I want to kill someone. Really I do. I’m so damn sick of paranoid IT people, it’s really starting to make me want to just go live in a grass hut somewhere. Let me give some background.
I’m, as most/all of you know, a computer tech. I support computers for a living. Macs, Wintels, Linux, Unix, whatever. I don’t want to be a tech for the rest of my life, but as time goes on it looks more and more likely. Fine I say, I can handle that. So last summer, I took a systems administration class from the guy who maintains the main servers here at the university. It was a great class… learned a lot, but really, it didn’t change my opinion about security much. Watch your ass, and it won’t get bitten. Well, I guess I was in the minority or something… enter two paranoid sobs.
First off, a friend and I have been war-driving the past couple days. Wardriving is the act of getting a laptop, a GPS receiver, and a wireless card, going around, and finding people’s wireless access points and seeing if they’re wide open. It’s a geek thing. Mainly we’re just doing it out of curiosity for how many waps (wireless access points) there are out there, and how many are actually secured somehow. Well, one afternoon the friend went by the local hospital, and found out that they were sending patient data over wireless, not encrypted whatsoever. So, we contacted the IT guy there, and at first it seemed like was more interested in prosecuting the friend of mine rather than fixing the problem. Today I talked to him again, and he had calmed down a lot, and really now just wants to fix the issue. Good… atleast some people can learn.
Person number 2. I work with him. He’s taking the class I did last summer. The person that used to be in my shoes was an uber paranoid freak. It rubbed off on this person. Now I’m in proximity of him constantly and his paranoid tendancies are getting on my nerves. Security Security Security. “Unplug that box from the network, it hasn’t been locked down”. “What is there to lock down? Nothing is running on it”. “Policy, just unplug it”. WTF. There is no policy. The box is a brandnew xserve with all the updates applied. It’s no more vulnerable than the other ones we have, and more than likely, it’s less vulnerable than most the machines in the building. It’s such f*cking BS. He even wants to put in a firewall for the jschool and restrict the flow of traffic to and from the outside world. GAH! This is a friggin’ university. Don’t try to do the job that someone else on campus provides. It just creates more work and plausable deniability on their part. AAAARRRRGGGG. Must not kill.
I know I’m only a student… I know I’m just low on the totem pole… but since I’m going to have to deal with this shit and support it, I think it should be included in a little more of the policy making meetings. Furthermore, I’m sorry, if we implement a firewall for the jschool, I’m quitting. Out of protest I am going to quit. I so detest the idea of a paranoid limiting scheme that it would completely undermine my morals if I continued to work in a place that did that… especially at a university… a publicly owned and operated entity. I am paying taxes and working for this school… I think I should have certain rights. Sure, I don’t think I should be able to undermine other people’s rights by hacking a machine, or sucking up more bandwidth than I need (i.e. no major servers or anything). But I don’t think I should be blocked from running something like Napster and downloading music just because someone takes a security class and gets this nazi-esk ideal that everyone should be watched. Go work for Aschroft…
Rant Rant… I’m sorry… just seems like that’s really what I want to do right now because I have no other way to let it out. I want to be in the loop… and all I’m getting is this left over bone and grissle that someone tosses me after they’ve nawed on it for a while. I can guess what it used to be, but I can’t be sure. At the very least, this isn’t fostering very good interoffice relationship skills. Question is now, do I show this to my boss and see what he says. *sighs*
Well, that’s all for today kids… maybe I’ll post again later tonight or tomorrow with something a little more readable.