Via a mailing list I subscribe to, folks at the Internet Storm Center are pretty irate at an assignment given by an actual professor at an actual state college. They quote, allegedly verbatim, from the assignment:

Student is to perform a remote security evaluation of one or more computer systems. The evaluation should be conducted over the Internet, using tools available in the public domain.

In conducting this work, you should imagine yourself to be a security contracted by the owner of the computer system(s) to perform a security evaluation.

The student must provide a written report which has the following sections: Executive summary, description of tools and techniques used, dates and times of investigations (AKA break ins), examples of data collected, evaluation data, overall evaluation of the system(s) including vulnerabilities.

The ISC folks point out that what the prof is requiring his students to do is almost certainly illegal, and therefore suggest that students also include in their written reports:
Dates of student's incarceration so that they can be excused from class and not counted absent.

There are a number of other amusing observations at the ISC; nothing more inspires the writing of computer geeks than anger at others' stupidity.

I say "amusing". I hope I still find it amusing after the attacks are over.

An Automatic Buy at Amazon

Title: Harald. Author: David Friedman. Even though I never read books in this particular genre, that's good enough for me.

User Support Translation II

Just a helpful note: when you're in a "support dialogue" (e-mail or verbal) with a system administrator, and he or she types or says this:

I appreciate your patience.
what he or she really means is:
I really hope you'll be patient with me, instead of tearing my head off, which is probably what you feel like doing.
Similarly, when you hear/see:
I appreciate you maintaining your sense of humor about this.
the translation is:
Someday we may look back on this and laugh. I doubt that's going to be very soon, though.
Just so you know. (Previous User Support Translation is here.)