The Geek That Cried Wolf
Is the Sky Really Falling?
By Bob Rankin
According to Bob Rankin, some of the dire security warnings circulating in the tech press – don’t pass the ‘smell test’.–PC Pitstop.
Remember the bogus story from NBC News about the supposed dangers of bringing any electronic gadget to the Sochi Olympics? I wrote about that in Lies, Damned Lies, and Olympic Journalism.
Two of the latest examples of tech journalists spouting nonsense are the stories proclaiming “Android updates open backdoor to hackers” and “Secure Web browsing can leak private data to employers and ISPs”. The life cycles of these stories follow a predictable pattern:
Some obscure security researcher discovers a vulnerability. “Wolf!” he cries to the tech press. “BIG wolf!” meaning it threatens the entire planet. “A whole PACK of wolves!” he continues, warning that legions of Russian Mafioso and teenaged script-kiddies can use this dangerous knowledge to launch attack after attack against everyone.
Geeks Crying Wolf
The researcher backs up hysterical claims of imminent catastrophe with reams of jargon-laden gibberish that only another certified geek can understand, like this white paper from the group that discovered the Android vulnerability.
Excerpt shared with permission from Bob Rankin.
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