Adam Martin adamartin at
Wed Sep 27 19:04:57 PDT 2006

On 2006 Sep 27 , at 07:11, Robert C Wittig wrote:

> Adam Martin wrote:

>>     I think it's just that I pine for better days.  Just 5 years ago, 
>> this behaviour was restricted mostly to Windoze systems.  5 years 
>> before that, the notion of net-wide "evil traffic" as a constant 
>> background noise was far fetched.  And just 5 years before that, 15 
>> years ago, the notion of loads of background evil traffic was, as far 
>> as I recall, appalling.
>>     After the whole of that spam episode, combined with several 
>> spikes in local ssh-bruteforce attempts... I just felt despondent.  I 
>> still do.  It seems like the whole 'net has gone to hell in a 
>> handbasket.  So as I said, I pine for better days.  But I think I am 
>> a curmudgeon these days :-)
> Cheer up... you,  being an OpenBSD user, are at the top of  the food 
> chain, and much less likely to become food for a bigger fish, than 
> most other computer users.<g>

	I use OpenBSD, and FreeBSD mostly.  (I've got a few MacOS X boxes, 
which I hack around with, and some times it's NetBSD, and when I have 
to use it, Linux... and shudder: Windoze.)  I've been using computers, 
and UNIX for most of my life (since I was about 8, daddy would let me 
use his SunOS workstation, and telnet around to various machines in his 
office) and now at 24, things just seem so much different than when I 
grew up.  Every time the network-evil ratio spikes higher, I just 
lament about how things used to be.  Newbies, and innane questions I 
can stand.  It's mostly just the evil packets routed along.  I don't 
fear hijacks.  I just loathe my precious bandwidth resources, and time, 
spent on dealing with this garbage.  Which seems to translate into more 
garbage, in my inbox.  It seems after every ssh-bruteforce wave, 
there's a spike in spam distribution.  So the problem just keeps 
showing up.  To me, it seems like there's hordes of vandals running 
about torching the town, and generally causing havoc.   I guess I just 
fear a dark future for the 'net, where this will just get worse.  Of 
course, it seems I always address this issue late at night, after hours 
of writing code, and then dealing with the day's security work.  So 
maybe I should discuss it at a more cheerful time? :-)

> The legislators and the people that legislators love are in all 
> likelihood *not* running BSD, or even Linux, and will therefore 
> probably become victims of phishing, identity theft, having their 
> computers hijacked.
> This will bring the reality of the 'State if the Internet' home to 
> those legislators in a very personal way, inciting them to take 
> legislative action in their various countries (except for Nigeria, 
> where the legislators are involved in running the scams).

	This is also what I fear, beyond just pining for the "good old days."  
Instead of a "spamargeddon" a "lawyerclysm" of sorts, where we'll 
sacrifice our freedom, to feel safe from cyber-attacks.

> When the automobile was first invented, there were no 'Rules of the 
> Road'. This was Ok for a while, because cars required a techie, just 
> to operate them. But as cars became simpler to operate, and more 
> popular, and the roads became clogged with maniacs, killing people 
> with their autos, rules had to be set down, to regulate the New 
> Technology.
> I suspect that something similar is happening with the Internet.
> Ten years from now, we might be complaining about over-regulation.<g>

	Eh, I already do complain, to a degree.  But by the time the 
over-regulation hits, hopefully, some geeks (possibly including me,) 
will have an underground network using tcp/ip protocols, but over 
directed radio links or something.  Just avoiding the clutter of the 
soon-to-be "now-dead" internet.

	Okay, enough lamenting.  I think it's time to do productive work. :-)


Adam David Alan Martin

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