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Comments

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The Dismal State of SATCOM Security

dave562 Re:Aren't those guys rocket scientists? (52 comments)

I know you are kidding, but the scientists who are putting the satellites into orbit are not the same group as the engineers who are designing the satellites in the first place.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

dave562 Manage by exception (290 comments)

We manage our patching process by exception. By that I mean, "bad" patches are held back and everything else goes through. I am responsible for about 1400 VMs running on 60 physical ESX hosts. We have a small subset of VMs that are representative sample of the environment. Those get patched two weeks ahead of time. If nothing goes wrong with those servers, the corresponding patches are pushed into production.

We have an exception for the web tier. Those get patched the weekend after patch Tuesday. They are higher risk due to being public facing.

We have some verbiage in our documentation that states something to the effect of, "We expect that the vendors will properly test and QA their patches before releasing them. We do not have the time to fully vet every patch before deploying it. Therefore we take the following steps to mitigate the potential damage to the environment caused by a bad patch...."

Snapshots are taken of all VMs before patching. That way in case something slips through the cracks, we can quickly roll back to a known good state.

If you need to go toe to toe with the CAB, make them provide you with a business case justification that details the perceived risk(s) and danger of not mitigating the risk. If they cannot do that, they are completely worthless.

Your counter argument then becomes, "Mitigating your perceived risk is going to take xx hours of time. If the risk were to actually occur, we would lose xx hours of time cleaning up."

At the end of the day, if the risk absolutely has to be mitigated and you do not have enough time with all of your other responsibilities, then they need to provide resources. They can do that by either assigning the task to someone else, or hiring a new employee. Ultimately that is your supervisor's call to make the business case for needing more help. All you can do is quantify the time required to comply, and then make your supervisor make a decision on what you will stop doing because you will now be dealing with the new mandate.

Try to understand where the CAB is coming from. They probably have a regulatory requirement, either because of the business that your company is in, or because of the business that your clients are in. They have to prove that they have a functional change management process. It seems like they are just going too far overboard with the process. A change management process just needs to show that people cannot make unauthorized changes to the environment whenever they feel like it. It also needs to show that changes that are made are documented. Potentially destructive changes that could impact application or service available should be discussed, or at the very least, procedures should be developed to mitigate any potential impact of a destructive change.

Meet them half way. Suggest constructive solutions to address their concerns.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

dave562 Vanity Fair (285 comments)

They have good, in depth coverage of current topics. For example, they were one of the first mainstream publications to give accurate, factual coverage of the financial crisis while it was unfolding. Their contributors write well and their editors are top notch. There are usually one to two articles worth reading every month, each about five pages.

4 days ago
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Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP?

dave562 Enough excuses already (650 comments)

If people put as much effort into getting off of XP as they spend fighting the inevitable, they would not be facing these challenges right now. Microsoft has made it quite clear that they are going to sunset the product. There have been newer, better operating systems released that provide an easy upgrade path. Unless someone is running a single core processor, Windows 7 is faster and more stable than XP.

And if the newer Microsoft OSes are sooooo terrible, "There is always Linux." (Or OSX)

These "Save XP" articles are tired and played out. Move on guys. When I read these articles, all I hear is, "Whaaaaaaa. I have procrastinated for the last five years and now I'm fucked. Save me from my own ineptitude!!!"

For a community focused on OSS and Linux. For a community that has consumed Lord only knows how many terabytes of storage bashing XP and touting the glories of ANYTHING ELSE. For a community like that, one would think that XP going EOL would be celebrated with much merriment and significant rejoicing. Oddly enough, it seems that one would be wrong.

about two weeks ago
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Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?

dave562 Re:Answer is totally obvious - content providers (490 comments)

Someone would have to convert it from the physical disk into data stored on an array somewhere. Either that, or Netflix needs to invest in a bunch of DVD juke boxes.

My point is that the video files, the files themselves, are not already sitting on spinning disks somewhere. Unless the production company has them archived, the masters are probably stored in a warehouse / data center somewhere. While those files are likely "digital", they are not in a format ready to be streamed.

about three weeks ago
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Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?

dave562 Re:Answer is totally obvious - content providers (490 comments)

That is a "classic". They have a lot of those on there. I have recently watched a few of the old Clint Eastwood classics on there recently as well. (The Good, The Bad, The Ugly. Fist Full of Dollars)

about three weeks ago
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Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?

dave562 Re:Answer is totally obvious - content providers (490 comments)

Are you a Netflix subscriber?

What you describe and reality are about 180 degrees opposite. The reality is that the older movies are DVD only. The newer stuff can be streamed.

My theory is that the newer releases are already digital and the distribution agreements are in place. To make the old DVDs available online someone would have to invest the time to shift them into digital format. Then there are the licensing agreements. Granted, licensing is a legal issue and not a technical one, but nobody is going to invest the time and money required to update the licensing terms for some obscure DVD that was released in 1997 because they know that fewer than a coupled hundred people are ever going to want to view it.

about three weeks ago
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Big Data Breaches Give Credit Monitoring Services a Boost

dave562 Pet Peeve (48 comments)

Banks and credit card companies should be monitoring accounts for fraudulent activities FOR FREE. They charge account holders monthly service fees to maintain the account. A basic tenant of maintaining the account is making sure that criminals are not racking up fraudulent charges / making fraudulent withdrawls.

The whole "credit monitoring" industry is a system of a broken system.

about a month ago
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Don't Help Your Kids With Their Homework

dave562 Establish good behaviors / patterns (278 comments)

Helping with homework is such a broad subject that stretches from answering the occasional question, to doing the assignment for the kid. Based on my limited experience, the important thing to keep in mind is helping the child develop good behaviors. Show the child that doing homework is important by setting time aside every day for homework. Be engaged with the kid and communicate with them about what is going on at school. Give them some flexibility. "What order do you want to tackle your homework in?" "Do you want to go 30 or 45 minutes between breaks?" "How much of this semester long project do you want to get done this week?"

Homework is less about mastering subject matter and more about developing good habits. Kids go to school "all day". Parents definitely work all day. Those are jobs. The people who excel in their professions are the people who put in the extra effort. Professionals who put in the extra effort usually do it because they are fortunate enough to enjoy their profession. Kids do not get that perk. They are stuck with the subjects they have to learn. A parent who comes home from work and "tunes out", implicitly communicates to the kid that doing so is acceptable behavior. The parent who comes home and helps the kid with homework sets the example that just because they've "put in their 8 hours", it does not mean that they are done with their responsibilities.

Those of us who work in IT inherently set examples of strong work ethics, by being on call all the time. The challenge is to balance the work responsibility with finding time for the family. In most cases, having the discipline to not check emails for 2 hours while helping the kid with homework helps to establish healthy boundaries with employers as well.

One last perk... it helps you get laid. Oddly enough, mothers are turned on by men who help their children succeed. Go figure.

about a month ago
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Intel Announced 8-Core CPUs And Iris Pro Graphics for Desktop Chips

dave562 AMD posts go here (173 comments)

Feel free to consolidate all of the anti-Intel, pro-AMD posts here.

I will get it started to help out.

My AMD chip runs twice as fast at half the power, overclocked to 5Ghz on air. It's totally stable. Only idiots buy Intel chips.

about 1 month ago
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Gmail Goes HTTPS Only For All Connections

dave562 Opportunistic TLS for SMTP? (141 comments)

The article briefly mentions this, but does anyone have any additional detail? Are they using opportunistic TLS on SMTP connections?

about 1 month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Will Older Programmers Always Have a Harder Time Getting a Job?

dave562 Re:Experience Matters But So Does Price (379 comments)

Earlier in the chain the point I was alluding to is that by 40 years old, presumably with 15-20 years of experience, the hypothetical coder should have enough successes under his belt that he has people to vouch for him.

I am basing all of this on my own career and 15 years of experience. I am at the point where I have people trying to hire me left and right to work on projects. That is a mixture of merit (my past successes and present capabilities), combined with who I know.

about 1 month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Will Older Programmers Always Have a Harder Time Getting a Job?

dave562 Re:Experience Matters But So Does Price (379 comments)

You do not want to work for those people. In the real world, people want employees who can get the job done. When people get hired based on personal connections, it is usually because the manager believes that they have the skills necessary to get the job done. Despite the common perception, competition for projects and jobs is fierce in the corporate world. You cannot win projects and get things done on tight timelines with a bunch of incompetents. Sure, there are losers around. I work with a few of them. They are about 10-15% of the population, and on a 5-7 year time line, 95% of them get weeded out.

The above goes for the private sector. In the public sector, forget about it. If the State of California is any indicator, personal connections and ineptitude are par for the course. My wife works for the state, and the stories that she tells me about the frustrations that she puts up with just boggle my mind sometimes.

about 1 month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Will Older Programmers Always Have a Harder Time Getting a Job?

dave562 Re:Experience Matters But So Does Price (379 comments)

I am in the same position. I have earned every job, with the exception of the summer internship at the company where my worked, when I was 15, on merit. My first IT job I got through AppleOne of all places. I was making $8 an hour. I landed in my current position through Dice.com after realizing that my last job was a dead end. I had to go through the resume screen, the interview process with a bunch of strangers I had never met, the whole nine yards.

I have seen too many people get jobs the other way, and it has made me jaded.

about 1 month ago
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Officials: NSA's PRISM Targets Email Addresses, Not Keywords

dave562 Re:keywords like terrorism (96 comments)

Mail from Bob:

Hey Alice, I have teh car bombz ready for the infidelz. You got Mallory hooked up on the jihadi kick yet? We need a driver.

about a month ago
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Officials: NSA's PRISM Targets Email Addresses, Not Keywords

dave562 Does anyone believe this? (96 comments)

The NSA has taps on the backbone, and they want us to believe that they are only searching for specific email addresses? Give me a break. Email addresses are way too easy to setup and discard. Any spy / terrorist with any modicum of trade craft training is going to go through email addresses like a fat girl goes through ice cream.

If people are really using email to coordinate attacks against the United States, then by all means go after them. But please, stop treating us like we are stupid. Do not piss on my leg and tell me it is raining. The NSA got caught, at least man up to it. What is the line the cops use? "Just tell me the truth, and I will get the DA to take it easy on you." ???

about a month ago

Submissions

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Citrix or VMware for VDI access to SaaS application?

dave562 dave562 writes  |  about 8 months ago

dave562 (969951) writes "Editors, this is for ask Slashdot.

Given the need to provide a remote desktop to clients who want speedy access to an in house, Windows based (yeah, yeah, I know, I know...) SaaS application, which vendor has the best offering, Citrix or VMware? If it matters, I am looking at a user base of 500-5000 users in the next two to three years. I come here to ask this question because I figure if anyone has really used this technology, in the wild, and lived through the boot storms, I/O challenges and other technical and administrative challenges with this technology, they are probably a /. reader.

I am currently leaning towards Citrix. Their web gateway simplifies the external access component. It also supports two-factor auth and federation. Their client is also very stable at this point and works on all devices, from desktops to laptops to tablets and smartphones. The technology is fairly secure, enough so that we can leverage it to prevent the average user from mapping drives, or printers, or otherwise exfiltrating data from the environment. While on the other side of the coin, universal driver support makes it easy to enable those features when necessary.

I am only really considering VMware because we already have the licenses for their VDI product. Based on some cursory research, it would require more investment on our time to properly configure external access for clients. They do seem to be making some strides on the resource utilization front though. Specifically I'm talking about the full and linked clones.

I am sure that there are a dozen other nuances of the two products that I have not even begun to scratch the surface of. The main driver of desktop virtualization in this case is application performance. We have hundreds of users who are using a web based app to review large documents (10-50MB each). The bandwidth costs and performance challenges of clients having disparate levels of connectivity are both alleviated by using a remote connectivity solution like Citrix / RDP."
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AAPL tracks MSFT peak for peak

dave562 dave562 writes  |  about a year ago

dave562 (969951) writes "The more things change, the more they stay the same. In 1999, Microsoft had a run up to what proved to be the company's highest market capitalization ever. Now in 2013, Apple reached similar highs. The jury is still out as to whether or not AAPL has peaked, but this article from ZeroHedge provides an overlay of the market caps of these two tech titans, and makes some suggestions about where AAPL is heading.

So Slashdot, is Apple really that different? Or does the market have a limited pool of capital to allocate to technology companies, no matter how sought after their products are?"

Link to Original Source
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Industrial Control System (ICS) Security Investment Growing Substantially

dave562 dave562 writes  |  about a year ago

dave562 (969951) writes "Smart grid industrial control systems (ICS) remain in a state of flux. Security is still viewed as a cost-limitation exercise by many utilities, and advances toward meaningful regulations remain halting. But the utility industry as a whole appears better informed of cyber risks to grids and substations, likely portending more cyber security deployments in the next one to two years. According to a new report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant's Energy Practice, the market for smart grid ICS cyber security will reach $369 million in 2012 and grow to $608 million by 2020.

Technological innovation in this market is stagnant, according to the report, and security vendors do not share a consistent view of this market. While many general-purpose security vendors have not yet seen the growth they had expected, vendors that specialize in control systems security are receiving more requests for proposals than ever. Vendor approaches to the market also vary: some strategically propose a full cyber security solution for an entire control network, while others take a more tactical approach and propose only solving specific problems. Whether taking a strategic or a tactical approach, vendors must orient their discussions with utilities around solving operational and business problems, not technical concepts.

Are any Slashdotters working in this field? What sort of approaches are you taking? Tactical fixes, or strategic solutions?"

Link to Original Source
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DoJ investigates eBook price fixing

dave562 dave562 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dave562 (969951) writes "The U.S. Justice Department's antitrust arm said it was looking into potentially unfair pricing practices by electronic booksellers, joining European regulators and state attorneys general in a widening probe of large U.S. and international e-book publishers.

A Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed that the probe involved the possibility of "anticompetitive practices involving e-book sales."

Attorneys general in Connecticut and, reportedly, Texas, have also begun inquiries into the way electronic booksellers price their wares, and whether companies such as Apple and Amazon have set up pricing practices that are ultimately harmful to consumers."

Link to Original Source
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Android cuts into Apple's margins

dave562 dave562 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dave562 (969951) writes "Reggie Middleton at BoomBustBlog offers some insightful analysis about how Android is impacting Apple's market share.



The maddening pace of Android technology development is simply too much for Apple to keep pace, or at least keep pace with while maintaining those fat margins. So what do they do? they release a marginally improved product that has yet to match the 6 month old Android flagship tech that is about to be refreshed/replaced/updated in exactly ONE WEEK!



He goes on to point out how Google has backed Apple into a corner, and they will have no choice but to cut into their fat profit margins in order to stay competitive.



Lower prices and/or higher technological bars will lead to lower margins. For those that are paying attention, it is evident that it is already happening. The disappointment felt throughout the web at the release of the iPhone 4GS was not due to Apple releasing a subpar product. It was due to Android raising the bar so high that Apple simply could not match it without busting its extremely fat (72%) margins.



What does this mean for Apple's share prices? I think the answer is obvious."

Link to Original Source
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FCC Release Broadband Report

dave562 dave562 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dave562 (969951) writes "Today the FCC released the results of their study that was focused on measuring real world broadband performance for residential customers across the United States. The study examined service offerings from 13 of the largest wireline broadband providers using automated, direct measurements of broadband performance delivered to the homes of thousands of volunteers during March 2011. Myself and many other Slashdot readers participated in the study."
Link to Original Source
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Rural broadband cost $7 million per home

dave562 dave562 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dave562 (969951) writes "In an analysis of the effectiveness of the the 2009 stimulus program (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 or ARRA), one of the programs that was investigated was the project to bring broadband access to rural America. Some real interesting numbers popped out.

Quoting the article, "Eisenach and Caves looked at three areas that received stimulus funds, in the form of loans and direct grants, to expand broadband access in Southwestern Montana, Northwestern Kansas, and Northeastern Minnesota. The median household income in these areas is between $40,100 and $50,900. The median home prices are between $94,400 and $189,000.

So how much did it cost per unserved household to get them broadband access? A whopping $349,234, or many multiples of household income, and significantly more than the cost of a home itself.""

Link to Original Source
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RIMs downward spiral continues

dave562 dave562 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dave562 (969951) writes "The always insightful and forward looking guys at Zero Hedge bring the latest details in RIMs stock valuation. Layoffs are on the horizon as RIM misses their earning targets and continues to lose ground to Apple and Android. Is RIM on the way to becoming the MySpace of the smartphone market?"
Link to Original Source
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FCC pressured to reject AT&T / T-Mobile deal

dave562 dave562 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dave562 (969951) writes "Sprint Nextel, joined by an army of thousands of consumers, have filed requests for the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to block AT&T's proposed acquisition of rival mobile carrier T-Mobile USA.

AT&T has argued that it needs T-Mobile's spectrum to keep up with growing demand for mobile broadband service. Sprint disputed that argument, saying AT&T already controls the most spectrum of any U.S. mobile carrier. AT&T is the "industry laggard" in deploying next-generation mobile broadband, a source close to Sprint said Tuesday."

Link to Original Source
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Rural broadband subsidy program wasteful

dave562 dave562 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dave562 (969951) writes "An analysis of federal broadband stimulus projects awarded by the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) finds the program’s funding of duplicative broadband networks has resulted in an extremely high cost to reach a small number of unserved households.

The study shows that the RUS’ current program is not a cost-effective means of achieving universal broadband availability.

  RUS’ prior broadband subsidy programs have not been cost effective, in part because they have provided duplicative service to areas that were already served by existing providers,"

Link to Original Source
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Social Media as a Tool for Protest

dave562 dave562 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dave562 (969951) writes "Stratfor provides good analysis and insight into the realities of using Social Media like Facebook and Twitter as revolutionary tools.

"
The role of social media in protests and revolutions has garnered considerable media attention in recent years. Current conventional wisdom has it that social networks have made regime change easier to organize and execute. An underlying assumption is that social media is making it more difficult to sustain an authoritarian regime — even for hardened autocracies like Iran and Myanmar — which could usher in a new wave of democratization around the globe. In a Jan. 27 YouTube interview, U.S. President Barack Obama went as far as to compare social networking to universal liberties such as freedom of speech.

Social media alone, however, do not instigate revolutions. They are no more responsible for the recent unrest in Tunisia and Egypt than cassette-tape recordings of Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini speeches were responsible for the 1979 revolution in Iran. Social media are tools that allow revolutionary groups to lower the costs of participation, organization, recruitment and training. But like any tool, social media have inherent weaknesses and strengths, and their effectiveness depends on how effectively leaders use them and how accessible they are to people who know how to use them.""

Link to Original Source
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China's Double-edged Cyber-sword

dave562 dave562 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dave562 (969951) writes "Stratfor analyst Sean Noonan shares his commentary on the capabilities of China's cyberwarfare capabilities, and the challenges and threats that those same capabilities bring to maintaining social order within the country.

A recent batch of WikiLeaks cables led Der Spiegel and The New York Times to print front-page stories on China’s cyber-espionage capabilities Dec. 4 and 5. While China’s offensive capabilities on the Internet are widely recognized, the country is discovering the other edge of the sword.

China is no doubt facing a paradox as it tries to manipulate and confront the growing capabilities of Internet users. Recent arrests of Chinese hackers and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) pronouncements suggest that China fears that its own computer experts, nationalist hackers and social media could turn against the government.
"

Link to Original Source
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Goldman Sachs programmer trial sealed

dave562 dave562 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dave562 (969951) writes "Goldman Sachs' lawyers have asked the Federal judge to seal the court room during the trial of Sergey Aleynikov. Aleynikov was one of the programmers who developed Goldman's High Frequency Trading (HFT) programs. What does this say about the state of the financial indudstry? Given the problems HFT seems to have caused over the last few years, shouldn't more light be shone into the dark corners of how it works?"
Link to Original Source
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Doubts on Iranian regime change via social media

dave562 dave562 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dave562 (969951) writes "Dr. Foaud Ajami was recently interviewed by Stanford University. He is a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution and the Chair of the working group on Islamism and the International Order. Among the topics discussed were Twitter and Facebook. Dr. Ajami seems skeptical about enacting regime change in Iran via the social media. He says that he is "worried about people who believe that Twitter and Facebook and so on will overthrow the Iranian regime.""
Link to Original Source
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Integrating Linux into the Microsoft Enterprise

dave562 dave562 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

dave562 (969951) writes "I have to admit that despite getting Slackware running on a 486 in the mid-1990s, I never really picked up on Linux. At this point I've realized that the handwriting is on the wall, and I need to get with the program (better late than never, right?).

My first project has been to setup Ubuntu (8.04) and get Subversion running. The Ubuntu install went flawlessly. Subversion has been a struggle, but I finally got it to work with TortoiseSVN and was able to upload files into my repository. The experience required tweaking some permissions via chmod. I've realized that I'm very uncomfortable with integrating Linux into the Windows world, and I don't have any idea of where to start.

I've read vague descriptions of OpenLDAP, and I have a feeling that I should be looking in that direction.

Can any of you recommend some good books about integrating Linux and Windows? What I am specifically interested in is being able to control the access of Windows (Active Directory) groups to resources on the Linux box. I will be looking into Samba as well, but I need to control access to more than just network file shares. For example, to be able to get TortoiseSVN to transfer (Import) files into the repository, I had to give the "world" rxw rights to some of the sub-directories in the Subversion repository. I'm fairly certain that is a huge security hole right now. In an ideal world, I would have liked to create a group in Windows, and only allow those people access to the directories. Longer term it would be great to be able to replace Active Directory with something else that can handle access controls to the Windows boxes and network file shares. Where I work Windows will never go away because of some industry specific applications, but it would be great if I can minimize the role that it plays on the backend.

Beyond books, what are some of the real world tools and solutions that you guys are using when you have to make Linux live in an Active Directory environment?

If it matters, I'm not married to Ubuntu and have already considered giving CentOS a try. I work at a shop with a heavy investment in HP hardware, and HP has great support for RHEL, so I figure CentOS will probably be a good foundation for where I am working."
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Maxtor drives contain password stealing trojans

dave562 dave562 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

dave562 writes "According to this ComputerWorld article http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9046424&intsrc=hm_list, Seagate hard drives that were assembled in Taiwan were shipped with firmware that phoned home to two servers based in China. The Chinese government is denying any involvement in the incident. The software appears to steal passwords to online gaming websites."

Journals

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Oh the irony

dave562 dave562 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

I originally started reading Slashdot because of my curiosity about Linux. I've been on the internet since the early 1990s and have been working in corporate IT since the mid-1990s. My original experience with networking in a corporate environment was Novell Netware and I've since spent most of my time using Microsoft Windows servers. In the decade plus that I've been working in IT I've developed a fairly platform agnostic approach to meeting the needs of business. It's all about the best tool for the job as far as I'm concerned.

Recently where I work we have hired a new CFO and he oversees IT. He is a big proponent of OSS software and Linux. He hates Microsoft with a passion and believes that we should be replacing Windows boxes with Linux where ever possible. He wanted to use Subversion for version control on some budget documents, and of course he wanted to run it on Linux and have SSH access into the Linux box.

Being a Linux neophyte I went ahead and downloaded Ubuntu 8.04 LTS server. I used apt-get to get all of the updated versions of the software from the repository. I configured Subversion and setup the repository for the files. I setup SSH so that the CFO could use Tortoise and Putty to remotely access the files. Everything was working well up until this morning.

My users were calling and emailing with complaints of the internet being slow. Given that we upgraded to a 7.5MB connection over the weekend, my initial thought was that something was wrong with the ISP. I checked the firewall and saw that there were 65000+ open connections and the logs were filled with warnings of SYN floods coming from the Linux box. I logged into it, ran a netstat -a and found pages upon pages upon pages of open connections on port 22 to random boxes all over the internet. Sure enough, the Linux box was completely owned and being used to attack other boxes.

I find it ironic that here I am in a Windows shop with twenty plus servers running everything from SQL to IIS to Exchange on public facing connections. I have a few boxes with exposed terminal services connections so that vendors can get in an do remote support. I put one Linux box on the network and open it up to the internet and it lasts less than three months.

I find myself remembering all of the comments about how *nix is more secure by default. How OSS software is more secure because so many people are looking at the code. Microsoft software sucks and it's a huge target that is going to crumble as soon as you plug it into the network.

I realize that in this case a lot of what happened probably has to do with my own inexperience with Linux. If I had over a decade of experience using Linux day in and day out I'm sure that I wouldn't be in the situation that I'm in right now. I do consider myself a fairly competent network admin though. I did my best to harden the box. I only exposed SSH to the internet. I downloaded all of the latest software updates from the repository using the built in apt-get mechanism. Despite all of that, the box still got owned. So I write this journal entry to point out that nothing is simple. There are a lot of zealots out there who take it for granted that their OS of choice is secure and stable. They spout off about how it is perfect for everyone, and every job and fits in every situation. They take for granted that they've forgotten so many of the glitches, the gotchas, the key workarounds that are necessary in any sort of production environment.

Every software has bugs. Every software has exploits. Every software takes a skill set tailored to the package itself in order to properly use it. There really should be licenses to use software in business environments where sensitive data is involved. Even the best intentioned admins who are doing the best that they can do are bound to miss things. They don't miss them because they are incompetent or because they are malicious. They miss them because they don't have the experience to realize that they are missing things.

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