Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Think before you tweet

October 7, 2012 2 comments

I don’t particularly like the Guardian – it’s a squat for rich socialists who love the socialist idea in a luvvy sort of way. Rich socialists is a contradiction in terms. The Guardian is a contradiction in terms full of people more concerned with the cleverness of their ideas and semantic capabilities than the objective truth. Such people shouldn’t be allowed on Twitter; they tweet first and think later. Cameron was right: too many twits… make a twat.

Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, was seen with his 9 year-old daughter in a book shop.

The Guardian’s Deborah Orr tweeted: “It never occurred to me that this man had had sex.” Gove’s partner and mother of the 9 year-old, replied, “Cheap”. Deborah Orr removed the tweet. But as we all know, it’s not that easy to take something off the internet once you’ve posted it. Guido found it:

orr tweet

Courtesy of Guido Fawkes

It led to a little spat between Ms Vine and Ms Orr – one that Ms Vine was always going to win because it was cheap. Ms Orr claimed she never intended to offend; but on Twitter she describes herself as ‘Sarcastist’. In the right hands sarcasm can be a rapier-like weapon. In the wrong hands it’s just cheap; but either way its whole purpose is to offend.

The moral, of course, is that it doesn’t matter how clever you think you are: think before you tweet; and if you’re tweeting about someone else, persuade yourself not to. It won’t go away once you post.

[If you find an advert beneath this post, it’s not because of me, and I don’t benefit. It’s because you haven’t installed AdBlock. I suggest you go get it.]


Lloyds TSB – the king of mediation will need some serious mediation skills…

October 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Just three days ago Lloyds Banking Group won the overall award for best mediation scheme in the National Mediation Awards 2012. The judges said, “Lloyds Banking Group demonstrated excellence in the running of their internal mediation scheme. Lloyds were found to be monitoring their scheme’s performance and undertaking a process of continuous improvement. Lloyds Banking Group was also seen to be undertaking innovative activities to promote mediation.”

I just hope they’re as good externally as they are internally. Have you seen Twitter today?

Just a random selection from hundreds and hundreds of similar…

Lloyds TSB has said it is suffering from a “temporary system error” which is causing “intermittent problems”…

Lloyds TSB has admitted the problem has affected both its internet and telephone banking service, “but we don’t have a definite time scale at this time [for solving the problem]”, it said.

It’s going to need some serious external mediation skills in the immediate future…

Categories: All

How the mighty are fallen…

September 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Oh dear!

Categories: All, Security Issues

Assange and the Foreign Office; British foreign policy and Twitter

August 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Well, first the serious bit. Kudos to Ecuador for having more balls to stand up to the bull of Cameron than Cameron has to stand up to Obama. We thought Blair was a poodle to Bush; Cameron is no different to Obama. And if you think I’m extreme, please read this analysis from a retired diplomat: America’s Vassal Acts Decisively and Illegally. It’s enough to make you ashamed of your own country.

The less serious bit, marginally, is the effect of Twitter on the nation’s literature. Consider this official statement on the website of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

FO statement

Foreign Office statement on Assange asylum

It’s a bit terse. Terse comes from its short sentences. Short sentences are punchy. They get straight to the point. No frills. Now consider the Foreign Office twitter feed (@foreignoffice):

FO tweets

Foreign Office tweets on Assange asylum

It’s the same statement in four neat, self-contained chunks. British foreign policy is now clearly designed to suit the requirements of Twitter. God, please help us all. However, I’d just like to point out to Mr Hague that if the author had written “Under UK law” rather than “Under our law”, he/she would have freed the 140th character for the full stop at the end of the third tweet down. Accuracy is all. I am available.

But then, it seems that the FO cares nothing about international law; so why should it bother about grammatical laws?


Categories: All, General Rants, Politics

My stories for Infosecurity Magazine, 07 May to 11 May

May 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Pirate Bay defends Virgin Media while founder Peter Sunde faces jail

It is with some irony that The Pirate Bay (TPB) came to the defense of Virgin Media (TalkTalk was also disrupted) after the ISP’s website was taken down by Anonymous.
11 May 2012

BeyondTrust acquires vulnerability management company eEye Digital Security
BeyondTrust, a company that provides privilege delegation and authorization systems with its PowerBroker suite of products, has acquired eEye Digital Security, developer of the Blink and Retina vulnerability management tools.
11 May 2012

Member and spokesperson for TeaMp0isoN arrested in Newcastle
A 17-year old has been arrested in Newcastle by the Police Central eCrime Unit (PCeU) and local Northumbrian Police officers for alleged offenses under the Computer Misuse Act.
11 May 2012

Winners and losers in European card fraud
FICO has produced an interactive map of Europe, showing the evolving European fraud landscape between 2006 and 2011.
10 May 2012

DigiNinja analyzes the Twitter hack, and offers password advice to web services
Yesterday we reported that 55,000 Twitter accounts have been leaked on Pastebin. Security researchers Anders Nilsson and Robin Wood have separately analyzed the dump.
10 May 2012

Queen’s Speech announces ‘measures… to access vital communications data’
As expected, the Queen’s Speech yesterday announced the intention of the UK Government to bring forward (during the current parliamentary session) measures to allow law enforcement and intelligence agencies access to ‘vital communications data’.
10 May 2012

Net neutrality becomes law in The Netherlands
The net neutrality provisions approved by the Dutch Parliament last June as part of its implementation of the European telecommunications package became law yesterday.
09 May 2012

False Facebook account leads to Principal’s resignation
Louise Losos, principal of Clayton High School, Missouri, has resigned following accusations that she created a false persona on Facebook and befriended hundreds of her own students.
09 May 2012

Twitter fights two information security battles
Twitter is in the unenviable position of being ‘attacked’ on all sides: while it tries to fight a subpoena demanding the account details of Occupy protestor Malcolm Harris, hackers release thousands of user logon details on Pastebin.
09 May 2012

Analysis shows social networks increasingly used to spread malware
In its latest monthly analysis of the most prevalent malware, GFI describes how social networks remain the most popular breeding ground for infections.
08 May 2012

“Good on ya’ Mozilla”, says Sophos about Firefox
Firefox is developing a new feature called ‘click-to-play’ designed to provide additional protection for web browsing – but not everyone thinks this is necessarily useful.
08 May 2012

Syrian activists targeted with RATs
There have been several recent examples of Syrian activists being tricked into downloading and installing remote access tools (RATs) that secretly hand control of their computers to a third party.
08 May 2012

PandaLabs malware report – and the balance between law enforcement and user
Almost one-in-four computers in the UK is infected – and the UK is one of the least infected countries in the world, says the new PandaLabs report released today.
07 May 2012

Categories: All

Infosecurity Magazine news stories for 10-13 April 2012, and 16-18 April 2012

April 18, 2012 Leave a comment

My news stories on Infosecurity Magazine from Tuesday 10 April until Friday 13 April, and Monday 16 April until Wednesday 18 April

NHS needs a security czar to prevent continuous data walkabout
While the South London Healthcare NHS Trust signs a Data Protection Undertaking, the security industry wonders why we have learnt nothing in the last two years – and calls for a new NHS data protection czar.
18 April 2012

PwC 2012 Information Security Breaches Survey: Preliminary findings report continued mobile insecurity
New statistics show that while many companies appear to understand the business threat from BYOD, many others are taking no precautions whatsoever.
18 April 2012

(ISC)² launches its new EMEA advisory board
In a move designed to offer genuine hands-on security experience to EMEA’s different security initiatives, professional body (ISC)² has launched a new Advisory Board for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EAB).
18 April 2012

Google co-founder worries about the future of the internet
In an interview with the Guardian, the co-founder of Google lists the threats facing the future vitality of the internet.
17 April 2012

Shadowserver uncovers campaign against Vietnam in Hardcore Charlie’s file dump
An analysis of the hacked files dumped by hacker Hardcore Charlie fails to prove Chinese culpability, but finds evidence of ‘yet another cyber espionage campaign against Vietnam.’
17 April 2012

Iranian software manager hacks and dumps card details of 3m Iranians
Khosrow Zarefarid found and reported a flaw in the Iranian POS system. He reported it, but was ignored – so he used it and hacked 3 million Iranian debit card details.
17 April 2012

Dutch Pirate Party forced to take its Pirate Bay proxy off-line
In a move that will be monitored by the UK’s music industry association (BPI), its Dutch equivalent BREIN (translates as ‘Brain’) has obtained a court injunction forcing the political party, the Pirate Party, to take down the proxy site that was allowing users to continue using the blocked Pirate Bay (TPB).
16 April 2012

Is ACTA dead in the water, or is it resurfacing via the G8?
David Martin, European Parliament’s rapporteur on the ACTA treaty, is expected to recommend that parliament should reject ACTA. Does this mean the end for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement?
16 April 2012

Commotion Wireless: an open source censorship buster
The great contradiction in modern techno-politics is the need for democracies to promulgate free speech in other countries while controlling it in their own.
16 April 2012

Boston police release unredacted Facebook data of ‘Craigslist killer’
The complete Facebook account of Philip Markoff, in hard copy and including friend IDs, was given by the Boston Police to the Boston Phoenix newspaper.
13 April 2012

EC asks how we would want the internet of things to be controlled
The European Commission (EC) has issued an online ‘consultation’ document: How would you envisage ‘governance’ of the ‘Internet of Things’?
13 April 2012

City trader fined £450,000 by the FSA
“For the reasons given in this Notice…”, says an FSA Decision Notice, “…the FSA has decided to impose on Mr Ian Charles Hannam a financial penalty of £450,000.”
13 April 2012

MPAA’s attempted takedown of Hotfile gets more and more difficult
Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater says Google; and there’s more baby than bathwater suggests Prof. James Boyle.
12 April 2012

UK private members bill designed to censor pornography on the internet
Baroness Howe of Ildicote has introduced the Online Safety Act 2012, designed to force ISPs to install and operate pornography filters.
12 April 2012

Financial services the target in massive DDoS increase
A new analysis from Prolexic shows a huge increase in DDoS attacks, largely sourced in Asia and primarily attacking financial institutions.
12 April 2012

Smartphones are still firmly ‘enterprise-unready’
Research from by Altimeter Group, Bloor Research and Trend Micro shows that the ‘consumer marketing’ legacy of many smartphones makes them ill-equipped to meet enterprise security demands.
11 April 2012

EU trade committee’s draft opinion on ACTA: Don’t ratify
The European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy committee for the Committee on International Trade has published its draft opinion on ACTA. Don’t ratify, it tells parliament.
11 April 2012

DHS gets California company to hack game consoles
In a project that started from law enforcement agencies’ request to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which was then farmed out to the US Navy, Obscure Technologies of California has been awarded a contract to find ways of hacking game consoles.
11 April 2012

Real-time data mining comes to Twitter
Twitter is usually described as a micro-blogging social network. To many who monitor its ‘trending topics’ it is also an early warning news service, frequently pointing users to breaking news before the traditional news media reports it.
10 April 2012

Iran bids farewell to the internet; welcomes its own halal intranet
Iran’s answer to ‘criminality’ on the internet is not to fight criminality, but to block the internet. In the future, Iranians will have access to only the official national intranet and a whitelist of acceptable foreign sites.
10 April 2012

What an Englishman does in bed
Companies that monitor the end point behavior of their remote workers will have to start monitoring their (internet) behavior in bed. That at least is the inference to be drawn from a new street survey conducted by Infosecurity Europe.
10 April 2012

Categories: All, Security News

Is Assange running for Senate to avoid FBI entrapment?

March 18, 2012 1 comment

Back on Christmas Day, Wikileaks tweated: “is it possible for JA to run for the Australian Senate from house arrest in another country?” Later on the same day, Australian solicitor Peter Kemp responded:

Peter Kemp Tweet

Go for it!

He explained his reasoning in a subsequent article posted to WL Central – an independent site dedicated to allow free and open discussion on WikiLeaks issues. Now, it would appear, WikiLeaks and JA have decided:

WikiLeaks Tweet

OK – we will.

It’s going to be interesting. Australians have a natural tendency to thumb their noses at the establishment. He might well succeed. I hope he does.

But what then? I don’t know the law; but even if it is possible to extradite an elected Australian senator, would the UK wish to? Will we see the Swedish judiciary and the UK Home Office trying to expedite the extradite to avoid embarrassment? I hope not – and here’s why…

Nobody doubts that Sweden will just be a staging post for Assange en route and in irons to the USA. The US wants him because of the Bradley Manning leaks. But Bradley Manning, and ergo WikiLeaks, has a very strong defence: public interest. What the FBI really needs is a charge that carries no public support. Like the hack and leak of private correspondence from a well-respected independent news organization. Like Stratfor, perhaps.

Stratfor was hacked by Sabu. Anonymous immediately and officially – as far as Anonymous can ever do anything officially – denied involvement; and accused Sabu: “Sabu and his crew are nothing more than opportunistic attention whores who are possibly agent provocateurs.” Since then we have learned that Sabu was turned by the FBI and had been working with the FBI since the end of last summer. In short, Sabu hacked Stratfor while he was working for the FBI. Anonymous was aware of this. ‘Agent provocateur’ was not an insult, it was a description.

More recently still, the stolen Stratfor emails have been leaked to WikiLeaks. On 27 February, WikiLeaks announced: “LONDON–Today WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files – more than five million emails from the Texas-headquartered “global intelligence” company Stratfor. The emails date from between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defense Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods, for example…”

But remember, Anonymous has denied involvement. So who leaked to WikiLeaks? The FBI? On 7 March, the Guardian wrote:

A second document shows that Monsegur [Sabu] – styled this time as CW-1 – provided an FBI-owned computer to facilitate the release of 5m emails taken from US security consultancy Stratfor and which are now being published by WikiLeaks. That suggests the FBI may have had an inside track on discussions between Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, and Anonymous, another hacking group, about the leaking of thousands of confidential emails and documents.

The Hacker News put it more bluntly a couple of days ago: “But if Sabu was in fact working for the FBI, how could the Stratfor hack be anything more than a clearcut case of entrapment perpetrated by the FBI?” It looks horribly like Stratfor was sacrificed and Anonymous used simply to get Assange.

I call on all Australians – do what other nations daren’t do: thumb your nose at US machinations, and vote Assange. For all of us.