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2012 Olympics Security to be Chosen by Sponsorship

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the bribery-it's-everywhere-you-want-to-be dept.

Security 165

denebian devil writes "In an Editorial/Blog at ITPRO, Davey Winder writes of a keynote speech at Infosecurity Europe by Member of Parliament Derek Wyatt. In this speech, which was about the IT security demands of running the 2012 London Olympics, Derek Wyatt MP dropped the bombshell that IT Security at the Olympics will hinge not on which companies show themselves to be the best in their field or to have the technology that best meets the needs of the Olympics, but rather on whether or not the companies were a 'major sponsor' of the Olympics. So who has bought their way into being the security experts of choice, and with whom our security and that of the visiting millions will rest? Visa."

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The Diebold Olympics (2, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#18940719)

Who will win the Pyrite medal?

Millions of infections (1)

packetmon (977047) | more than 7 years ago | (#18940745)

Oh the drones of people who will get infected via XSS attacks. Nice to see there will be money to be made via this stupid mechanism for choosing IT security... It wasn't too long ago (April fools this year) where Cisco via an XSS attack posted something funny [infiltrated.net] ... Can you imagine the wet dreams malware authors, virus creators, and XSS injectors are having right now.

Re:Millions of infections (3, Insightful)

numbski (515011) | more than 7 years ago | (#18940819)

Well, in an attempt to NOT be cynical...at least Visa would have plenty of experience on the topic. Just because they are a huge, near-monopolistic entity doesn't mean they would be inept at choosing security. Granted, it's a pretty lame way to choose, but you have to admit, if anyone has experience on the subject...

We always hear about the big hacks, we don't hear about the countless failed attempts though. Give credit where credit is due. (and make sure it's Visa©, as it's everywhere you want to be!) ;)

Most to lose (3, Insightful)

CustomDesigned (250089) | more than 7 years ago | (#18940919)

The policy is not completely loony. The biggest sponsors have the most to lose monetarily from a serious problem. The problem is that when corporations get too big, they seem no longer capable of acting rationally in their own financial best interest (e.g. Sony, Microsoft long term), so the profit motive loses effectiveness.

Re:Most to lose (1)

sexyrexy (793497) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941893)

That's not necessarily always true - companies larger than Sony or Microsoft, such as GE, continually make incredible strides in short-term and long-term profitability.

Re:Millions of infections (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941357)

Just because they are a huge, near-monopolistic entity doesn't mean they would be inept at choosing security.

While there may not be a provable causative link, I think that the past few decades have demonstrated empirically that huge corporations seem to do crummily at the whole security thing.

Re:Millions of infections (3, Interesting)

magarity (164372) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941907)

the past few decades have demonstrated empirically that huge corporations seem to do crummily at the whole security thing
 
It's also show that government beauracracies do just as poorly or even worse. So what is one to do? At least the corporations seem to waste a little bit less money doing security poorly.

Re:Millions of infections (5, Informative)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941979)

I still maintain that Visa is responsible for killing advances in credit security, rather than their current wrong-headed PCI approach to "enhance" them.

A decade ago, Mastercard came up with the Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) protocol. This protocol cryptographically ensured the security of credit card data, and was designed to be implemented in hardware at the retailers. Each one of those PIN pads is capable of participating in the SET protocol.

Visa killed it, because it rendered them irrelevant.

Visa itself isn't a credit lender. Visa is a commercialized industry group, very similar to the RIAA, providing a common badge to paste on the front of thousands of banks, and a common mode of operation for those banks. When you get a Visa card, it looks and acts like any credit card from any of the member banks. That's important because you (and the merchants you shop at) trust that if your card has a Visa logo that it will be honored. Back in the late 70s, that was vitally important because most credit commerce was conducted off-line. But now that we have ubiquitous electronic networks and everyone authorizes credit cards before accepting them, that logo means almost nothing. Now, it's a question of "does the merchant trust that they'll get paid?" The Visa logo lets the cashier know that his store does (or does not) trust the bank on the other end of the transaction. It assures the merchant that yes, this Visa member bank will pay them. But with a fully online transaction, the payment could happen automatically and securely. The merchant wouldn't care where the card came from, since the authorization went directly to the customer's bank, and their bank transferred their money instantly before the customer even walked out the door. There would be no need for intermediaries to skim their transaction fees for operating a special bank-only network, as the secured transactions themselves could take place over any public network.

This would have killed Visa. Instead, they swept SET under the rug and we've been dealing with phony cards and ID theft ever since. Now, they have a program called PCI-CISP, and it's used by Visa to deflect the blame to the merchants for leaking stolen data.

Re:Millions of infections (1)

MrBugSentry (963105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942045)

I read it as "security determined by sponsorship" as "security will be handled by whoever does it for free."

This should be good (4, Funny)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#18940783)

I look forward to seeing guards dressed as Ronald McDonald and Mayor McCheese handing out the medals.

This should not be a surprise (4, Insightful)

rbanzai (596355) | more than 7 years ago | (#18940797)

Business goes to those who spend the most money. It is not based on ability. Why? Because there is no accountability on either end of the process. Unless a company is threatened with the possibility of personal punishment for corporate stupidity then there are only rewards for this kind of system. If a business suffers or fails due to this kind of dumbness those responsible will just get a job somewhere else and leave the mess to someone else.

Re:This should not be a surprise (4, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18940947)

In the news tonight the Microsoft security teams missed a bomber at the Olympics village that killed 32 olympians.

Microsoft said they will be issuing a patch next tuesday to fix the problem.

Re:This should not be a surprise (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942039)

You have been watching the Wrong channel(TM).

Instead of watching Comedy Central you should actually watch the news.

And on the news Ivan Slavkov has been completely exonerated and reinstated as a member of the International Olympic Comitee. After all his behaviour strictly adheres to the standards of this venerable institution and he is a shining example of how this institution functions and how the decisions in it have always been taken, are taken and will be taken for the forseable future.

Re:This should not be a surprise (1)

k1e0x (1040314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941325)


Yes, that's right.

But the problem is not business.. its that they are allowed to incorporate in the first place. What that does it creates a "legal fiction" called a corporation and in essence this is protection for the people that run it.

"Its not *my* fault.. its the fictitious corporation persons fault."

I'm very pro business but governments have created special laws for rich people so that they can engage in questionable business practices.. and its wrong.

Re:This should not be a surprise (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941677)

The problem is that if you try to go without corporations, then who in their right mind would put themselves at risk of running a large corporation. Who's fault is it when something goes wrong. If I own a company, and all the risk is placed on my own personal assets, what happens when a patent lawsuit is brought up against the company and they have to liquidate all their assets? I surely wouldn't want that kind of risk, knowing I could lose everything. It gets even more complicated, when you have a publicly traded company. What happens when the company has to liquidate their assets? If the shareholders are the owners, then do they have to liquidate all their assets as well?

Re:This should not be a surprise (2, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941845)

Well, why shouldn't you be responsible for your deeds ? I'll make an analogy: If the company kills someone, then you could only sue the company, and not the person behind it ... this creates LAWLESSNESS.

Re:This should not be a surprise (3, Insightful)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942293)

Well, why shouldn't you be responsible for your deeds ? I'll make an analogy: If the company kills someone, then you could only sue the company, and not the person behind it ... this creates LAWLESSNESS.
The problem is not unique to corporations... the same thing exists with governments, churches, political parties, etc.

Should we arrest the pope for illegal activity done by a priest?

Should we arrest you for the illegal activity done by your mayor?

Should we arrest all members of a political party because some are involved in corruption?

Limits to liability are not unique to corporations. They exist for nearly any large collective of people. When I can sue you for violating my constitutional rights when you vote for censorship, or gun control, or the patriot act, or for being a member of a church that engaged in brutal crusades in the middle ages (or have you charged criminally), then that is the day you can sue me for owning a handful of shares of microsoft.

Re:This should not be a surprise (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942309)

The problem is that if an employee of the company kills someone, and the company gets sued, then the owner of the company would be the own losing out. The reason corporations exist is because if you are the owner of the company, you can't really control everything that happens with the company. If you own a car company, you can't oversee every design aspect that goes into each car. Therefore, while you can do your best to try to stop bad things from happening, you don't have complete god-like control over the entire corporation. How would the stock market work if there was no corporations? Buying stock is buying part of a company, if companies cease to exist, then so does the stockmarket. And as for the employees of a company being unable to lose anything from their mis-deeds, you might want to read about Jeffrey Skilling [wikipedia.org] .

Duh, it's the olympics. (5, Insightful)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18940823)

This should surprise nobody, as the olympics themselves are typically given to the city that spends the most $$ and bribes the most IOC officials.

Re:Duh, it's the olympics. (1)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941039)

Apparently slashdot has some IOC members as mods. Regardless, the Salt Lake City olympics were largely "bought," as well as numerous other games over the years.

Re:Duh, it's the olympics. (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941169)

Why anyone bothers with this nationalistic jingoistic drug-fest is quite beyond me. There bringing the whole show to Vancouver in 2010, and we the local taxpayers are on the hook for all the cost overruns. Most of us won't be attending anyways, so the whole thing is a real joke on the unlucky souls who get to foot the bill.

If they are going to have this stupid over-blown sportsfest, then why don't they just build a permanent facility, say, in Greece (that funny place where it actually began) and then fire every one of those corrupt, worthless bastards in the IOC.

Re:Duh, it's the olympics. (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941389)

That's a little unfair. Hosting the Olympics can totally transform a city's economy. After all, look at what's happened to Sarajevo since it hosted the Olympics in 1984!

Re:Duh, it's the olympics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18941649)

It does change local economy. The poor, rundown shithole (Leyton) that the Olympics is being built next too has had house prices go through the roof, and land that should have been used for affordable housing has been sold for crap loads of money.

So all the poor people can be kicked out. Woo Hoo!

Re:Duh, it's the olympics. (2, Interesting)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941755)

Salt Lake City cleared all of the homeless out of their downtown area prior to the Olympics, and they still haven't returned in the numbers they were in before. I don't know what they did with all of them, but I was in SLC in 2000, and again in 2003, and there were far more homeless people the first time. It was really nice being able to go into one of the downtown malls without being hassled by a homeless guy, but you do sort of wonder where they all went.

Re:Duh, it's the olympics. (3, Informative)

Rasit (967850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941839)

Salt Lake City cleared all of the homeless out of their downtown area prior to the Olympics, and they still haven't returned in the numbers they were in before. I don't know what they did with all of them,[...]

They were relocalised to a sunny vacation spot. Nothing else happened to them, the fact that the local schools was sold some very cheap steak around that time is completely coincidental.

Now stop asking questions about it or you will wake up with a goat head in your bed. (The mafia outsourced the horse head department to Sony)

Re:Duh, it's the olympics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18942111)

I thought the local schools were sold very cheap pork (with "the other, other white meat" on the label).

Re:Duh, it's the olympics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18941933)

The missing homeless? Sold them off to gay mormons in rural areas for use as extra "wives".

Hey, don't complain to me. Taking aliens living among you to be slaves is right there in the Bible.

They're in California [Love] (1, Funny)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942369)

California...
Is nice to the homeless.
California-nya-nya, super cool to the homeless.

In the city!!
City of Santa Monica.
Lots of Rich people, giving change to the homeless.

In the city!!
City of Brentwood, they take really good care,
Of all their homeless.

In the city!!
Marina Del Ray. They're so nice to the homeless. Built the port-a-potties!

Re:Duh, it's the olympics. (1)

Uthic (931553) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942021)

Well your point aside, there was a major conflict in that region, if I recall Sarajevo saw some action (how I learned of the place as a kid actually :P)

Re:Duh, it's the olympics. (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942151)

Yah, I got that joke from the Simpsons.

Kent Brockman on the Olympics at Springfield: Springfield is expecting an economic boom from the Olympics like the one Sarajevo experienced after the '84 Olympics

Re:Duh, it's the olympics. (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941497)

Don't blame the olympics. Blame the media for putting up the lamest events on tv. There are so many, like shooting and fencing that are rarely aired. I don't know about Canada but we (US) like to only show events where we have a good chance for gold.

   

Re:Duh, it's the olympics. (3, Informative)

Bazman (4849) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942169)

Plenty of shooting on US tv. Its called 'The News'.

Re:Duh, it's the olympics. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941753)

I was under the impress that the olympics made money for the cities, even including the cost of building venues. Although I think that Atlanta was the first city to make money. From my understanding, it's quite easy to make money once you sell it as a big ad-fest.

Re:Duh, it's the olympics. (1)

martinmarv (920771) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942051)

The 2010 Olympics is a "Winter Olympics". Good luck holding one of those in Greece!

Re:Duh, it's the olympics. (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942279)

Why anyone bothers with this nationalistic jingoistic drug-fest is quite beyond me.

Money. All those tourists coming to watch the Olympics spend money on hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, souveniers, etc. Everything a hundred thousand foreigners spend during a couple of weeks now belongs to the host country, and what's more, they'll go back home and tell their friends what a nice city you have, and maybe come back again themselves as well. The four billion people watching on television might be tempted too.

There bringing the whole show to Vancouver in 2010, and we the local taxpayers are on the hook for all the cost overruns. Most of us won't be attending anyways, so the whole thing is a real joke on the unlucky souls who get to foot the bill.

Yes, but most of the money that is spent remains in the local economy, so even though the taxpayer might lose out superficially, the country as a whole profits.

why is this on slashdot? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18940839)

This impacts none of you nerds. Everyone here has asthma.

Re:why is this on slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18941961)

I have asthma. I have also won two national cross country championships.

Re:why is this on slashdot? (1)

false_cause (1013577) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942163)

Maybe you should try giving your sense of humor a workout.

The 2012 Olympic Games... (3, Funny)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18940849)

...brought to you by Nissan... VISA... JP Morgan Chase... Al Qaeada...

Re:The 2012 Olympic Games... (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941351)

I look forward to following the athletic exploits of our beloved corporate representatives...I mean our American atheletes.

Visa are extremely qualified for the job (2, Funny)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#18940853)

Visa are of course an extremely qualified company to look after the IT security of the games however. Regardless of anything else they would be amongst the top couple of contenders anyway.

Re:Visa are extremely qualified for the job (2, Funny)

Moofie (22272) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941415)

What color is the sky on your planet?

Re:Visa are extremely qualified for the job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18942083)

Why, it's a bit grey as I look out of my Paddington Office ....

Oooh, what a giveaway...!!!

Re:Visa are extremely qualified for the job (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942365)

It's a blue sky today here on Earth. What about your planet?

i do not see the problem with this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18940855)

What is wrong getting services from one of your
major sponsors?

Do you really think the security company is
any different then the rest? They all know how
to lock down a windows or a unix box. They all
know how to audit code for possible problems.

Lets ask the slashdot fanboys if they think this
site, slashdot.org is secure? Did it take a rocket
scientist to get it that way?

the editors sure want to make it seem like security
is a tough thing to get a handle on. computers are
so blaise now days.

Zonk, please stop misrepresenting via headline (5, Insightful)

rbanzai (596355) | more than 7 years ago | (#18940859)

Zonk, your persistent use of misleading headlines to stir up the posters is unprofessional. This is only the latest in a long string.

Your headline says "2012 Olympics Security to be Chosen by Sponsorship" and with security such an issue of course the reader will at first believe that it is PHYSICAL security in question.

You know damn well this is not the case. I am just one of the many who want you to start showing a little class and write headlines that accurately reflect the story, not the inflammatory fiction that you would prefer.

This is a technology site and this is a technology story. To fancy that it is anything else is an extravagance on your part, unprofessional and in the end, juvenile.

Re:Zonk, please stop misrepresenting via headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18940991)

unprofessional and in the end, juvenile

Ah, yes, that's pretty much sums up most of slashdot, doesn't it.

Re:Zonk, please stop misrepresenting via headline (2)

Fifty Points (878668) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941233)

the reader will at first believe that it is PHYSICAL security in question.

Yes, because it's not like this is some sort of tech or IT news on IT.Slashdot.org

Re:Zonk, please stop misrepresenting via headline (4, Interesting)

rbanzai (596355) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941587)

It does not free him from the responsibility of writing an accurate headline instead of one he has written to deliberately misrepresent the content, his frequent approach. For a recent example check out this whopper: "HP Stops Selling Printers, Starts Selling Prints." (http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/04/19/16920 8)

Of course HP is not going to stop selling printers. But why let that stop him from writing a headline to make the story seem far more significant than it really is? Instead of letting the story stand on its own merit he needs to cook it.

And no, I'm not going to filter out his stories because I reserve the right to challenge him every time he does it, watering down one of my favorite websites with his bungled content.

Re:Zonk, please stop misrepresenting via headline (1)

Sherloqq (577391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942295)

Eh, c'mon, this is Slashdot, what do you expect? First-class journalism? Pfft.

Besides, even techies look for a little sensationalism in their headlines. They have to deal with boring IT stuff on a regular basis, fer cryin' out loud. A catchy headline makes their pulse quicken. And in a lot of cases, that's the most exercise their cardiovascular systems get all day. You could say, Zonk's doing their health a favor.

Re:Zonk, please stop misrepresenting via headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18941255)

Simple solution to the zonk crap. Just remove all his posts from your preferences. Once enough people do it, he'll either grow up or get the boot.

But then who would post the daily anti sony "articles"?

MOD PARENT UP (4, Interesting)

rockout (1039072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941825)

I, for one, get Slashdot stories via an RSS live bookmark on Firefox, and I don't know that the headline refers to a story at it.slashdot.org - I have to agree that Zonk's headline is extremely misleading, as when I see "Olympics" and "security" I immediately assume the headline refers to physical security.

Ah, Smell that? (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18940873)

That's Capitalism, bucko!

Re:Ah, Smell that? (4, Insightful)

k1e0x (1040314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941217)



No its not, its Corruption.

Corporations are an affront to the free market. Governments have allowed rich people to create legal fiction to protect themselves if there business were to do something questionable. Laws allowing people to incorporate and receive such special protection are wrong and not part of pure Capitalism.

What if something does happen.. So you think the "security company" will be head accountable for providing poor security? Unlikely.. maybe the CEO will retire with a large payout.. err.. I mean "step down" .. In a pure capitalism society that man would be liable not the fictions corporation.

Re:Ah, Smell that? (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941373)

People who'd have to take responsibility for their actions? OMG, say it ain't so.

Thanks for that rant -- its nice to know at least two of us believe people ought to be held accountable for their own actions.

PS to everyone -- your work place is not the military. You are not taking orders. You are a human being. If you think what you're asked to do is wrong or stupid, say so, fix it, come out in public, do something, don't just let Bob (random dude -- no offense to Bobs of the world) do it instead.

Even if it IS the military (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18941401)

you should not undertake illegal action.

Re:Even if it IS the military (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18941445)

Poppycock. Once the legal system itself is corrupted (e.g. by the introduction of artificial "legal persons"), illegal action is required.

Re:Ah, Smell that? (1)

mangastudent (718064) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941727)

Corporations are an affront to the free market. Governments have allowed rich people to create legal fiction to protect themselves if there business were to do something questionable. Laws allowing people to incorporate and receive such special protection are wrong and not part of pure Capitalism.

Corporations allow people rich and poor to invest in an enterprise without putting their entire net and future worth on the line. They may not be your idea of "pure Capitalism", but I think they are an acceptable imperfect solution to a real problem. And the non-rich have a lot of money invested in corporations, at least in the US (e.g. through defined contribution retirement plans).

Get rid of corporations? Get rid of most of the investments in businesses. Experience shows that this will reduce them to family run companies that only trust blood relatives to run them, since there is so much on the line (and will often buy protection from the government for the same reason).

The traditional Chinese company and its manifest limitations show the problems with this approach. For one thing, in this business model you can't hire outsiders who have domain knowledge in a area none of your family members have acquired. Look at Wang after the father put one of his sons in charge of R and D; I had a friend working in that part of Wang in 1980 or so, and knew they were doomed back then....

Sorry, but I'll take widely distributed wealth imperfectly but legally gained over the poverty and whatever benefits you imagine are gained by your "pure Capitalism"....

Re:Ah, Smell that? (1)

k1e0x (1040314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942167)

I don't claim to have an answer to the problem. The system we have is so backwards from what it should be.. I'm not really sure a fix is possible.

I never said we should "Get rid of corporations?". Destroying all corporations would never work. I like large corporations for the most part.. but issues like "MySpace China" With there "report disruption of social unity" reporting tools is not surprising because large corporations don't have home nations, they exist in the nations they conduct business. We should try to find some way to make them more liable however.. this will likely involve removing laws and not adding them.

There may be some sort of "natural limit" as to how large a company can become.. It *is* larger than a "family business" though. There are many private companies that have billions in revenue.

I think people invest so that they can try to save there money.. the reason they just can't put it in a bank is because reckless government spending is causing practically a 10% inflation rate.. so you invest to beat that. More people are investing today than ever before and.. oddly enough government spending is at an all time high. I don't know how long it will be before that system breaks but it will break some day, and those investments will disapear for a lot of people..

Just an FYI. (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941741)

I was trying to be sarcastic.

I actually agree with you.

Can't Wait (3, Funny)

styryx (952942) | more than 7 years ago | (#18940941)

I hope there's going to be some funny messages popping up on the screens on live TV.

You couldn't buy that kind of comedy...Oh, wait; nevermind.

Why is this a problem (2, Insightful)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 7 years ago | (#18940951)

Have you checked what industry visa is in ? Obviously they know a thing or two about both physical and electronic security.

That they succeeded in the banking business obviously means they know to strike a good balance between security and costs. And that's exactly what the olympics is looking for.

Re:Why is this a problem (0, Troll)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941201)

Have you checked what industry visa is in ? Obviously they know a thing or two about both physical and electronic security.

No, Visa has decided that 'some' breakins are OK, as long as it doesn't rise to the point of impacting profits. At the Olympics, having 'some' breakins, physical or other, is not acceptable.

Re:Why is this a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18941347)

Yes, Visa choose to accept some aspects of the risk related to the misuse of their infrastructure, but that's because it makes economic sense for them (changing their entire infrastructure would be too costly, so they prefer to assume the risk of fraud up to a point). Nothing indicates that the same calculation would be made in the context of the olympics.

Re:Why is this a problem (3, Insightful)

PTBarnum (233319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941985)

I'm not sure what your point is. All security involves balancing risk and cost; spending too much on security is no better than spending too little on security. If I spend $10 to prevent $5 in losses, I'm being foolish.

In the context of the Olympics, you can have perfect Olympic security by simply not having any Olympics. Otherwise there is always a risk of either electronic or physical intrusions. Somebody has to evaluate the risks and the damage they could cause, evaluate to what extent a given security plan mitigates that risk, and decide if the expected damage reduction is worth the cost of the security.

For example, consider the possibility that somebody is able to hijack the Olympics home page, and it takes an hour to fix the problem. Such a defacement is clearly not "acceptable", but what is it worth? Would they pay $1 to prevent it? Almost certainly. Would they pay $1,000,000,000 to prevent it? Probably not.

Re:Why is this a problem (1)

TheZax (641389) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942247)

In the context of the Olympics, you can have perfect Olympic security by simply not having any Olympics.

That is the equivalent of a Denial Of Service Attack. Destroying something is not the same as securing it. And definitely not the definition of securing it perfectly. Find a different analogy, that one doesn't work here.


I won't even touch the "spending too much on security is no better than spending too little on security" part...

Re:Why is this a problem (1)

toomz (175524) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942097)

Visa has decided that 'some' security failures are OK due to the nature of the business they're in. They're trying to deliver a relatively secure service to billions of people who do stupid things like drop their credit cards, write PIN numbers on post-it notes, naively enter personal information into phishing sites, and so on. If they were to adopt a fail proof security system if such a thing were even indeed possible, credit cards would likely be so inconvenient as to be rejected by the majority of consumers.

The olympic IT system I suspect consists of a substantially lower number of accounts.

I also fail to see how having 'some' breakins is not acceptable. There is *always* the possibility of a security breech, no matter who designs the system. What does the IT system at the olympics have which is so much more important to protect than mountains of consumer debt? Gymnastics scores? Visa can't prevent those from being grossly manipulated anyway... Or maybe the results of the 100m. I can hear the announcement now... Ladies and gentlemen, despite what all of you just witnessed, our computers say the lead runner actually took longer to finish the race, so we'll be awarding the medal to the second guy to cross the finish line.

Re:Why is this a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18941355)

That they succeeded in the banking business obviously means they know to strike a good balance between security and costs.

Costs? They don't bear any of the cost of their insecurity. If someone obtains a card fraudulently or steals a card number or just gets buyer's remorse, they simply take the money back from the hapless merchants.

With a credit card company in charge of (IT) security, I fully expect to see something go completely and horribly wrong, and then Visa just expecting everyone else to foot the bill for fixing it.

Revealing admission (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18940981)

This is a really important story IMHO. It reveals what we have known for years, that the entire "security culture" and the "war on terror" is a sham.
The Olympics are a genuine major target for any evil groups with a grudge, it's global publicity for them to mount an attack and IT security as a vital part of an overall defence. What we see here is proof beyond any doubt that governments are playing on our fears to feed privileged security contractors who have sprung up since 9/11 and continue to milk the public. This is outrageous and shamelessly corrupt behaviour. Hopefully nothing bad will happen, but if it does I hope everyone remembers that security was chosen by nepotistic back rubbing, that a record of the culprits is kept and they go to jail for negligence.

Um, that actually makes sense. (0)

kabocox (199019) | more than 7 years ago | (#18940989)

Come on that actually makes some sort of sense. Let the folks that are already paying for the Olympics be incharge of the security. Visa sounds like a good choice. After actually reading the article, I was surprised. They article writer wants the UK government to pay a billion or so for the Olympic security. Hmm, which would you rather have, your tax payer money going for the Olympics security, (which you may or may not actually care about), or a known sponser for the Olympics paying the bill?

Come on this guy lists two possible techs and then mentions that it's an existing Olympic rule that sponsers only need apply, which sounds like if they want their products in then they need to sponser the Olympics.

I'm sorry, but Visa is one of the few companies that I'd actually be willing to trust on security. Would you want Nokia or the London Public Transient Authority responsible for your security?

Utter rubbish (1)

Calibax (151875) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941537)

You really need to read the article again.

The writer says that the Member of Parliament who broke the news (that International Olympic Committee chose VISA for IT security) doesn't see why the British Government should pay one billion pounds for security. Presumably because they didn't select the contractor. I don't see where you get the idea that Visa is paying for security - they are profiting from their investment in sponsoring the games by being paid to handle IT security.

I don't know if Visa is qualified or not. They certainly have made some less than stellar business choices in allowing a certain level of fraud in their normal business so long it doesn't impact profits unduly.

But that's not the point. The Olympic Games are a significant terrorist target, and the business of protecting them should be awarded on the basis of best and most suitable technology. The article points out a couple of technologies that might be useful but were not considered because they are marketed by companies who are not sponsors. That is flat wrong.

Re:Utter rubbish (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941865)

The writer says that the Member of Parliament who broke the news (that International Olympic Committee chose VISA for IT security) doesn't see why the British Government should pay one billion pounds for security. Presumably because they didn't select the contractor. I don't see where you get the idea that Visa is paying for security - they are profiting from their investment in sponsoring the games by being paid to handle IT security.

I've been trying to re-read the article, but now its a register to read. From what I recall on my first read through though, the UK government wasn't paying any, but the security was going to cost billion. It did sound like Visa was paying that and the writer was wanting the UK to pay it. If it did say that the UK government was paying, then it wasn't very clear on that.

Sorry, but it said that Visa the sponser was providing security. That generally would mean that Visa were paying for said security. How I read it, was that the MP was complaining because the UK wasn't paying the billion for security and wasn't in charge of said security and was seriously pissed at that. I just kinda of blinked that the UK MP wanted to take on the cost and burden myself.

General Olympics (1)

Fastball (91927) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941087)

The Olympics lost their way when NBC (owned by General Electric) and Dick Ebersol "monetized" them. Now, they're all about lining up sponsors and corporate sponsorships. The television audience gets more athletes' backstories that they can have a cry over than compelling competitions. That's how it is. Money and mediocrity are always seeking an equilibrium with each other.

Re:General Olympics (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941219)

But some good comes of it... in fact, my Grandma and Uncle had Coke convert a couple hundred hours worth of home video footage from whatever camera Grandma and Grandpa had to VHS for the '84 Olympics... of course, they wanted her personally taken footage of the '32 Olympics opening ceremonies (Grandma was secretary to the GM of the '32 Olympics), but we weren't quite sure which reel they were on. So Coke converted all of it for us. Way cool.

Overblown (2, Insightful)

Moggyboy (949119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941131)

I'm utterly amazed that any of you are surprised or outraged by this. With an Olympic Games staging costing host cities billions of dollars, it's a no-brainer that they'll pander to the whims of any company willing to subsidize this cost, and thus reduce the organising committee from having to pull all of the funding out of taxpayers dollars.

It's just business kids, get over it.

Re:Overblown (1)

nasch (598556) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941733)

they'll pander to the whims of any company willing to subsidize this cost
I didn't see anything about Visa subsidizing the costs in the article. It said the UK govt is paying a billion dollars for security, but I don't remember any mention of Visa chipping in. Did I miss it?

Visa... (1)

spammeister (586331) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941181)

It's everywhere your security wants to be.

Re:Visa... (3, Funny)

Mantaman (948891) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941327)

Ticket for Olympics for 2012 £1500. Over priced food £200 for a hot dog. Getting nuked in the arena because there isnt any security .. PRICELESS :)

Easy to avoid (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941573)

If you see a flashing red laser dot on the ground, run!

I just wonder (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941213)

how much sponsorship Diebold has put out toward the Olympic Games?

Well. (1)

ccarter (15555) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941223)

Well I don't like the potential precedence this sets but atleast some one competent won out. If you've ever had to work with Visa (I have) then you know they are the most positively anal retentive group about security on the planet.

More Money = Better (1)

ColeonyxOnline (966334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941247)

Common knowledge says, if a person (or a company) has a lot of money, they are better than the ones what don't have as much money. If you agree with it or not, doesn't matter, that's how it works.

Look at the news, some dumb smuck that can make million of dollars is treated like king, with people (paparatises) following them around taking pictures of everything they do.

Does it matter the person that person is an ass 90% of the time? nope. Does it matter the person the person can barely speak in public? Not in the least. Does it matter she was a whore, died in car crash because her and everyone inside the car were drunk? Nahhh, she was princess.

To me, the article doesn't show anything new...

What a horrible idea (0, Troll)

joeszilagyi (635484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941269)

I mean, honestly. This is like society endorsing Halliburton-style shenanigans.

Not Surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18941287)

The Olympics is about making money, not doing what is "best." A big part of making money is making the sponsors happy. I have intimate knowledge of the sports timing (photo-finish) market. The "official timer" of the Olympics (either Omega or Seiko) provides the photo-finish equipment rather than the company with the best product for the job. Why they think a company that makes watches knows anything about high speed line scan photography is beyond me.

Commercialization (2, Insightful)

ZeroConcept (196261) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941317)

Modern Olympics are a distant image from the virtuous competition they once were, commercialization has saturated any space it had for admiration. To the athletes kudos for enduring this, to the management shame on their lack of ethics.

sounds like (1)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941383)

Sounds like putting a band together based on how it looks....

A Sponsorships Is OK, Just Not This Way (2, Interesting)

Phat_Tony (661117) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941417)

Evaluating security products effectively can be very difficult and expensive. I have no problem with them doing this by sponsorship. But they shouldn't just hand over technical security to whoever happens to be the biggest advertising sponsor, even if it's McDonalds or Microsoft or someone else who doesn't know anything about it. They should solicit bids for a security sponsor. That is, companies place bids separately to run the security services for the Olympics. These bids could be positive (they pay the Olympics) or negative (how much the Olympics has to pay them), along with a proposal explaining what they will do to keep things secure and their experience in the field, etc. They also get a certain amount of advertising on things, "Olympic IT Security Provided by Whoever." If the ads say "Olympic Security Provided by Symantec," and the headlines are "Olympic Security in Shambles; website defaced, credit card numbers stolen, official Olympic records changed," this isn't so good for the company. Realizing this potential ahead of time, in placing bids, security companies will have a very strong incentive to submit competent proposals.

Visa isn't tied in so much in this way, because their bijillion ads won't specify that they're handling security. Also, if they got this by favoritism based on advertising sponsorship, and not based on competitive bids, then the Olympics is probably paying them too much for what they're getting.

Coulda been worse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18941439)

Coulda added a 't' to visa.

yeah. yeah I went there.

Is this a social project test? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18941443)

A commercial venture going for the highest bidder? Notice how the submitted text is slanted towards: of course the Right thing to do it to hire the best company for the job!

Instead, the text could have read: Visa won bidding-round for securing the IT infrastructure during the Olympics, but then again, it would not be news.

So next time you read ANY news article, ask yourself: What is the bias here? You will always find some prejudice and some bias, that many people actually physically involved will just shake their head and state something along the lines of: newspapers never cover the actual happenings, but just scandals and crisis.

Spirituality will always lift up people.

wow (1)

Bandman (86149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941487)

Glad I don't have tickets to that.

You may well have missed the World Cup last year (1)

simong (32944) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941495)

Mastercard were the official credit card and tickets and souvenirs from official shops and sites could only be bought with Mastercard. Just wait until McDonalds twig to that one...

Obligatory Simpsons Paraphrase (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941511)

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Laissez-faire capitalism simply does not work.

Re:Obligatory Simpsons Paraphrase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18941821)

I, for one, would like to welcome our uber-wealthy security overlords.

Oh the irony ... (1)

Ravensfire (209905) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941719)

And during the Atlanta Summer games, and the Salt Lake City Winter games, the US was berated for "excessive sponsorship" and being "too commercial".

-- Ravensfire

As long as it isn't... (1)

nusuni (994260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941877)

Heck, as long as the sponsor isn't HP everything will work fine. Last thing we need is for them to spy on everyone...

Happening Closer to Home... (1)

esobofh (138133) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941901)

The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver had a very similar situation (probably more than one). TELUS, the major telco in BC/Alberta is a founding sponsor of the olympics, providing massive amounts of support, arranging charity events and driving the process to get the olympics to BC. In the end though.. a non local company with more $$$ (Bell) took the win with more advertising $$ pledged.

They'll subcontract out what they don't know (2, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18941949)

Visa will be the general contractor. They'll do what they know how to do and farm out the rest.

...and Have Your Tech Stolen (1)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942453)

I doubt the big players want to handle this. Who wants all your security hardware, software and setup techniques stolen?

Oh I don't know. (1)

goldcd (587052) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942469)

This seems like a fine idea.
If you're a large international you don't want to fail in public.
If you are going to fail in public, then you really don't want to do it on possibly the largest platform on the planet - especially after you've paid for the privilege of climbing onto it.
Don't think of it as sponsorship, think of it as a gigantic security deposit paid upfront.
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