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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

More Security Analysis and Bugs

Seems as though the vast majority of traffic on the Internet is actually automated. One of the greatest ironies of what I've discovered is that those who are launching attacks are also among the most likely to be attacked as well.


There is a theory which says that due to the nature of Western society and its strong private/public split that this will compromise national security (mainly owing to the problem of oversight and resources). There may be a case for this argument but it's becoming clearer that there is a strong desire/push among Western nations for greater oversight of private enterprises (particularly, those who own or operate critical infrastructure). This may have resulted in former law enforcement/intelligence staff being increasingly involved in vendor development/manufacturing as well as recruitment (as part of their staff) as well.

An example of the apparent stronger co-operation in the attacking as opposed to the defensive side. It may actually be easier to simply go out and attempt to purchase/rent control over an existing 'botnet' then to get co-operation/help with regards to taking one down based on some of the examples that I've seen. Clearly, though you have to take the good with the bad though. I've seen cases of botnet's being sold several times over to a group of people. They offensive side seems to suffer from a stronger 'skills gaps' and though their knowledge/maturity does seem to be more 'gappy' than that of many people on the defensive side. For instance, naming conventions, mix of complex/simple, and occasional flaws in their software (I've come across some extremely primitive infections) suggests that many of them may not entirely understand what they are being involved in (offensive side has many at the lower rung, few at the middle rung, and a tiny minority at the top. This is reflected in both normal society as well as those who work in the security industry (depending on your locality).).


For those who are at the top of the offensive side, it's clear that they can often be extremely professional. They are extremely focused, efficient, takes steps to cover their tracks (diversion and anti-forensics becoming increasingly more common), have strong knowledge of the underlying platforms required/protocols and are often extremely thorough with regards to background knowledge of their target. A lot of it sometimes feels as though it may have come from insider knowledge.


A while ago I completed/submitted/published my 'Convergence' report. Since then several other studies have been conducted/completed/published. One of them was the Australian Government's 'Asian Century' whitepaper, another was from the Asian Society while another was from the United States's National Intelligence Council.


Another concept that I've been toying around with since the 'Cloud' document.


Namely, application sandboxing all the way throughout an Operating System. It will be interesting to see how it will actually play out in the real world and their implementation of the concept.

Bugs of the Week

Sega's/Sports Interactive's Football Manager Series (most of these apply to 2009 but some apply to only earlier versions)
- max age for a manager is 100 years
- taking over opposing clubs and deliberately spending complete transfer budget, increasing salary of mediocre players and selling best players to relegate/bankrupt them continues to work as a strategy against clubs you don't like
- some clubs hardcoded to be taken over to come back up? In earlier version a major club could get into trouble and then basically fall out of the game/system altogether. Some now come back up even though they seem to be in severe trouble through a buyout/takeover
- trophies, points freeze up with regards to Hall of Fame after a certain number. Number is accurately tracked in manager history though
- job offer for Assistant Manager still maintained in Transfer section even though job offer has been taken up by someone else
- had one instance of not well formed XML with regards to news creation. Have had a number of other occasions where I could not reload a saved file due to an unrelated system crash as well. More needs to be done with recovery/robustness.

Iceweasel Web Browser
Hit the pause button at the correct time/under certain circumstances during a download and you can achieve nonsensical values. For instance, I recently got 1.3 out of 1.2MB download. Investigate when I have more time.

Un-named Recruitment Website (company/more details undisclosed for security reasons)
If password mismatch error message showing up as unfilled section rather than password mismatch. CV upload race condition.

HTC Cha Cha Phone
Has a number of bugs/problems which relate to power consumption.

Generic Dynamo Powered Torch
Interesting that a rechargeable battery drained at a rate of about 0.01V/s once recharged (Opened the device and used a multimeter to track. Interesting how simple/complex some devices are once you see them disassembled.). Always knew that once Lithium based batteries hit a certain point they begin to lose storage capacity but this is the first time I've really understood just how drastic the change is.

Ending Disease and Disability/Extending Life, Prophets/Pre-Cogs, and More

On Disease/Disability/Ageing: - for interest's sake, I decided to see what it would be like to see whether realistically we can cure ...