Your Fly Is Open

Netmenaces and other Internet Stupidity

Fugget About It

I want to try to convey my utter contempt for the whole “we have an abuse@ address - monitor our network for us” mentality that seems to have become de rigueur for all hosting providers. Is this an attitude that we would tolerate in other businesses? Here’s my fictional take:


The following represents an unedited transcript of remarks by Jake “The Mortar-Man” Mortman, CEO of “Mortars-R-Us,” at a hastily prepared press conference responding to allegations surrounding what has come to be known simply as “the incident.”

Yea… hello…

[clears throat]

Can everybody hear me?

[clears throat]

[taps microphone]

[background conversation - mostly unintelligible, except for someone telling Mr. Mortman not to tap the microphone]

Ok… I called this here gathering together sos I could answer your questions and clear the air about some of the stuff that’s being said about my company, Mortars-R-Us - Where anyone can shoot a mortar™ - Come on down today ‘cause we love seein’ customers INCOMING! [chuckles]

Well… maybe it’s a little too soon…

Ok… I don’t have no openin' statement to make on account'a my attorney tellin' me I shouldn’t. So, howsabout I take a question… Ok… You there. Yeah, you… the broad… I mean “lady”… in the front row.

[unintelligible]

Dangerous? Fugget about it… Dangerous smangerous… Our business ain’t dangerous. It taps into the desire of every red-blooded American to come on down and… you know… shoot a mortar. Just $9.95 a round… And, best of all, you don’t need to know nothin' to try it… you just aim it however you feel and let ‘er rip… we call it Vector-Proof Shootin’ or VPS for short. Dangerous…? Hell… if givin' people a mortar, some live rounds, an' lettin' ‘em take it out back an’ fire it… well… wherever is suddenly all “dangerous,” then I don’t wanna live in this country no more…. Next question.

[unintelligible]

Yeah, sure… if you want to go way back to last year, sure… you’re gonna find some “safety incidents.” But that was at our old location where we had a different kinda client. We specifically moved to our new location - next to the park and playground - because we thought it would attract… you know… a more “responsible clientele”… Next question.

[unintelligible]

Yeah, sure… I suppose in your perfect little rose-colored world, having some way where we could monitor to make sure that the mortars were being fired safely downrange would be a good idea. But this is the real world, and I can’t justify the kind of expense it would take to make that happen. I need to keep my prices competitive with them schmucks over at “Shelling for Dollars,” or I’ll be out of business… Next question…

[unintelligible]

Yeah… so what? You listen to me: as far as I’m concerned, just ‘cause six months ago a few shells landed in the park didn’t mean we needed to go makin’ all kinds of big changes to how we do things. I told those whiners over at Parks-n-Rec, jus' like I tell everybody: you fill out our online form and send us detailed information and photos documenting the exact location of the craters, and we’ll take care of it. And let me tell you… once they finally submitted all uh'their info, I gave them teenagers who fired those rounds a good talkin'-to, and they promised me they’d be careful next time. Hey… they even sent the people what was in the park a nice condolence note about their dog.

[unintelligible]

Now you’re just bein' ridiculous… How could I have seen this playground thing comin'… What, do I have some kind of crystal ball or sumpthin'? You’re actin' like what happened wit' the playground yesterday is somehow my fault.

[unintelligible]

Unsafe? I can’t see how I could make shootin' a mortar any safer than I already am. I mean, when that dog got whacked, I even hired my sister’s boy, Sal, part time in the afternoons to work on makin' things safe. So now, when we get a report of a stray round landin' in the park or by a school or over in the neighborhoods, we guarantee that Sal will respond within 72 hours and tell whoever was doin' the shootin' to knock that shit off. Providin', of course, that the online “abuse” form is filled out all proper-like… Next question.

[unintelligible]

Regrets? Me? Nah… I mean, yeah… those kids on the playground… that was unfortunate. But it’s not like I can see how anyone can be blamed. I mean, my customer feels really bad, but sometimes these n00bs… well they just end up shootin' in the wrong direction. What can you do, eh? And it ain’t like it’s all his fault, ya know. Those kids… well if those kids hadn'ta been standin' right there, ya know, playin' and all… they wouldn'ta got hit. So I’d say, roughly speakin', the blame is about fifty-fifty…

[unintelligible]

Do I think anyone else is to blame? Nah… I don’t see how nobody else could be at fault here…

[unintelligible]

You think Mortars-R-Us is to blame? Hey! I’m a legit businessman providin' a legit service. If people misuse that service - either on accident or on purpose - that’s on them, not me. Besides, we got a form that people can fill out if there’s a problem…

[unintelligible]

“Inherently dangerous.” What the hell is that supposed to mean, Mr. FancyWords? You think since I’m providing my clients with mortars that I’m responsible to make sure no stray rounds leave our mortar range? What kind of dumbass namby-pamby are you? You ever run a mortar rental service? You ever deal with the kinda shit I deal with? You think I’m supposed to provide mortars AND somehow keep these people from blowin' up random stuff? Ha! You don’t know nothin' ‘bout nothin’.

Hey Sal… why don’t you show all these guys how our security protocol works…

[The press conference erupts into a cacophony of swearing, thuds, grunts, and the sound of chairs being thrown. One voice can be heard shouting over and over, “Knock that shit off” before the tape suddenly ends.]

-TL
Tom Liston
Consultant - Cyber Network Defense
DarkMatter, LLC
Twitter: @tliston
September 7, 2016