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Security Experts Believe the Internet of Things Will Be Used To Kill Someone 108

Posted by Soulskill
from the time-for-a-ban-on-assault-internets dept.
dcblogs writes: Imagine a fleet of quad copters or drones equipped with explosives and controlled by terrorists. Or someone who hacks into a connected insulin pump and changes the settings in a lethal way. Or maybe the hacker who accesses a building's furnace and thermostat controls and runs the furnace full bore until a fire is started. Those may all sound like plot material for a James Bond movie, but there are security experts who now believe, as does Jeff Williams, CTO of Contrast Security, that "the Internet of Things will kill someone". Today, there is a new "rush to connect things" and "it is leading to very sloppy engineering from a security perspective," said Williams. Similarly, Rashmi Knowles, chief security architect at RSA, imagines criminals hacking into medical devices, recently blogged about hackers using pacemakers to blackmail users, and asked: "Question is, when is the first murder?"

Comment: Re:Reading and comprehension (Score 2) 171

by Zontar The Mindless (#48478199) Attached to: Renewables Are Now Scotland's Biggest Energy Source

No, "or" would make it quite clear that the the power generated by clean tech is greater than any *one* of the alternatives. This is what we have the word "or" for.

I've tried offering my services to Slashdot on more than one occasion, but they don't seem terribly interested in having an editor who can actually, you know, edit.

Comment: Re:What's with turkey anyway (Score 1) 108

by Zontar The Mindless (#48478157) Attached to: I prefer my turkey ...

Howdy! Last night we just did some chicken legs under the broiler--not a holiday here in any case. But I will probably cook a turkey either this weekend or next, if I can find anyone to come help us eat it. And if I don't have to go too far afield to find one--last year the shops in our neighbourhood were full of them at this time but this year I've not seen a one so far.

Did you ever finish your Wizard of Oz sequel?

Drop me a line at the gmail sometime and let's catch up.

Comment: Re:What's with turkey anyway (Score 1) 108

by Zontar The Mindless (#48477975) Attached to: I prefer my turkey ...

I know you think you're being clever, but I wasn't bragging about the size of my vocabulary*, rather I was expressing my amazement that my spell-checker didn't "know" such a common word.

*Although, since you bring it up, I've done several tests which suggest that my English vocabulary is about 20% larger than average. Make of this what you will.

Comment: Re:I just don't get that. (Score 2) 105

by jd (#48477863) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Says Legal Fight Has Left Him Broke

I agree the justice system has gone haywire.

I agree the justice system has no business going haywire.

I agree the justice system has no business treating one person differently from another.

I agree that what was done was completely wrong, not just in this case but in many others.

I've said as much, repeatedly, on The Guardian's website on relevant topics. This isn't a new opinion for me.

There is a difference between having no sympathy for the guy (IMHO he deserved it) and agreeing with the justice system. I agree, and always have, with Tolkien's phrasing of it: "Deserved death? I daresay he did. I daresay there are many who live who deserve to die. I daresay there are many who've died who deserve life. Can you give them that also?" Whilst I admit that I'm "quick to judge" on occasion, I heed Tolkien's words and do not believe that "deserving" is sufficient to warrant inflicting what is "deserved". I do not believe retribution is a functional way to go about things. Trashing a hard drive with a sledgehammer might stop bugs in software affecting you, but it doesn't actually fix anything. To do that, you have to not inflict retribution but therapy, fixing the defects.

The same is true of people. Fixing the defects of character is harder, but certainly achievable in most cases. That pays attention to Tolkien/Gandalf's advice, leaves the world a richer place, and is generally a Good Thing. It's also cheaper than inflicting punishment. A lot cheaper, if the world is a lot richer for it.

He has smarts, he has savvy, with a little examination of why he chose the path he was on and some tests, it would not be hard to figure out how he could either offer the same service in essentially the same way in a protected manner, or (if he preferred) to do something different but that makes use of his skills and knowledge.

Bankrupting him has left the world poorer, because there's no way on Earth anyone will convince him to be more charitable and considerate now, and that's the only way the world would ever benefit from his skills and know-how.

To me, this is simple economics. At vast expense, the US has turned a person who was merely dysfunctional but a potential asset nonetheless to society if he could be persuaded into a dysfunctional wreck with a chip on his shoulder the size of the Empire State Building who is never going to let the world see the positive in his abilities. In short, by clocking up a huge liability, the US has achieved the dubious distinction of turning an asset into an additional liability.

I hold that there is always a solution that is both economically sound and ethically sound over the long term, over society as a whole, and that on closer examination, such solutions will always be superior to those that appear ethically sound but are economically unsound. Most of what is truly ethical is also a boost to some key aspect - to a person, society or planet - in the long term that is in excess of the cost, and thus will automatically be also economically sensible. Everything that is truly unethical may produce some short term benefit of some kind to some person, but is invariably expensive to everyone and everything in the long run. In consequence, even the ethical things with no obvious benefits will be cheaper than the great burdens created by the unethical.

I would not do well in a Star Trek universe.

Comment: I've a really hard time sympathizing. (Score 2) 105

by jd (#48477573) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Says Legal Fight Has Left Him Broke

A parasite (he didn't get a fleet of flashy cars by donating disk space to anyone) gets sucked dry by a bigger, nastier parasite.

Sorry, but if you live by a dog-eat-dog creed, don't expect tears when your pet poodle is a predator's desert.

I'm sympathetic with ISOhunt, who got crippled by the UK government, as I'm willing to bet that people after illegal ISOs searched elsewhere. They're a major source of information on ISOs for F/L/OS software, though, which is entirely legal. They got a raw deal on that, because of the bad name the *AA have given torrents. Blocking the others won't do the UK any good, but that's not the point. Nor is it the point that these services index, not host. The point is that it doesn't matter whether the links point to legitimate or illegitimate content, they're tarnished not by what they index but by the mode of transport used.

Kim DotCom is another matter. He raked in an awful lot of money by doing very very little. He'd make a great bank CEO or politician, such is his level of verminicity. Had he done essentially the same, with far less profit (it's ok for him to live, just not ok for him to own half the cars in New Zealand), far less arrogance (like I said, a bank CEO or politician), and far less swagger (maybe, just maybe a touch of humility), I might pity him more. The humble earn at least some respect for being humble. It's rare enough.

If he'd presented his service as "common carrier", then that too would be worth respect. That's legal, that's all about NOT looking at what's there and NOT being shot in the process. DotCom's approach was to be a braggart. Sorry, but that kills any respect.

As judges are renown for disliking the arrogant, swaggering braggart type, that might well have cost him every court case contested. Even on the rare occasion that justice is blind, it still has a sense of smell and arrogant, swaggering braggarts stink.


Apple and Amazon Launch Black Friday Price War 37

Posted by timothy
from the you-can-win-the-race-to-the-bottom dept.
An anonymous reader writes Forbes magazine points out that tablet computers are receiving some of the biggest discounts for this year's day-after-Thanksgiving sales. "With slowing growth in the tablet market and an increasing array of choices, some of the strongest bargains will come in that sector," they report, noting that Target is giving away a $140 gift card with purcahses of an iPad Air 2 (and a $100 gift card with the iPad Mini or first-generation iPad Air). But Amazon has already launched a counter-strike, posting big discounts online on Thanksgiving day for their entire line of Kindles, including a black-and-white Kindle for just $49, and their 6-inch color/high-definition HD6 for just $79.

Comment: Re:What's with turkey anyway (Score 1) 108

by Zontar The Mindless (#48472371) Attached to: I prefer my turkey ...

Your fear, perhaps, not mine. You do not want to show fear around those guys. This is how I was able to get within 10 metres of a nest to get some photos of the hatchlings this past spring, while a guy passing by in a kayak much further away got attacked and dumped in the water (Daddy Swan buzzed him, and he panicked).

(Heh, I just had to add "hatchling" to my dictionary. Pretty funny when you know more than your spell-checker does.)

Comment: Re:Duh (Score 1) 114

by Zontar The Mindless (#48472317) Attached to: Bitcoin Is Not Anonymous After All

You won't find many open APs in China, since the official policy there is that all Internet users must be identifiable. Certainly not in cafés or what have you. Generally you have to register for username/password and receive it by email.

What I usually end up doing in such places is flirting with the girl behind the counter until she offers to let me use hers. Unless my wife is with me, of course. ;)

"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance." -- Cal Keegan