23 October 2017


Retired Member

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A place to share stuff that isn't at all fintec related but is amusing, absurd or scary.
A post relating to this item from Finextra:

US judge lifts gag order over transit card hack

21 August 2008  |  7313 views  |  0
A US judge has lifted a gag order on three students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who were banned from talking publicly about security flaws they discovered in Boston's automate...

How to tell when 'security' is snake oil

21 August 2008  |  3042 views  |  0

When a vendor seeks to use the threat of, or even actual legal means to inhibit free speech and prevent the truth from being exposed is a typical clue that the product is flawed and the company management is devoid of ethics.

When a company tries to make us all put our heads in the sand then it's time to carefully reconsider doing business with them.

Offering these products under a cloak of legal tricks to keep their flaws silent is tantamount to fraud. The students who expose the snake oil for what it is should be applauded and rewarded.

In many cases the public purse will bear the cost of the failures and the public has a right to know where their money is being spent.

Would we like to see this behaviour spread to car manufactureres who might make a death trap, or drug manufacturers whose drugs injure people?

If the students' claims are true then the vendor should be required to pay their legal costs and the vendor should be fined an amount equivalent to the effort involved by the students at a rate equivalent to an expert in the industry with a pecuniary penalty and have the money donated to the University at the very least.

It's the real world  and we know that virtually no product is ever perfect, but at least we should have the right to know it's limitations and communicate the truth to others without the threat of legal shenanigans.

Would you buy a product from a company that not only made false claims about their product, but sought to silence any other who tried to tell you?

Is this just yet another example of where a general state of no ethics or accountability has come back to bite us?

I'll be closely watching any product this company produces in the future and make sure that it's claims match it's capabilities. Anyone hiring their executives will be likewise tested.

Did the 'Smart Card  Alliance' have a hand in this?

Just in case you didn't know, those E-passports you are carrying take seconds to crack and clone, so all the hoo-ha at the airport that you go through when you fly might all be in vain and yet another example of where good money has gone after bad. It won't be long before innocent citizens hear knocks on the door from the anti-terrorist police wanting to blame them for someone elses doing. Considering the gaping flaws in the networks does anyone really think that even the government databases are pristine?

It's time for a wake-up call before that house of cards collapses.




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