Your Fly Is Open

Netmenaces and other Internet Stupidity

Now You're Messin' With 'Merica

The day after my adventure with the fine upstanding folks at SpeedyPaper (who provide students with research paper “assistance”) began, I once again found myself awake, early in the morning, trolling through Google for interesting “stuff.”

Knowing that hackers had somehow been mysteriously inspired to place links back to SpeedyPaper on the U.S. Capitol’s virtual tour site, I wondered if that mystical, magical spell that SpeedyPaper unwittingly cast over the sKr1pt K1dz might have claimed other victims.

Note: I can’t even get my kids to pick up their frickin' laundry…

Note 2: I must apologize. SpeedyPaper has said that it was a “competitor” who somehow inspired those hacks.

Anyway, doing a bit more digging, I rather quickly found more sites. I’m in the process of attempting to contact several, but here are two (that I’ve already contacted) that bothered me the most: - Founded in 1902 with the encouragement of President Theodore Roosevelt, the Navy League has provided a powerful voice for a stronger sea service to Congress and to the American people. The Navy League has grown into the foremost citizens’ organization to serve, support and stand with all the sea services – the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S.-flag Merchant Marine.

When violating the U.S. Capitol site to make a buck isn’t shitty enough, feel free to screw with the military.

Seriously… how do people like this sleep at night? What do you tell your kids you do for a living?

Johnny... Susie... Daddy runs a business that hooks-up spoiled, over-indulged, rich kids with pre-written term papers so they can party rather than study in school and still get good grades. Additionally, my very presence on earth inspires Internet miscreants to - out of the goodness of their hearts - hack into websites operated by our government and service organizations supporting our military and (of their own volition) place SEO-boosting advertisements for my company. Apparently, my complete lack of scruples regarding the sanctity of our educational process (earning a degree? how bourgeois!) also extends to those I inspire - reinforcing their complete lack of morality when it comes to property rights. Aren't you proud of daddy?

Johnny and Susie spend the rest of their lives in therapy.

THE END - I… I… I… Words cannot express the anger and utter revulsion that boils up inside of me when I think of the violation that this represents. Screw the Capitol (well… no… that’s not right, but you know what I mean…) THIS is perhaps the most revolting desecration of the American way of life I can imagine. SKYLINE-FRICKIN-CHILI?!?!? You bastards. You dare to profane Skyline Chili?!?!? Now you’re messin' with ‘Merica.

Disclaimer: I was born and raised in Ohio - the Home of Skyline Chili (I believe that’s on the license plates…). Within the borders of Ohio, this would be considered the most mortal of sins. Trust me.

A Moral Tale of Temptation and Consequences

Many years ago, a close friend of mine and I were approached by a gentleman who we knew through a program we attended with our children at the local YMCA. He knew that I worked in security and that both my friend and I programmed, and he asked if he could meet with us one evening to discuss hiring us to do some work for his company. When the appointed evening came, my friend and I were greeted at the front door of an incredibly beautiful home - tastefully decorated and appointed with lots of “high-end” touches. After sitting with this gentleman and his lovely wife for a bit and getting acquainted, he eventually asked us to adjourn to his home office to “discuss business.”

I should have gotten a clue when he closed and locked the office door.

You see, the job that our acquaintance wanted us to perform was to create a cryptographically sound “token” system to use for his business: interactive live video streaming of… well… people… female people… doing various… things. Our “friend” was losing “clients” because credit card processing for individual video “sessions” was cumbersome. If a “session-time” expired before… well… a client did, pulling out the ol' credit card and typing in a bunch of digits probably killed the mood. His idea was to have clients pre-purchase various quantities of “tokens” (with appropriate discounts for buying in bulk… exactly like Costco! Ok… maybe not exactly like Costco…) making the whole process of “extending time”… and other things… work a whole lot smoother.

Now, I must admit, the idea itself was actually pretty intriguing. It was filled with all sorts of incredibly interesting technically-challenging work. The “remuneration” numbers he was tossing around weren’t too shabby, either.

But… my mind kept getting pulled back to that locked door.

Here was a man who was - yes - providing for his family, but who was so totally ashamed of what he did for a living that he kept it closed off from everyone he knew - hiding it behind a locked door.

His wife didn’t know, his parents and siblings didn’t know… and the little girl asleep upstairs in her room didn’t know.

He lived in agonizing fear of them ever finding out… and he always locked the door to his office.

Those of us who work in security walk along a lot of lines. We’re deeply aware, perhaps more so than in any other profession, of what happens to those who make the error of stepping across those lines.

I joke around and make fun of a lot of things on this site - ‘cause that’s just how I am - but I’m serious about this: Don’t cross that line…

And tonight, spend some time telling your kids about all the good things you do.

Tom Liston
Consultant - Cyber Network Defense
DarkMatter, LLC
Twitter: @tliston
June 3, 2016