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CC Companies Scotch Mythbusters Show On RFID Security

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the next-comes-guns-and-money dept.

Hardware Hacking 466

mathfeel passes along a video in which Mythbusters co-host Adam Savage recounts how credit card companies lawyered up to make sure the Discovery channel never, ever airs a segment on the flaws in RFID security. "Texas Instruments comes on [a scheduled conference call] along with chief legal counsel for American Express, Visa, Discover, and everybody else... They [Mythbusters producers] were way, way outgunned and they [lawyers] absolutely made it really clear to Discovery that they were not going to air this episode talking about how hackable this stuff was, and Discovery backed way down being a large corporation that depends upon the revenue of the advertisers. Now it's on Discovery's radar and they won't let us go near it."

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Delaying the inevitable (5, Insightful)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 6 years ago | (#24813941)

No disrespect to the MythBusters, but if they could figure it out, plenty of others will also.

Re:Delaying the inevitable (5, Insightful)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 6 years ago | (#24813959)

It's only a matter of time before this gets pulled off Youtube.

Re:Delaying the inevitable (5, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814633)

As I understand it they didn't really find anything out, they were just in the preliminary R&D stages, trying to talk to people in the know.
It's not like they're covering up something big, they just want to ban talk about it altogether.

... Actually that's probably even worse.

Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#24813947)

After hearing this news, I went to the Mythbusters site and entered in a bunch of old wives tales & myths passed onto me from my father and forefathers concerning lawyers. They are:
  • Lawyers possess a membrane of blood just below the skin so they appear to be human and bleed from things like paper cuts and scratches but if shot in the head or other vital organ, they will not bleed.
  • As long as they are given fresh videos of accidental injuries where a party is liable, lawyers can go weeks without food or water and still survive.
  • When dropped from 6 story (or higher) buildings, lawyers bounce.
  • Even when bound with twine and anchored, lawyers float.
  • If you cut a lawyer's head off, it will manage to sue you for days before it dies.
  • Lawyers emit an evil into the ether so powerful that when they are placed in a cage with a ravenous lion, the lion will cower and run.
  • Lawyers can smell profit and always pick the correct door in the Monty Hall situation when IEDs lay on the other side of two and $1,000 lays on the other side of one.
  • Lawyers can't feel pain.
  • Any lawyer can outrun a male grizzly bear in the middle of mating season.
  • Over the years, lawyers have built up a tolerance to lethal doses of iocane powder.

I can't wait until they test my myths! Also, lawyers are the reason we no longer have habeas corpus, so the show should be filmed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24814073)

I think this would be a good time to point out that Barack Obama and his running mate are lawyers.

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (-1, Offtopic)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814299)

I'd mod you Informative if I hadn't just used my last mod point on a game story. Bah, my addiction to games strikes once again. Damn you, Playstation!

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (2, Funny)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814499)

Yes, we should sue eachother more. You see, lawyers tend to become politicians, therefore there's enormous societal value in keeping lawyers busy suing people.

It keeps evil out of politics.

So sue eachother ! Sue me ! Maybe Barack, Biden, McCain and Palin will go back to thinking there's more money in lawyering.

It's a feeble, fleeting hope, but what other hope is there ?

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (1)

ion.simon.c (1183967) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814591)

Useless.
If you sue more people, more people will become lawyers.

Greedy bastards go where the money is, see?

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24814635)

I thinks this would be a good time to point out that more than half the U.S. Presidents were lawyers. Some of them were among the best regarded presidents, some among the worst.

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (5, Funny)

prestomation (583502) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814097)

I like how this is modded informative..

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (1, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814155)

I like how this is modded informative..

Well, the patient clearly exhibits a severe form of dementia where he thinks that lawyers are supernatural beings capable of destroying his world and cheating everyone & everything--even death! The patient also sees them as an unstoppable force bent on bending all things the patient views as right and irrefutable. In this case, security and public awareness.

This is informative/interesting because there seems to be a fringe society of individuals that exhibit these symptoms while clearly the rest of society--the 'norm'--do not.

Not all lawyers are inherently evil, even Gandhi was a lawyer. Some use their powers for good, it just seems that this poor basket case has deluded himself into seeing only evil and mis-characterizing lawyers as a hate-filled 'race.'

Seriously though, does anyone else feel like either the rest of the world has gone insane or they're the only insane person on this planet? I mean, I miss the days when they would just burn scientists and heretics at the stake. At least we wouldn't have to sit through bullshit where the truth is suppressed by financial corporations! Seriously, the Discovery Channel should be renamed to the "Discover Only What Money Approves Channel."

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24814317)

Not all lawyers are inherently evil, even Gandhi was a lawyer.>

Would that be Mohandas "The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife" Gandhi you are referring to?

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814525)

Would that be Mohandas "The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife" Gandhi you are referring to?

Yep that's the one.

Then again, these same people are also voting for the KKK party that's found itself in "identity politics", to end racism (the KKK was an official department of one of the American political parties, can you guess which one ?). Hint : they have a large gap in their described history on thier site. Jim Crow, for example was in the same party.

That should also put an end to the question of just how "post-racial" their candidate is.

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (5, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814397)

If you were alive during the days that they just burned scientists and heretics at the stake, I am impressed. Perhaps you just mean that you yearn for the days? (this is probably a pretty narrow style issue, but whatever)

If you really care, stop doing business with them. Stop doing business with the various financial companies because they would manipulate what is presented to you. Stop doing business with Discovery because they put profit before whatever-it-is. Stop doing business with people who do business with them. I mean, you don't actually have to sit through the bullshit if you don't want to, but damn if it isn't easier.

What it comes down to is that if you don't stand up for a principle, you don't really have much business expecting anybody else to...

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (1)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814571)

Seriously though, does anyone else feel like either the rest of the world has gone insane or they're the only insane person on this planet?

I sometimes feel like that, but the voices have reassured me that it's perfectly normal.

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814209)

Well, it would actually be informative because he informed you that he sent those in. Now, honestly I think that a funny mod would be better but hey! At least it isn't insightful.

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814265)

I like how this is modded informative..

I'd bet actual english pounds that this is because of the Princes Bride reference.

How did that ever become a geek classic? Beats me, but it undoubtedly has.

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24814433)

Allegedly, there is no Karma with teh funneh. So people do "informative" instead.

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (5, Funny)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814123)

Lawyers can smell profit and always pick the correct door in the Monty Hall situation when IEDs lay on the other side of two and $1,000 lays on the other side of one.

The correct door is of course one with an IED behind, they can sue for waaay more than $1000 for the trauma of getting blown up.

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814169)

Lawyers can smell profit and always pick the correct door in the Monty Hall situation when IEDs lay on the other side of two and $1,000 lays on the other side of one.

The correct door is of course one with an IED behind, they can sue for waaay more than $1000 for the trauma of getting blown up.

That's lawyer talk! You're one of them!

GET HIM!

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (1)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814231)

Lawyers possess a membrane of blood just below the skin so they appear to be human and bleed from things like paper cuts and scratches but if shot in the head or other vital organ, they will not bleed.

[Corporate lawyers] can't be bargained with. They can't be reasoned with. They don't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are destitute and enslaved.

(Yeah, the traditional quote ends with "dead", but the RIAA screwed that one up.)

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (5, Insightful)

azakem (924479) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814267)

Also, lawyers are the reason we no longer have habeas corpus, so the show should be filmed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Lawyers are also the only reason you ever had habeas corpus in the first place, and the only chance you have of ever getting it back.

Lawyers are like nuclear tech, they can be used for good or evil.

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (4, Funny)

zblack_eagle (971870) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814455)

Lawyers are like geeks, except they hack laws instead of code

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (-1, Flamebait)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814311)

Your mom is a lawyer. Ooooh, burn! Sorry, couldn't resist.

The jokes are funny. (2, Interesting)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814359)

We have to remember that the Credit Card Companies lawyers were working for the CC corps. They were acting on the behest of those organizations. The real evil are the CC companies. They are the ones who lobbied for the new draconian bankruptcy laws that will, in the long run, stifle economic growth in this country.

Today, I've been seeing some jack-boot operations by the St. Paul police on some folks who didn't mean anyone any harm. The cops arrested lawyers and reporters, too. There are some lawyers who are going to make those cops and their puppet masters pay big. And I'm glad that their is financial incentive for folks to go after Government when it so egregiously violates people's rights and makes a mockery of our Constitution that those disgraces to the name of police made in St. Paul.

The St. Paul and Denver police departments are a disgrace. I hope some lawyers representing their clients (some are veterans) get rich while punishing those imbeciles. And I really hope some of those cops go to jail themselves.

Re:Upcoming Mythbusters Special! (4, Funny)

corgan517 (1040154) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814381)

Any lawyer can outrun a male grizzly bear in the middle of mating season.

I didn't know lawyers had a mating season! I guess I always assumed they were created in liquid-filled vats somewhere in Canada...

Also... what do the lawyers do when the catch up to the bear?

Paging Ray Beckman (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814629)

Your thoughts on the parent post?

In other words: (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24813955)

Myth Confirmed.

Next on Mythbusters... (5, Funny)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 6 years ago | (#24813957)

Busting Security Through Obscurity!

With the accompanying /. title: (4, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814179)

"CC Companies Irish Mythbusters Show On Security"

Re:With the accompanying /. title: (1)

rjhubs (929158) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814681)

I was thinking more along the lines of

"CC Companies Whiskey Mythbusters Show on Security"

What do you think a PASSWORD is? Obscurity? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24814305)

That's what a password does, it gives one security by obscurity. Dumbasses !! You slashdot lemmings would fuck yourselves in the ass if some buttwipe said you should.

Sounds like we may get a modified Streisand effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24813973)

In a few weeks we will probably have a followup to this story. Somebody, not worrying about lawyers will post their own take on this. Problem solved?

News from the future! (5, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814007)

Wildly popular Mythbusters television star Adam Savage resigned suddenly from his position as cohost of Discovery TV's Mythbusters. Said Mr. Savage: "I just want to take a little personal time with my family. I'll be taking some time out for a year or four in Belize."

Mr. Savage has not been seen since, and our repeated calls to his agent go unanswered.

The Discovery Channel has announced through media representative Linsay Patter "We'll miss him and wish him the best. His loss means we won't be able to continue with the show." Discovery will be filling the space with Annie Parkinson's "Crafts for Children".

Re:News from the future! (4, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814233)

Well, *somebody* has to think of the children.

Sometimes it neccesary (0, Troll)

nickswitzer (1352967) | more than 6 years ago | (#24813979)

There are things that sometimes just don't need to be divulged so that every blow joe doesn't decide to run around trying it. An example is that I have figured out a few ways talking with some other IT professionals on how to successfully use someone's credit card without their consent or without triggering the companies themselves and I have decided to keep those revelations to myself so that it is not exploited by every script kiddie and wannabe hackers to try.

Re:Sometimes it neccesary (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24814063)

Sure, but regular credit cards are already established. RFID credit cards are yet to become standard, and that should be prevented.

Re:Sometimes it neccesary (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24814159)

Bad analogy time:

It's like a ship with holes in it. If the ship is already at sea, you shut up and man the pumps. But if the ship is in the dock, you yell "Look, hole!" and hopefully you wont have to pump quite as much later on.

Re:Sometimes it neccesary (2, Insightful)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814607)

But if no one ever shouts "Look, hole" even when at sea, no one ever man's the pumps or patches the holes.

Re:Sometimes it neccesary (5, Insightful)

RelaxedTension (914174) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814201)

"...and I have decided to keep those revelations to myself so that it is not exploited by every script kiddie and wannabe hackers to try."

And you are the only person that will figure that method out, I guess. Hopefully, you are the smartest person alive, and the problem so difficult no one else can possibly figure it out too, and abuse it.

The way we move forward as a race is that we share information, both about what works and helps, and more importantly about what doesn't work or causes harm. If the people affected the most by the flaw that has been discovered do nothing about it, then disclosure is the way. That way everyone else is informed and warned, as they should be.

This isn't about the hackers... (5, Insightful)

hpa (7948) | more than 6 years ago | (#24813983)

This isn't at all about the hackers ... this is about making the general public aware just how bad this is.

Re:This isn't about the hackers... (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814273)

This isn't at all about the hackers ... this is about making the general public aware just how bad this is.

But as the reasoning goes...
If the general public isn't aware of the problem...
It isn't a problem.

Or in other words.... (0)

Serenissima (1210562) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814579)

*fingers in ears*
La la la! We can't hear you! If we can't hear you, there's no problem! La la la la la la la la!

I can just see the courtroom in 2010 (5, Interesting)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 6 years ago | (#24813991)

"So, if I Understand this correctly, you knew of these security holes back in 2008, and rather than fix them, you prevented the Mythbusters from talking about them."

"Well, yes, Your Honor."

"Give me another reason why I should listen to one word of your defense against this class action suit?"

This will come back and bite them in the @$$. Hard.

You have alot of faith in judges. (3, Insightful)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#24813997)

I don't. They tend to be old, out of touch with modern technology. I think enough BS by CC lawyers would confound them and justice would not be served.

But I'm told I'm a cynic :)

Re:You have alot of faith in judges. (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814663)

They also wear those white curly wigs, as if anyone is convinced by them !

Re:I can just see the courtroom in 2010 (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814057)

Except it doesn't work that way. At all.

Re:I can just see the courtroom in 2010 (4, Funny)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814161)

it works like this:

Your honour we are rich smooth talking businessmen, the claimants are poor people, the defence rests.

Judge: I rule in favour of the defence.

Re:I can just see the courtroom in 2010 (4, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814275)

This reminds me of something...

Judge Hank "The Hangman" BMW: Now prosecutor, why you think he done it?
Prosecutor: 'Kay. Number one your honor, just look at him. And B, we've got all this, like, evidence, of how, like, this guy didn't even pay at the hospital. And I heard that he doesn't even have his tattoo.
[crowd boos]
Prosecutor: I know! And I'm all, 'you've gotta be shittin' me!' But check this out man, judge should be like
[bangs fist on table]
Prosecutor: 'guilty!' Peace.

Re:I can just see the courtroom in 2010 (4, Insightful)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814119)

Judges are lawyers and that is forced by law. You can't be one without being a lawyer.

Re:I can just see the courtroom in 2010 (5, Informative)

gbh1935 (987266) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814363)

not true... You are not required to be a lawyer to be on the supreme court of the united states

Re:I can just see the courtroom in 2010 (4, Informative)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814555)

Not true... mostly. You are not required to be a lawyer in most (all?) jurisdictions of the United States. Judges are appointed and in many cases elected. I'm not aware that many jurisdictions require judges to be jurisdoctors (that is, earned a law degree.) Lawyers on the other hand must have earned a law degree and passed the legal bar examination of the state where they practice.

Re:I can just see the courtroom in 2010 (1)

burroughsj1 (1273158) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814575)

Judges are lawyers and that is forced by law.

No, it's not. In some systems, that's true. OTOH, it often isn't. There are a number of judges who are not lawyers. Try googling "nonlawyer judges."

Re:I can just see the courtroom in 2010 (5, Interesting)

ewhac (5844) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814281)

"Give me another reason why I should listen to one word of your defense against this class action suit?"

"Well, Your Honor, all of the persons the plaintiff has named as members of the class are invalid. All our cardmembers, as a provision of the cardmember agreement, must refer to independent Binding Arbitration, and expressly waive their right to participate in a class action. And all those that remain have no standing to file this action."

When you enter a courtroom, you enter another world where such flagrant absurdities are taken seriously. Read your cardmember agreement. Then read Kafka.

Schwab

Re:I can just see the courtroom in 2010 (3, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814535)

How do you know the credit card companies aren't trying to fix the issue? And why not also blame the Discovery Channel, who didn't even try to put up a defense?

I think this comes down to "we advertise on your network and don't want you making us look bad" instead of "we are trying to keep this flaw a secret, even though it is already common knowledge."
http://www.rfid-cusp.org/blog/blog-23-10-2006.html [rfid-cusp.org]

Pass the buck (5, Insightful)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 6 years ago | (#24813999)

So, rather than face lawsuits over contractual obligations to build and maintain a secure system (hah), they litigate the party who exposes them for attempting fraud.

Should it be surprising that in a culture that prizes profits and pride over progress, that litigation threats are used to squelch otherwise good feedback and information?

Re:Pass the buck (2, Interesting)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814043)

Personally I think that this kind of thing should be allowable, under one condition. Namely, that the credit card companies set about fixing this problem as quickly as possible, sparing no expense. If there is a big problem with these cards and they are willing to fix it now that someone has told them about it, I think it would only be reasonable to allow them to keep the information secret for a short time while they square things away.

Now, of course, the odds that this is what they'll actually do are only slightly better than my odds of scoring with a pair of Japanese twins tonight. But it is a scenario I could imagine where this might be justified.

Of course if this were the rule, and they claimed this in order to shut something down and then didn't actually do what they said they would do, they ought to be liable for triple damages to the defendant.

Re:Pass the buck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24814257)

I'd wager that they don't perceive this as a problem to be fixed. They started out with an equation like a0*x0+a1*x1+...=fixed_cost_for_us, where a_i are weights, representing probabilistic assumptions about the realities x_i. This all models, to them, acceptable losses etc.

In their world, reality stays fixed so that their costs do. If someone starts influencing their weights, that someone has to be stopped. The alternative would be to adjust reality instead of trying to define it, which their egos can't handle.

Their whole economic analysis for their project is based upon this capacity to 'bend reality' their way in order for their costs to come in on target.

Re:Pass the buck (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814399)

Well that's why I think it should only be allowed if they're going to put forth all their effort to fix the problem. If they're going to adjust their analysis to take the vulnerabilities into account, give them (and their customers) time to fix the problems. If they aren't, screw 'em.

Re:Pass the buck (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814453)

they litigate the party who exposes them for attempting fraud.

If they litigate, it would seem like the background research would become public record. Even if the court allowed it under seal, they can't keep it sealed forever. And when it becomes public record then the credit card companies come out looking really bad.

I'm disappointed Discovery didn't call their bluff. With the traffic the Mythbusters get someone would pick up the ad slots. The story of the suit would be advertising you can't buy. I'd do it.

I smell a Streisand Effect coming... (5, Insightful)

Stanislav_J (947290) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814001)

Of course, now that the story is propagating all over the Net, pretty soon everyone will know about the alleged security flaws (if not the details), and the CC companies and their legal eagles will look quite villainous. When will they ever learn?

Re:I smell a Streisand Effect coming... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24814083)

zomg torrent plz. I'm serious, I wouldn't be surprised if it was leaked.

Re:I smell a Streisand Effect coming... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814457)

Of course, now that the story is propagating all over the Net, pretty soon everyone will know about the alleged security flaws (if not the details), and the CC companies and their legal eagles will look quite villainous

When to lawyers NOT look villainous?

Re:I smell a Streisand Effect coming... (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814685)

One problem: the show never aired. (IIUC it was an entire show not just a segment.)

The RFID people are worried about the graphic portrayal of just how insecure the system is that would be shown in such an episode. They are not worried about people knowing in the abstract that there are insecurities.

Unless/until the show leaks and then gets Streisanded, the RFID people will have won.

obvious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24814003)

What's Adam Savage doing next, now that his TV career is over?

Re:obvious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24814055)

Being the token Irish Guy(tm) in British gangster movies

They busted yet another myth..... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24814005)

freedom of speech.

Yeah, well... (5, Informative)

VValdo (10446) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814009)

They weren't able to stop this one [pbs.org] , which, if you haven't seen yet, is pretty amazing.

Re:Yeah, well... (5, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814049)

Because PBS isn't advertiser funded, it gets its support from private individuals and (to a rather minor extent) the government. While corporations can (and do) donate, it isn't their lifeblood.

I agree with you though. I've seen that episode and it's a fantastic rebuke of the credit card industry.

Re:Yeah, well... (5, Insightful)

cortesoft (1150075) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814051)

I think you have just shown a perfect example of why we need television that isn't funded by advertisers. PBS can air the show because they aren't driven by profit and aren't beholden to those corporations (although even that is starting to change with corporate sponsorship of PBS). While you can argue that public television is beholden to the government, at least it is beholden to a (slightly) different power.

Not only that but (5, Insightful)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814131)

I truly see Frontline as one of the last and only truly investigative journalism programs on TV. It's the only show where I have found myself thinking "wow what they are reporting is interesting but it raises question A" and then as if by magic, the show continues: "we decided to further investigate and here's what we found about question A and this lead us to questions B, C and D"

PBS was fucked, too (3, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814507)

I remember bill moyers and his 'now' show. it was great, and he had this other guy (david b-something) as a second - and it did some good 'digging' on important stories.

from what I understand, he got shot down and was forced to 'retire' because he asked too many hard questions and bothered too many powerful bigwigs.

he did come back, but not on that show and he *was* put 'out of business' for about a year or two (iirc). ie, the chilling effect was done to PBS, which is a sacred cow, in US culture (more or less).

if moyers can be silenced, its proof our whole system is broken. PBS was a final hold-out but even PBS was *heavily* edited by bush-co and their henchmen.

TV is a wasteland; cable is mostly such; and even more and more of 'the net' is getting to be high in noise/signal ratio. the net is still mostly unregulated, but imagine the trend going from tv->cable->'teh internets'. we may see it in our lifetimes, too, if things don't get reversed soon.

Re:Yeah, well... (4, Insightful)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814523)

That's why you get programmes like Top Gear from the BBC. No commercial channel would dare upset the card manufacturers like it does.

Re:Yeah, well... (1)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814207)

The average public does not watch PBS.

Re:Yeah, well... (4, Funny)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814263)

The average public couldn't spell PBS...

Re:Yeah, well... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24814369)

The average public couldn't spell PBS...

Sure they can. It's 2-6-enter on the remote.

99% chance (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24814011)

That this clip is leaked to the Internet where it explodes in popularity.

Re:99% chance (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24814371)

That this clip is leaked to the Internet where it explodes in popularity.

The Discovery Channel should make sure that the media the episode is stored on is secured by means of RFID security devices to ensure that it is not stolen and leaked.

corporate games (5, Interesting)

sr8outtalotech (1167835) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814079)

It's a all about risk management for the companies involved. On one hand you have the Discovery Channel which depends on advertising revenues. On the other hand you have several large corporations that are using a flawed system. The question for the credit card companies is whether or not it's cheaper to use the system in place and pressure others not to disclose flaws or come up with something that works better. Sort of reminds me of Mitsubishi and the wheels flying off their heavy vehicles a few years ago. It was cheaper to payout settlements than recall and fix the vehicles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_Motors#Vehicle_defect_cover-up [wikipedia.org]

I know the management of these companies have obligations to the shareholders but isn't about time they started to exhibit an obligation to not make fraud so easy with the current system?

glad this is getting publicity (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814089)

i hope this gets even more publicity...

heres egg on your face American Express, MasterCard & Visa, now secure your crappy RFID system...

If ever there was a time... (4, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814149)

...for Slashdot to hammer the crap out of some corporate bullies, it sounds like this might be it. Could someone appropriately knowledgeable perhaps post a detailed account of how incredibly hackable RFID security is? A couple of URL's leading to websites with all the red meat would also be appropriate. PGP proves that once the genii is out of the bottle, it can't be put back in all that easily.

Frankly, I'm sick and tired of all these corporate assholes and their attitude. You can bet your bottom dollar that they'll keep the current, flawed system as-is, and simply out-last any hacking victim who dares to challenge them in court. The best solution is to make sure everybody with even a grade school education and a card reader can screw them at will. Maybe then, they'll do something about fixing the problem.

Likely MIFARE? (3, Informative)

eddy (18759) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814301)

I assume they were going to demonstrate a MIFARE classic [wikipedia.org] attack, on which papers [avoine.net] are plentiful.

Re:Likely MIFARE? (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814501)

Why, thank you, good sir. That is exactly what I had in mind.

Re:If ever there was a time... (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814391)

...for Slashdot to hammer the crap out of some corporate bullies, it sounds like this might be it. Could someone appropriately knowledgeable perhaps post a detailed account of how incredibly hackable RFID security is? A couple of URL's leading to websites with all the red meat would also be appropriate. PGP proves that once the genii is out of the bottle, it can't be put back in all that easily.

You don't think Slashdot would knuckle under too?

If only... (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814163)

If only there was a way for information to spread without having to be transmitted through television...

Ignore Them (3, Interesting)

ewhac (5844) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814185)

Except where National Security(TM) is concerned, there is no valid argument in law to prevent Discovery/Mythbusters from airing facts about the lack of security surrounding RFID, and Discovery/Mythbusters are under no contractual obligation to keep such facts secret.

An expensive lawsuit would almost certainly be filed after the fact, but it stands no chance of success. Discovery could counter-sue for barratry and violations of anti-SLAPP statutes.

Schwab

Re:Ignore Them (5, Insightful)

Anon E. Muss (808473) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814249)

... there is no law to prevent Discovery from airing facts ...

There is also no law that requires the credit card companies to spend their advertising dollars on the Discovery Channel, or any other media outlet owned by the same company. That's what this is all about.

Re:Ignore Them (3, Insightful)

azakem (924479) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814329)

Except where National Security(TM) is concerned, there is no valid argument in law to prevent Discovery/Mythbusters from airing facts about the lack of security surrounding RFID, and Discovery/Mythbusters are under no contractual obligation to keep such facts secret.

Schwab

There is more at work here than the law. The implicit (explicit?) threat is that if Discovery airs this show, the CC companies will cease advertising on the Discovery network.

Re:Ignore Them (2, Informative)

Miseph (979059) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814331)

You missed the valid argument of the CC companies paying the bills. The CC companies aren't forced to advertise on Discovery, but Discovery IS forced, by virtue of having bills to pay, to seek advertising revenue from the CC companies.
This is one of the major flaws in most libertarian and anarchist theories: government has no monopoly on tyranny or injustice.

If you can make it... (0, Redundant)

Aphrika (756248) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814211)

...you can fake it and you can break it.

And here I was thinking security by obscurity was bad enough.

Security by legality is just an embarrassment - "don't tell people it's breakable or we'll sue you" - the main reason being that now people know that companies are actively suppressing the story, they'll want to know more.

Smoke, meet fire...

Where does "law" fit into this? (2, Insightful)

CyrusOmega (1261328) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814219)

Alright, showing my ignorance of our legal system here, but where does law fit in here? I don't see how the DC could get sued over this info. I *do* see the issue of ticking off their sponsors, but why are the lawyers involved?

Let's hope they don't run a segment on how bad fast food is for you any time soon...

Want to really get em? (5, Insightful)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814285)

Make a note of this on their Wikipedia entry.

Conference Call? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814307)

When you take the call, you ask, "May we record this call for possible inclusion in our episode on RFID systems? No? Then this conversation has ended. Goodbye. [Click]"

Discovery should sell the info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24814309)

Since they cannot air it, they should sell it off to someone who will/can air it...or leak out the episode to youtube...

I don't know, Davey (1)

Marko DeBeeste (761376) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814333)

This would ring true if they weren't such notorious brown-nosers when it comes to authority figures. "Oh, Mr. FBI man you are soooo smart." "Oh, Mr. radar gun man, no one could ever fool you." "Sames goes for you Mr. DUI man." etc., ad nauseum.

It isn't just credit cards (2, Interesting)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814373)

The banking industry in general isn't the more secure place. While they'll spend money on intrusion detection systems etc, a simple low tech approach can defeat most bank security measures.

There's a nice thought.

60 Minutes, anyone? (1)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814425)

C'mon -- SOME network is going to see the publicity value of this story and run with it.

simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24814435)

Have "the intern" leak the video to the internet.
Really people, this is Slashdot. We're all geeks. We're supposed to be the brains of the internet.

No wait...

a little braggin (2, Informative)

cypherwise (650128) | more than 6 years ago | (#24814677)

The Last HOPE was awesome. Adam gave a really fun talk and was really good from the front row! And when he came out with this information it was especially fun and really said something to the open flow of ideas at the conference. Hopefully, Discovery or any of the other companies don't give him any crap for it. Cheers. Some Last HOPE vids are available: http://hopetracker.donthax.me/ [donthax.me]
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