[linux-elitists] telnet weenie frenzy!

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Mon Feb 26 17:03:29 PST 2001

begin  Tabinda N. Khan quotation:

> I mostly had a problem with what appears to be a shitty attitude. If you don't
> tell people what the problems are, that's irresponsible. They can't take the
> lessons learned from the "whys" and apply them to other protocols and
> situations. They now only know enough to know there are problems (whatever
> they may be) with FTP and telnet. Not very useful, eh?

The naive user is indeed in a bind, over this -- because of the awkward
and much-too-slow transition away from plaintext authentication methods 
for network protocols.  However, this is exascerbated by such users
(typically) causing security problems for _others_ (i.e., sysadmins) by 
continuing to use outdated tools:  Action is divorced from consequence.

Even the most unsophisticated users eventually _may_ learn caution when
they observe disaster being visited on _themselves_ when they're
reckless.  By contrast, it's amazing how slow they are to learn, as long
as they perceive it to be Someone Else's Problem.

The thoughtful sysadmin should thus be patient and tactful in explaining
why the old, brain-dead way of doing things must change -- _but_ also firm
in forcing that change to happen.  If you wait for the user base to join
the program, you'll have to keep on waiting, and keep on recovering from
compromise, ad infinitum.

> It's okay--you're forgiven.

Don, you've just had a narrow escape.

Cheers,             We write precisely            We say exactly
Rick Moen           Since such is our habit in    How to do a thing or how
rick@linuxmafia.com Talking to machines;          Every detail works.
Excerpt from Prof. Touretzky's decss-haiku.txt @ http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/

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