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CERTStation Threat-Level Aggregator

timothy posted more than 7 years ago | from the if-you-don't-like-the-weather-wait-a-minute dept.

69

sloit writes "Just spotted, the CERTStation Threat level Aggregator displays the current threat level, in real-time, as assessed by 8 of the Internet's leading vulnerability watch services such as Symantec Threatcon, ISS Alertcon and SANS Infocon on one publically accessible Web page. Well, that saves a lot of daily trudging!"

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69 comments

If it would only just *tell* me (4, Insightful)

milo_a_wagner (1002274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386866)

Fine, fine, I guess. But with all those flicks and ticks and whooshes, isn't this the most annoyingly designed page *ever*? I can barely see anything. I think I'm about to have an epileptic fit, and I'm not epileptic.

Re:If it would only just *tell* me (3, Funny)

thetroll123 (744259) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386876)

Try it with Flashblock enabled, gives a far cleaner interface...

Re:If it would only just *tell* me (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386990)

Even with flashblock, there is still some annoying ticker down at the bottom (javascript).
Ye gads, they could have gone the whole hog and implimented BLINK tags to make even more people dislike the page.

The worst part is, I *would* visit the page if it was a bit more stable.

Godawful is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17386898)

You beat me to it. This has got to be one of the most annoying sites I've seen. Based on the premise of the article, I made a quick bookmark - then I promptly deleted it. Yuck. Hard on the eyes, CPU, and useless besides.

Re:If it would only just *tell* me (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386920)

Gaaaaaa. Having seizure... Musn't swallow tongue...

Light gray on white sucks on a flat screen. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387372)

The same with light yellow.

The same with light green.

I'm guessing that they didn't want to over burden anyone's video card or monitor.

And the little "sparkticker" or whatever at the bottom is totally unreadable.

But it is incredibly useful to know that the "REMLAB web mech designer" has a vulnerability. And I am totally being sarcastic. There are 8 flash links there. And that's the kind of content they felt was necessary? You're looping static TEXT. You are fucking morons!

Re:If it would only just *tell* me (2, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387762)

They laughed at me when I told them, "I don't have Flash installed."


Now who's laughing! Mwahahahahahahaha!!!!!

Exactly what I thought (1)

Riverman5 (1018024) | more than 7 years ago | (#17389238)

Exactly what I thought when I first saw it... worthless piece of flash wizardry.

Slashdot incompetence selling company incompetence (2, Informative)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 7 years ago | (#17389712)

This is another demonstration of Slashdot editor incompetence. The Slashdot story is apparently nothing but an advertisement for a commercial company formerly called Haval-Daar [hdaar.com] that seems completely incompetent and destined to fail immediately. There is apparently no connection with CERT whatsoever; the name is apparently intended only to confuse. Since the word havaldaar is apparently a Hindi word, I suppose Haval-Daar is a company started by people from India.

Did someone at Slashdot take money to advertise this company?

Let this be a lesson to those who spend a lot of time playing video games when they could be learning to be socially competent: If you don't learn about the people around you, you will eventually sink to the bottom of business.

--
U.S. government incompetence [futurepower.org]

Re:If it would only just *tell* me (1)

pushf popf (741049) | more than 6 years ago | (#17390022)

That's the second most amazingly annoying website I've ever seen ("Punch The Monkey" is first).

What the hell were they thinking?

Re:If it would only just *tell* me (1)

DeadboltX (751907) | more than 6 years ago | (#17391818)

Agreed.
This site isn't going to do its job very well if people don't even want to visit it.

Re:If it would only just *tell* me (1)

john_prog (798488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17396866)

The design on this page is truly something. I hope somebody will nominate this page to http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/ [webpagesthatsuck.com]

Because we all know... (4, Funny)

hellfire (86129) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386900)

...breaking down threats and dangers in to colors like magenta, cyan, mauve, ash, and indigo, rather than actually telling us what the threat is, is a great way to communicate to the populace the danger they should think they are in, and thus keep control over the small minded populace.

Re:Because we all know... (1)

Yjam (893817) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387124)

I don't know who modded this funny.. This is insightfull!

Re:Because we all know... (1)

slashrogue (775436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387484)

This is an internet site about technology "threats" that about 1% of the populace will ever go to. This is not some government program... settle down.

Re:Because we all know... (2, Insightful)

fotbr (855184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387568)

Useless for us, yes, but it does make it convenient for showing clueless middle-management types.

That said, I think the clueless middle-management types are the target of that website, given the amount of junk they're selling.

Re:Because we all know... (1)

Nutty_Irishman (729030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387598)

...breaking down threats and dangers in to colors like magenta, cyan, mauve, ash, and indigo, rather than actually telling us what the threat is, is a great way to communicate to the populace the danger they should think they are in, and thus keep control over the small minded populace.
Agreed, they should definitely adopt this more informative scheme http://www.geekandproud.net/terror/ [geekandproud.net] .

Re:Because we all know... (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387734)

If you think that is bad, check out this colored advisory system [theonion.com] .


Currenly, we're at "In Progress".

Now with Flashy goodness (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17386914)

Wow, with my Linux box, I can't see any threats at all! Linux makes everything more secure!

The only difference with Linux now... (1)

alexandreracine (859693) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387544)

...is that you can now see some graphics. Before you had to grep for it.

*cross fingers* come on slashdot effect! (1)

JakeX (978243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386930)

Seriously thats an fugly page, all the flash is just gonna bog it down when the thousands pour in to look at it. Maybe they should streamline it more if they need all that flashy stuff.

Its nice (2, Funny)

MaxPowerDJ (888947) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386938)

I think its nice because I can forward the page to my boss and justify a whole bunch of hours online surfin' the web. He'll be too busy figuring out what the hell those animations mean.

Flash and gravity (3, Insightful)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386954)

> the CERTStation Threat level Aggregator displays the current threat level,

Well, it does if you have Flash installed.

Which makes the page 100% useless to all those who do not.

Making a page useless to a proportion of your viewers, in exchange for (supposedly!) looking better, is a poor exchange; even more so when you consider that Flash sites in practise often violate user-interface guidelines and are a nightmare for users.

My view is that the larger the number of people involved, the more strongly the decisions taken gravitate towards the worst possible choice.

This is why they have Flash on their site.

If just one reasonably talented bloke had been given responsibility for the site, it would, I think, be likely to be useable and functional.

Re:Flash and gravity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17387318)

Well, I don't have flash installed on principle and I can't see a thing. I have taken to appending comments to URLs. It doesn't really do anything, but makes me feel better. Maybe, just maybe, if a developer takes the time to look though error logs to find out the kinds of problems people are experiencing they might chance across a line such as "http://www.certstation.com/why-all-the-fucking-fl ash?"

Re:Flash and gravity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17387486)

Theres nothing to see here... well.. nothing more than something you already can do with img, center, banner and blink.

Re:Flash and gravity (1)

ashooner (834246) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387684)

So, if your principles prevent you from installing flash, isn't this your problem(statistically speaking)?

I imagine the target audience of this site is not so principled, or not so exclusive, with their plug-ins.

It isn't about right and wrong, its about user access. That being said, yes this site falls into the large pantheon of obnoxious flash sites.

Re:Flash and gravity (1, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17388006)

Which makes the page 100% useless to all those who do not.

That's your choice. Since I and many many many many many many many others have no problem at all with Flash, we see it fine. If you want to see it, install Flash. It's your choice. It's all about choice, the freedom is in your hands to see it or not.

Re:Flash and gravity (3, Informative)

rk (6314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17388704)

"we see it fine"

For a liberal interpretation of the word "fine". Gah! I have Flash installed and this site was hideous enough to consider UNinstalling it.

To the GP, it's 100% useless to those who have Flash installed, too.

Re:Flash and gravity (1)

rur (110111) | more than 6 years ago | (#17390018)

Yes, I also find it useless. After 5 minutes looking around on the demo site I had to give up, the design is horrible - tiny fonts, doesn't use screen area available, grey text scrolling on dark grey background, just to name a few. Just why these guys tought flash would be better I don't know - a case study on how NOT to do it.

Re:Flash and gravity (1)

beoba (867477) | more than 7 years ago | (#17389156)

Linux on non-x86 (not an uncommon occurence in a server room). Blind users. Not everyone has access to this idea of choice that apparently exists in your happy little world.

It is also their choice to ignore their users. Would it be so terribly difficult for them to provide a text version? There are many cases (ex: video) where dynamic content is a must. This is definitely not one of those cases.

Re:Flash and gravity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17390376)

You, dear sir, are retarded. Having a real choice would be if you could choose whether you see the page in plaintext, flash, html, or whatever. If the site should be accessible by all at all times in all circumstances (and it should, if it's as important an indicator as they claim it is), it should be viewable by the lowest common denominator (plaintext).

Re:Flash and gravity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17388132)

Well, it does if you have a web browser installed.

Which makes the page 100% useless to all those who do not.

Making a page useless to a proportion of your viewers, in exchange for (supposedly!) looking better, is a poor exchange; even more so when you consider that html sites in practise often violate user-interface guidelines and are a nightmare for users.

My view is that the larger the number of people involved, the more strongly the decisions taken gravitate towards the worst possible choice.

This is why they have html on their site.

GOPHER is the one true way!

Well... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17388172)

If it's supposed to be a tool for nerds, they fucked up bad. They should know that we don't like being forced to use flash (although we mind to different degrees...) If it's supposed to be a tool for the general populace, well, then I don't see a problem. I can tell you that when I loaded the page and saw like eight flashblock icons, I said "fuck this" and closed the browser tab. Requiring a ton of flash movies for something that could and should have been done with zero of them is a sure sign that I don't want to get involved.

Re:Well... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17389616)

If it's supposed to be a tool for nerds, they fucked up bad.

There is not enough technical info there to be useful to "nerds". It's for "PHBs".

Re:Flash and gravity (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#17390070)

even more so when you consider that Flash sites in practise often violate user-interface guidelines and are a nightmare for users.

It's impossible to build a website that don't violate UI guidelines at least if you're aiming for cross-platform compatibility.

Re:Flash and gravity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17392174)

I am a reasonably talented bloke, you insensitive clod!

Virus checker companies (4, Insightful)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386966)

Companies that make their business on selling virus checking software will almost always over-exaggerate the threat. I'd be shocked to see Symantec and McAfee show anything much lower than their showing (yellow). It is in their best interest to keep the perception of impending doom alive and well.

-S

Re:Virus checker companies (1)

Rubbersoul (199583) | more than 7 years ago | (#17388004)

You could easily rework your post to comment on the federal government and it's color coded warning system. Hmm ... I wounder why they might want to keep the perception of impending doom alive ...

FUGLY (2, Insightful)

LorenzoV (106795) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387012)

Who the f*ck posted this article? -- Astroturfing his own site, no doubt.

In any case, this is the FUGLIEST site I've ever seen anywhere. Bar None!

Flash. Bah! Humbug! -- I won't visit it again. Ever.

Re:FUGLY (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387594)

I tried to read what was in the little boxes, but the "spinner" at the bottom of the page kept drawing my attention. This looks like a start screen for a game, not an advisory site for Internet threats.

Re:Your signature (1)

Millenniumman (924859) | more than 6 years ago | (#17391480)

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is usually crucified.
How do they know he's one-eyed?

Re:Your signature (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 6 years ago | (#17392316)

Because usually he is stupid enough to tell them that their blind. Telling people about their shortcomings doesn't win any friends.

Re:Your signature (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 7 years ago | (#17397330)

Correction - "the're", not "their".

isn't it obvious that it is a (2, Interesting)

slack_prad (942084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387030)

slashvert

A cynical one at that (1)

upside (574799) | more than 6 years ago | (#17390536)

Even the company name has been chosen to be conflated with CERT [cert.org] . What a bunch of bollox.

Visually Deafening (1)

ThOr101 (515492) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387070)

I am glad that there aren't audio snippets associated with the visual, otherwise it would be the loudest website in the world.

It is great to have the data available, but to have it that animated. I haven't even seen "High Tech" displays like that in the movies / tv, where everything has to have a wow factor.

The data is cool enough, no need to flash the heck out of it.

Interesting... (3, Interesting)

DaveM753 (844913) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387128)

The vertical ticker on the right showed 10 flaws in Firefox and 8 flaws in Thunderbird. Oddly, it didn't list Internet Explorer, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Vista, Outlook, Outlook Express, etc.

Re:Interesting... (2, Funny)

aicrules (819392) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387150)

They got an int overflow as Flash can't handle that high a number...thus they removed the top offenders.

Re:Interesting... (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387206)

Well obviously the MS software that you list is rock solid and doesn't have any security problems!

Re:Interesting... (2, Funny)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387754)

Did they get an Acer Ferrari laptop from MS?

And does OS X really have 31 flaws?

I don't know about you guys... (1)

headplant (1044408) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387164)

But it's kind of fun watching all that useless eyecandy swooshing by so fast that I can't read it, while imagining that I'm Jack Bauer. Best of all, if my boss comes by, it looks like I'm actually working!

Seen it (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387180)

Pft... I liked it better the first time something like this came out, when it was called the Threat Down [comedycentral.com]

Wow so far everyone agrees (2)

wolff000 (447340) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387264)

I'm sure all eat my words and someone is going to love that overly flashy page but hey for the moment we have a consensus. What i would like to know is how do these places the info is being grabbed from determine threat level? Then again I think I have gotten one virus in the past 8 years. I just don't open emails that I don't recognize and I sure as hell don't download attachements from them. Yes I know you can get virii other ways but that is the most predominant.

Another commercial /. plug (2, Insightful)

anticypher (48312) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387274)

What a strange site. Very busy, if your machine is infested with flash, useless otherwise.

After finding a few places on the site which claims the service is free in exchange for personal information, I found an order site that wants a US$5,000 sign up fee, plus US$1,020/year subscription. Just another commercial site that has paid /. to place an advertisement on their front page in the guise of a normal article.

There doesn't seem to be anything there that a person responsible for security couldn't cobble together as a normal part of their job. But they only have to get a few gullible companies to sign up to earn back their hiring a couple of ADD afflicted flash developers.

the AC

Re:Another commercial /. plug (3, Interesting)

DigitalSorceress (156609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387558)

I don't know as I'd go so far as to claim that /. was paid for it, but it is certainly a case of advertisement in the guise of news. When I used to work for an NBC affilliate as a news photog, I had a chance to see first-hand, the constant stream of "press releases" and other crap that ended up at the news desk. They generally spiked most of it without a second thought... unless it was a really slow news day. Then, all bets were off.

So, either it was a: slow news day, or b: flew under the radar. (Hey, if /. readers are constantly failing to rtfa, maybe the editor forgot to as well. :)

Re:Another commercial /. plug (OB) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17395238)

girl on /. posting
guys, get her ! :P

Alternate Universe (1)

Jason Straight (58248) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387334)

I must have woken up in an alternate universe this morning. Their threats by product doesn't list a single Microsoft Product, nor Linux. Now I know there's got to be something for both of these.

Re:Alternate Universe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17387842)

Maybe they don't list any threats for Microsoft because they know that anyone running Windows is already p0wned?

Re:Alternate Universe (1)

Jason Straight (58248) | more than 7 years ago | (#17388358)

Could be, I mean what's the point of worrying about who might be threatening you when you've already got a gun in your mouth?

DDOS for worst site ever? (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387736)

NT

Talisker Radar (2, Informative)

bitshark (991435) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387790)

This is good, but this [securitywizardry.com] is better.

Re:Talisker Radar (1)

ninja_assault_kitten (883141) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387868)

No shit. While the value these sites provide is 'ok' at best, all the active bloat on that page makes it almost unusable.

Where's the RSS link? (1)

nostriluu (138310) | more than 7 years ago | (#17388716)


I guess the 'future of security management' was invented "War Games" era, and for some reason it's really important to have an incredibly busy display, even when nothing is going on. With the 'scrolling' information, you can't even tell anything at a glance, and there's no search. One thing is for sure, these guys seem to know nothing about information display design, although I guess I'd consider them if I needed some Flash done for a video game.

OH MY GOD IT HURTS! (1)

dekkerdreyer (1007957) | more than 7 years ago | (#17388918)

I think I just had a seizure watching that page. Too much movement.

If you just want the useful tidbit, embed the Threatcon indicator [certstation.com] .

RSS Feeds Unreadable (1)

rfunches (800928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17388930)

There are two RSS feeds, one above the ticker and one below the vulnerabilities by product, which need to be shot. The one above the ticker moves so fast you can't even read it. Did these people even preview the page before making it live?

The paranoia page (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17389092)

I was just thinking yesterday of doing a paranoia web page, aggregating warnings from various sources.

  • US DHS terrorism threat level. ("Code Yellow, or Elevated." today.)
  • DoD InfoCon threat level. ("INFOCON level 4, "Increased Vigilance in Preparation for Operations or Exercises." today.)
  • California Office of Emergency Services warnings ("...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY MORNING THROUGH LATE TUESDAY NIGHT FOR THE NORTHERN AND CENTRAL PORTIONS OF THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA..." yesterday.)
  • California Earthquake Monitor [usgs.gov] Not much happening today.
  • NOAA Tropical Storm Prediction Center [noaa.gov] . Slow day, not hurricane season.
  • California Independent System Operator power grid status. [caiso.com] Warns of power shortages and incipient blackouts. No problems today.
  • Our local threat monitor, the Palo Alto Creek Level Monitor. [palo-alto.ca.us] Water level low right now.

A web page with a good-looking version of this info, suitable for display on large screen displays, would be useful.

I don't need this -- I have a calendar (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 6 years ago | (#17390454)

All you need to know is when the next Presidential election is, and you know when the next state of alarm will sound.

Lame (1)

counterfriction (934292) | more than 6 years ago | (#17390464)

Didn't even see anything on there about blackwatch plaid... psh

stupid flash (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393938)

This would be a lot more useful if it were an RSS feed.
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