Archive for Government

Police dep. wake up!

Posted in 1 with tags , , on August 22, 2008 by Geir Stene

It maybe sound unbelievable, but NTB in Norway report that the police data systems are outdated and should have been replaced years ago, in order to be up to date.

Security threats and network stability is at risk. The Norwegian Police data Dep. even state that ordinary police work is at risk at all times due to the old data systems.

The saddest part is that this is not only a fact for the police dep. but for a lot of official authorities. Health dep. social dep. and so forth are frequently reported to have outdated technical systems, or/and outdated solutions when it comes to take advantage of information and communication systems as a whole. (IKT)

There is an old saying that you can “save yourself into poverty”. This is very much true for the news article mentioned above. Police work suffer, cost per hour rise, results comes slower or doesn’t come at all. The result is an inefective police core, which gets de-motivated as their competence is not put in effective use.

Everyone in the Public sector should examine their systems and organizational procedure and invest and reorganize in order to become more effective, and work smarter. It’s not only the equipment and technical investments that solve problems and give smarter solutions. It’s very much an human challenge to use IKT systems effectively.

When it comes to the systems of the police force in Norway, there is only one thing to say to those who provide the budgets; Stop it!

Analyze your needs, and get what you need to enable you to do your job! Look at cost/benefit and look after that the investments, increases effectivity, provides increased motivation for the police so they can make full use of their competence in their daily work. The goal should be that the police force doesn’t save money on their budget; but that crime rate drops!


Hacker’s in power

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , on August 18, 2008 by Geir Stene

Didn’t most of us, at one point, naively believe that a hacker is some dodgy pale guy, living of coca cola and pizza, playing around on his computer24/7, testing just how “clever” he could be, and that’s it, a pain in the ass for those that became his victim?

Why is it so that none of us like the idea that our governments and military around the world use every method available and useful also on the internet and also have skilled hackers on their payroll?
Cryptology, God damn, is invented by power structures like the church, the Greeks, the Roman Empire, the Persians, the Chinese in ancient times used systems of hiding and protecting information, and to mislead enemies and the population with disinformation when suited. Why should this change?

The internet is an excellent place for any authority to spread information in a manner that fits them best, it’s also a perfect environment to collect as much knowledge of opponents as possible. The amount of information, the scale of shared information and communication and the speed it’s delivered by is obviously interesting and time saving for any structure that have motifs for altering a fact, or deny some from getting a fact brought into public. Georgia just experienced this, and I’m just amazed that people react with surprise and “shock”.
Of course nations do this; they use any legal (and sometimes illegal) mean to get hold of information and knowledge. This is also true for information that is not meant to be shared. But it’s incredibility naive to believe that their own systems are not as vulnerable as others! It’s not only Georgia’s governmental web that is easy to lock down, most countries in the west have far too many weaknesses, and some are even without any crisis strategy in case of an attack. Why is it so hard to believe that a hostile party could do such a thing (or worse), if they have a strong motif for it?

It is indeed a fascinating paradox that Governments have knowledge to make use of gathering information, or being active in preventing or misleading others actively, but they seem to neglect that this fact goes for other Governments as well and they easily can become a victim of far worse scenarios that the Georgian example.

What are the damages, you might ask, if our country’s official web pages where shut down, it will only take a few hours or a day to get online again. Well, what if they didn’t put the pages down? What if they slightly change some of the information instead? What if they directed the public interaction to their own servers instead? There are so many ways of developing the simple attack “someone” did with the governmental site of Georgia, which could become very dangerous for individuals, groups of people in a society, or the whole nation. And even this simple action of “someone” proves that Georgia showed them very vulnerable and weak. What did that do to the Georgian public’s opinion of their leaders? I think the “someone” knew exactly what they could gain of this action and used the simplest means to achieve it.