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posted by martyb on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:27PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the can't-be-too-secure... dept.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/02/14/silly_police_infosec_parental_advice_poster/

The UK's National Crime Agency has publicly distanced itself from a poster urging parents to call police if their child has installed Kali Linux, Tor or – brace yourself – Discord.

Issued by the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (WMROCU) via local area councils, the poster in question lists a slack handful of common infosec tools – as well as some that clearly have nothing to do with computer security.

Should your child install Kali Linux, virtual machines (the image on the poster looks like Virtualbox) or internet privacy tool Tor, West Midlands Police wants to know immediately. And if – Heaven forfend – your sprog installs Metasploit to learn how to secure code, uses free chat service for gamers Discord, or gets a Wi-Fi Pineapple for research, you may as well report straight to your nearest prison and abandon your tainted offspring forever.

Here is a link to the poster in question.


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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:31PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:31PM (#958473)

    If your child is smarter than you, call the cops.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by bzipitidoo on Saturday February 15 2020, @03:50PM (4 children)

      by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 15 2020, @03:50PM (#958524) Journal

      Script kiddies are smart?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:47PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:47PM (#958538)

        "Smarter." Not smart in the absolute sense, just relatively "smarter."

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @08:39PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @08:39PM (#958597)

          What if your chikd is smarter than the cops? Who do you call?

          • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Sunday February 16 2020, @07:26AM

            by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 16 2020, @07:26AM (#958724)

            Ghostbusters!

      • (Score: 2) by edIII on Saturday February 15 2020, @09:33PM

        by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 15 2020, @09:33PM (#958606)

        They're certainly better equipped. You don't have to understand how a nuke works to turn the key, lift the trigger guard, and press the fire button.

        For example, as a child I understood nothing about electricity. Oddly enough, that assisted me in blowing out the power for my whole block.

        --
        Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:36PM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:36PM (#958475)

    Since the police started requiring university degrees, it appears they've attracted people so completely retarded they don't even know what policing is. [bbc.co.uk]

    • (Score: 2) by Nuke on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:56PM (6 children)

      by Nuke (3162) on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:56PM (#958481)

      But according to ZDNet [zdnet.com], the police deny being involved with the poster. It is as if someone has put police logos on it to give it weight, but without their permission.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by khallow on Saturday February 15 2020, @01:21PM (5 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 15 2020, @01:21PM (#958488) Journal

        Update 17.58 GMT: WMROCU told us:

        "This poster was produced to raise awareness among teachers, parents, and guardians to help them advise children how to stay safe online. The poster highlighted some of the digital tools their children might be using at home.

        The software mentioned is legal and, in the vast majority of cases is used legitimately, giving great benefit to those interested in developing their digital skills. However, as with any software, it can also be misused by those with less legitimate intentions. The purpose of this poster was to provide a quick reference guide to the range of software available, so those with parental responsibility for children and young people can start up a conversation about the safe and legal use of computers and technology."

        Apparently, the denial is being walked back a little.

        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:30PM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:30PM (#958533)

          When I was still a teenager, someone explained to me that you could use a pencil to draw your own porn -
          probably because I asked him to buy me a top shelf magazine.

          Being terrible at drawing, I decided I could write it instead. The great thing about PCs is that you can delete it afterwards.
          And, since the invention of semiconductor memory*, if you don't save to disk, there is probably no evidence left after
            powerdown.

          This experience demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that mentoring can corrupt and deprave, pens and pencils
          are tools of the pornographer, and that PCs are the work of the devil (especially when PC stands for Police Constibule).

          * In the olden days, we had porn on PDP8s with core memory and Teletypes with hard copy ONLY UPPER CASE.

          • (Score: 2) by Nuke on Saturday February 15 2020, @08:48PM (3 children)

            by Nuke (3162) on Saturday February 15 2020, @08:48PM (#958600)

            But to draw your own porn you need a model, not so easy for a teenager to find, unless it is tentacle porn when you just use imagination.

            • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday February 16 2020, @04:02AM (2 children)

              by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Sunday February 16 2020, @04:02AM (#958685) Homepage

              You can find a clothed woman in a magazine and lay a sheet of paper over it and trace all the details except for the clothing. Then draw nipples on the boob outlines and a small triangle of fur by pencil burnishing.

              • (Score: 2) by pipedwho on Sunday February 16 2020, @04:48AM (1 child)

                by pipedwho (2032) on Sunday February 16 2020, @04:48AM (#958694)

                Porn is != to nudity

                • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Sunday February 16 2020, @05:41AM

                  by Mykl (1112) on Sunday February 16 2020, @05:41AM (#958710)

                  Porn is != to nudity

                  No, but lots of people use nude imagery as porn. And, per GPs comment, you could easily create 'prurient' material through tracing over clothed figures and introducing your own 'enhancements'.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:42PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:42PM (#958478)

    How much of WMROCU's funding comes from Apple and Microsoft?

  • (Score: 5, Touché) by turgid on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:53PM (10 children)

    by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:53PM (#958480) Journal

    Our Government for the People [theguardian.com] wants to give Ofcom the power to monitor and regulate what we put on the Internet [independent.co.uk] which is a bit scary given that we have no written constitution and no legal right to free speech, Oh, and they also want to end the independence of the Judiciary [theguardian.com]. We can't have pesky checks and balances to keep our politicians on the straight and narrow now, can we?

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @01:02PM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @01:02PM (#958483)

      given that we have no written constitution

      It is written, it's not a single document.

      and no legal right to free speech

      Wrong [loc.gov]

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by turgid on Saturday February 15 2020, @01:07PM (3 children)

        by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 15 2020, @01:07PM (#958485) Journal

        Thanks. So I'm legally not allowed to heckle a Nazi. Great...

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @02:11PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @02:11PM (#958501)

          Probably classed as a "non-crime hate incident" now. You are allowed to heckle "a Nazi", you are not permitted to harass people or cause public order offences. It'd also be a good idea to make sure you're reserving the "Nazi" label for National Socialists because slander is a civil tort.

          • (Score: 2) by turgid on Saturday February 15 2020, @02:38PM (1 child)

            by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 15 2020, @02:38PM (#958508) Journal

            Nazi, fascist.. you say "tomato" I say "tomato."

            • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:50PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:50PM (#958539)

              And yet, you consistently rail against freedom, including freedom of speech. Why is that? Are you /sure/ you're not a Nazi?

      • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @06:01PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @06:01PM (#958561)

        Well, they did under the European Commission on Human Rights, but then they Brexited. Best be careful what you say, Royal Subject, or the Queen or Her Primal Minister may lock you in the Tower.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @08:52PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @08:52PM (#958602)

          The Council of Europe is not the EU.

    • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Saturday February 15 2020, @03:34PM (2 children)

      by fustakrakich (6150) on Saturday February 15 2020, @03:34PM (#958522) Journal

      We can't have pesky checks and balances to keep our politicians on the straight and narrow now, can we?

      Well, if the voters can't be bothered to do basic background checks on the people they elect and reelect, why should the judge stick his neck out? Just go with the flow and collect a nice pension.

      --
      Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
      • (Score: 2) by turgid on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:14PM (1 child)

        by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:14PM (#958530) Journal

        So judges shouldn't be there to see that justice is done? I see.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by fustakrakich on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:58PM

          by fustakrakich (6150) on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:58PM (#958542) Journal

          *sigh* no, you don't see, maybe you don't want to, that's not what I said... The judges are being frustrated by people who don't care enough to see a ruling enforced. They can't do their job without public support.

          --
          Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @01:26PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @01:26PM (#958489)

    I was once asked "Don't you feel guilty for using encryption?"
    I had to laugh. What a silly question. Of course I don't feel guilty for using encryption. I want my mother to be protected by encryption. There's no reason to not be safe on the internet.
    The bad guys are all using encryption to protect themselves. Why shouldn't everyone else be protected? It's stupid to say to yourself, "I don't want to be protected. I want everything I do to be seen by the criminals and hackers."

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @01:32PM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @01:32PM (#958491)

    Thank God this same organization is in charge of our healthcare. Totally competent and upstanding people, the gov.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by theluggage on Saturday February 15 2020, @02:26PM (7 children)

      by theluggage (1797) on Saturday February 15 2020, @02:26PM (#958504)

      Thank God this same organization is in charge of our healthcare. Totally competent and upstanding people, the gov.

      Nonsense - we should hand all this important stuff over to for-profit insurance companies, because they're so much more altruistic and accountable than the government, and instead of having to pay for it via tax you'll pay for it through "optional" fees (because not getting treatment when you are ill is apparently an option), plus all those hard-to-quantify indirect costs of businesses having to pay healthcare for their employees, increased liability insurance etc. that are all hidden in the cost of living so you don't have to worry your head about them. Except, of course, the insurers will just void or refuse cover at the slightest excuse and offload the non-profitable/can't pay cases on government anyway so you'll still have to pay taxes if you don't like dead bodies on the streets.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @02:27PM (6 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @02:27PM (#958506)

        I don't have insurance or government healthcare. Both are scams.

        • (Score: 5, Touché) by pe1rxq on Saturday February 15 2020, @03:16PM (5 children)

          by pe1rxq (844) on Saturday February 15 2020, @03:16PM (#958519) Homepage

          So your healthcare is handled by an idiot?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @08:33PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @08:33PM (#958593)

            Idiots with a large bank account (from saving thousands of dollars each year) getting 50-99% off what you get billed for?

            Or are the idiots the ones that pay organizations they hate and distrust to take care of their health?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16 2020, @03:37AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16 2020, @03:37AM (#958678)

              Where can I find an amazing cash clinic in Portland?

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mcgrew on Saturday February 15 2020, @09:54PM (2 children)

            by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday February 15 2020, @09:54PM (#958610) Homepage Journal

            In America yes, health care is handled by idiots too stupid to understand that sometimes capitalism doesn't work. A blind market where nobody knows what's being charged for or why is just retarded.

            --
            Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
            • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @10:12PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @10:12PM (#958612)

              Uh, the government paid for like $1 trillion of healthcare expenses in the US last year. It has nothing to do with capitalism. It is crony corporatism

              • (Score: 3, Interesting) by theluggage on Sunday February 16 2020, @12:49PM

                by theluggage (1797) on Sunday February 16 2020, @12:49PM (#958771)

                In other news, Soviet Russia wasn't true socialism, it was corrupt authoritarianism.

                These are the characteristic failure modes of political idealisms being applied dogmatically rather than pragmatically. That bridge isn't a pile of rubble because it was designed to fall down - there was an implicit flaw in the design.

                Maybe, you know, healthcare needs a dash of socialism and manufacturing industry needs a dash of corporatism... it is the stupid false dichotomies that are the problem. Also the bizarre delusions that large corporations are more trustworthy and efficient than government: you just don't get to see the corporate accounts listing the $20,000 spanners.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by turgid on Saturday February 15 2020, @03:10PM (1 child)

      by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 15 2020, @03:10PM (#958518) Journal

      Ah. Alt-Wrong reasoning. Bravo, encore!

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @08:47PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @08:47PM (#958599)

        People who still paying for health insurance at this point are like those paying for AOL and watching cable Tv.

        You do get something, but it is way overpriced.

  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday February 15 2020, @02:40PM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 15 2020, @02:40PM (#958509) Homepage Journal

    "Mid police station, how may I help you?"

    "Orifice, I want to report that my son has just installed Kali Linux on his laptop."

    "Well, Sir, may I have your name and address, and your son's name? And, don't you mean, "Officer"?"

    "No, Orifice, I don't think so. You see, I helped him to install Kali Linux, because it was only his second time."

    "Well, why on earth would you do that?"

    "Because we can. Good day, Orifice."

    *click*

    --
    Make an actual interesting, germane, and relevant point and you may get away with Flamebait - 'Zumi
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by theluggage on Saturday February 15 2020, @02:48PM

    by theluggage (1797) on Saturday February 15 2020, @02:48PM (#958513)

    Be alert if you find your local law enforcement official, or one of their assistants or advisors, is using any of the following on their computer:

    • Word processing software such as MS Word
    • Presentation software (including MS Word, Publisher and Powerpoint)
    • Other so-called "Desktop publishing" tools
    • Colour printers (look out for discarded "ink cartridges" which can be a sign of printer use)
    • "Microsoft Windows" or "Mac OS" which are common "operating systems" used to run the above.

    These tools can be used to create "posters" including convincing-looking "graphics" and "logos" that may fool innocent and vulnerable morons into thinking they were produced by people who know what the flying fuck they were talking about. Being taken in by one of these can lead parents to have their children permanently stigmatised by a "non-criminal incident record" (a.k.a. creepy 'pre-crime' policing theatre) as well as wasting the time and damaging the reputation of the majority of police officers (at least in the UK) who actually give a shit about doing a good job.

    If you think your local law enforcement official may be using these tools - or if you're just paranoid because you've read this scary warning - please tell someone immediately so that they can be re-directed to getting on with their fucking job.

    Remember - you wouldn't believe these notices if they were written in crayon, so why do you believe them when they're written in MS Publisher or posted on Tw@tter?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @06:40PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @06:40PM (#958569)

    this is silly. how many botnets is kali linux powering?
    i'd wager a bet that its alot less then what windows is providing ...
    the post should really warn people about using proprietary closed source and (who knows) for what profit operating system like m$ windows ...

    i have come to believe that m$ is running the world including the usa government.
    sure you can imagine all kinds of scenarios where you say "imagine what would happen if you removed "x" for a days worldwide. but it's obvious that usa government and the paper pushing backend of the economy is totally dependant on m$. remove it for a day and see what happens.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Booga1 on Saturday February 15 2020, @07:04PM (1 child)

      by Booga1 (6333) on Saturday February 15 2020, @07:04PM (#958580)

      You're looking at this from the wrong angle. They aren't worried about the kids using insecure software. They're worried that the kids are the hackers.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by maxwell demon on Sunday February 16 2020, @07:49AM

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Sunday February 16 2020, @07:49AM (#958730) Journal

        Since the hackers usually attack Windows machines, and attacking a machine requires to have knowledge about them, the best way to prevent your kid from becoming a hacker is to keep any information aboput Windows awayfrom them. Best, don't even tell them that Windows exist, make them believe that all the world runs on Linux. This may mean that you have to run Linux yourself as well, or else your kids may see you running Windows and become curious. If you think that is inconvenient, remember that it is about the future of your children. Isn't preventing them from becoming criminals worth a bit of inconvenience?

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @08:15PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @08:15PM (#958591)

    But wait, instead of emotionally reacting let's just see where would it lead us and should anything be done with it. Such meme "hacking==bad" is conveyed all over again recently over the media. It's not about cracking, it's not even computer-related hacking, it's about all hacking, all tings around. Like "just follow these stupid and nonsense orders and get a cookie, citizen".
    Let's consider cars. In some countries even a decade ago I could build my own car, ride it here and there with inspection, pass the tests that it won't fall apart and get a license/registration document. I could modify my own car too. Now cars are "locked" - you cannot modify them because you would violate some laws, and rolling with DIY cars on "official" roads leads driver to jail. In many cars it is forbidden to even try to understand how the machine operates!
    The same thing is going with computers and the Internet now. The Internet is now under a complete control of a few centralized companies, and let's not delude ourselves that users can do something which is not allowed by these companies - it is not possible as these companies have a network effect on their side. This is now a new TV, but with option to see what consumers do so they won't switch channel when the ads start. To visualize it better, the Internet started as a "sandbox" game under a rudimentary governing, and now it's a complete linear thing dependent on a few entities who wants to maximize their gains on it while keeping users in illusion that's still the "sandbox". While in the first variant hacking is the driving force giving inventions and making systems better, in the second it has the opposite effect - especially if it's done the "open source" way so the governing kamarilla would not get their slice. Thus the companies want their cattle to follow the line and not try to make shortcuts or increase effectiveness without paying them.
    People never wanted Internet neutrality. I asked lots of them, even these who started first BBS relays and the Internet nodes in my country, and they all wanted no Internet neutrality. It was only needed to ask the proper question like "Would you like website x not to be included in your monthly transfer in mobile Internet?". A similar way people wanted to backdoor their computers and take the control from them by W3C's EME. However, there is a minority of people who do not want and they may even try to build some hardware. So push the "hacking==bad" all time! Until people agree to ban all hardware modifications!
    Modifying hardware (and software) would be quickly considered illegal and every hardware already has means to detect it in form of unique identifiers, supervisors like "ME" (Intel confessed it, but not directly - by censoring Purism's attempts to document it) and backdoor systems like "UEFI". Or in means of software reporting themselves from all over the world with spyi... pardon, update checking mechanisms.
    So should we really do anything with it? Or abandon messing with systems in favor of corporate feeding plants? It looks like it's a pure consequence of what Internet users want - a closed, government-cared and not our network, hardware and services. That's what is expected by users: Modifications should never be made as this would make corporation gains lower. A few manipulations and we'll even feel guilty for it!

  • (Score: 2) by stretch611 on Sunday February 16 2020, @02:44PM

    by stretch611 (6199) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 16 2020, @02:44PM (#958796)

    Maybe everyone in the world should just do what they ask.

    If your child is running kali linux, discord, or virtual box call this organized crime bureau and let them know about it and ask for advice.

    And let's be extra safe here... Call them regardless of the distro, any type of linux being run should be reported. Also, any hypervisor should be reported because they all can create virtual machines with hidden operating systems. Finally, call them about any messaging platform that can be used by hackers... not just discord, but also whatsApp, Skype and even yahoo messenger (if that is even still a thing.)

    If their phone line is busy, just keep trying, after all any suspicious behavior needs to be reported. Even if they claim to be organizing a raid in an MMO through discord, make sure that you call, and that every parent of each raid member be notified to call this police department as well. If you find them running linux, contact their school district after notifying the cops... make sure that the schools tell the parents of everyone in your local area to watch for any linux activity and call the cops if they see it.

    And remember, using the internet makes this a global problem... there are no country borders online... be sure to call these UK cops regardless of what country you live in... after all, we are all a part of the global community and must unite against hackers. It does not matter how swamped their phone lines get, just keep on calling and encourage others to do so as well... regardless of how many days it takes to get through.

    --
    I think; therefore, I am vaccinated.
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