One United States Marine
A large group of Iraqi soldiers are moving down a road when they hear a voice call from behind a sand dune, "One United States Marine is better than ten Iraqi!"
The Iraqi commander quickly sends 10 of his best soldiers over the dune, where upon a gun battle breaks and continues for a few minutes, then silence.
The voice then calls out "One United States Marine is better than one hundred Iraqi!"
Furious, the Iraqi commander sends his next best 100 troops over the dune and instantly a huge fire fight commences. After 10 minutes of battle, again silence.
The American voice calls out again "One United States Marine is better than one thousand Iraqi!"
The enraged Iraqi Commander musters one thousand fighters and sends them across the dune. Cannons, rockets and machine guns ring out as a huge battle is fought. Then silence.
Eventually one wounded Iraqi fighter crawls back over the dune and with his dying words tells his commander, "Don't send any more men, it's a trap. There's two of them!"
Choice Point 1 2 3 4 5 6
You probably already know the backstory to this post, but there's this big company called ChoicePoint which keeps big databases of... well, probably everything you've ever purchased. They deal with credit companies and things, that's what they do. They're in the news of late because they accidentally sold tons of private information on 145,000 people to criminals. "Oops, our bad."
So today I'm at a car dealership getting some work done on one of our company cars. I'm sitting in the customer lounge watching CNN Headline News. First of all I'd like to say that CNN totally sucks. It sucks a donkey with ass herpes. I was there for thirty minutes and every five minutes they had a commercial break. Every five minutes! And within those thirty minutes, actually about 10 minutes of actual news time if you subtract the commercials, I saw all the news stories twice. Twice!
So they suck.
Anyway, they were doing a story on Choice Point. They were making a big deal about how the people who "stole" all this personal information from Choice Point weren't hackers or burglars, they were committing fraud while doing what appeared to be legitimate business. To enforce that point, CNN showed how tight security was around the Choice Point building. During this point in the story they showed an employee entering through the security gates in the lobby. I think it was the president or whoever they were interviewing, but I couldn't really say for sure.
So this guy walks up to a keypad and, while they are filming, types in his access code. Right there in front of the camera, just types it in! This is the epitome of poor security, but what's worse is that I saw with my very own eyes that his access code was 1-2-3-4-5-6!!
In their defense, this was surely just a staged example of their security mechanism and he wasn't really doing anything. I hope that's what was going on but that's certainly not what it looked like because as soon and he punched in the numbers and put his palm on a screen to do one of those insecure, easily defeated handprint reading things, the doors buzzed open and he waltzed right through.
Bruce Schneier, the infamous cryptographer and computer security guru, has a link on his blog today to an article hosted by Ram Samudrala called Security by Hunter S. Thompson.
I am pleased to bring you Amen by Jolie Holland, from her newest album Escondida.
I know, I haven't posted songs in ages. I even let my webspace subscription end without renewing it so I have to use a filesharing service. But trust me, this song is worth it.
"There he goes...
... one of God's own prototypes. Never even considered for mass production. To weird to live and too strange to die."
Hunter S. Thompson died yesterday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.