Thursday, September 22, 2005

wow...they got it right!

with your friendly neighborhood happyrocketboy being such a diehard fan of the new battlestar galactica, the replaytv unit here in the funcave of course dutifully records every new episode every friday, without fail.

yep, this is a cylon. kinda makes ya want to start watchin, huh?

now, one of the biggest pet peeves of yours truly is the asinine way all things technological (and, by extension, technologists themselves) are portrayed in popular media, particularly movies and television shows.

up to now...bsg has taken a somewhat hands-off approach to technology...which fits perfectly with the main plotline of technology gone wild, obviously.

spoiler warning: if you haven't been following the series at all, but are thinking about starting...don't read the rest of this post.

at the very beginning of the series, the cylons are able to nearly wipe out the entire human race because they infiltrate the network systems of the defense forces, shut them off, and then proceed to mow everybody down.

the galactica, about to be decommissioned, survives precisely because it is so obsolete and decrepit that its systems are not networked.

so...the commander of galactica, adama, has always had a standard operating procedure of...no networks on galactica.

so...at the beginning of this season, adama had been shot and was left in a coma. his alcoholic second-in-command, colonel tigh, managed to get the galactica separated from the rest of the fleet after hyperjumping away from a big nasty bunch of cylons.

big problem, since the calculations for any jump require time. and calculating exactly where the fleet jumped meant going back to where the cylon force was waiting to wipe out galactica.

well, to cut the time required for the calc...tigh (and the other nimrods in charge while adama was incapacitated) networked galactica's systems together.

of course...at the end of that episode...you see in the background (especially if you can pause and rewind with a dvr) the cylons breach the last firewall before the network is taken down.

so, in the most recent episode...a cylon virus that had been inserted during the breach months earlier begins to take over the galactica's systems, causing them to do all kinds of goofy stuff, like sending out bogus comm, causing weird system crashes and shutdowns, and causing hostile activity against galactica and its crew.

sound familiar yet?

so what does a healed-up adama order the crew to do?

he orders them to flatten the system, ladies and gentlemen...and restore from a known, clean backup!

precisely because it is the only way to assure there is no trace of the virus left behind.

and i was reminded of dana and the diva's session at smb nation earlier this month, when dana said:

assume that any machine connected to your network has the most vile, nasty, unspeakable code on it, and treat it accordingly.

if i had a dime for the number of times i've heard clients say:

well, we don't have anything super-secret or valuable anyway

bet me. how about payroll or hr info? bank account numbers? credit info? a list of your customers? their credit or personal info?

have your identity stolen, and then tell me you have nothing valuable.

the simple fact is...if even one person in an office is using the internet...there is a potential pathway for the world to come take a walk on that network.

and quite frankly...if even the nimrods in television can finally get the issue of network security right...there's absolutely no excuse for any of us to get it wrong anymore...

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