is more Facebook ethics. I remember one question on my GCSE paper was a table listing three phones and the question asked me which one had the most memory (not even specific as to whether it was RAM or Flash storage although i could infer it), what a stupid question. it was basically, which is bigger 100 or 200, also aparently examiners do not understand that usually flash memory chips come in base two divisions
Microsoft

+ - Office to Become Fully Open XML Compliant (at last)->

Submitted by
Andy Updegrove
Andy Updegrove writes "Between 2005 and 2008, an unparalleled standards war was waged between Microsoft, on the one hand, and IBM, Google, Oracle and additional companies on the other. At the heart of the battle were two document formats, one called ODF, developed by OASIS, a standards development consortium, and Open XML, a specification developed by Microsoft. Both were submitted to, and adopted by, global standards groups ISO/IEC. But then Microsoft never fully adopted its own standard. Instead, it implemented what it called "Transitional Open XML," which was better adapted for use in connection with documents created using older versions of Office. Yesterday, Microsoft announced In a blog entry — http://tinyurl.com/c5ppkwz — that it will finally make it possible for Office users to open, edit and save documents in the format that ISO/IEC approved."
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Piracy

+ - "Pirate" website owner sentenced to 4 years in prison->

Submitted by Grumbleduke
Grumbleduke (789126) writes "Anton Vickerman, who owned SurfTheChannel.com has been sentenced to 4 years in prison following his conviction last month for "conspiracy to defraud". This is the first successful prosecution of an individual in the UK for running a website merely linking to allegedly infringing content (several earlier cases collapsed or resulted in acquittals).

Vickerman was prosecuted for the controversial offence of "conspiracy to defraud" for 'facilitating copyright infringement', rather than for copyright infringement itself, and it is worth noting that the relevant copyright offence carries a maximum prison sentence of only 2 years, half of what was given.

FACT, the Hollywood-backed enforcement group who were heavily involved in the prosecution noted that the conviction "should send a very strong message to those running similar sites that they can be found, arrested and end up in prison", but it remains to be seen whether this will have any effect on pirate sites, or encourage development of the largely hopeless legal market for online film."

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