Skip to Content
9-16-2008 @ 10:52AM
. . .
9-16-2008 @ 11:20AM
This is a perfect example of security theater. It's impossible to monitor every single medium that could allow terrorists to communicate, and communication is one of those things that they will find a way to do securely no matter what channels are monitored. Virtual worlds do not give terrorists any "value add" as a medium- the only difference between a virtual world and a chat room is the avatar and the game (if any).Wired quotes:"There's been no public proof to date of terrorists hatching plots in virtual worlds. "- that's because a virtual world is the same as a chat room, but you have an avatar that you can use to interact. Where's the value add? /bless and /hug your suicide bombers?"They worry that the massively multiplayer games make it incredibly easy to gather plotters from around the world"- Oh no! All over the world? You mean like email, TOR, or instant messaging do? Where's the added risk because this is a virtual world?"The accounts are pseudonymous. The access is global."- the accounts are no more anonymous than any other internet communication medium... less so if you consider how fast Blizzard would divulge your personal financial information if the CIA started asking them questions about your account. "The jargon is thick. And most of the spy agencies' employees aren't exactly level-70 shamans."- if they're worried that the "jargon" would allow them to communicate messages to eachother in a code, they've never bothered to read anything by Bruce Schneier. The "cryptotext" that is made to look like wow jargon would be more vulnerable to decryption by interested parties than the current industry standard encryption algorithms. Having codewords instead of a real encryption algorithm means you leave traces of your intent written all over the "codetext" for anyone who knows how to break them.The only reason this presentation was given is that security theater needs constant new "threats" to keep people scared so that security professionals can continue making a living by "securing" them. Virtual worlds are the most recent technology to be used as the bogeyman, but they're not the first and they won't be the last.
9-16-2008 @ 11:35AM
Harmun cuts to the front of the line again and splashes a big post as response to the first poster. Acting like he's responding to Doug's uber slick post of "..."This dude Harmun did not have testicular cancer. He was a liar. He had no diseases at all. I had seen him at Free and Clear my blood parasite group Thursdays. Then at Hope, my bi-monthly sickle cell circle. And again at Seize the Day, my tuberculous Friday night. Harmun... the big tourist. His lie reflected my lie. Suddenly I felt nothing. I couldn't cry, so once again I couldn't sleep.
9-16-2008 @ 12:31PM
@ Angelus:At least Harmun added some responses to the original post that were a bit deeper than "..."But points for the Fight Club reference. All hail Chuck.
9-16-2008 @ 2:14PM
While it is obviously true that systematic monitoring of every type of communication is completely infeasible, I would think the relevance of this presentation is due to a different scenario.Imagine that potential terrorists are ALREADY being actively monitored, due to suspicious activities outside of the game. Their co-ordination may escalate towards the culmination of a possible threat. The authorities may believe that terrorist action is imminent, but they are not sure by whom, where, how and when. The suspicious individuals they are monitoring may be involved in the organisation of this terrorist act, but might not be the final perpetrators.So now - imagine - as this drama unfolds and the members under suspicion all log into a MMORPG.Don't you think the authorities should be prepared for this type of event? They need to know how to monitor activities in the game when necessary and how to interpret them and they need to be able to do this at short notice.
9-16-2008 @ 3:33PM
@Wither"Hey, what's up man?""Throwing a party this Saturday. We're gonna get some burgers and watch the basketball.""Really? Who's playing?""The Heat.""Where will we get the burgers? Burger King?""White Castle."Seriously, you can make this stuff up for anything. Harmun's a line cutting jerk, but he's right – This is security theatre. They're wasting your tax dollars to come up with this crap instead of doing genuine (but insanely difficult) security: Infiltrating, identifying, and arresting terrorists.
9-16-2008 @ 4:21PM
You'd think the Homeland Security guys would want the baddies playing WoW. Yeah they'd log in and drop a few plots at first but as they continued to play on their terrorism slow-days they'd get addicted like the Chinese did- anyone hear from them lately? Next thing you know there'll be AP reports on CNN.com about how some Iraqi douchebag forgot to feed his kids cause he was on a three-day Kara-bender. Problem solved even into the next generation of would-be bombers. Seems to me thats more of a solution than a problem- they should be dropping WoTLK like the Berlin Airlift but instead of chocolates they'd drop Mt. Dew, Taco Bell and frostwyrm release keys.
9-17-2008 @ 10:05AM
Exactly. With all the more realistic threats out there, they are devoting resources to this. I guess they had a spare billion floating around they need to spend.
9-23-2008 @ 9:31AM
234 silver eh... hmm, i think not
First time? A confirmation email will be sent to you after submitting.
Members enter your username and password.
Enter your AOL or AIM screenname and password.
Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments.
When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password.
To create a live link, simply type the URL (including http://) or email address and we will make it a live link for you. You can put up to 3 URLs in your comments. Line breaks and paragraphs are automatically converted — no need to use <p> or <br /> tags.