Talking new internet domains on ABC RN Sunday Extra

The other day ICANN, the organisation responsible for overseeing the internet’s domain name system, published the list of all the planned new top level domains — including everything from four entities competing for get .pizza to a cancer research charity after .cancerresearch.

It certainly generated some media interest. One of said media interests was the presenter of ABC Radio National’s Sunday Extra, Jonathan Green, who asked me to explain what it was all about on Sunday morning.

Alas, with only around seven minutes left before the 0900 news, there was really only time to explain what the thing was about — and no time to discuss the various opinions strengths weaknesses and potential for dodginess it all entails.

The ABC has posted the audio on the Sunday Extra website, but here’s my version.

Play

The audio is of course ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

I’ll post my own opinions on this another time, or perhaps not at all.

Weekly Wrap 102: Infosec and interference

My week from Monday 14 to Sunday 20 May 2012 was mostly about the AusCERT information security conference and a blur of returning pain thanks to my dodgy shoulder.

As I finish compiling this post, I’ve still got lots of AusCERT material to produce and Monday looks like being intense. So let’s just list everything and see what happens.

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 138, “Anonymous ‘crippled’: where to for hacktivism?”. Following last week’s conversation with Israeli information security researcher Tal Be’ery about hacktivists’ tactics, I spoke with former journalist and commentator Barrett Brown, who has worked with Anonymous for about a year and a half. He discusses Anonymous’ position in the wake of revelations that Sabu, a core member and informal leader of the offshoot hacking group LulzSec, had become an FBI informant.

Articles

These are just the first two articles from my AusCERT coverage. More will follow.

Videos

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • AusCERT 2012 conference organisers and sponsors paid for various meals and drinks, but I didn’t keep track of that. While that means I can’t disclose who paid, it also means I can’t be influenced because I can’t remember who’s meant to be doing the influencing. Complete market failure, that.

The Week Ahead

There’s a couple of days of intense writing and production ahead. At the very least there’s two or three articles about AusCERT 2012 and the Patch Monday podcast. Then there’s a piece to do for CSO Online, and one for Technology Spectator.

I should be returning to Wentworth Falls this evening, but I plan to be back on Wednesday night to go to a paintball session with Eugene Kaspersky and other journalists. That could be weird. And I’ll probably be in Sydney again at the end of the week, but that hasn’t been planned out yet.

Elsewhere

Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream (or they used to before my phone camera got a bit too scratched up) and via Instagram. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags. Yes, I should probably update this stock paragraph to match the current reality.

[Photo: Airbus A320-232 VH-VGY at Gold Coast airport, the aircraft I traveled in on Saturday. Check out the complete history of VH-VGY at FlightAware.]

[Update 26 May 2012: Links added to last weekend’s audio recordings, added earlier today as separate blog posts. Update 3 June 2012: Link added to Tom Davey’s radio report.]

Talking AusCERT 2012 and cyberwar on ABC Local Radio

My full output from the AusCERT 2012 information security conference has yet to appear. Stand by. But last night I did a half-hour conference wrap with Dom Knight on ABC Local Radio.

We spoke about the conference atmosphere itself, cybercrime, cyberwar, the risk of Cybergeddon (yes, I know), and the claim by Eugene Kaspersky that Apple is ten years behind Microsoft when it comes to security.

Not that Mr Kaspersky would ever, like, troll the entire planet.

Play

What we didn’t talk about, really, was the two stories that have been published so far:

The audio is of course ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, but as usual I’m posting it here as an archive.

LulzSec claims to hack The Sun: screenshot

High-profile hacking collective LulzSec is currently claiming to have hacked UK newspaper The Sun and redirected its home page to a fake story about the suicide of Rupert Murdoch.

While The Sun was looking just fine to me, there was certainly a story inserted into a News International website.

The screenshot shows the page at www.new-times.co.uk/sun/ as of about 0730 AEST this morning.

Gizmodo is currently saying the home page was hacked, but they’re also saying the hack was done by Anonymous. That’s journalism right there.

At 0815 AEST LulzSec then claimed to have redirected The Sun home page to their Twitter feed. I’ve just confirmed that to be true.

Since I write about information security, it looks like I’m in for a busy day. I’ll update this post as things unfold.

[Update 0910 AEST: I’ve had many witnesses confirm that The Sun’s home page did indeed redirect to the fake story. I will assume for the moment that the Next G mobile broadband I’m currently using is cached to buggery.]

[Update 1015 AEST: My story at CSO Online has just been published, LulzSec hacks UK’s “The Sun”, News International. Meanwhile, a few minutes ago LulzSec claimed that “News International’s DNS servers (link web addresses to servers) and all 1,024 web addresses are down.”]

[Update 1235 AEST: The consensus seems to be that News International has taken itself offline. There has been no further activity from LulzSec, apart from more of their trademark cocky tweets.]

[Update 1415 AEST: My Crikey story is now online, LulzSec 1, Murdoch 0: News Int, the hacker, becomes the hacked.]

[Update 1840 AEST: I’ve just posted audio of my interview with ABC 774 Melbourne on this story.]

Requiring the “www” sub-domain in 2011? Really?

I’m currently researching some websites for a story I’m writing, and I’m amazed that one of the sites requires you to specify the “www” sub-domain or it just won’t work. “WTF? It’s 2011,” I thought. But am I wrong?

I decided to ask on Twitter. “How would you describe a business whose website demands that you use the ‘www’ sub-domain or it won’t work?” Here’s the first responses I got.

Ignorant. Fucking idiots. Sub Standard? Lame. Misconfigured. My work place *sigh* Partying like it was 1999. In need of some DNS sysadmining? Antiquated. One that doesn’t know how to configure their services properly. Pedantic. Woefully Witless Website? DNS-illiterate? Paying for poor advice, choosing inadequate consultants. One that needs help addressing user behaviour.

Well that seems fairly clear…

I had to stop looking after that, my question generated far more responses that I’d expected and the consensus was obvious pretty damn fast.

One person described it as a cPanel-based business, but I disagree. I use the cPanel web hosting control panel at Prussia.Net, and by default it sets up websites to work both with and without the “www”.

Another said he was about to go on a rant about bom.gov.au but they’ve finally fixed it. As has Australia Post at austpost.com.au.

Are there any particularly annoying examples of this phenomenon?