Monday, 10 May 2010

It Amazes Me Too.


I guess in any profession those that are the experts are constantly amazed something is working. Electricans are surprised the house hasn't burnt down, engineers that bridges stay up, doctors that you are alive.

All I can say is, what I see scares the crap out of me.

In the meantime, network administrators deal with hijacking an old-fashioned way: calling their counterparts close to where the hijacking is happening to get them to manually change data routes. Because e-mails may not arrive if a route has been hijacked, the phone is a more reliable option, says Tom Daly, chief technical officer of Dynamic Network Services Inc., which provides Web hosting and other Internet services.

"You make some phone calls and hope and pray," Daly says. "That's about it."

Except when the phone uses the network too. Everything is converging to the Internet (or to internal networks), but the vulnerabilities are the same. So we put all our eggs in the same basket, a basket that has serious long-term reliability issues.

As a network guy, there are many, many reasons why I refuse to use certain aspects of the Internet. I absolutely will not put my TV, fridge, stove, furnace etc. on the Internet. That's just the craziest, dumbest, dangerous thing you can do IMHO. The benefit is not worth the risk. Your home doesn't even have to be maliciously hacked. Someone just has to fuck-up to burn down your home. And experts never fuck-up do they? Naw we're all well trained experts that never make mistakes. If you believe that I have a gigabit Internet connection for sale for $10 a month.

Of course since I have strong feelings about this, someone has to override my instincts without my consent. The city just installed a smart meter on my home. A networked device that (probably) uses the exact same technologies that all networks do. So it shares their vulnerabilities.

Yay.

And it will inevitably be connected to the Internet in some form.

Double yay.

Time to buy a horse and install an old-fashioned wood burning potbellied cook stove.

4 comments:

Ken Breadner said...

Wait a second. An Amish IT professional? Okay. Just had to wrap my head around it. 8-)
Yeah, you're not kidding...everything's migrating online. People's clothing is going to be net-connected. "Connection" is getting to be a strange attractor of a word, lately...

Catelli said...

Connected like a virus connects us.

ADHR said...

My wife is connected to smart meter installs in some parts of Ontario (being vague deliberately). One thing I can tell you is that the smart meters her company installs are RF-based, not internet-based. They broadcast an encrypted signal which is picked up by readers through their (proprietary) handhelds. The smart meters also aren't capable of automatically affecting any system in your home -- their purpose is to track time of usage so that utilities can bill at different rates based on when service is being used.

Catelli said...

I was aware it was a private network. That was what concerned me. *grin* Over the last 20 years of being in IT, I have performed some spectacular fuck-ups that while not affecting the Public Internet, that were "service affecting" on the private network (being vague deliberately). We're only human.

Now the fact that the system is only one way, that I did not know.

That part comforts me.