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May 27, 2006, by Léon Krijnen

Cracker Jack   

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The longer I am working with computers - or have to, my combination of job and hobby is daily hit by highs and lows - the older I get, the more skeptic my view at protecting computers and systems, networks or protocols. A view opposing what I adviced during the last two weeks: move your complete kit and caboodle to the web, because that move will make your computerlife easier and you will sleep better.

Translation in Dutch at @ DutchCowboys

I'm still behind that recommendation, because the value of the content in my digital toko - some text, a few pictures, some sound - is such that a hacker is not going to spend one minute of his valuable time trying to get in. Furthermore almost everything is shown in the window of the webserver, for everybody browsable in this free library.

In a secure locker in the back of the shop are some documents and data ment for my own eyes only, but even those are no state secrets worth something to somebody else. Nevertheless I change my passwors every once in a while - and not too simple, mor like #$CracKeR55jacK2309@#, a precaution that probably prevents some misery.

But assumption stays the mother of all fuck-ups, as was shown last week, when Microsofts Xbox was hacked and cracked. In an effort that only took four months, even though somebody at Microsoft had predicted it an impossible accomplishment, because the level of security was something nobody in the hacker community had ever seen before . . .

Regarding security and digital protection of content; that will all be sorted out in a couple of years. Artists, producers and consumer organisations, will reach some consensus, some new commercial model that everybody can live and work with. Without digital protection, always doomed to be cracked sooner or later.

Perfect security is much more needed in other models and systems, like banking and payments systems. By the way; what about voting systems?

According to someone who knows what he is writing about - Bob X. Cringely - it's easier to crack an American Diebold voting computer than an Xbox. As far as I know over here in The Netherlands we are voting for at least twenty years with the same voting computers. I'm wondering if those machines are as easy to cheat as the ATM's over here which were emptied by criminals after adding fake mouth bits tot the money machines. Hows that?

Link: KRO Reporter over Rop Gonggrijp

Posted: May 27, 2006 11:28 AM (405 words).   

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