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Call on Cluley!

He'll say almost anything if you sweeten the deal.

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Colour quotes are important to news articles. Just ask Michelle Delio. It's always good to have someone that 1) has a big mouth; and 2) only says the right things from your editorial perspective. Erstwhile Turbo Pascal programmer Graham Cluley is your man. He's made to order for the mainstream Windows-centric news media environment.

Graham's had appearances on BBC TV, Good Morning America, CNN, BBC Panorama, BBC Newsnight, ITN, Channel 4 News, 5 News, Sky News, GMTV, BBC Breakfast, IRN, CNet Radio, BBC Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 4, Radio 5 Live, and the BBC World Service - according to his {{advert}}-marked Wikipedia page at any rate.

There are movers and shakers and then there are movers and shakers. The really important (influential) ones stay behind the scenes, hang out with the peers in the House of Lords, invite people to dinner at the Athenænum or the Ritz Rivoli Bar or the Dorchester Grill (as the Savoy at time of writing is still closed).

And otherwise stay out of sight.

The less influential - the losers - get to feast on the droppings. They work on contacts at the local rags, do occasional ten second spots on the telly, give one line colour quotes to the media.

Graham Cluley is part of the Windows security cottage industry. Too much has already been written about these parasites. If they were really honest dedicated workers they'd have long ago told everyone to get the F off Windows and run to anything - and quite literally anything - else.

But they know where their bread is buttered. Clulely and Hipponen of Fucking Insecure and all the rest: without Windows they're on the chow line and they know it.

Now Cluley is out attacking Ashley Towns who authored the first ever iPhone worm. And let's be honest here: the reason Ash created the worm was he wanted to make people understand how stupid they were. He says so himself. And there sure were a bunch of eejits out there who deserved to get hit. Yet all they got from Ashley was a Rickroll.

There was no point in talking to Apple about the 'hole' (more like a crater actually). A jailbroken iPhone has the security protection of Microsoft Windows - if that. The eejits naturally wanted to crawl out of Steve Jobs' constrictive playpen - who doesn't - and get SSH too. But they forgot one minor detail: everybody on the planet knows what the iPhone passwords are.

This isn't the first time something like this has happened. It's happened at least once before when a NASA launch was threatened - coincidentally again by someone in Australia. Who thereafter got taken to the cleaners by the likes of Cluley.

 W O R M S    A G A I N S T    N U C L E A R    K I L L E R S
\__  ____________  _____    ________    ____  ____   __  _____/
 \ \ \    /\    / /    / /\ \       | \ \  | |    | | / /    /
  \ \ \  /  \  / /    / /__\ \      | |\ \ | |    | |/ /    /
   \ \ \/ /\ \/ /    / ______ \     | | \ \| |    | |\ \   /
    \_\  /__\  /____/ /______\ \____| |__\ | |____| |_\ \_/
      \                                                 /
       \    Your System Has Been Officically WANKed    /

 You talk of times of peace for all, and then prepare for war.

That time it was lax security on US government VAX installations - the boxes shipped with no password on the SYSTEM account. And those great engineers at NASA - across the entire United States - didn't bother changing it. Walkover. Epic fail.

Those weren't mammals (or marsupials) with opposable thumbs. They were NASA engineers. Maybe things got a little screwed up but hopefully some inglorious (and really lame) basterds finally learned their lesson.

The same holds for Gary McKinnon of course - who really embarrassed the US again. By showing they had thousands of unprotected Windows PCs online. All you had to do was walk through the door, said McKinnon who was first arrested eight years ago.

And even Cluley seems to be on McKinnon's side as the latter fights an evil extradition as part of a treaty the United States refuse to sign. Cluley published the results of an informal poll which show that Brits aren't happy about the McKinnon situation.

And 'don't forget', writes Cluley, 'this poll was of 550 people who are normally tasked with fighting hackers'. Checking where the butter is again.

But when it comes to Ash, Cluley has a different stance altogether.

Lets [sic] not forget his worm not only made unauthorised modifications to the iPhones of its innocent victims (requiring a fiddly repair) and contained some elementary bugs but it also provided the template for the more dangerous 'Duh worm' which attempts to convert iPhones into a botnet and steal financial information.

['Duh worm' is one of those fancy names people like Cluley make up. They can't write the code but they get to put names on things.]

Don't get me wrong - I don't think virus writers shouldn't be allowed to rehabilitate [sic] and do something worthwhile with their lives. But it jars with me that Towns has shown no regret for what he did and that now his utterly irresponsible behaviour appears to have been rewarded. Will Towns be offering a token $5 compensation to all those he infected for the inconvenience he caused? I doubt it.

Wow what a mouthful, Graham. That alone makes you Tart of the Month™.

The simple fact of the matter is Ash did a good thing. As did the 'wanker' group out of Australia. As did Gary McKinnon. They all exposed outrageously stupid, obscenely overpaid, and staggeringly incompetent people mismanaging our data.

They did a Good Thing™.

This kind of good thing doesn't fit into Graham Cluley's world. And make no mistake about it: Graham Cluley doesn't do any good things himself. He just makes money. He used to write lame adventure games in Turbo Pascal but now he mostly talks to the media. And makes money.

Graham Cluley will not tell you to get the F off Windows. And he will not tell you Steve Jobs' idea for iPhone security sucks. In fact he will only talk to you when he's in for more free advertising or more sales for his current company. He and all the others thriving in that despicable Windows security cottage industry are the last people you should turn to for advice.

Graham Cluley should dream of having the high ethical standards of Ashley Towns. He doesn't but he should.

People are stupid and this is to prove it.
 - Ashley Towns

See Also
Hall of Monkeys: IDG.se
Hall of Monkeys: Simon Says
The Technological: Fucking Insecure
The Technological: OSX.Loosemaque
Hall of Monkeys: Mark Ward & the BBC
Hall of Monkeys: Spencer Kelly (BBC Click)
Julian Assange/Suelette Dreyfus: Underground
The Technological: Symantec: All Together Now
Industry Watch: Rickrolling iPhones in Australia
The Technological: New iPhone Worm Crumbles Continents, Topples Governments

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