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Truth about computer security hysteria
Truth About Computer Security Hysteria


Rob Rosenberger, Vmyths co-founder
Monday, 17 September 2001 As read by the author (MP3) THE NTBUGTRAQ DISCUSSION group exists "to invite the free and open discussion of Windows NT Security Exploits/Bugs." Moderator Russ Cooper (TruSecure) recently expanded the charter to promote the free and open discussion of Red Cross blood drives.
Brutally honest subscribers told Cooper they didn't want to hear about Red Cross blood drives in a computer security discussion group. Cooper told them to shove it. "Get used to it or unsubscribe..."
NTBUGTRAQ's expanded charter also offers advice on how to handle yourself if you encounter someone affected by Tuesday's terrorism. "Don't joke about it ... don't coddle ... don't act like you understand or know how they feel," and so on. "If you're affected by this directly yourself, take our condolences and hopes that you recover. If we can help, ask." I still don't know how a blood drive fits into the scope of computer security — nor do I know what NTBUGTRAQ's moderator can do to comfort folks in their time of need. Perhaps "it's the thought that counts"? Brutally honest subscribers told Cooper they'd prefer NTBUGTRAQ follow its original charter. He told those people in a public email to shove it. "To those very few of you who, for whatever reason, have strongly indicated that you wish I would stop sending these sorts of Administrivia messages ... TOUGH, get used to it or unsubscribe." Man, the sympathy just flows from TruSecure's "surgeon general." Relentless TV pleas for blood donations didn't go far enough for Cooper. Relentless radio pleas for blood donations didn't go far enough, either. Nor did the relentless VH1 pleas for blood donations. Relentless newspaper pleas for blood donations certainly didn't satisfy Cooper's tastes. Relentless chain-letter email pleas from family & friends didn't go far enough for him. Even the relentless Red Cross public service announcements didn't go far enough for him. Cooper's heartfelt emails on NTBUGTRAQ spurred me to write a heartless reply. I reprint it here for your satanic amusement:
Why not launch a new NTBLOODTRAQ list and force a default subscription on NTBUGTRAQ's readers? This way you can feel good about saving the world from vampires, and we can decide to opt-out from your selfless humanitarian pleas. Sounds like a win-win situation to me. I regret to say I gave blood too soon. I need to wait another 19 days before I can give another gift of life. Please include a "donation reminder" email reminder function in your new NTBLOODTRAQ mailing list. Thanks!
Whoops, I joked too soon after a national tragedy. Shame on me for not heeding Cooper's sage advice. And wouldn't you know it, I just received my punishment from the discussion-group server. "You have been removed from the NTBUGTRAQ list (Windows NTBugtraq Mailing List) by Russ Cooper..." Does the security clown have a sense of humor after all?