Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Trials and Tribulations of a Would-Be Facebook Employee

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the throw-him-into-the-pond dept.

Businesses 241

An anonymous reader writes "It may be hard for Facebook HR infrastructure to keep up with the rapid growth of the company, so scheduling and performing Skype screening interviews with the prospective new developers appears deteriorating into disorderly jumble. In a blog post, a recent candidate for a development job at Facebook has shared his excruciation at coordinating and then having this preliminary interview, pointing out the unhelpfulness of HR staff at Facebook during all stages of the process."

cancel ×

241 comments

First Post! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42372931)

First Post!

Maybe Facebook does not want help. (4, Insightful)

game kid (805301) | about a year and a half ago | (#42372939)

Maybe Facebook does not want help. That's a good thing, because no one should want to help Facebook.

Re:Maybe Facebook does not want help. (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373251)

re: "rapid growth of the company"

q: how many programmers does it take to maintain a website?

the facebook home page doesn't even validate

Why go to work for Facebook post-IPO? (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#42372947)

I could see going to work for Facebook before the IPO, but now? You've missed the chance to get rich. Working for Facebook seems to be crunch hell in giant bullpens with bad bosses.

Facebook seems to have peaked in terms of users and traffic.Now it's all about "monetizing the user base", i.e. shoving as many ads as possible at the users and selling tracking data.

Re:Why go to work for Facebook post-IPO? (3, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373095)

Good point, except when has it NOT been about monetizing the user base?

Re:Why go to work for Facebook post-IPO? (4, Insightful)

Gordo_1 (256312) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373173)

Well, in the early growth years it wasn't the immediate strategy.

The way I look at it (along with every other free social network type thing) is that you grow it as long as you can, and then when it starts to level off (because you either don't provide enough value to expand beyond your niche, or in the case of Facebook, just about anyone who could get on is already on) you figure out ways to monetize that captive audience.

Facebook is only different from Myspace, Friendster, Sixdegrees and so on in that they were able to appeal to a broader audience and sustain the growth for much longer. It will plateau, and it will fade away just like all the others, but it will take much longer from peak to irrelevance (I'd say roughly 8-12 years) because that many more people were there at the peak.

Re:Why go to work for Facebook post-IPO? (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373405)

I just wished they would throw me meaningful ads, rather than offers for siding while living a rented appt

Re:Why go to work for Facebook post-IPO? (1)

nightcats (1114677) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373433)

I think the woman at the end of that film said all that needs to be said: "Mark, you're not really an asshole, you just try really hard to be one..."

Re:Why go to work for Facebook post-IPO? (4, Insightful)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373475)

You have to remember though, that the film was a work of fiction, because he really is an asshole.

HR will be HR (5, Insightful)

AntiBasic (83586) | about a year and a half ago | (#42372955)

HR is always a bunch of ass-sucking sycophants. That is true in every industry. Never count on meeting an intelligent person is HR. And NEVER count on them as an ally -- they are there for the company, not you. They ONLY time they might take your side is (if they are capable of understanding you) when you explain to them their managers have fucked up so badly, they will likely lose a lawsuit.

Fuck HR. It is always a pink ghetto.

Re:HR will be HR (3, Funny)

sribe (304414) | about a year and a half ago | (#42372991)

Fuck HR.

Well, hey, when I was a young lad not long out of college, that's exactly what I did to the VP of HR one night. I still have fond memories...

Re:HR will be HR (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373085)

homo

Re:HR will be HR (2, Insightful)

WWJohnBrowningDo (2792397) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373103)

You use that word as if it's an insult.

Re:HR will be HR (-1, Troll)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373241)

homo

You use that word as if it's an insult.

You read that word as if it's an insult... telling indeed.
Not saying you are, just that you might be reading a bit much into things...

erectus

Now, how does that make you feel?

Re:HR will be HR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373259)

sexual

Re:HR will be HR (2)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373271)

Whether or not an expression is an insult has everything to do with the speaker's intent. "homo" clearly was an insult, as the speaker's tone suggests, unless he was making a joke.

Re:HR will be HR (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373231)

Did you get the job?

Re:HR will be HR (3, Funny)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373039)

I have had only 2 major experiences with HR departments in my professional life. The first one claimed "they" were eager to help me in a dispute with my managers... then ended up stabbing me in the back.

The HR department (different company) I dealt with after that, however, I have to say was friendly and helpful.

Re:HR will be HR (5, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373751)

I had an HR drone haggle me so much in response to the money issue that when I was hired, my manager appologized that he wouldn't be able to pay the agreed rate. The HR person put down a number lower than the lowest range for the position. I was given a $2000 raise before I even started. There's no reason for the HR person to have haggled me down so low, when the range was was well above the ranges we were talking. I'd been offered a job before, only to have it disappear when I asked for too much (then found a similar job for more elsewhere, so no great loss), so I was concerned about that again, so I was realistic but not pushy. Then he talked me down $10,000, implying that my initial number was too high, when it was still at the low end of the range, and he talked me down to a number lower than they could pay.

The only good thing is that I'll get many years of raises before I'm close to the position ceiling. I spent 7 years at the pay ceiling in a previous job I held for 8 years. Not even inflation raises there.

Another place I worked, I met the HR recruiter my first day, the first contact I had with him. Turns out I was hired in the back door, the IT department doesn't use HR because HR is incapable of screening IT professionals reliably.

Re:HR will be HR (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373779)

Haha.

I see how that turned out kind of funny, even though it wasn't meant that way. I quit that first job, and the position I took after that was with a company with no HR department. The other one I mentioned was some years later.

Re:HR will be HR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373067)

HR is always a bunch of ass-sucking sycophants. That is true in every industry. Never count on meeting an intelligent person is HR. And NEVER count on them as an ally -- they are there for the company, not you. They ONLY time they might take your side is (if they are capable of understanding you) when you explain to them their managers have fucked up so badly, they will likely lose a lawsuit.

Fuck HR. It is always a pink ghetto.

HR...unhelpful...useless...how strange....

Re:HR will be HR (4, Insightful)

pwizard2 (920421) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373227)

I even take issue with the term Human Resources. Resources in an office context are computers, filing cabinets, copiers, etc. I'm a person, not a fucking resource! If management places people in the same category as furniture, then no wonder these companies are such god-awful places to work.

Re:HR will be HR (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373327)

I even take issue with the term Human Resources. Resources in an office context are computers, filing cabinets, copiers, etc. I'm a person, not a fucking resource! If management places people in the same category as furniture, then no wonder these companies are such god-awful places to work.

Yes, you are a resource -- a source of profit that is to be exploited as hard as possible for as long as possible, to extract as much value for the company as possible; then discarded and abandoned at the first instant you no longer provide profit.

You are not a human being to them, because they are not human beings. They are management drone units. You are work drone unit. Nothing more. It's just business.

Re:HR will be HR (3, Insightful)

Demonantis (1340557) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373275)

HR was introduced to stop the development of unions and handle unions where they already existed. A pseudo management limbo if you will. Anything else they now have on their plate they fail at miserably. The biggest downfall is not understanding they should be an internal customer service oriented department like IT or facilities.

Re:HR will be HR (1)

wisty (1335733) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373599)

Maybe, but that's just history.

HR are the modern-day equivalent of the secretary who is there to save the ass of her completely incompetent boss, simply by virtue of the fact that she knows how to keep a todo list and just gets her job done without thinking too much.

Re:HR will be HR (0, Flamebait)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373399)

Remember the fat chick that couldn't get a date for the prom? The dork that got stuffed into a gym locker? Those people now work in an HR department somewhere...and they hate the prom queen and the captain of the football team and anyone else that was successful/smart/popular. Come to think of it they hate pretty much everyone...unless you're a fellow HR drone, then you're ok.

Re:HR will be HR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373445)

Not sure what you are talking about, at most companies I have worked at the women in HR are the hottest in the company. The most useless, but also the hottest. Probably related - the prom queen usually gets what she wants without having to do much besides look good...

Re:HR will be HR (5, Informative)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373635)

No.

HR Is full of the prom queens and football captains who everyone loves but who have no idea what they're doing at actual work, so you put them in HR, so they have a career but never actually touch a customer project.

Re:HR will be HR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373567)

Fuck HR.

Finch and Mr. Reese are taking care of this.

Facebook..shower of bastards (4, Insightful)

ickleberry (864871) | about a year and a half ago | (#42372957)

This should come as no surprise though. In these modern times of recession and people being made unemployed due to robots it really is a buyer's market and employers can pull as much "shit" as they like and still have a queue of people outside the door looking for jobs.

Re:Facebook..shower of bastards (5, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373185)

This should come as no surprise though. In these modern times of recession and people being made unemployed due to robots it really is a buyer's market and employers can pull as much "shit" as they like and still have a queue of people outside the door looking for jobs.

A queue of desperate people. The good people will never put up with this shit and get jobs through their own personal network that bypasses HR. Ask any manager who needs to fill a slot about the quality of people they get from HR. And I have not gotten a job through traditional means for about 20 years.

I do not know why companies still put up with this...

Re:Facebook..shower of bastards (4, Insightful)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373437)

Mainly because HR has wormed it's way into companies via legislation...Sarbanes/Oxley, various harassment type legislation, etc. They seem themselves as some great service and necessary but everyone knows that they are just idiots. If you're lucky the only time you will ever hear from HR is the day you are hired, benefits enrollment and the day you quit.

Re:Facebook..shower of bastards (1)

lucm (889690) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373625)

This should come as no surprise though. In these modern times of recession and people being made unemployed due to robots it really is a buyer's market and employers can pull as much "shit" as they like and still have a queue of people outside the door looking for jobs.

A queue of desperate people. The good people will never put up with this shit and get jobs through their own personal network that bypasses HR. Ask any manager who needs to fill a slot about the quality of people they get from HR. And I have not gotten a job through traditional means for about 20 years.

I do not know why companies still put up with this...

I don't know in what kind of organization you work, but in most large companies you can't go about hiring people without following the official process. Many times when I had good candidates in my network I had to tell them to send their resume to HR - event trying to get them together with the hiring manager for a coffee would possibly jeopardize their application.

Re:Facebook..shower of bastards (2)

Rakishi (759894) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373261)

Yeah that's why google was giving $500k to their employees to not go to Facebook, real buyers market. *rolls eyes*

In summary (5, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#42372963)

- Email problems with the HR drone
- Skype call interview organised for a time not convenient for him
- Network issues during the call

Um, cry me a river?

Re:In summary (3, Insightful)

ink (4325) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373029)

Yeah, after reviewing his "tribulations", I'm not sure I'd want to hire such a whiner.

Re:In summary (4, Insightful)

ktappe (747125) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373111)

I wouldn't hire someone who uses the word "whiner". It shows a lack of empathy and ability to recognize that situations can be improved.

Re:In summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373135)

Nice try, whiner.

Re:In summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373163)

PWNT. i lol'd irl.

after i lol'd i realised that the guy does come off a little like a drama queen, but thats because it was important to him and he felt like they screwed up and that might have messed up his chances.

Re:In summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373497)

If the guy gave a crap about getting the job he would have called the recruiter or one of the key contacts on the interviews afterwards and explained himself.

Re:In summary (2)

SeaFox (739806) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373343)

I wouldn't hire someone who uses the word "whiner". It shows a lack of empathy and ability to recognize that situations can be improved.

But you would hire someone who gets so upset over a few minor communication issues? Doesn't sound like a guy who can cope well under pressure to me.

Re:In summary (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373679)

Indeed, it's very hard to weed out complainers in an HR process, but they are enormous drains on productivity, even one slip and you can be toxic to a potential employer if they are expressly trying to minimize problem employees.

  I've had to work with a few of those over the years, one who was an old codger that refused to use e-mail and demanded an office in an area only accessible via stairwell (not allowed because students (i.e. customers) with mobility issues could never get there), and refused to attend departmental meetings. Which usually were about 15 minutes of 'hey lab person, anything we need to know about broken equipment that might screw up our plans?' He was a constant waste of management time trying to get him to do his fucking job. Another is a younger person who had a fit at customers because of where they were standing, basically all she did was spend her days complaining about how everything that went wrong was someone else's fault (which, because she complained about everything that went wrong, even if it had nothing to do with her was true). She was a giant sap on everyone else's productivity listening to her, a huge sink in employee morale, and just a generally unpleasant person to have around.

The first guy didn't start out that way, apparently for 20 odd years before I got there he was very well regarded, and then he got sick and something rattled his brain. The other one if you caught her between fits seemed like she had a lot of useful ideas on how to improve things (which was sort of what was looked for in an employee). In HR some of her ideas were... impractical but you can't fault someone for not knowing departmental budgets and resources when they aren't actually in the process. When she was actually in the loop her ideas became even more wildly impractical as people told her no to the just impractical ones.

While not at the same place, both of those people will heavily influence future hiring decisions. Contracts will be much more restrictive to deal with the first, and anyone who even seems like they might be a complainer is just not going to be hired for a years, even if that sort of thing could be useful.

Re:In summary (2)

unity (1740) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373537)

Same here, I got to about halfway through and was wishing I had the opportunity to tell him, "thanks, we'll let you know."

Re:In summary (5, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373045)

Seriously. Why should we care about this guy's complaints in the least?

I've had job interviews in the past that left me with a bad opinion of a company... and know what I did? Hint: Whining about it online wasn't it. I chalked it up to experience and thanked my lucky stars I figured it out before working there. In the few cases I got an offer from them, I politely declined.

I'm tempted to complain about "kids today", but the grass is in pretty sorry shape right now so I don't care if they're standing on it.

Re:In summary (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373061)

- Email problems with the HR drone
- Skype call interview organised for a time not convenient for him
- Network issues during the call

Certainly we can ignore the network issues... but I think he is wrong there anyway. If the interviewer had simply called back 5 minutes later, the call would very probably have taken a somewhat different route.

But as for those other two? Not so fast!

He didn't have "email problems" with the HR drone. He showed a very clear pattern of negligence.

As for the actual scheduling, he also showed a persistent pattern of negligence.

That's not the same as a simple mistake or foulup here or there. The pattern seemed pretty clear to me.

Re:In summary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373167)

Yup. I'm an engineering director in SF. I would certainly skip this dude.

Re:In summary (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373821)

"Yup. I'm an engineering director in SF. I would certainly skip this dude."

I think more to the point is: if your behavior were anything like hers, HE would skip YOU.

Re:In summary (2)

gaelfx (1111115) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373415)

Let's not forget that apparently he can't figure out how to talk on the phone and type with both hands at the same time? Who would hire someone who can't figure out speakerphone?

Re:In summary (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373713)

I don't know very many people who have a speakerphone at home. I can put Skype on what is effectively speakerphone, but quality suffers... besides, he wasn't on Skype then.

I also have a Motorola cell phone with a pretty decent "speakerphone" mode. But most cell phones, in my experience, are not very good at that.

ahh failure. (1)

decora (1710862) | about a year and a half ago | (#42372965)

it seems if the problem is stress, i would consider reaching out to a social support network and/or a counselor. i can only tell you that many people have survived much worse, and even discovered shards of happiness along the way. good luck.

I had a skype interview (not with facebook) (4, Interesting)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year and a half ago | (#42372983)

It was horrendous. Not the best speaker at the best of times, it was a total flop over video. The format made it hard to read body language and get a feel for where the interview was going, the lag made it a PITA with people talking over each other and also made it hard to read how the discussion was going. In the end, though I was well qualified for the position, I realized I had not made a single good case for why they should hire me. Naturally, I didn't get a call back and I couldn't blame them. I would avoid doing it again in future if at all possible.

Re:I had a skype interview (not with facebook) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373367)

Agreed. I've done two Skype interviews, both were epic disasters. At this point, I will categorically deny a Skype interview as exercises in time-wasteage. Maybe good for some lonely cubicle dweller desperate to talk to real people, but if the job requires taking time-wasting to this whole new level, then it's not for me.

Typical n00b (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42372995)

from the rant:
"I've been using the best Internet connection available -- the wired LAN at the Israel Institute of Technology. (To give an impression of its network infrastructure: the Institute had been allocated two of the handful Israeli class-B IP ranges.) On the day of the interview, I've made a test call to a friend in Israel (some 120km away from the Institute), to confirm that the call quality is perfect. Nevertheless, when the interviewer called me, I couldn't hear him properly"

Does he have any idea how the internet works? Just because you have a good connection to another part of the country does not mean you get good connection to the rest of the world.

Re:Typical n00b (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373209)

Yea, for someone who wants to talk the talk of network engineering, he really doesn't have a tiny clue of how it actually works. None of that is America specific either.

Re:Typical n00b (2)

jandrese (485) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373429)

That part sounded to me like someone who doesn't know much about networking trying to sound cool. The size of your network allocation has nothing to do with how well you can get bits halfway around the world.

Ludicrous expectations (4, Insightful)

carlivar (119811) | about a year and a half ago | (#42372999)

I don't think this guy understands much about how corporate networking works. If he's a developer, I suppose he doesn't need to, but maybe he could check into details before writing:

"isn't it worthwhile for Facebook recruiting to prepare for such a case, and make the interviewer able to switch to a different Facebook IP range, to give Skype routing a second chance?"

Yeah, um, I don't know of *any* company that would set up their HR staff for such a scenario. And this interviewee doesn't seem to understand how Internet routing works. Assuming the particular Facebook HR office is BGP multi-homed, the Facebook NetOps staff would have to determine what IP address the interviewee is connecting with and then modify BGP local-preference for that AS number to use a different ISP outbound. Or, have two networks with different outbound ISPs available at every desk with staff trained to switch between them.

It would be utterly ludicrous to do something like this for an interview.

What's surprising is they didn't try another option like Google Hangouts. Perhaps as a Facebook competitor, it isn't an option. Did the interviewee not have a speakerphone? He mentions being unable to both type and talk... I think they solved that problem in the 1980's.

Re:Ludicrous expectations (4, Insightful)

ktappe (747125) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373121)

>I don't know of *any* company that would set up their HR staff for such a scenario.

Then they shouldn't use Skype, period. Skype is so notoriously unreliable, that for FB to not have a plan to reconnect a bad Skype connection is absolutely unprofessional.

Re:Ludicrous expectations (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373123)

It would be utterly ludicrous to do something like this for an interview.

That's the Jews for ya, they think the world revolves around them.

Re:Ludicrous expectations (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373667)

Yeah, Slashdot isn't really the place for antisemitism, so you can take this garbage post elsewhere.

Re:Ludicrous expectations (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373127)

the developer is probably exposed to more technologies than you are, because your solution to the problem is probably the most complicated and unrealistic solution that a sane person could come up with that could theoretically work. you are trying to solve the problem with a layer3/4 only solution. i've worked with a lot of intelligent, highly capable, multi-ccie/jncie, network architects that are lame when it comes to common sense outside of netops. my job specifically was to make sure they didnt come up with something as dumb as what you proposed, ever. i made more money than most of them, except the really senior guys, who had more education and experience than me, but if they ever suggested anything like what you came up with they would go on the wall of shame for a month. that happened often enough to provide me with many lulz (granted we had 10 guys with at least 1-3 ccie/jncie, so i was surrounded by targets).

but hey, dont feel bad for not knowing everything, but you might want to reconsider your confidence/tone. oh, and go read up on modern proxy technology. you might want to look at ssh too. if you understand enough layer4 to understand network address translation then you shouldnt have a tough time. it's kind of like port forwarding.

Re:Ludicrous expectations (5, Funny)

discord5 (798235) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373151)

And this interviewee doesn't seem to understand how Internet routing works.

But it's a university with two class Bs... Don't you get it? They're fucking PRO there in Israel. (pardon my french). Don't bother with that BGP stuff, he obviously doesn't know what it is, nor why Facebook isn't going to bend over backwards to accomodate him.

Did the interviewee not have a speakerphone? He mentions being unable to both type and talk... I think they solved that problem in the 1980's.

The speakerphone would've picked up the "Whaa Whaa Whaa" from the whaaaaambulance on his blog.

Don't get me wrong, but the following passage was telling:

My interview was finally scheduled three weekdays in advance, leaving me in fact one day to prepare, because I've already had plans for the other weekday and the weekend.

Why didn't he prepare in advance? If he knew it was coming any time soon, why not brush up on it in advance? Why wait until the company says "Well, next week" and bitch about having to cancel his plans, which he eventually doesn't do.

So allow me to simply summarize the entire blog in an all too familiar onomatope: Waaaaaaah

Re:Ludicrous expectations (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373315)

"isn't it worthwhile for Facebook recruiting to prepare for such a case, and make the interviewer able to switch to a different Facebook IP range, to give Skype routing a second chance?"

Yeah, um, I don't know of *any* company that would set up their HR staff for such a scenario. And this interviewee doesn't seem to understand how Internet routing works.

Ah, yes, an elaborate, yet effective, ruse. Not always the best of interview strategies, but anyone can memorize a zen koan or simple code writing exercise. How many can stay unfrustrated while they become a skype super-node mid interview? I wonder how much MS charges for the new clandestine screening process feature? I'm impressed.

Re:Ludicrous expectations (3, Interesting)

Altus (1034) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373435)

Given all that potential difficulties why would a company like Facebook, which lives and dies on the Internet and surely understands its complexity, use something as unreliable as Skype for an interview?

I use phones, in fact I set up a land line just for my last job search so that this would not be an issue. The reliance on Skype for something like this is a poor choice.

Re:Ludicrous expectations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373545)

I've been interviewed by Facebook, and they asked me to choose between a phone and skype.
I picked the phone at first, but the call was terrible, and we decided to switch to skype halfway the interview, which was much better.
Anyway, he would probably have had the option if he had asked =)

wow think a bit highly? (1)

Frosty-B-Bad (259317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373007)

You think an hr rep knows and has access to a second set of ip's to route Skype calls? On top of that you obviously were being interviewed for an entry position and were disappointed they didn't ask you harder stuff? Sorry Stephen hawking maybe next time they will purchase a solo oc3 to route your interview across the world on and ask you quantum computing questions. I could only imagine what working with you on a team would be like.

Somehow I find it hard to be sympathetic (3, Interesting)

Su27K (652607) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373015)

Especially the part about preparation, why should the company give you time to prepare an interview? If I were the company, I want to see the real you, not you with a month of preparation.

Yawn (4, Insightful)

Rurik (113882) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373019)

I was confused in reading the write-up. If the interview was scheduled three months in advance, why did he say that he only had one day to prepare for the "CS" style interview? Where did this "December Interview Preparation Tips" come from? Only partial bits of data are given, none of which support the poster's side of the story.

And what phone were you using that didn't have speaker phone capabilities? Nearly all land line phones do that, as well as all mobile phones. Skype crap happens all the time, even on perfect connections. You roll with it. And, if you can't, then you'll likely have problems in a technology company.

In summary, this reads as: "HR department had too many applicants and I slipped between the cracks for scheduling, then I bombed my interview but it really wasn't my fault. Really!"

Re:Yawn (2)

Ambiguous Coward (205751) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373203)

Also, submitter apparently doesn't have a shoulder to pinch the phone to his ear with.

Re:Yawn (1)

number11 (129686) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373225)

And what phone were you using that didn't have speaker phone capabilities? Nearly all land line phones do that, as well as all mobile phones.

Huh? None of mine do, and damn few of the others that I am familiar with, especially outside of businesses. Mobile phones, yeah, but that assumes you can do a Skype call with a computer link from a mobile phone. Can everybody interface their desktop/laptop with their smartphone? (I wouldn't know, I've got a dumbphone.)

The rest of your comments, however, are right on.

Re:Yawn (1)

Volastic (2781511) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373417)

I was confused in reading the write-up. If the interview was scheduled three months in advance, why did he say that he only had one day to prepare for the "CS" style interview? Where did this "December Interview Preparation Tips" come from? Only partial bits of data are given, none of which support the poster's side of the story.

I agree, most of the article was about or referenced the schedulding of the interview, then he whined about the date given

A good two and half months notice, he didn't have the forsight to prepare for the interview, mentally or physically (have a headset available)

I figure the Unnamed Coward author's 15 minutes are due to /.'s dislike of facebook

He wasn't prepared (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373021)

The HR rep told him in October that his interview would be in December and he procrastinated prepping until he knew the exact date. Yet he bitches about not having enough time to prepare? Also, I don't understand why he couldn't type and talk at the same time if they ended up having to use a phone call for audio. All cell phones have a speaker phone function and if he was using a landline he could've held the phone to his ear with his shoulder.

His whole blog post is just a giant whine-fest. If he can't handle the stress of the unknowns in an interview then how can he expect to handle the stress of working at a fast-paced company like Facebook?

Why is this news? (4, Interesting)

ark1 (873448) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373025)

Many share their good and bad interview experiences with {Google, FB, MS, Apple etc} on a daily base. Why is this one getting any extra attention?

Re:Why is this news? (4, Informative)

Corbets (169101) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373577)

Many share their good and bad interview experiences with {Google, FB, MS, Apple etc} on a daily base. Why is this one getting any extra attention?

Because Slashdot figured out years ago that in order to monetize the use base, they needed to keep people coming back as often as possible, and in order to do that they need stories.

Unfortunately, most of the original and competent editors are long gone, and the current batch of editors posts pretty much anything they receive (additionally, many digg-level intellects now have accounts here to vote on the firehose, perpetuating the editors' mistaken belief that we want this crap).

there's nothing novel here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373051)

Folks conducting interviews at large as well as small companies are simply sitting at their desks, using the phone and computing resources available to them. I haven't worked at a company yet (including at the largest networking company on the planet) where I had any control over the IP range I happen to be on the network on, short of physically relocating to another building, and even that is unlikely to make any real difference unless the buildings are geographically distant from each other. The scheduling thing is annoying, but that's simply incompetence by a single person and hardly reflective of corporate policy. In fact, it's about par for the course when it comes to HR personnel, if you ask me. As for preparation - that whole screed appears to just be coming from someone who has never been through a job interview before. In fact, the entire essay seems much more the griping of someone who has no experience interviewing for a job than any kind of list of fixable complaints.

First Mistake: -Wanting- to work for Facebook (1)

Press2ToContinue (2424598) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373055)

Uhm, someone tell me -why- anyone would want to work for Facebook? I mean besides desperation.

Re:First Mistake: -Wanting- to work for Facebook (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373087)

Why not? Good pay, good benefits, getting to work alongside some of the most capable people in the industry.. these are thing that come to mind.

If I weren't so happy where I was, I'd apply.

Re:First Mistake: -Wanting- to work for Facebook (1)

malloc (30902) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373093)

Evil forces attract?

Re:First Mistake: -Wanting- to work for Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373157)

access to private pics.

Re:First Mistake: -Wanting- to work for Facebook (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373449)

Why I work, an essay.

I like food.

  The End.

I recommend Toastmasters (4, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373097)

If you have difficulty expressing yourself in front of others for whatever reason (stage fright, for instance) consider joining Toastmasters [toastmasters.org] .

It's a club for people who want to learn to speak in front of an audience. It's got branch clubs all over the world, so there's probably one near you. They meet twice a month (more or less - depending on the club) and have a nominal yearly dues.

After about two years of going you start to "get the hang of it" and become more relaxed and fluent when talking to groups.

If you think you might get a Skype interview and if you have trouble with presentations, you should check them out.

Re:I recommend Toastmasters (2)

Manfre (631065) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373237)

Some free opportunities for public speaking and talking with strangers (without being the crazy person bothering people on the street)

- Go to a local town government meeting and talk about something during the public speaks out portion.
- Volunteer to help out at some local event.
- Join meetup groups with events that involve "show & tell" or "lightning talks"
- Go to a flea market or farmer's market and have a conversation with the vendors about the products they're selling.

Whine harder (1, Informative)

jgritty (1820240) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373137)

That was a pointless write up. I'm sure Facebook will be fine without this guy. I wouldn't hire him to mow my lawn.

Turkey Headed Penis Comes Alive And Speaks! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373141)

TEMPEST Attacks! LCD Monitor leaks system noise to FRS

This post is one example of why Tor developers should focus on anti-TEMPEST-ing the Tor Browser, in color, fonts, etc.
===
I don't operate any wireless equipment at my living location. This includes computers, computer equipment, routers, non-computer equipment, etc.

I'm having a problem with one of my LCD monitors.

It works without problems. That was until I picked up some heavy static noises from a hand held radio. I eliminated all sources of generating this type of noise until I came towards an LCD monitor. When the monitor is on and there is content on the screen the radio makes several types of garbage(static) sounds. As I manipulate contents on the screen, maximize and minimize windows, open different applications, the radio responds with scratchy(static) noises to match the activity on the screen. This includes typing and mouse movement.

When I switched the desktop background to a solid black color without wallpaper, the radio noise went down to almost nothing. But when I loaded any program with a white background, the noise from the radio exploded in volume.

When I passed the radio across different computer and non-computer electronic devices other than the LCD monitor, the wired mouse made a high pitched squeal sound within the static. None of the other computing devices such as the tower generated any noise.

I tried CRT monitors and separate computers attached to the CRT monitors but they did not generate any noise in the radio. On the computer connected to the net, I unplugged the cable leading to the router to rule this out but it made no difference, the LCD monitor is at fault.

While monitoring the radio noise, there were several instances where the noise on the channel being monitored stopped, and I switched to another channel and the same noise appeared. Why would the noise from the LCD switch channels during normal use of the LCD? Back and forth throughout the day the noise generated by the LCD would switch from one channel to the next and back to the first channel again.

The noise extends several steps within my living location. I'll test this another day to determine if it extends outside my living location and if so by how many feet.

The computer/monitor are grounded and attached to a surge protector. I'm not sure what I need to do to stop this, or if I should ignore it.

I assumed LCDs would be quieter than CRTs when it came to noise.

Unless I have a radio tuned to a specific channel, the LCD does not generate any noise which I can detect, unless it's above my hearing capacity.

The LCD monitor also functions as speakers, and while the sound cable is connected to the tower, I have disabled the onboard sound in my BIOS. The only other connection is the DVI cable to the tower.

How may I decrease this noise or eliminate it? It seems like the LCD is a mini radio station. When I turn it off the noise in the radio stops, if I blacken the screen the noise lessens. When I switch to a colorful background or load white screened applications like a web browser the noise jumps up loudly. I've tried grabbing and moving a browser window around the screen and the movement matches the noises in the radio.

Would any of this be considered normal?
==-
This certainly isn't unheard of, it's because some part of the monitor is unshielded. The more fix-it stuff is at the top of the following, with the technical backdrop that just might be good to know is at the bottom.

Unfortunately, the issue is most likely the panel charging the LCs. The only thing you can do is see if the manufacturer will replace it or upgrade you. Complain to the manufacturer, be sure to come up with some important thing it's interfering with(if I recall some medical devices use some sort of radio).

If the issue is actually internal wiring which is highly unlikely as detailed below, and it isn't in warranty, attempt to shield it yourself. To shield it yourself, you'll need thin foil(not kitchen foil) and electrical tape.

So, in any given monitor, there's 3 main parts. Input, logic, and output. Output, as previously mentioned, can't really be shielded. To shield both of the other sections, all you really need to do is manipulate the wiring to reduce the number of holes in the foil wrap needed to put it all back together. Obviously this will take some trial and error, and time.

USEFUL INFO THAT ISN'T REQUIRED:

Shielding wires can best be thought of as a encasing a wire in a Faraday cage, made of foil. If you want to see an example, Apple's iPod charging cords are all shielded, strip the insulation and see for yourself. This shielding acts doubly, keeping EM noise from messing with the signal, and keeps the signal's own noise from leaving.

WHY IT IS THE CHARGING PANEL AND NOT WIRING:
Because of the specific details you provided( bravo to you, the amount of data provided helped ), I can conclude that the charging panel(the array of electrodes responsible for producing the image) is putting out the interference. Three of your observations prove this.

First, you state the noise ceases completely when the monitor is turned off, which is consistent with it being EM noise.
Second, the noise's perceived pitch changes when the display is manipulated, which is to be expected, as the electrode charges would change as the display changes.
Third, a black screen is "quieter" than a white screen. Black is the lowest charge state, with the only power in use going to the backlight.

As for your questions:
Noise hopping channels isn't unheard of, though I don't know the science behind it. My best guess is that because the noise isn't an intended result of the electricity, small changes in voltage/amperage result in those hops.
(indirect question-ish) The mouse was likely the only other emitter because it has a fairly high density of wires + it emits light.
===-
@W00t:

What 1s the d1fference between - and where may 1 obta1n the non-k1tchen "foil" you ment1oned?

The d1sturbances sound l1ke a bugged env1ronment. The squeal com1ng from one area and/or dev1ce could mean the locat1on of the bug has been found - and 1 know adding a small dev1ce and/or mod1f1cation to a keyboard and/or mouse 1s s1mple enough - espec1ally for a quick 1n and out the door type bugging.

1s there an affordable method of sh1elding the equ1pment while not violating FCC/TEMPEST laws? Would a simple screen d1mmer attached to the monitor bring the no1se down? Or would 1t be best to put out the extra money requ1red by purchas1ng spec1al paint or wallpaper wh1ch blocks RF signals?

Whether or not 1t's a bug, at this point you are broadcast1ng your computer mon1tor and 1ts activ1t1es, down to the keyboard and mouse movements. What 1s the use of using Tor or any other l1ke serv1ce 1f you are pwned over the a1r waves?
====-
You could use kitchen foil, it's just more unwieldy to work with.

Yes, it could be a bug, I was running under the assumption you had no reason to believe you were bugged, and if you did you ran bug sweeps. If you believe you are bugged, you should definitely dismantle things to make sure a bug isn't simply piggybacking on the same power source.

Dimming the screen would reduce noise, but not completely eliminate it.
=====-
Thanks, W00t.

"Dimming the screen would reduce noise, but not completely eliminate it."

I have modified my browser to function with a black background and my choice of text colors and unchecked the option for all pages to use their own colors, so every page I visit is black with my choice of font/links colors. I'll rescan to determine if this lessens the noise. It's ugly, but tolerable. Coupled with a black theme for the desktop, including the background and system wide applications should also help - including disabling images in the browser.

You mentioned foil. I'm not an electrician, but wouldn't wrapping cords with foil and finishing the job off with a layer of strong black tape possibly conduct electricity? Are you suggesting I cover all wires leading to the computer(s) using this method? Wouldn't they each require special grounding? How many repeating layers of this and/or other material is needed? Have you tried "conductive tubing?"

While I want to shield enough to block noisy RF, I don't want to create a microwave type scenario where RF is contained but it still remains and is possibly amplified so as to add to the degeneration of my health, if that's possible.

1. Ferrite beads
2. Split beads
3. Toroids

CONDUCTIVE TUBING & FERRITE SNAP BEAD
http://www.lessemf.com/wiring.html [lessemf.com]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_interference [wikipedia.org]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_radiation_and_health [wikipedia.org]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_shielding [wikipedia.org]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMF_measurement [wikipedia.org]

I could try some or all of the three options above in addition to your advice? TY
===-
Anyways this reminding me of Van Eck phreaking look it up, some pretty interesting stuff.

Yep, had the same thought.

Countermeasures are detailed in the article on TEMPEST, the NSA's standard on spy-proofing digital equipment. One countermeasure involves shielding the equipment to minimize electromagnetic emissions. Another method, specifically for video information, scrambles the signals such that the image is perceptually undisturbed, but the emissions are harder to reverse engineer into images. Examples of this include low pass filtering fonts and randomizing the least significant bit of the video data information.
====-
can someone please point me to techie LCD monitor internal guides? If I'm going to take it apart I'd like to know what to expect. I've read more about Van Eck and Tempest than anyone can teach me here. Now I'm looking for LCD guides of what's inside.
===-
To be honest, its not the whats inside the LCD monitor you should be worrying about if you want to phreak LCD's . You should be worry more about the RF side of things, and figuring out the spread spectrum clock signal so you can pick up the signal. Top if off background noise is going to be bitch when it comes to LCD. Old CRT monitors are way easier to phreak those thing throw off EM radiation like nobody business.
===-
The noise coming from the LCD monitor is appearing on FRS channels:

- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Radio_Service [wikipedia.org]

It continues for several minutes before it jumps to another channel then after a few minutes jumps back to the original channel. One of my concerns is the ability for others to pluck this noise from the air (Van Eck/TEMPEST) and monitor my activity, or possibly use an attack against the computer somehow. A recent UN report mentioned a high tech method(s):

* U.N. report reveals secret law enforcement techniques

"Point 201: Mentions a new covert communications technique using software defined high frequency radio receivers routed through the computer creating no logs, using no central server and extremely difficult for law enforcement to intercept."

- http://www.unodc.org/documents/frontpage/Use_of_Internet_for_Terrorist_Purposes.pdf [unodc.org]
- http://www.hacker10.com/other-computing/u-n-report-reveals-secret-law-enforcement-techniques/ [hacker10.com]

In addition, I don't want my LCD monitor constantly sending monitor and/or system activity to a FRS channel(s) for others to hear. I choose wired over wireless for a reason, and there shouldn't be any noise coming from my LCD monitor and appearing over FRS, unless there is a bug or problem with the monitor. All of my
CRT systems are silent on FRS.

When I position the radio near different components, the power supply doesn't emit any noise on FRS, but it could be a problem, I don't know, I'll move to that once I resolve the LCD monitor problem, unless the PSU is the problem and not the monitor.

I may take apart the LCD monitor, I'm looking for a good list of what I'll find if I do.

I peered inside the vents on the top/back left hand side with a strong flashlight and came across a strange piece of silver tape inside, here's how I describe it:

OOGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG__

OO = a small thin black material coming out from underneath the silver piece of tape
GG = the strip of silver tape
__ = the bottom right hand portion of the silver tape is raised enough to allow a pinky finger entry

The silver tape/material/opening under tape is on the top left corner inside the monitor. The rest of the length and area inside that I can see contain no tape or black material. I've seen photos of planted bugs in people's living spaces and most if not all of the invasive ones are wrapped/covered in silver foil. I've found no other reason for that strip and material to be there, but what do I know.
=====
In addition, my CDROM drive light blinks once every second, sometimes with a second or 1/2 second in between, and I found this:

http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/19.60.html#subj9 [ncl.ac.uk]

"I'd worry about a Tempest virus that polled a personal computer's
CD-ROM drive to pulse the motor as a signalling method:

* Modern high-speed CD-ROM drive motors are both acoustically and
electrically noisy, giving you two attack methods for the price of one;

* Laptop computer users without CRTs, and the PC users that can afford
large LCD screens instead of CRTs, often have CD-ROM drives;

* Users are getting quite used to sitting patiently while their
CD-ROM drives grind away for no visibly obvious reason (but
that's quite enough about the widespread installs of software from
Microsoft CD-ROMs that prompted Kuhn's investigation in the first place.)"
===-
I don't think there should be anymore blinking if you remove the CD/DVD inside.
If it keeps blinking, find out which process uses it.
Anyway, you can disable it when you're not using it, if it's bothering you.

And shield your monitor.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_shielding [wikipedia.org]
====-
"I don't think there should be anymore blinking if you remove the CD/DVD inside."

Does Tails support this at boot?

If not, is there a Linux LiveCD which allows this and does not give you root access at boot?

I've looked at several different distributions which allow you to boot into RAM and remove the CD, but they all give you root and that's a very insecure environment to run TBB in!

"If it keeps blinking, find out which process uses it."

It doesn't blink on the several distros which boot into RAM, but I don't want to run Tor as root or reconfigure the permissions/PAM/etc. just to use TBB. As above, with Tails and many LiveCDs which don't boot into RAM, 99% of them have this blinking light issue. The actual INSTALLS I've done to HDD experience constant light activity too, even more so, without anything to explain them.

For Linux, I've ran rkhunter, chkrootkit, tiger, and other tools and nothing malicious is found. Without a deep binary analysis I don't know what else I could do.

For Windows, I use a few programs in the SysInternals Suite and they display strange usage on the system and reference programs which cannot be found with a search on the system, references to impersonation, spoofing, and more. I've ran almost every N.American scanner on the Windows systems, including command line only rootkit detectors and I've seen some strange 'strings' of binaries mentioned, but have no idea on how to clean the system.

I prefer to run LiveCDs because all installations, Windows and Linux, contain unexplainable frenzies of blinking lights, far worse than the blink every second on most LiveCDs. I'm wondering if this is firmware malware on my NIC or the CDROM itself. This has existed for years and never goes away, no matter what system I use, this strange baggage seems to re-infect everything.

"Anyway, you can disable it when you're not using it, if it's bothering you."

Disable what?

"And shield your monitor."

Thanks. I'm investigating and most of the guides require specific addons to the computer's cabling system. Most of the guides appear incomplete, or are in another language other than English.

Any comments on the Tempest/blinking light possibility?

Any comments on why it's spewing out noise to FRS stations and freq hopping?
===-
More comments from elsewhere:

@kb2vxa:

"You're making a mountain out of a mole hill."

I respect your opinion and I don't wish to argue against it, but please look at it from the way I and some others have. I want to eliminate the noise created by the LCD monitor. If this was such a common experience, I would expect at least one of the dozens of other electronic equipment to generate some noise, however faint, on FRS - but they do not.

"You are under the wrong impression that somehow RF hash from the back light can somehow carry data. A liquid crystal display (LCD) does not generate its own light like a CRT or plasma screen and requires a light source to make the display visible. Even those that do cannot transmit computer data being none reaches the monitor."

The LCD is connected to a tower, which other devices connect to. Under testing I've heard the CDROM drive accessing data noises within the FRS channels, along with mouse movements and keyboard activity, along with other noises. When I disable the LCD monitor, all of these disturbances vanish. This means the weakness is in the monitor, and my tower is well shielded or shielded enough so as not to generate any noise in radios I can notice. The reference I made to the strange tape and material within the back side of the LCD monitor at the top could be a sign of some type of antenna or device for amping.

"Their FRS radios will only hear what yours does, RF hash, no data whatsoever THAT IS if one is standing outside your house tapping the radio and scratching his head wondering what's the matter with his radio. You and only you know what it is and where it's coming from."

And what of experienced and curious sysadmins? Rogue crackers? Bored HAMs?
Are there any remote radio injection attacks against systems? This is something I'll research later, as I do believe it was mentioned in at least one whitepaper on side channel attacks.

"Thanks for the chuckles, if the report reveals secrets it would not be published but sent by secret courier to the KGB in Moscow."

I'm not aware of any secrets revealed within the document. But it did raise an interesting point without exposing the method(s) delivered to us from an interesting party. This wasn't just some random article written by some anonymous, disturbed fellow and posted to a pastebin or conspiracy minded blog or forum. And one cannot deny the dozens of TEMPEST attacks available today.

"So... all this and no word on moving the radio farther from the monitor. Why don't you try talking somewhere besides in front of the computer if it bothers you so much?"

Thank you for considering conversation as my reason for posting this, but it is not. I would not choose a noisy channel to talk on. Clear conversation is not the point of this thread. I desire the elimination of this garbage coming from the LCD monitor. I don't care if no one in the world can pick up on it and hear it, I would like to properly resolve it and not ignore it.

One can also dredge up the subject of EMF on health, too, but I have not experienced any disturbance of health from exposure to this noise and most people would argue any possible EMF effects on health to be one of one's over active imagination and not real world application.

[-]

A continued discussion was posted elsewhere, this may be useful in the voyage to remove this "noise":

[-]

In addition, my CDROM drive light blinks once every second, sometimes with a second or 1/2 second in between, and I found this:

[-]

http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/19.60.html#subj9 [ncl.ac.uk]

"I'd worry about a Tempest virus that polled a personal computer's
CD-ROM drive to pulse the motor as a signalling method:

* Modern high-speed CD-ROM drive motors are both acoustically and
electrically noisy, giving you two attack methods for the price of one;

* Laptop computer users without CRTs, and the PC users that can afford
large LCD screens instead of CRTs, often have CD-ROM drives;

* Users are getting quite used to sitting patiently while their
CD-ROM drives grind away for no visibly obvious reason (but
that's quite enough about the widespread installs of software from
Microsoft CD-ROMs that prompted Kuhn's investigation in the first place.)"

[-]

Any comments on the silver tape and material inside the back of the LCD? ...Disconnection of the LED CDROM and HDD lights could be something I should do to relieve one possible issue.

[-]

Some articles with examples:

"If everything is just right, you can pick up signals from some distance. "I was able to eavesdrop certain laptops through three walls," says Kuhn. "At the CEBIT conference, in 2006, I was able to see the Powerpoint presentation from a stand 25 metres away."

uhn also mentioned that one laptop was vulnerable because it had metal hinges that carried the signal of the display cable. I asked if you could alter a device to make it easier to spy on. "There are a lot of innocuous modifications you can make to maximise the chance of getting a good signal," he told me. For example, adding small pieces of wire or cable to a display could make a big difference.

As for defending against this kind of attack, Kuhn says using well-shielded cables, certain combinations of colours and making everything a little fuzzy all work."

- http://www.newscientist.com/blog/technology/2007/04/seeing-through-walls.html [newscientist.com]

=!==-!=
TO EASILY VIEW THE PDF files below:
=!==-!=

Online viewer for PDF, PostScript and Word:

"This is an online viewer, with which you can view PDF and PostScript files as browsable images and Word documents as web pages. Given a URL on the net or a file on your computer, the viewer will try to retrieve the document, convert it and show it to you. No plugin software is required."

http://view.samurajdata.se/ [samurajdata.se]

The viewer software is open source, licensed under the GNU Public License.
=!==-!=

Electromagnetic eavesdropping risks of flat-panel displays
http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/pet2004-fpd.pdf [cam.ac.uk]

=

Eavesdropping attacks on computer displays
- http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/iss2006-tempest.pdf [cam.ac.uk]

=

Compromising emanations: eavesdropping risks of computer displays
- http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/techreports/UCAM-CL-TR-577.html [cam.ac.uk]
- http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/techreports/UCAM-CL-TR-577.pdf [cam.ac.uk]

=

Compromising emanations of LCD TV sets
- http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/emc2011-tv.pdf [cam.ac.uk]

=

"Q: Can I use filtered fonts also on flat-panel displays

My experience so far has been that with LCDs, the video cable is the most significant source of radiated information leakage. Where an analogue video cable (with 15-pin VGA connector) is used, low-pass filtered fonts have the same benefits as with CRTs. Where a purely digital video cable is used (DVI-D, laptop-internal displays with FPD/LVDS links, etc.) only the last step, namely randomizing the least-significant bits, should be implemented.

Where the video signal is entirely encoded in digital form, the low-pass filtered step will not have the desired effect. In fact, it can actually increase the differences between the signal generated by individual characters, and thereby make automatic radio character recognition more reliable."

- http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/emsec/softtempest-faq.html [cam.ac.uk]

=

Remotely Eavesdropping on Keyboards (and read the comments!)

"The researchers from the Security and Cryptography Laboratory at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne are able to capture keystrokes by monitoring the electromagnetic radiation of PS/2, universal serial bus, or laptop keyboards. They've outline four separate attack methods, some that work at a distance of as much as 65 feet from the target.

In one video demonstration, researchers Martin Vuagnoux and Sylvain Pasini sniff out the the keystrokes typed into a standard keyboard using a large antenna that's about 20 to 30 feet away in an adjacent room."

- https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2008/10/remotely_eavesd.html [schneier.com]

=

Video eavesdropping demo at CeBIT 2006
- http://www.lightbluetouchpaper.org/2006/03/09/video-eavesdropping-demo-at-cebit-2006/ [lightbluetouchpaper.org]

=

Optical Emission Security â" Frequently Asked Questions

"Q: What about LEDs?

For devices with RS-232 serial ports, it is customary to provide a status indicator LED for some of the signal lines (in particular transmit data and receive data). Often, these LEDs are directly connected to the line via just a resistor. As a result, anyone with a line of sight to the LED, some optics and a simple photosensor can see the data stream. Joe Loughry and David A. Umphress have recently announced a detailed study (submitted to ACM Transactions on Information and System Security) in which they tested 39 communications devices with 164 LED indicators, and on 14 of the tested devices they found serial port data in the LED light. Based on their findings, it seems reasonable to conclude that LEDs for RS-232 ports are most likely carrying the data signal today, whereas LEDs on high-speed data links (LANs, harddisk) do not. Even these LEDs are still available as a covert channel for malicious software that actively tries to transmit data optically.

I expect that this paper will cause a number of modem manufacturers to add a little pulse stretcher (monostable multivibrator) to the LEDs in the next chip set revision, and that at some facilities with particular security concerns, the relevant LEDs will be removed or covered with black tape.

The data traffic on LEDs is not a periodic signal, and therefore, unlike with video signals, periodic averaging cannot be used to improve the signal-to-noise ratio. The shot-noise limit estimation technique that I used to estimate the CRT eavesdropping risk can even more easily (because no deconvolution is needed) also be applied to serial port indicators and allows us to estimate a lower bound for the bit-error rate at a given distance. I have performed a few example calculations and concluded that with a direct line of sight, and a 100 kbit/s signal (typical for an external telephone modem), at 500 m distance it should be no problem to acquire a reliable signal (one wrong bit every 10 megabit), whereas for indirect reflection from the wall of a dark room, a somewhat more noisy signal (at least one wrong bit per 10 kilobit) can be expected to be receivable in a few tens of meters distance.

- http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/emsec/optical-faq.html [cam.ac.uk]

=

Ancient Story on Slashdot: Coming to a Desktop near you: Tempest Capabilities

"New Scientist has an interesting article about a new toy we will all want. It's a card that plugs in one of your PCI slots and allows you to scan the EMF spectrum and read your neighbours terminal. In about 5 years you might be able to get one for just under £1000. (Modern Tempest Hardware costs about £30000) "

http://www.yro.slashdot.org/story/99/11/08/093250/coming-to-a-desktop-near-you-tempest-capabilities [slashdot.org]

=

"Any unshielded electrical device with a variable current (including LCDs) will give out EMF radiation. It's the nature of the beast.

For that matter, light is EMF radiation, so unless you have your LCD in a coal-mine, it's reflecting EMF all the time it's switched on.

Then, there's the fact that screen monitoring isn't the only monitoring you can do. I used to use a radio, tuned into the bus for the PET, as a sound card. Worked surprisingly well, for all that very clunky metal shielding. What's to stop a much higher-quality receiver from seeing the data, in an unshielded box, being sent TO the LCD, or to any other device on the machine?

It's a mistake to assume that Tempest technology is single-function and that that single-function only works in a single situation."

- http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2333&cid=1553178 [slashdot.org]

=

800Mbps Wireless Network Made With LED Light Bulbs
- http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/08/02/1322201/800Mbps-Wireless-Network-Made-With-LED-Light-Bulbs [slashdot.org]

=

There are a lot of other files, many in PPT format, which can be found easily on this subject of LCD monitor (and other computing devices) TEMPEST sniffing.

===

Sources for this discussion:

- http://forums.radioreference.com/computer/255488-lcd-monitor-broadcasts-noise-radio-why.html [radioreference.com]
- http://clsvtzwzdgzkjda7.onion/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10919 [clsvtzwzdgzkjda7.onion] .onion link above requires a running Tor client session in order to view. (https://www.torproject.org)

This on-going discussion backed up to Pastebin(s) in order to retain it as an artifact. Many of these
types of discussions are REMOVED from the net because of the nature of the discussion (TEMPEST).

facebook sucks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373189)

yup :)

appears deteriorating into disorderly jumble (3, Insightful)

Goody (23843) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373195)

That's how I would describe the summary for this article. Does anyone interview candidate Slashdot editors before offering them jobs?

Re:appears deteriorating into disorderly jumble (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373459)

Apparently not - otherwise they wouldn't be misusing the word excrutiation.

Oh dearie me, how sad never mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373199)

Complete and utter piffle.

Gotta be Honest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373221)

I was relieved when I saw everyone else bashing this guy with the same things I was thinking as I read the piece.

I bombed an interview once, because I am lazy and I procrastinated in preparing for the interview, when the time came, i was so worried about not giving good answers that I just made myself look considerably less intelligent than I probably am. I learned a great deal form that interview and have not repeated the scenario since. Live and learn, take some responsibility too, it won't kill you.

being a whiny bitch will get you blacklisted though

Face it, dude... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373287)

Facebook just isn't that into you.

maybe this is deliberate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373321)

The vast majority of coding/development jobs don't rely on your CS skills, but, rather, on your ability to cobble together something that kind of works, in the face of incomplete documents, interruptions from others, and always fluctuating schedules and constraints.. hey, just like the interview he reported..

The first conversation (4, Funny)

russotto (537200) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373355)

It started out like this

Recruiter sitting at his desk with his head in his hands and a half-empty bottle of cheap Scotch nearby, just waiting for the axe to come down. The phone rings. He picks it up to stop the noise and
    "Hello, Facebook recruiting. I think you have the wrong number."

    "No, I'm looking for a job at Facebook."

    "Hey, that's great, my first one since...uhh you do know Facebook already had the IPO, right? I tried not telling people that but the boss got mad."

And it was all downhill from there.

TEMPEST Attacks! LCD Monitor leaks noise to FRS! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373379)

TEMPEST Attacks! LCD Monitor leaks system noise to FRS

This post is one example of why Tor developers should focus on anti-TEMPEST-ing the Tor Browser, in color, fonts, etc.
===
I don't operate any wireless equipment at my living location. This includes computers, computer equipment, routers, non-computer equipment, etc.

I'm having a problem with one of my LCD monitors.

It works without problems. That was until I picked up some heavy static noises from a hand held radio. I eliminated all sources of generating this type of noise until I came towards an LCD monitor. When the monitor is on and there is content on the screen the radio makes several types of garbage(static) sounds. As I manipulate contents on the screen, maximize and minimize windows, open different applications, the radio responds with scratchy(static) noises to match the activity on the screen. This includes typing and mouse movement.

When I switched the desktop background to a solid black color without wallpaper, the radio noise went down to almost nothing. But when I loaded any program with a white background, the noise from the radio exploded in volume.

When I passed the radio across different computer and non-computer electronic devices other than the LCD monitor, the wired mouse made a high pitched squeal sound within the static. None of the other computing devices such as the tower generated any noise.

I tried CRT monitors and separate computers attached to the CRT monitors but they did not generate any noise in the radio. On the computer connected to the net, I unplugged the cable leading to the router to rule this out but it made no difference, the LCD monitor is at fault.

While monitoring the radio noise, there were several instances where the noise on the channel being monitored stopped, and I switched to another channel and the same noise appeared. Why would the noise from the LCD switch channels during normal use of the LCD? Back and forth throughout the day the noise generated by the LCD would switch from one channel to the next and back to the first channel again.

The noise extends several steps within my living location. I'll test this another day to determine if it extends outside my living location and if so by how many feet.

The computer/monitor are grounded and attached to a surge protector. I'm not sure what I need to do to stop this, or if I should ignore it.

I assumed LCDs would be quieter than CRTs when it came to noise.

Unless I have a radio tuned to a specific channel, the LCD does not generate any noise which I can detect, unless it's above my hearing capacity.

The LCD monitor also functions as speakers, and while the sound cable is connected to the tower, I have disabled the onboard sound in my BIOS. The only other connection is the DVI cable to the tower.

How may I decrease this noise or eliminate it? It seems like the LCD is a mini radio station. When I turn it off the noise in the radio stops, if I blacken the screen the noise lessens. When I switch to a colorful background or load white screened applications like a web browser the noise jumps up loudly. I've tried grabbing and moving a browser window around the screen and the movement matches the noises in the radio.

Would any of this be considered normal?
==-
This certainly isn't unheard of, it's because some part of the monitor is unshielded. The more fix-it stuff is at the top of the following, with the technical backdrop that just might be good to know is at the bottom.

Unfortunately, the issue is most likely the panel charging the LCs. The only thing you can do is see if the manufacturer will replace it or upgrade you. Complain to the manufacturer, be sure to come up with some important thing it's interfering with(if I recall some medical devices use some sort of radio).

If the issue is actually internal wiring which is highly unlikely as detailed below, and it isn't in warranty, attempt to shield it yourself. To shield it yourself, you'll need thin foil(not kitchen foil) and electrical tape.

So, in any given monitor, there's 3 main parts. Input, logic, and output. Output, as previously mentioned, can't really be shielded. To shield both of the other sections, all you really need to do is manipulate the wiring to reduce the number of holes in the foil wrap needed to put it all back together. Obviously this will take some trial and error, and time.

USEFUL INFO THAT ISN'T REQUIRED:

Shielding wires can best be thought of as a encasing a wire in a Faraday cage, made of foil. If you want to see an example, Apple's iPod charging cords are all shielded, strip the insulation and see for yourself. This shielding acts doubly, keeping EM noise from messing with the signal, and keeps the signal's own noise from leaving.

WHY IT IS THE CHARGING PANEL AND NOT WIRING:
Because of the specific details you provided( bravo to you, the amount of data provided helped ), I can conclude that the charging panel(the array of electrodes responsible for producing the image) is putting out the interference. Three of your observations prove this.

First, you state the noise ceases completely when the monitor is turned off, which is consistent with it being EM noise.
Second, the noise's perceived pitch changes when the display is manipulated, which is to be expected, as the electrode charges would change as the display changes.
Third, a black screen is "quieter" than a white screen. Black is the lowest charge state, with the only power in use going to the backlight.

As for your questions:
Noise hopping channels isn't unheard of, though I don't know the science behind it. My best guess is that because the noise isn't an intended result of the electricity, small changes in voltage/amperage result in those hops.
(indirect question-ish) The mouse was likely the only other emitter because it has a fairly high density of wires + it emits light.
===-
@W00t:

What 1s the d1fference between - and where may 1 obta1n the non-k1tchen "foil" you ment1oned?

The d1sturbances sound l1ke a bugged env1ronment. The squeal com1ng from one area and/or dev1ce could mean the locat1on of the bug has been found - and 1 know adding a small dev1ce and/or mod1f1cation to a keyboard and/or mouse 1s s1mple enough - espec1ally for a quick 1n and out the door type bugging.

1s there an affordable method of sh1elding the equ1pment while not violating FCC/TEMPEST laws? Would a simple screen d1mmer attached to the monitor bring the no1se down? Or would 1t be best to put out the extra money requ1red by purchas1ng spec1al paint or wallpaper wh1ch blocks RF signals?

Whether or not 1t's a bug, at this point you are broadcast1ng your computer mon1tor and 1ts activ1t1es, down to the keyboard and mouse movements. What 1s the use of using Tor or any other l1ke serv1ce 1f you are pwned over the a1r waves?
====-
You could use kitchen foil, it's just more unwieldy to work with.

Yes, it could be a bug, I was running under the assumption you had no reason to believe you were bugged, and if you did you ran bug sweeps. If you believe you are bugged, you should definitely dismantle things to make sure a bug isn't simply piggybacking on the same power source.

Dimming the screen would reduce noise, but not completely eliminate it.
=====-
Thanks, W00t.

"Dimming the screen would reduce noise, but not completely eliminate it."

I have modified my browser to function with a black background and my choice of text colors and unchecked the option for all pages to use their own colors, so every page I visit is black with my choice of font/links colors. I'll rescan to determine if this lessens the noise. It's ugly, but tolerable. Coupled with a black theme for the desktop, including the background and system wide applications should also help - including disabling images in the browser.

You mentioned foil. I'm not an electrician, but wouldn't wrapping cords with foil and finishing the job off with a layer of strong black tape possibly conduct electricity? Are you suggesting I cover all wires leading to the computer(s) using this method? Wouldn't they each require special grounding? How many repeating layers of this and/or other material is needed? Have you tried "conductive tubing?"

While I want to shield enough to block noisy RF, I don't want to create a microwave type scenario where RF is contained but it still remains and is possibly amplified so as to add to the degeneration of my health, if that's possible.

1. Ferrite beads
2. Split beads
3. Toroids

CONDUCTIVE TUBING & FERRITE SNAP BEAD
http://www.lessemf.com/wiring.html [lessemf.com]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_interference [wikipedia.org]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_radiation_and_health [wikipedia.org]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_shielding [wikipedia.org]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMF_measurement [wikipedia.org]

I could try some or all of the three options above in addition to your advice? TY
===-
Anyways this reminding me of Van Eck phreaking look it up, some pretty interesting stuff.

Yep, had the same thought.

Countermeasures are detailed in the article on TEMPEST, the NSA's standard on spy-proofing digital equipment. One countermeasure involves shielding the equipment to minimize electromagnetic emissions. Another method, specifically for video information, scrambles the signals such that the image is perceptually undisturbed, but the emissions are harder to reverse engineer into images. Examples of this include low pass filtering fonts and randomizing the least significant bit of the video data information.
====-
can someone please point me to techie LCD monitor internal guides? If I'm going to take it apart I'd like to know what to expect. I've read more about Van Eck and Tempest than anyone can teach me here. Now I'm looking for LCD guides of what's inside.
===-
To be honest, its not the whats inside the LCD monitor you should be worrying about if you want to phreak LCD's . You should be worry more about the RF side of things, and figuring out the spread spectrum clock signal so you can pick up the signal. Top if off background noise is going to be bitch when it comes to LCD. Old CRT monitors are way easier to phreak those thing throw off EM radiation like nobody business.
===-
The noise coming from the LCD monitor is appearing on FRS channels:

- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Radio_Service [wikipedia.org]

It continues for several minutes before it jumps to another channel then after a few minutes jumps back to the original channel. One of my concerns is the ability for others to pluck this noise from the air (Van Eck/TEMPEST) and monitor my activity, or possibly use an attack against the computer somehow. A recent UN report mentioned a high tech method(s):

* U.N. report reveals secret law enforcement techniques

"Point 201: Mentions a new covert communications technique using software defined high frequency radio receivers routed through the computer creating no logs, using no central server and extremely difficult for law enforcement to intercept."

- http://www.unodc.org/documents/frontpage/Use_of_Internet_for_Terrorist_Purposes.pdf [unodc.org]
- http://www.hacker10.com/other-computing/u-n-report-reveals-secret-law-enforcement-techniques/ [hacker10.com]

In addition, I don't want my LCD monitor constantly sending monitor and/or system activity to a FRS channel(s) for others to hear. I choose wired over wireless for a reason, and there shouldn't be any noise coming from my LCD monitor and appearing over FRS, unless there is a bug or problem with the monitor. All of my
CRT systems are silent on FRS.

When I position the radio near different components, the power supply doesn't emit any noise on FRS, but it could be a problem, I don't know, I'll move to that once I resolve the LCD monitor problem, unless the PSU is the problem and not the monitor.

I may take apart the LCD monitor, I'm looking for a good list of what I'll find if I do.

I peered inside the vents on the top/back left hand side with a strong flashlight and came across a strange piece of silver tape inside, here's how I describe it:

OOGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG__

OO = a small thin black material coming out from underneath the silver piece of tape
GG = the strip of silver tape
__ = the bottom right hand portion of the silver tape is raised enough to allow a pinky finger entry

The silver tape/material/opening under tape is on the top left corner inside the monitor. The rest of the length and area inside that I can see contain no tape or black material. I've seen photos of planted bugs in people's living spaces and most if not all of the invasive ones are wrapped/covered in silver foil. I've found no other reason for that strip and material to be there, but what do I know.
=====
In addition, my CDROM drive light blinks once every second, sometimes with a second or 1/2 second in between, and I found this:

http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/19.60.html#subj9 [ncl.ac.uk]

"I'd worry about a Tempest virus that polled a personal computer's
CD-ROM drive to pulse the motor as a signalling method:

* Modern high-speed CD-ROM drive motors are both acoustically and
electrically noisy, giving you two attack methods for the price of one;

* Laptop computer users without CRTs, and the PC users that can afford
large LCD screens instead of CRTs, often have CD-ROM drives;

* Users are getting quite used to sitting patiently while their
CD-ROM drives grind away for no visibly obvious reason (but
that's quite enough about the widespread installs of software from
Microsoft CD-ROMs that prompted Kuhn's investigation in the first place.)"
===-
"I'd worry about a Tempest virus that polled a personal computer' personal computer' CD-ROM drive"

Yes and the hard drive and in some PC's the cooling fans as well are under CPU control.

You can also do it with PC's where the CPU does not control the fan, but the hardware has a simple thermal sensor to control it's speed. You do this by simply having a process that uses power expensive instructions in tight loops, thus raising the CPU temprature (it's one of the side channels I was considering a long time ago when thinking about how the temp inside the case changed various things including the CPU clock XTAL frequency).

The change in sound side channel is one of the first identified problems with Quantum Key Distribution. Basicaly the bod who came up with the idea whilst first testing the idea could tell the state of "Alice's polarizer" simply by the amount of noise it made...

The CD-ROM motor idea I'd heard befor but could not remember where till I followed your link.

Dr Lloyd Wood has worked with the UK's Surrey Uni, the European Space Agency and Americas NASA and one or two other places as part of his work for Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. He has been involved with CLEO (Cisco router in Low Earth Orbit) and other work on what's being called "The Space Internet".

Of interest is his work on Delay and Disruption Tolerant Networks (DTN). It's not been said "publicaly" as far as I'm aware but the work has aspects that are important to anonymity networks such as TOR.

You can read more on Dr Wood's DTN work etc at,

http://personal.ee.surrey.ac.uk/Personal/L.Wood/dtn/ [surrey.ac.uk]

The UK occupies an odd position in the "Space Race" it is the only nation who having put a satellite into space then stopped further space rocket development (the Black Knight launch platform was considerably safer and more economic than the then US and CCCP systems). The UK has however continued in the Space Game and is perhaps the leading designers of payloads for scientific and industrial satellites (it probably is on military sats as well but nobody who knows for sure is telling ;-)

Clive Robinson
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2012/12/interesting_win.html#c1049823 [schneier.com]
===-
I don't think there should be anymore blinking if you remove the CD/DVD inside.
If it keeps blinking, find out which process uses it.
Anyway, you can disable it when you're not using it, if it's bothering you.

And shield your monitor.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_shielding [wikipedia.org]
====-
"I don't think there should be anymore blinking if you remove the CD/DVD inside."

Does Tails support this at boot?

If not, is there a Linux LiveCD which allows this and does not give you root access at boot?

I've looked at several different distributions which allow you to boot into RAM and remove the CD, but they all give you root and that's a very insecure environment to run TBB in!

"If it keeps blinking, find out which process uses it."

It doesn't blink on the several distros which boot into RAM, but I don't want to run Tor as root or reconfigure the permissions/PAM/etc. just to use TBB. As above, with Tails and many LiveCDs which don't boot into RAM, 99% of them have this blinking light issue. The actual INSTALLS I've done to HDD experience constant light activity too, even more so, without anything to explain them.

For Linux, I've ran rkhunter, chkrootkit, tiger, and other tools and nothing malicious is found. Without a deep binary analysis I don't know what else I could do.

For Windows, I use a few programs in the SysInternals Suite and they display strange usage on the system and reference programs which cannot be found with a search on the system, references to impersonation, spoofing, and more. I've ran almost every N.American scanner on the Windows systems, including command line only rootkit detectors and I've seen some strange 'strings' of binaries mentioned, but have no idea on how to clean the system.

I prefer to run LiveCDs because all installations, Windows and Linux, contain unexplainable frenzies of blinking lights, far worse than the blink every second on most LiveCDs. I'm wondering if this is firmware malware on my NIC or the CDROM itself. This has existed for years and never goes away, no matter what system I use, this strange baggage seems to re-infect everything.

"Anyway, you can disable it when you're not using it, if it's bothering you."

Disable what?

"And shield your monitor."

Thanks. I'm investigating and most of the guides require specific addons to the computer's cabling system. Most of the guides appear incomplete, or are in another language other than English.

Any comments on the Tempest/blinking light possibility?

Any comments on why it's spewing out noise to FRS stations and freq hopping?
===-
More comments from elsewhere:

@kb2vxa:

"You're making a mountain out of a mole hill."

I respect your opinion and I don't wish to argue against it, but please look at it from the way I and some others have. I want to eliminate the noise created by the LCD monitor. If this was such a common experience, I would expect at least one of the dozens of other electronic equipment to generate some noise, however faint, on FRS - but they do not.

"You are under the wrong impression that somehow RF hash from the back light can somehow carry data. A liquid crystal display (LCD) does not generate its own light like a CRT or plasma screen and requires a light source to make the display visible. Even those that do cannot transmit computer data being none reaches the monitor."

The LCD is connected to a tower, which other devices connect to. Under testing I've heard the CDROM drive accessing data noises within the FRS channels, along with mouse movements and keyboard activity, along with other noises. When I disable the LCD monitor, all of these disturbances vanish. This means the weakness is in the monitor, and my tower is well shielded or shielded enough so as not to generate any noise in radios I can notice. The reference I made to the strange tape and material within the back side of the LCD monitor at the top could be a sign of some type of antenna or device for amping.

"Their FRS radios will only hear what yours does, RF hash, no data whatsoever THAT IS if one is standing outside your house tapping the radio and scratching his head wondering what's the matter with his radio. You and only you know what it is and where it's coming from."

And what of experienced and curious sysadmins? Rogue crackers? Bored HAMs?
Are there any remote radio injection attacks against systems? This is something I'll research later, as I do believe it was mentioned in at least one whitepaper on side channel attacks.

"Thanks for the chuckles, if the report reveals secrets it would not be published but sent by secret courier to the KGB in Moscow."

I'm not aware of any secrets revealed within the document. But it did raise an interesting point without exposing the method(s) delivered to us from an interesting party. This wasn't just some random article written by some anonymous, disturbed fellow and posted to a pastebin or conspiracy minded blog or forum. And one cannot deny the dozens of TEMPEST attacks available today.

"So... all this and no word on moving the radio farther from the monitor. Why don't you try talking somewhere besides in front of the computer if it bothers you so much?"

Thank you for considering conversation as my reason for posting this, but it is not. I would not choose a noisy channel to talk on. Clear conversation is not the point of this thread. I desire the elimination of this garbage coming from the LCD monitor. I don't care if no one in the world can pick up on it and hear it, I would like to properly resolve it and not ignore it.

One can also dredge up the subject of EMF on health, too, but I have not experienced any disturbance of health from exposure to this noise and most people would argue any possible EMF effects on health to be one of one's over active imagination and not real world application.

[-]

A continued discussion was posted elsewhere, this may be useful in the voyage to remove this "noise":

[-]

In addition, my CDROM drive light blinks once every second, sometimes with a second or 1/2 second in between, and I found this:

[-]

http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/19.60.html#subj9 [ncl.ac.uk]

"I'd worry about a Tempest virus that polled a personal computer's
CD-ROM drive to pulse the motor as a signalling method:

* Modern high-speed CD-ROM drive motors are both acoustically and
electrically noisy, giving you two attack methods for the price of one;

* Laptop computer users without CRTs, and the PC users that can afford
large LCD screens instead of CRTs, often have CD-ROM drives;

* Users are getting quite used to sitting patiently while their
CD-ROM drives grind away for no visibly obvious reason (but
that's quite enough about the widespread installs of software from
Microsoft CD-ROMs that prompted Kuhn's investigation in the first place.)"

[-]

Any comments on the silver tape and material inside the back of the LCD? ...Disconnection of the LED CDROM and HDD lights could be something I should do to relieve one possible issue.

[-]

Some articles with examples:

"If everything is just right, you can pick up signals from some distance. "I was able to eavesdrop certain laptops through three walls," says Kuhn. "At the CEBIT conference, in 2006, I was able to see the Powerpoint presentation from a stand 25 metres away."

uhn also mentioned that one laptop was vulnerable because it had metal hinges that carried the signal of the display cable. I asked if you could alter a device to make it easier to spy on. "There are a lot of innocuous modifications you can make to maximise the chance of getting a good signal," he told me. For example, adding small pieces of wire or cable to a display could make a big difference.

As for defending against this kind of attack, Kuhn says using well-shielded cables, certain combinations of colours and making everything a little fuzzy all work."

- http://www.newscientist.com/blog/technology/2007/04/seeing-through-walls.html [newscientist.com]

=!==-!=
TO EASILY VIEW THE PDF files below:
=!==-!=

Online viewer for PDF, PostScript and Word:

"This is an online viewer, with which you can view PDF and PostScript files as browsable images and Word documents as web pages. Given a URL on the net or a file on your computer, the viewer will try to retrieve the document, convert it and show it to you. No plugin software is required."

http://view.samurajdata.se/ [samurajdata.se]

The viewer software is open source, licensed under the GNU Public License.
=!==-!=

Electromagnetic eavesdropping risks of flat-panel displays
http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/pet2004-fpd.pdf [cam.ac.uk]

=

Eavesdropping attacks on computer displays
- http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/iss2006-tempest.pdf [cam.ac.uk]

=

Compromising emanations: eavesdropping risks of computer displays
- http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/techreports/UCAM-CL-TR-577.html [cam.ac.uk]
- http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/techreports/UCAM-CL-TR-577.pdf [cam.ac.uk]

=

Compromising emanations of LCD TV sets
- http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/emc2011-tv.pdf [cam.ac.uk]

=

"Q: Can I use filtered fonts also on flat-panel displays

My experience so far has been that with LCDs, the video cable is the most significant source of radiated information leakage. Where an analogue video cable (with 15-pin VGA connector) is used, low-pass filtered fonts have the same benefits as with CRTs. Where a purely digital video cable is used (DVI-D, laptop-internal displays with FPD/LVDS links, etc.) only the last step, namely randomizing the least-significant bits, should be implemented.

Where the video signal is entirely encoded in digital form, the low-pass filtered step will not have the desired effect. In fact, it can actually increase the differences between the signal generated by individual characters, and thereby make automatic radio character recognition more reliable."

- http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/emsec/softtempest-faq.html [cam.ac.uk]

=

Remotely Eavesdropping on Keyboards (and read the comments!)

"The researchers from the Security and Cryptography Laboratory at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne are able to capture keystrokes by monitoring the electromagnetic radiation of PS/2, universal serial bus, or laptop keyboards. They've outline four separate attack methods, some that work at a distance of as much as 65 feet from the target.

In one video demonstration, researchers Martin Vuagnoux and Sylvain Pasini sniff out the the keystrokes typed into a standard keyboard using a large antenna that's about 20 to 30 feet away in an adjacent room."

- https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2008/10/remotely_eavesd.html [schneier.com]

=

Video eavesdropping demo at CeBIT 2006
- http://www.lightbluetouchpaper.org/2006/03/09/video-eavesdropping-demo-at-cebit-2006/ [lightbluetouchpaper.org]

=

Optical Emission Security â" Frequently Asked Questions

"Q: What about LEDs?

For devices with RS-232 serial ports, it is customary to provide a status indicator LED for some of the signal lines (in particular transmit data and receive data). Often, these LEDs are directly connected to the line via just a resistor. As a result, anyone with a line of sight to the LED, some optics and a simple photosensor can see the data stream. Joe Loughry and David A. Umphress have recently announced a detailed study (submitted to ACM Transactions on Information and System Security) in which they tested 39 communications devices with 164 LED indicators, and on 14 of the tested devices they found serial port data in the LED light. Based on their findings, it seems reasonable to conclude that LEDs for RS-232 ports are most likely carrying the data signal today, whereas LEDs on high-speed data links (LANs, harddisk) do not. Even these LEDs are still available as a covert channel for malicious software that actively tries to transmit data optically.

I expect that this paper will cause a number of modem manufacturers to add a little pulse stretcher (monostable multivibrator) to the LEDs in the next chip set revision, and that at some facilities with particular security concerns, the relevant LEDs will be removed or covered with black tape.

The data traffic on LEDs is not a periodic signal, and therefore, unlike with video signals, periodic averaging cannot be used to improve the signal-to-noise ratio. The shot-noise limit estimation technique that I used to estimate the CRT eavesdropping risk can even more easily (because no deconvolution is needed) also be applied to serial port indicators and allows us to estimate a lower bound for the bit-error rate at a given distance. I have performed a few example calculations and concluded that with a direct line of sight, and a 100 kbit/s signal (typical for an external telephone modem), at 500 m distance it should be no problem to acquire a reliable signal (one wrong bit every 10 megabit), whereas for indirect reflection from the wall of a dark room, a somewhat more noisy signal (at least one wrong bit per 10 kilobit) can be expected to be receivable in a few tens of meters distance.

- http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/emsec/optical-faq.html [cam.ac.uk]

=

Ancient Story on Slashdot: Coming to a Desktop near you: Tempest Capabilities

"New Scientist has an interesting article about a new toy we will all want. It's a card that plugs in one of your PCI slots and allows you to scan the EMF spectrum and read your neighbours terminal. In about 5 years you might be able to get one for just under £1000. (Modern Tempest Hardware costs about £30000) "

http://www.yro.slashdot.org/story/99/11/08/093250/coming-to-a-desktop-near-you-tempest-capabilities [slashdot.org]

=

"Any unshielded electrical device with a variable current (including LCDs) will give out EMF radiation. It's the nature of the beast.

For that matter, light is EMF radiation, so unless you have your LCD in a coal-mine, it's reflecting EMF all the time it's switched on.

Then, there's the fact that screen monitoring isn't the only monitoring you can do. I used to use a radio, tuned into the bus for the PET, as a sound card. Worked surprisingly well, for all that very clunky metal shielding. What's to stop a much higher-quality receiver from seeing the data, in an unshielded box, being sent TO the LCD, or to any other device on the machine?

It's a mistake to assume that Tempest technology is single-function and that that single-function only works in a single situation."

- http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2333&cid=1553178 [slashdot.org]

=

800Mbps Wireless Network Made With LED Light Bulbs
- http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/08/02/1322201/800Mbps-Wireless-Network-Made-With-LED-Light-Bulbs [slashdot.org]

=

There are a lot of other files, many in PPT format, which can be found easily on this subject of LCD monitor (and other computing devices) TEMPEST sniffing.

===

Sources for this discussion:

- http://forums.radioreference.com/computer/255488-lcd-monitor-broadcasts-noise-radio-why.html [radioreference.com]
- http://clsvtzwzdgzkjda7.onion/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10919 [clsvtzwzdgzkjda7.onion] .onion link above requires a running Tor client session in order to view. (https://www.torproject.org)

This on-going discussion backed up to Pastebin(s) in order to retain it as an artifact. Many of these
types of discussions are REMOVED from the net because of the nature of the discussion (TEMPEST).

So this is what passes for enlightened geek news.. (1, Insightful)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373439)

A whiny Israeli blogs that he doesn't like the way Facebook interviewed him. I'm going to bed.

My experience (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373481)

I recently went through a few rounds of FB phone interviews, and I think the poster's complaints are just sour grapes.

I got a cold call from a recruiter a few months ago for a position that fit my qualifications well. Although happily employed I decided to respond on a whim. I had a long chat with the recruiter to explain the position and recap my resume. We scheduled a phone interview with members of the team, and the recruiter was more than happy to coordinate a mutually convenient time for the call within the next week.

I prepared for the interview by going over some material that the recruiter had sent me, finding a private place to take the call, and nothing more. I'm not going to go into any real detail on the content except to say that it didn't seem focused on technical depth and instead lightly touched on the skills relevant to the position. I asked a few questions to get a feel for the unwritten expectations of the position (ex. "work-life balance" stuff, travel, etc) and to suss out how the employees felt about working there. On the last note I can say that the people there are given the special Kool-Aid in their lavish break rooms, are really good at transrectal vapor delivery, or truly enjoy Facebook.

At no point in time did I have any call quality issues.

The call must have gone well as the recruiter called me a few hours after it was over to schedule a second round. Again they were flexible in scheduling. Although promised a more technical set of questions this too had an unnervingly light technical skills focus. I was able to get a better picture of the environment this time: employees typically own their projects, not much mentorship, more focus on whizzy features than the bottom line, a moderate level of empire building. Not sure if it was just this team or the company as a whole, but I got the feeling that the managers were rarely advocates for their employees. No sound problems on this call though.

The recruiter once more called soon after, this time to set up travel for an on-site. I declined, partially because I found the differences between what I'd experienced and what I'd heard about the rigors of Facebook interviews to be unsettling, part because I'm not fond of their product and practices, but mostly for a lack of a compelling reason to take the job.

Having said all that, YMMV. A position elsewhere in the organization might result in a totally different interview experience. As for the poster's experience, I'm confident he didn't do well on the interview and so blames it on call quality, a misleading howto, and scheduling. If I was told to hold off a few months for a phone interview, I'd decline on the spot to keep from wasting my own time as it should be obvious that the position is oversaturated with applicants.

gonna file this under "1st world problems" (5, Funny)

miniMUNCH (662195) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373485)

Someone had to spend time emailing, calling, and skyping to interview for job? I think I might cry...

Re:gonna file this under "1st world problems" (1, Troll)

lucm (889690) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373633)

Someone had to spend time emailing, calling, and skyping to interview for job? I think I might cry...

+1. They could rename this post: how Facebook dodged a bullet and avoided hiring a wuss.

Re:gonna file this under "1st world problems" (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373811)

how Facebook dodged a bullet and avoided hiring a wuss.

Have you heard the idealistic crap that spews out of that place? I'd say it's a bit too late for them to avoid hiring wusses. If people weren't so damned ignorant about what Facebook is doing or had at least some inkling of what a company like Facebook could do with the results of continuous surveillance of their lives, they'd quit using it. Indeed, I sometimes wish that someone would hurry up and dox those people at Facebook who continue to insist that privacy as a concept, theirs excepted of course, is outdated or dead.

facebook.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373557)

I wonder if they let him know how he went by setting his facebook status to "unemployed little whiner".

Prep? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42373559)

You have to prepare for an interview? Weak.

3 months (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373569)

"Do you expect all these timeslots to remain reserved for the three months, until the interview is finally scheduled? To me, this seems ridiculous -- "

why not, my dentist and doctors have no issue asking that question, and once I settle on a date I usually plan around it.

Gee maybe, just maybe, time management and planning a schedule months in advance MIGHT be a job requirement for any form of development?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...