News
4/17/2008
02:20 AM
Terry Sweeney
Terry Sweeney
Commentary
50%
50%

When You Spring A Wikileak

When thinkers of big thoughts talk about the democratizing effect of technology, they needn't look a whole lot further than Wikileaks or LiveLeak. Incendiary anti-Muslim video, copies of documents from Guantanamo -- this stuff leaves the Huffington Post and other Web 2.0 "news" sites in the dust.

When thinkers of big thoughts talk about the democratizing effect of technology, they needn't look a whole lot further than Wikileaks or LiveLeak. Incendiary anti-Muslim video, copies of documents from Guantanamo -- this stuff leaves the Huffington Post and other Web 2.0 "news" sites in the dust.Now if they could just get in to that safe in Dick Cheney's office.

But in the wake of the snooping in the medical files of Britney Spears and Farrah Fawcett, it begs the question of where we draw the line between the private and the secret. Celebrities and regular joes have a reasonable expectation of privacy; isn't the Church of Scientology similarly entitled? Or does its tax-exempt status and those Tom Cruise Cringe-o-Rama videos single it out for scrutiny and the clear light of day?

These questions aren't academic or contemporary hypotheticals for storage professionals. In the wild and woolly world of policy networking, those in the data center implement the requested controls as to who can access what. Granted that's almost always done in concert with a department head or HR and legal. But what does IT do when special cases crop up -- like the CEO's admin, for example. Does that person automatically get the same rights to all the same files and folders because they also download the boss's e-mail (and probably prioritize it and craft responses)?

So to jump back a bit, what if former Enron accountant Sherron Watkins had had Wikileaks at her disposal? I bet it would have hastened the inevitable and foreshortened the interminable legal cases that followed. And again, Enron had a reasonable expectation (maybe even a legal requirement) of confidentiality and privacy. But when you're telling billion-dollar lies and getting away with it, that completely rearranges the ethical landscape.

This sort of stuff is only going to become more common and create some tough decisions for IT, with lots of ethical gray areas ahead. Individuals are a different case, but organizations -- public and private -- may find a lot less sympathy for any need for secrecy. They may, in fact, be provoking Web leakers into action.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
10 Recommendations for Outsourcing Security
10 Recommendations for Outsourcing Security
Enterprises today have a wide range of third-party options to help improve their defenses, including MSSPs, auditing and penetration testing, and DDoS protection. But are there situations in which a service provider might actually increase risk?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-8142
Published: 2014-12-20
Use-after-free vulnerability in the process_nested_data function in ext/standard/var_unserializer.re in PHP before 5.4.36, 5.5.x before 5.5.20, and 5.6.x before 5.6.4 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted unserialize call that leverages improper handling of duplicate keys w...

CVE-2013-4440
Published: 2014-12-19
Password Generator (aka Pwgen) before 2.07 generates weak non-tty passwords, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to guess the password via a brute-force attack.

CVE-2013-4442
Published: 2014-12-19
Password Generator (aka Pwgen) before 2.07 uses weak pseudo generated numbers when /dev/urandom is unavailable, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to guess the numbers.

CVE-2013-7401
Published: 2014-12-19
The parse_request function in request.c in c-icap 0.2.x allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) via a URI without a " " or "?" character in an ICAP request, as demonstrated by use of the OPTIONS method.

CVE-2014-2026
Published: 2014-12-19
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the search functionality in United Planet Intrexx Professional before 5.2 Online Update 0905 and 6.x before 6.0 Online Update 10 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the request parameter.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join us Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to hear what employers are really looking for in a chief information security officer -- it may not be what you think.