June 13, 2001

Lots of stuff to talk about today and so I guess I’ll be making up for not posting yesterday – work again … lots of stuff to do and not enough time to do it in … same old story 🙂 Anyway, I spent all of yesterday evening reading up on Steve Gibson’s postings at grc.com where he posted a very interesting (but loooong <g>) article about a series of DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks on his site. It read almost like a thriller and I was reminded all over again of a book I read about 10 years ago about the hacker phenomenon in the early days of computing and about L0pht and Eric Bloodaxe (I believe that was his name if memory serves me right …) Very very interesting stuff! Of course, Steve links to a lot of other pages both by himself and others and so it meant that I spent the entire evening reading on this stuff.

I have always enjoyed Steve Gibson’s work – I first came across his software around 10 years ago when I used SpinRite and I used to swear by that app for recovering data from floppies! He is a great coder and he also makes a lot of sense in his articles. I wish I had half his coding abilities (but I don’t <vbg>) but still I feel that I should be doing something about Net security as well. So I might be looking into security aspects on the Net and maybe coming up with a few apps of my own …

Coincidentally, I heard about another Net security tool Nessus on TV while I was reading Steve Gibson’s articles and since I am going into Linux territory again, I went ahead and downloaded Nessus, installed it and ran a full check on my server and was relieved to find that it was pretty secure though not totally so – I might have to work on that today … There is a Windows version of the client for Nessus as well though I believe the server has to run on a *nix machine. The software is implemented so that the server and client work in conjunction but there might be a way around for the server part for Windows users. Give it a shot – you might find a hole in your machine’s security …

To get away from computer/tech related stuff, I heard a few stories on the radio today which made me think again about where we (I mean humanity here …) are headed. The first story was about a fellow Michigander – Michael Scoopin – who was on “Survivor” (for the benefit of those who are not in the US – or are in US and have been living under a rock <vbg> – “Survivor” is a reality show which is currently popular in the US where they strand a group of people in a remote wilderness location and let them fend for themselves for about a month …). Mike hunted and killed a pig on the show for food and there was a great hue and cry by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) about the whole thing. The PETA thing has been resolved but now I hear that an independant activist had sprayed Mike (and a few children near him at the time as well) with pepper spray in protest against the pig killing incident. Now while I am by no means for mistreating animals, I think it is really stupid to get all worked up over killing an animal for food when there are greater issues to be dealt with – what are these people going to do next, start trying to make tigers eat grass because they kill deer? I think we need our heads examined for having our perspectives so skewed …

This is further highlighted by another story from Michigan today – a guy who sexually molested three young girls around (I believe around the ages of eight or nine …) was caught by the police. Now I think that is a really sick, perverted thing to do – to molest innocent children. And I don’t see such a big hue and cry about that as I do about a guy killing a pig on national TV. What’s wrong with this picture? Maybe we need something like PETP (People for the Ethical Treatment of People) or PETO (People for the Ethical Treatment of Others)?

Then there was this story about two dead women in New Jersey being accidentally switched by the funeral home and she lay in an open casket for two days and nobody in her family noticed that it wasn’t the right person! Well, that’s not exactly true – one daughter had indeed said that that wasn’t her mother but the deceased woman’s eldest daughter had confirmed that it was indeed their mother and the funeral home people had told them that it was normal for a person’s features to change after deat and they’d believed him!!! While it is of course possible that the two women looked a lot alike, I’m beginning to wonder whether we are becoming more and more sheeplike – we believe anything we are told by those-who-are-in-authority (or as Jarrod on “The Pretender” – another TV show – calls them, PTB – Powers That Be -) blindly. Not a good trend at all!

But I guess I’ve ranted enough for today :p So I’ll now pack up my soapbox and go do something a bit more productive <vbg>

Posted by Fahim at 7:53 am  |  No Comments