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Application security programs and practises

Episode 6

EXT: COUNTRYSIDE

A lush pasture with snow-capped mountains in the distance. A fluffy white rabbit hops into shot, stops and nibbles on some grass.

[Dissolve to...]

INT: BOSS'S OFFICE

The BASTARD, PFY and BOSS are clustered around the screen of the Boss's desktop machine.

PFY

See, he just pushes his machine off the desk!

BASTARD

And 20 minutes later so does that guy.

BOSS

So this footage - it's just showing four of the company's financial people deliberately destroying their workstations?

PFY

Yes! But that's not all - about ten other machines in the building were damaged the same way in the past 24 hours!

BOSS

Any idea why they'd do it?

PFY

No.

BOSS

Or why they'd all choose to do it on the same day?

PFY

None whatsoever.

INT: PUB

[caption: 'Last Friday night']

The PFY, very much the worse for wear, is at the bar. Beside him is a BEANCOUNTER, looking nervous.

PFY (shouting, slurred)

I'M TELLING YOU, JUST PUSH IT OFF YOUR DESK! NO ONE'S GOING TO BELIEVE YOU DID IT ON PURPOSE! EVEN IF THEY SEE YOU DO IT, NO ONE'S GOING TO BELIEVE IT WAS DELIBERATE!

BEANCOUNTER

Yes, well, thank you, I suppose, I'll certainly...

INT: BOSS'S OFFICE

PFY (blankly)

Nope. No idea at all.

INT: PUB

PFY

JUST DO IT! LIKE THE SHOES! JUST PUSH THE MACHINE OFF THE DESK! HONESTLY, NO ONE REALLY THINKS YOU'D DO IT. AND WHEN IT'S BROKEN THEY'LL HAVE TO REPLACE IT - IT'S NOT LIKE THEY'LL REPAIR THEM!

INT: BOSS'S OFFICE

BOSS

We'll have to repair them.

BASTARD

Beg pardon?

BOSS

We'll have to repair them.

BASTARD

But they're crapped out P4s!

BOSS

That may be, but they still have an expected lifetime.

PFY

The same could be said about you - but we wouldn’t put money on it...

BOSS

Pardon?

PFY

Nothing.

BASTARD

But we don't have time to repair them!

BOSS

Perhaps you could teach your users to repair them?

PFY

You mean teach users something?

BOSS

Yes.

PFY

Teach them to take the covers off a box?

BOSS

Yes.

PFY

You know that’s a bad idea, right?

BOSS

How bad could it be?

INT: MEETING ROOM

Six beancounters stand behind tables on which their desktop machines are standing. The PFY addresses them.

PFY

OK, so the first thing we’re going to get you to do is to take the covers off your machines. So make sure that your machine is orientated so that the serial ports are at the lowest point...

BEANCOUNTER

What’s a serial port?

The PFY sighs deeply.

[Fade to 10 minutes later]

PFY

OK, so we’ve now found the serial ports on everyone’s machines and started undoing the screws holding the top panel in. We’ve also discovered the screws holding the power supply in, the nuts holding the serial port in, and one of you managed to undo two of the screws holding your desk together. So we’re making progress. Now, before we take the top panel off, what should we do?

BEANCOUNTER

Draw an arrow on the lid to show which way it goes back on again.

PFY

Or we could just remember sticky label is at the front?

BEANCOUNTER

Oh.

PFY

Anything else?

BEANCOUNTER

Ah...

PFY

Yes?

BEANCOUNTER

Er... protect the machine from static electricity?

PFY

Very good – if your intention was to make sure that your machine was able to be repaired. If, however, your intention was to make your machine unrepairable we probably wouldn’t do that. We also wouldn’t make sure that the voltage selector was on 240 and not accidentally set to 115 – for those of you with a power supply with a switch on it. Anything else we wouldn’t do?

BEANCOUNTER

We... wouldn’t not spill liquids inside the machine.

SECOND BEANCOUNTER (excitedly)

We wouldn’t drop it on the floor again?!!

PFY

That’s right, we wouldn’t not drop it on the floor again. Only this time you need to all do it at the same time so that it doesn’t look orchestrated.

THIRD BEANCOUNTER

But if we all do it at the same time wouldn’t it look even more like it were orchestrated?

PFY

Ordinarily, yes – which is why I brought this with me...

The PFY opens a small box and removes a roll of uninsulated copper wire.

INT: CORRIDOR OUTSIDE THE MEETING ROOM

Suddenly the building lights go out and the battery power EXIT lamp light in the hallway illuminates. A tiny wisp of smoke trickles under the bottom of the door.

INT: BOSS’S OFFICE

The PFY, BASTARD and Boss look at each other.

PFY

There’s been a terrible accident!

BASTARD

So the room’s free then?

PFY

It will be after lunch. I’ve got one more class. What’s on the menu?

BASTARD

Rabbit pie, I think...

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

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