Smashing Security #102: Ethical dilemmas, Girl Scouts, and porn-loving US officials

Industry veterans, chatting about computer security and online privacy.

Smashing Security #102: Ethical dilemmas, Girl Scouts, and porn-loving US officials

Who deserves to die in a driverless car crash? Who has been sniffing around the Girl Scouts’ email account? And just how long would it take for a geologist to visit 9,000 adult web pages?

All this and much more is discussed in the latest edition of the award-winning “Smashing Security” podcast by computer security veterans Graham Cluley and Carole Theriault, joined this week by journalist and “Friends” fan Dan Raywood.

Smashing Security #102: ‘Ethical dilemmas, Girl Scouts, and porn-loving US officials’

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Hosts:

Graham Cluley - @gcluley
Carole Theriault - @caroletheriault

Guest:

Dan Raywood - @DanRaywood

Show notes:

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Smashing Security podcast
Check out "Smashing Security", the award-winning weekly audio podcast, with Graham Cluley, Carole Theriault, and special guests from the world of information security.

"It's brilliant!" • "Three people having fun in an industry often focused on bad news" • Winner of the Best Security Podcast 2018

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4 Responses

  1. coyote

    November 4, 2018 at 9:22 pm #

    You know Graham the description is extremely enticing. It’s so enticing that even with all that’s going on in my life at the time (you don’t even want to know…) I’m very tempted to play it. As an aside though Firefox has a warning on the apple.com link of the 10 years ago site. That itself is a very interesting thing. If I think about it I remember these things and more (at least of the sites I visited - and other things unrelated to the web) but it’s amazing how much changed! I’m a very different person in fact and that’s a huge reason I’ve not been around (but for good things: mostly good that is). Of course when it comes to technology things change at a far faster rate than 10 years. As for the warning it says for apple.com:
    --
    Deceptive site ahead

    Firefox blocked this page because it may trick you into doing something dangerous like installing software or revealing personal information like passwords or credit cards.

    tenyearsago.io has been reported as a deceptive site. You can report a detection problem or ignore the risk and go to this unsafe site.

    Learn more about deceptive sites and phishing at www.antiphishing.org. Learn more about Firefox’s Phishing and Malware Protection at support.mozilla.org.
    --

    The other one I tried - bbc.co.uk - had no issue though. I must say I’m very intrigued about what your thoughts are on about driverless cars and the irony in your question is both amusing and scary (because the idea of driverless cars is scary to say the least). Perhaps it was intended that way; knowing you it probably was but I’ll have to listen. The idea of who deserves to die in a driverless car accident is just … well to pose the question is just so utterly ridiculous. Maybe even crazy. Probably not mental though… I think I shall listen to it or at least some of it.

    Hope all’s well for you!

    • Graham Cluley in reply to coyote.

      November 4, 2018 at 11:07 pm #

      Good to hear from you, and thanks for the message.

      I think what you’re seeing there is Firefox trying to be super-clever about proactively detecting Apple phishing sites and - in this case - getting it wrong.

      It’s no wonder browsers might be trying to protect users from bogus Apple sites considering the prevalence of Apple-related phishing scams… but in the case of this URL, it seems pretty benign to me.

  2. coyote

    November 4, 2018 at 9:55 pm #

    My thoughts on the driverless cars being safer: it’s a blatant abuse of statistics. That’s something that’s so easy to do. It’s something politicians abuse. It’s what organisations abuse. It’s what many people don’t understand too.

    And you’re right to set those scenarios because they could happen. The idea of pseudo-randomly decidinmg who to kill is just insane. A life is a life and every life is precious. And that goes for non humans too. The thing that bothers me is: emergencies. Ambulances and other emergency vehicles. Seconds count. And they can’t always follow the normal rules of traffic. Anyone who says this problem will be completely worked out is naïve. This will lead to disaster in some form or another. And again if you want to argue statistics let’s go for a great example:

    Approximately 55 million people died in the Second World War, right? Okay and consider how many died from Black Death. Makes those 55 million rather meaningless doesn’t it? At least it would if you want to use the ‘logic’ the car manufacturers are using… If there are fewer deaths by their cars compared to cars with drivers and there are fewer deaths from the war to Black Death then all that matters is that there are fewer deaths: because that’s what they’re fixated on. Can’t have it both ways. There are many other issues here too including how it would affect those in the car.

    If someone is in a car that is driverless but they’re a passenger thereof and it kills someone do these car manufactureres actually believe it’s not going to affect them? Of course it will affect them. And what kind of person would seriously get into a car that might pseudo-randomly kill them given such a situation? I would hope they don’t do that but in the end to decide who to kill is immoral and unethical from the beginning and so even if one option is more moral/ethical than the other it doesn’t mean it’s actually moral and ethical. Yet many people probably would. Absolutely mad.

    But in the end does it matter? They’ll do what gives them money and unfortunately people will go for these types of things (just like they do for the IoT…) even if they understand statistics. Laziness comes to mind. That’s another issue: if you don’t have to pay attention to what’s going on you’re going to be slower in general in reacting. And ironically that also lets your brain deteriorate some which is a great way to not reduce the chance of dementia. As someone who due to health (chronic sleep problems) can’t drive (safely which means I won’t do it) I am still against these cars and there’s not a bloody thing I can do about it. No. The only blood that will come of it is … Well I’ll not go there.

    AI might have some uses but it’s also a menace to society. Anyway had some great laughs (but I stopped after that part). Much appreciated.

    • coyote in reply to coyote.

      November 4, 2018 at 9:58 pm #

      Irony: I say that you don’t have to think etc. And in the comment there are some horrible typos. Why? Because I’m on the laptop and I am so used to bigger keyboards (including the modern version of the IBM-M model… love those) - as well as the auto correct that’s in Safari (but I’m in Firefox for this). If I could edit the above I would fix it - can’t stand seeing typos in things I write. Worse than other types of errors, somehow …

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