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Seeing the movie, Firewall

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supermike's picture
Joined: 2006-02-17

The recent movie at the box office, Firewall, although cheesy at times, makes you think.

* Are you in a sysop job where you have access to thousands or even millions of USA social security numbers, phone numbers, and addresses? Did you know that in recent news a ring of people were convicted and found that they were trying to sell 1.5M of this identity info? And do you know what the street value of 1.5M of identify info is? The article claimed it was $7M.

* If you're a sysop with God rights, have you approached your boss about changing the controls so that the database directory that stores the identity data is off-limits to you and only accessible by some particularly tough means?

* What about the accounts receivables checks coming in -- have you blocked your access to these as well?

* Do you have a home alarm system and an emergency plan? What about a "safe room" or a hidden trap door to exit the house?

* Do you have a hidden perimeter monitor around your yard that dings when something passes it?

* Do you own a weapon and have it secured and hidden from plain sight at home? What about pepper gas on a keychain or near the doors?

* Do you continually work to make yourself anonymous on the web along with the actions of your family members?

I could rattle on and on. Of course, nothing is perfect, but security apathy is worse. I'm definitely going to have to make some changes at the office today.

Joined: 2005-12-21
Re: Seeing the movie, Firewall
"supermike" wrote:

* Do you have a home alarm system and an emergency plan? What about a "safe room" or a hidden trap door to exit the house?

What a superfluous item. Americans, it seems, seem to be rather afraid of each other these days. All you see on Fox and many other news shows is murder, murder, car accident, disaster, killer bees/[insert other ridiculous and rare danger here]. And a common trend seems to be murders with a black suspect.

This whole security issue seems so... pushed and aggravated. Sometimes we don't even lock our doors and windows at night, and I feel fine about it. We know and talk to our neighbours, invite each other over for dinner and whatnot. How people can live pretending that the family next door simply does not exist until they do something to upset you or disturb your peace is sometimes beyond me.

Rant over. =\

supermike's picture
Joined: 2006-02-17

I guess my view is tainted. I personally know that bad things happen to innocent people:

* Was beat severely and secretly by an alcoholic father up until the age of 7 until mom divorced him. I recall being kicked against a wall until blacking out, several times. Dad used to say, "He just plays rough with the kids and they beat him up." It took me being unconcious for my second time, plus mom driving me to the hospital, before my mother began to believe me. I luckily came to in the car before she arrived at the hospital. If I had not, then Child Protective Services might have taken me away and placed me in a foster home and perhaps run up charges on my mom. Luckily that all didn't go through like that and she divorced him. It has made me naturally paranoid to some degree, I guess.

* Working at a power company, someone there stole $200K of server RAM. (What an idiot -- it has a market value of perhaps $5K, we estimated, because the servers were a bit old.) The guy was my mentor when I started the job. I had to tell my whole life story to a detective before I was let go 2 hours later and told that I was off the hook. They finally learned it was my coworker, to the shock of all of us. They finally found a sliver of camera evidence to press charges. Unfortunately, he skipped town and was never found again. Evidently the FBI was looking for him on previous charges in two other states and his name was not his real name.

libervisco's picture
Joined: 2006-05-04

Those are some really tough experiences you have Mike. I don't wonder at all that they have made you slightly more "paranoid" though that might not be the right word in this context.

It's not the same in all parts of the world. I have also heard stories about some parts of the world where people feel so safe (like in Thaiwan for example) that people could freely walk down the street at night without any fear, as well as not need to lock their houses compared to usually western countries like EU and US where you indeed to have to watch out after 10 PM and at night and where you do indeed have to lock yourself up.

Klepas, maybe your country or city just has lower rate of criminal activities and may be that your neighbourhood is just traditionaly friendly and knowing each other well, but it's not like that everywhere. I can understand why you might wonder about paranoid security measures people in Europe and US take if those are simply not necessary at your place.

On the other hand I see the point of being open and friendly to as many of surrounding people as possible being one of the possible security measures, but that too really depends on how your overall surrounding is traditionally set up...

Ah well, the world has a very dark side. It comes to the surface in some places more than others, but everyone deserves to be sufficiently protected and has the right to take protective measures for themselves and their family.

I'm living in a village where there was quite a few rumors (and some confirmed) of people stealing from households. We tend to lock our house most of the time, though I'm not very strict about that. It's still a small village compared to the whole city. Still though, the overall criminality rate has increased dramatically over the year 2005 in Croatia. It just exploded. I wonder why...


dylunio's picture
Joined: 2005-12-20
"libervisco" wrote:

Still though, the overall criminality rate has increased dramatically over the year 2005 in Croatia. It just exploded. I wonder why...

It could be down to people locking their doors...a friend in London was advised by the police after a breakin/atempted brakein not to fit any security alarms or anything since it shows that there is something worth stealing in her house.

Maybe people are thinking 'Hey this door is locked, it must be full of valuble things' - this is slightly simplistic but it may add slightly to rises in crime etc.

Also as countries become wealthier there may be more people with things worth stealing etc.

my $0.02


Joined: 2005-12-21

I find it sad though that people do have to be so afraid of each other. It is not the average citizens' fault that crime is at a high but more the duty of the government. Provide better education, protection, better community services and such. With the racists riots recently up in Sydney no wonder people are afraid of one another.

Sometimes I just feel like flying off to Mars and creating a new colony there.

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