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View Diary: SoapBlox Press Release on Yesterday's Event (168 comments)

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  •  I understand what you are saying... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    susans, bablhous, pgm 01, skohayes

    ... but I disagree completely about hackers serving a purpose.  Yes, something can be learned from their acts, but there are other ways.  Saying that hackers serve a purpose in a positive way is like saying that burglars serve a purpose.  After all, when a burglar smashes your window and robs your house, you learn that you should install an alarm system, right?

    I've had a pretty broad career, that includes sysadmin work and also software development for fraud detection for a major on-line retailer.  I can tell you that almost every exploit out there is posted on various developer forums; a good sysadmin or dev does not wait to be attacked to fix a problem, but is always checking to see if there might be a problem and testing their own systems for faults.  There are companies that do nothing but security testing; there also exists a huge developer community that shares information.  And if someone has such information, it is far better to email the sysop or post on such a forum than go and destructively prove that such a weakness exists on a given system.  Such hackers are arrogant and destructive; they shield themselves in a false morality that they are fighting the good fight, when in reality, they are just making things worse.

    I will concede that Microsoft is not always as forthcoming with security fixes and announcements as might be desired.  They sometimes go for the security through obscurity approach - that is, if no one knows it isn't secure, then no one can break in.  By way of contrast, however, the Linux community is the exact opposite.  And there are far more industrial grade systems running Linux out there than you might think.

    Finally, a not on identity theft.  The percentage of identity theft through direct hacks of servers is actually low, though, it does happen, and is one of the greatest fears of those who manage systems that keep people's personal data.  However, far more identity theft occurs because people don't use a secure browser, don't run spyware and virus scanner programs, and don't patch their operating systems regularly.  Add to this the frequency of intercepted snail mail and people in credit card call centers stealing information (it happens - a lot) - and you have a blooming identity theft market.

    Quick to judge, Quick to anger, Slow to understand; Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand. -- Neil Peart

    by JRandomPoster on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 01:27:03 PM PST

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