August 27th, 2009


Why I Don't Trust Wireless Networks #2 332 091

So, everyone's been bragging about WPA2, the successor to WPA and WEP, and how it brings a whole new level of security to wireless communications.

Today, a team of hackers in Japan cracked it in less than a minute.  Well, the Japanese built their businesses by doing things faster....

The actual technique won't be revealed for about a month, but here's the key stat -- cracking WPA's took 15 minutes.  Now, less than one.  This is progress?

The weak link in the chain appears to be the exact same weak link as in WPA -- TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) algorithm, which is a setting in your router and device setup.  If you are using AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and third generation WPA2, you are safe at the moment, so update your setting muy promptimo.

Why don't they just open source a wireless protocol, and let the propellerheads who really know about security have at it?

Crossing Guards

Wanna know part of what the stimulus bill is funding?

$720 mil is set aside to improve border crossing checkpoints in the US.  Despite Obama promising to keep the process open, this section is actually quite open to political jockeying.  Case in point:  the checkpoint in Whitetail, Montana, is getting $15 mil after the two Democratic Senators from Montana (Jon Tester and Max Baucus) urged Homeland Security to bump it up on the priority list.  The checkpoint sees about three people a day.

A border station in Arizona was lobbied under Shrub to get upgrade funds.  Obama made it happen, and it's getting $199 mil.  This exceeds any other station's received funds by a factor of five.

Westhope, North Dakota, gets about 73 people a day and is getting $15 mil.

Laredo, Texas gets 55 000 travelers and 4 200 trucks a day.  They get jack squat.

So, how's that HOPE and CHANGE working out for you?

We're All Stars Now In The Dope Show....

Okay, don't get me wrong.  I hate cheaters.  This is why I don't bother with baseball anymore.  And it's not just the steroids thing.  Baseball is rife with cheating of different kinds, from nicking the ball to fake tags.  I don't like games where the question is not your skill but can you think of something not covered by the rules that grants you an advantage over those too honorable to do what you are doing.

That said, the steroids scandal, while not surprising, is terrible since the stuff they were taking is ILLEGAL.  Say what you will about stealing signs or whatever, it doesn't violate federal law.  However, the feds got a little anxious to crack down on dopers.  In 2003, the feds had a federal warrant which listed 10 players suspected of being drug cheats.  They grabbed the records of over 100 players instead.  Several names got leaked, including Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, and David Ortiz (I'm pretty sure no one was surprised by the Sosa revelation).  The players union sued, claiming that the government overextended its reach and that it could have a bad impact on employee records in all walks of life that the feds might want to rifle through.

Ruling came down today -- 9 to 2, it was ruled the feds had NO RIGHT to grab anything more than the ten names they had on the warrant.  The players who had their names leaked?  I suppose they could sue, but since they don't exactly have public support, God only knows what they'd get and it would drag their names further through the mud, so why risk it?

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."  Amendment IV of the Constitution.

If dope is illegal in this country, how did these people get jobs here?