Archive for September, 2008

Is it really China attacking us?

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

I a thought just brought itself together to me yesterday that I had to throw out there. During the Olympics I was talking to my kids about China and how we find that they attack American servers so much. I personally have tried to track down IP addresses on servers I’ve run and even at my home in the past and traced them down to a Chinese IPs before I even knew about all the attacks.

Fast forward to the night before last. I was watching a James Bond movie called “Tomorrow Never Dies.” The movie’s plot in short was a plot by a media magnet billionaire (obviously Ted Turner) making the news so his magazines, TV, and newspapers could report it first. So, he used a stealth ship and park it near the Chinese ships and attack the British and vice versa.

So, in my preparation to write this post I was listening to a podcast called Linux Outlaws and found out that John C. Dvorak or the Twit network also came up with this conclusion. What if it’s someone else attacking us by attacking Chinese servers and routing through them? In my own history I have found that a server that I had control of but wasn’t supposed to really touch was compromised many years ago. The thing is, during the forensics process of this I found out that the attackers were from Germany and using my server to attack the company 3COM (who also notified me of the attack). Dvorak seems to think it is the Russians attacking US computers but I haven’t thought too much about the “who” just the “not who.”

Just a side thought. Tomorrow Never Dies was made in 1997. Somebody else was watching and coming up with this idea. Plus, we know that the Chinese servers aren’t totally without holes. The whole drama about the Chinese gymnists being too young really broke after an american IT security guy hacked (well not really hacked but run with me) into Chinese search engine servers cache files, got data, and used Google to translate the pages. From that he found that all the references to a gymnast meet just last year where the girls were 13 and now they’re 16 by the time of the Olympics. Right…

An it’s your fault world

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Today I had a very interesting moment. I have a vacuum cleaner at home that has stopped working. Relenting to pressure from my kids who didn’t want to sweep our living room and my wife I decided to go ahead and fix it. Upon openning it I found all kinds of particles stuck and other things that I cleaned but when I found that the belt inside was broke I knew that that was the real problem so I took off the broken belt and went to the vacuum repair shop. He asked me what kind of vacuum I had and when I stumbled and stammered my words he just figured let me go ahead and look at the old one (which I wanted him to do in the first place). He gave me a band for $2 and I was off to the house.

Moments after putting the piece back together I vacuumed the floor with great results but the smell of burned rubber. I openned the vacuum again and the roller with the brushes was broken and parts were melted.

Fast forward to today. I take the vacuum back and after a brief discussion I come to find out that the repair guy didn’t stock these kinds of parts for my vacuum and his suppliers didn’t stock my model. The causes could have been varied but when one of them was a belt being too small. The same belt that he sold me for $2 could end up costing me a lot more. It wasn’t even a scam because he didn’t even work on my vacuum type. I was torn in how I should respond.

In my line of work I fix people’s computers all day everyday. The one thing that I have a big problem with is people blaming me for a possible problem. I take my reputation very seriously. What almost 99% of the problem wasn’t from anything I did and I know before I come back. I do come back because I am one that takes responsibility. However, we live in an “it’s your fault” world. I definitely understand that there is the remote situation where you may have forgotten something but I would have liked the repair man to admit the possibility to his guilt in giving me the wrong size and look for solutions with his supplier. Alas, he didn’t and I was stuck with a broken part and no ideas where to go.

Are you this guy/girl? One of the main things I go over with my children is reliability and responsibility. Your life and your work are all due to decisions you’ve made somewhere down the line. Everything is because you made it that way so take responsibility. However, responsibility without action is just playing another blame game but with yourself.

My goal everyday is to make this world a little better to live in. If just a couple people read this and decide I’m going to fix some of the things I’ve caused then maybe it will spread and form this utopia that we all dream of.

Let the blame game end with you. No excuses. Just action.