The Washington Post ran an article on October 1, 2009 by Brian Kerbs about how the Department of Homeland Security is planning to hire geeks en mass. The article is all well and good, but I couldn't help but highlight how funny these comments are:
Once again, I have to point out, a few months after 9/11 I submitted an application for a patent; in the beginning of 2009 I finally got it, after it had been buried in process and a facility relocation for about 6 years.
For now, it's a Linux "live DVD", an entire and full-blown operating system that cannot be altered by hackers because it is READ ONLY.
It has IPSec, Kerberos, all kinds of security goodies. Good luck even connecting if you're not authorized, much less hacking in and altering the READ ONLY Operating System.
And my patent 7,464,403 covers the ability to pump out stacks of them, each and every one individualized and pre-configured.
You'd think that they'd be beating a path to my door like I'd invented a better mousetrap.
I have yet to hear a word back from any of these people who claim to be all about and all for "cybersecurity". You'd think they'd at least want a copy or two for evaluation, but they aren't even interested enough to accept free copies.
The Chinese Hackers Guild are going to take over some day, and probably nobody collecting a check from the US will even be capable of noticing that they got PWNED, much less will they be enough of a m4d ski112 h4x0r who can do anything about it other than reinstall "Windows" and check the MS website to see if there are any updates to deal with it.
Posted by: thardman | October 2, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse
The reason no one's beating a path to your door is because it's not exactly new. We have years and years of experience with boot CD's as OS' (knoppix has been around for ages), and they have one major flaw: patches. Having a read-only OS is great...right up to the point where you realize you have a flaw in that read-only OS, and now you can't fix it.
Posted by: neversaylie | October 2, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse
@thardman, it appears that you have not covered DVD-ROM, Read-only Memory sticks, as well as the g and n network standards. I guess anyone who uses them needs not search for the way to your door.
Posted by: teplicky101 | October 2, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse
The Linux "live DVD" mentioned with respect to patent is a little sad, and if it had been posted on a more technical website, I imagine the responding disparaging comments would have been much more intense.
Without knowing more about this so-called "invention", I have to assume its completely unoriginal, at best. Just because the media from which a computer is boots is read only, doesn't make the operating system unmodifiable while it is running. True the changes won't be permanent, but who would want a security device which would require constant rebooting?
Back to the article for a moment, I'd suggest the DHS start sponsoring more open source software projects. DARPA and the NSA already pump a lot of research funding into this area and in my opinion its money well spent.