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Submission + - Bill Would Legalize Active Defense Against Hacks

Trailrunner7 writes: A new bill intended to update the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act would allow victims of computer attacks to engage in active defense measures to identify the attacker and disrupt the attack.

Proposed by Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.), the bill would grant victims of computer intrusions unprecedented rights. Known as the Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act, the legislation seeks to amend the CFAA, the much-maligned 1986 law that is used in most computer crime prosecutions.

The proposed legislation includes the caveat that victims can’t take any actions that destroy data on another person’s computer, causes physical injury to someone, or creates a threat to public safety. The concept of active defense has been a controversial one in the security community for several years, with many experts saying the potential downside outweighs any upside. Not to mention that it’s generally illegal.

Comment Time to first byte and javascript (Score 2) 766

There are several different phases involved in loading a web page. The first is how long it takes for the site to actually send the response to your request. If it takes 5 seconds to request index.php, there is not anything the browser can do to fix this. Caching and optimizing code will help, unfortunately most sites are build on a CMS (ie wordpress), and most designers / admin do not know how to optimize this properly. If this is slow it is usually either bad code, or trying to store entirely too much stuff in the database. Some, very poorly designed, sites will also make remote calls to external servers, this is painfully slow.

After the html is sent to the browser, the browser will start the rendering process. This involves loading all CSS and Javascript files referenced in the html. Old logic was to move the javascript to the footer to ensure they load after the main content is loaded. Unfortunately, with new browsers this does not matter. They will delay rendering of the content until all javascript is loaded on a site. This is to avoid information being moved around on the screen when files are finally loaded.

Hopefully, most designers will move their expensive javascript functions to a $(document).ready function but that only speeds the page display up after the javascript files have been loaded. Beyond that the best thing that designers can do for javascript heavy sites is defer the loading of their javascript. This allows the html to render before attempting to load javascript. Not all libraries support this, namely jquery, by default. But it will help speed up the time from the request to the time something is displayed on the screen.

With all of these methods, the time that it takes to completely load and render all content on the page will be about the same. But, from the users point of view, the page will appear to be loading faster.

Comment Most hacks are due to outdated CMS packages (Score 1) 155

So many servers run ancient versions of popular CMS packages and then wonder why their server constantly gets hacked.
Heaven forbid they are running WHMCS on a box with other websites (quickest way to get rooted).

It got so bad for us here, I had to write a script to scan customer servers just to find all of the outdated packages.
It amazes me to read some of the reports, seeing sites running decade old software is not uncommon.

Still is a battle to get people to actually update their sites once they have been notified about running old software.

Comment Re:To be fair... (Score 0) 653

I have to agree with you there, it does look like a fluke.

China is the reason that laws like these exist, knock-offs are a huge business for them. If you can make a product that looks like a fluke people may buy it just because they expect it to be a fluke.

Submission + - W3C's Plan for DRM in HTML5 is a Betrayal to All Web Users (

jrepin writes: A handful of myths have become common defenses of the W3C’s plan for “Encrypted Media Extensions” (EME), a Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) scheme for HTML5, the next version of the markup language upon which the Web is built. These arguments obscure the threat this poses to a free and open web and why we must send a strong and clear message to the W3C and its member organizations, that DRM in HTML5 is a betrayal to all Web users and undermines the W3C’s self-stated mission to make the benefits of the Web “available to all people, whatever their hardware, software, network infrastructure, native language, culture, geographical location, or physical or mental ability.” The W3C exists to bring the vision of an undivided ‘One Web’ to its full potential, and DRM is antithetical to that goal.

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