Your Fly Is Open

Netmenaces and Other Internet Stupidity

Po-tay-to... Po-tah-to...

2016-06-22 3 min read personal

I returned from vacation to find two very different things:

  • The refrigerator/freezer in our barn died while we were away, and instead of cooling, it decided to raise the food it stored to something slightly higher than room temperature
    • This situation created what can only be described as an “incredibly unique” smell
    • I also learned that a frozen turkey, enclosed in that sort of nifty shrink-wrap covering, “out-gases” enough after a few days at room temperature to resemble, ironically, a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Balloon.
  • An odd package in the mailbox
    • It was unexpected, lumpy, and from somewhere I didn’t recognize
    • Did I mention it was lumpy?

I opened it:

A potato with writing

Hey… look at that… someone out there actually appreciates the things I do to try to clean up the Internet.

Notifying people that their systems are compromised is a pretty thankless job most of the time but, now, I’ve been singled out for special recognition by a… well… a potato.

I strutted around a bit.

Seriously. Strutted.

Why not? I was appreciated…!

I was appreciated by someone with a fetish for root vegetables, but appreciated none-the-less.

I was cool…

My lovely wife, ever at the ready to keep me from getting too full of myself, brought me back to earth: “Why is there a potato with writing on it sitting on the desk in the den?”

Ok… maybe “cool” was an overstatement.

While she could diminish the “coolness-factor” of the medium of its expression, she could not diminish the import of the recognition.

That, fell to my daughter…

Skip ahead a day to find me answering a call from my eldest daughter, Mary. We talked for a bit about our vacation, I told her about turkey balloons, and then related the latest chapter in the saga of an item that I’ve been trying to purchase for some time, but that seems doomed to never happen. Right before vacation, I finally received the item, only to discover that it had gotten broken in shipment.

Mary: Wow… that’s not good. So… it was pretty mashed?

TL: Well, not really “mashed.” Just sort of broken…

Mary: The UPS driver must’ve been pretty baked to have broken it like that…

TL: “Pretty baked?” Who are you?

Mary: I’m just sayin’… To throw the box around and totally fry the contents…

TL: “Mashed?” “Baked?” “Fried?” Since when have you become little Miss Slang? Why are you making… references… to… potatos………..?

Yes… that’s when the other mental shoe dropped.

How does this relate to security?

For me, it serves as a perfect reminder that getting “social engineered” isn’t so much about what someone else does as it is about our own expectations, desires, and insecurities.

Oh… and, dear daughter, always remember: payback is a bitch.

Tom Liston
Owner, Principal Consultant
Bad Wolf Security, LLC
Twitter: @tliston
June 22, 2016