Headline, February08, 2014




Many, many legal experts say code should be protected by  free speech laws   -it is after all,  language expressed as strings of  zeroes and ones.

Moreover, tracking down  exploits  is hard. Hackers try to keep them secret so that the intended victim doesn't identify and fix the vulnerability, thereby rendering the exploit worthless.

As a  French exploit  developer puts it, those liable to be rapidly detected are about as useful as a  ''disposable gun''  that can be fired just once.

Secrecy surroundings the design, sale and use of exploits makes protecting computer networks from them akin to finding a  ''unknown unknowns'' , says Kenneth Geers, a  cyber-security at America's Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Several governments want firms to develop exploits. In 2010 a computer worm called Stuxnet was revealed to have a attacked Iran's nuclear kit. 

It used four main exploits to get in; at least one appears to have been bought rather than developed-in-house by the government that launched the attack, says David Lindahl, an IT expert at the Swedish Defence Research Agency, a government body in Stockholm.

An unprecedented weapon to be sure, Stuxnet  remained undetected for years by quietly erasing its tracks after    ''planting sabotage charges at exactly the right places'' in Iran's uranium -enrichment centrifuges, Mr Lindahl says.

Nearly all  well-financed  intelligence agencies buy exploits, says Eric Filiol, a Lieutenant Colonel in France's army until 2009. Computer experts who years ago would reveal software vulnerabilities for mere prestige have realised that they were treating  ''diamonds as mere pebbles'' , says Mr Filiol now:

Head of the Operational Cryptography and Computer Virology Lab in Laval. His Lab is partly financed by France's defence ministry to provide it with  exploits.

The price of exploits has risen more than fivefold  since 2004. Mr Filiol says, referring to a confidential document. They vary greatly and depend on three main factors.

This unique knowledge and post continues. But I taper off by reverting to the ASER survey covering Education in Pakistan:

The less number of classrooms in each school is leading to multi-grade teaching and the survey data shows that across Pakistan,  48%  of surveyed government schools and  30% private schools had   Class II students sitting with other classes.

Similarly,  15%   government and  37%  private schools had Class VIII  students sitting with each other classes.

The ASER survey too continues. Don't miss reading it as we get to the baseline.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of The Caribbean  .See Ya all on   !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Keeping Watch '''

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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