— Poaching and gamekeeping
— The botherder's customer
— Of masturbating monkeys
— Damn the DNS
Ob. Joss Whedon plug
Apple hasn't got Dr Horrible in its Aussie/NZ iTunes stores though...
Poaching and gamekeeping
The law can be a donkey's bottom at times, we know that. That combined with an apparent lack of basic ethics within the Police force, digital vandals like Owen Walker, or "Akill", can look forward to a career path that goes something like this:
1) Hang out on the #cr4X0rz IRC channel
2) Get sent 1337 c0d3Z by someone in there
3) Disseminate said malware all over the Intarweb
4) Cause damage and misery for millions
5) Earn loadsamoney by being a spammer for hire
6) Get caught
7) Appear all over media as a fiendishly clever cyber terrorist
8) Walk without a conviction
9) Get offered a cushy job with the cops
If you're a bored teenager with nothing going on for you at school and generally unemployable, that's not so bad, is it? This is sour grapes, perhaps, coming from an anonymous member of the err, hacking fraternity (not being sexist, it's entirely male dominated), but Walker's claim to fame apparently stems from using three-year-old malware code that he was given by someone else and left largely unadapted.
Even if Walker is "at the top of his field" as head of the police e-crime lab Maarten Kleintjes claims, it's hard to see how his treatment will be construed as anything else than encouragement for others. Years ago, the anti-virus bods debated quite vigorously whether hiring VXers was a good idea. They quite rapidly came to the consensus that it wasn't. How can you trust someone who intentionally set out to cause damage through surreptitious and deceptive means? You can't.
Incidentally, if Walker was that good, I doubt Kleintjes and Co would've caught him.
The botherder's customer
If you want some insight into the world that Walker and friends inhabit, read about Robert Soloway of Seattle. Soloway was a prolific spammer who had been going for a long while before his arrest.
One of Soloway's spamming methods was to hire virus writers who would use malware to hijack people's computers and turn them into "zombies" and become part of botnets. Does that sound familiar? Oddly enough, the US Feds aren't keen on offering Soloway a job...
Of masturbating monkeys
Good old Linus. He just started another global Intarweb flamewar by taking on Theo de Raadt's OpenBSD monkeys.
Damn the DNS
Have you patched your domain name server yet? Looks like Orcon has, ditto Inspire, and Telecom's T3G service. Vodafone's 3G service hasn't as far as I can tell, ditto ICONZ, and here's Terminator @Xtra:
$ dig @terminator.xtra.co.nz. porttest.dns-oarc.net. in txt +shortz.y.x.w.v.u.t.s.r.q.p.o.n.m.l.k.j.i.h.g.f.e.d.c.b.a.pt.dns-oarc.net."188.8.131.52 is POOR: 26 queries in 4.3 seconds from 1 ports with std dev 0.00"
Robert X Cringely
Memo to Microsoft, Yahoo, & Icahn: Just shut up and deal
If you thought the whole Microsoft-Yahoo-Icahn fandango was twisted and ugly before, well, it just got worse. Over the last three days these clowns have been eye-poking and face slapping like The Three Stooges -- sans the sophistication. On Monday, Yahoo soundly rejected the latest scheme cooked up by Steve "the Mad" Ballmer and Carl "I think" Icahn, calling it "absurd and irresponsible": ...Carl Icahn and Microsoft presented us with a 'take it or leave it' proposal under which we would be required to restructure the Company, hand over to Microsoft Yahoo!'s valuable search business and to Carl Icahn the rest of the Company, giving us less than 24 hours to respond. It is ludicrous to think that our Board could accept such a proposal. While this type of erratic and unpredictable behavior is consistent with what we have come to expect from Microsoft, we will not be bludgeoned into a transaction that is not in the best interests of our stockholders." Yahoo did, however, say it would accept an offer of $33 per share to be swallowed whole and digested by Microsoft, or be open to some kind of deal involving only search. Microsoft's response to Yahoo's response: Liar liar pants on fire. Meanwhile, the ever excitable Carl Icahn fired off yet another letter to Yahoo shareholders - and this time he used lots of SCREAMING CAPITAL LETTERS, so they'd know he was serious. The Yahoo! press release indicates that Yahoo!, in rejecting the current Microsoft proposal, stated that it would do a deal in which the entire company was sold to Microsoft for $33 per share. It is hard to understand why it turned down $33 and is now willing to accept it. It is the same obfuscation that is so prevalent in the rest of the press release. DON'T BE FOOLED....Our company is on a precipice and our Board seems ready to take the risk of seeing it topple -- ARE YOU, THE REAL OWNERS OF YAHOO!, WILLING TO TAKE THE SAME RISK? Dear Carl: When your letters start to look and sound like a Nigerian 411 scam, maybe it's time to ease off the medication. And this whole "our company" and "our board" crapola. Where were you a year ago when Yahoo needed you? (Oh, that's right, making life Hell for Motorola.) Please spare us your sanctimonious concern for Yahoo shareholders. I've always thought a merger of Yahoo and Microsoft might be good in the short term for Microsoft, because it's already choking on Google's dust, and for shareholders and speculators (like Icahn) who will cash out higher than they cashed in. But it would be a disaster in the long run for fans of Yahoo services and Netizens in general. Microsoft is like King Midas in reverse; everything it touches turns to excrement. The Internet is not going to improve under MicroHoo. Microsoft isn't suddenly going to become competent. And Icahn will hit the road running once his shares have sold, looking for another publicly traded firm to harass. But at this point I've really stopped caring. I just want it to be over. Maybe Google can buy the lot of them and put us all out of our misery. Or at the very least put gags on the mouths of Icahn, Ballmer, and Yang, so we can all enjoy the Internet in peace.