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Security!

Posted on Tuesday 6th February 2007 at 00:00
Well, my little chick peas, hasn't your old Uncle Ignorminious been working hard for you tonight!? Not only did he manage to get round some security issues that were leaving the site vulnerable to those pesky hackers, but he also managed to fix the background image so that it will adjust itself to fit any size of screen, including yours.

Ok, enough of the third person stuff or Yaxlich will sue me =) So, as I was saying, I managed to fix a security hole that has been a burden to me for quite some time, and was partly responsible for my account being suspended last week. Basically the problem is as follows: All folders on a web server are protected by permissions, right, to stop hackers from accessing them, right. Anyway, the only problem with these permissions, right, is that they prevent me from uploading those pretty pictures you see on each of my posts, right. In order to do the uploads, I was forced to switch the permissions off, basically making the folder open to anyone wishing to get into it.

What I managed to do today was tell the uploading script to change the permissions before and after uploading the pictures, so that all the rest of the time, everything is safe and secure. So hopefully there will be far fewer problems here from now on, at least I hope so.

But anyway, I didn't come here to brag about my programming abilities, I came here to offer you a thought. As I was battling with these security mechanisms earlier I began to reflect on how sad it is that there is a need for security on the internet at all. In a world without aliens, or super intelligent monkeys who try to take over the world, we continue to make up enemies to fill the gaps in our fighting schedules. The internet is one of the few things invented recently that really does stand to benefit all humans everywhere. It brings us together like nothing in our history ever has before and it might potentially change the world forever. I can't think of anyone who could actually lose anything because of the web.

And yet, still there are people out there determined to attack and destroy yet another thing that has done them no harm. In this day and age we should be arming ourselves with cake and party rings and fizzy drinks in order to celebrate this miracle of the modern age. Instead we arm ourselves with firewalls, virus scanners, file permission controls and spyware scanners, and there isn't a single party ring in sight.

My entire effort this evening was nothing to do with fixing a faulty technology, nor expanding our horizons into new territories of computer wizardry. Instead I poured all my resources into overcoming a problem created entirely by people who are too bored and antisocial to participate in this glorious revolution, and instead insist on delaying and irritating us with their petty games.

Above all, it begs the question, if the internet cannot unite us as a species after all these years of fighting, whatever will?

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