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2010/04/02

Welcome (Back) To The Working Week

Spent two days off in abstract-land, attending the CERIAS Security Symposium. That's always a good time, filling my head with mind-expanding thoughts that have no real practical application in my life or career.

My friend Patrick also attended, and as he is a systems guy for a defense contractor, there's slightly more practical application for this in his life. Beyond, you know, security being part of everybody's business. He observed what I began to feel last time, that there wasn't much technical in the presentations and a lot was social and/or organizational, with David Bell of the Bell-La Padula model telling us that everything he needed to know about computer security, he learned in 1974. Which adds to my belief that computer security is a solved problem, but implementing and distributing the solution into the real world is not.

Which, if I recall correctly, is why COAST turned into CERIAS in the first place.

When I got back to the office, a co-worker had an interesting problem.

After a reboot, she could not type a password. Nor could I. With neither the user or admin account. This was a graphical-login XP machine, so there was no means to see what the computer thought I was typing. So, I tried the first thing any IT professional tries. I tried turning it off and on again. And it worked. Still no clue as to what the problem was.