Archive for January, 2014

backdoors

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

Linksys and Netgear devices allow unauthenticated remote access:

A hacker has found a backdoor to wireless combination router/DSL modems that could allow an attacker to reset the router’s configuration and gain access to the administrative control panel. The attack, confirmed to work on several Linksys and Netgear DSL modems, exploits an open port accessible over the wireless local network.

The backdoor requires that the attacker be on the local network, so this isn’t something that could be used to remotely attack DSL users. However, it could be used to commandeer a wireless access point and allow an attacker to get unfettered access to local network resources.

metrics

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

The average number of traffic fines, random breath tests (RBTs), street checks and calls for service per officer will be assessed on the scorecards along with budgets and overtime.

Sounds dangerously like quotas to me.

Having had a small amount of experience running an operational team, I’ve had first hand experience with what happens when individuals are measured by poorly thought out metrics: in the case of a network operations team, one of the worst measures that can be used to measure performance is number of trouble tickets closed.

I’d suggest that measuring police on the number of traffic fines, RBTs, street checks, and calls-for-service will not result in an improvement in the crime rate.

the folly of prediction

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

From June, 1998:

By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s.

But then in May, 2008, News Limited were confidently predicting:

The commercial banks are expected to pass on the rises, which could push the average standard variable home loan rate of 9.50 per cent up to 10 per cent or more.

Of course with the benefit of hindsight we saw record lows within the next eight months, not record highs.

And this is why — apropos of the new year — I pay no attention to predictions.