Oh look, I've come back from the dead

Hola amigos. So, I’ve been sucking lately. It’s because I’ve been crazy busy. Like, working 20 hours/week at the computer lab, spending 25+ hours a week rowing crew, and taking a full class load. And being cool with the ladies, going to Jimmy’s, and watching West Wing and American Idol.

But, today I ordered a new camera phone, the Nokia 3650, so I’ll totally be into photoblogging once that arrives. Maybe that will infuse ktheory with a little go-juice.

Oh, I just read a cool story on Slashdot. Back in December, some hackers found out the postal address of the head of a major spam e-mail company. They subscribed him to thousands of catalogs and other promotional mailings. As a result, he gets hundreds of pounds of mail a day, and he has to look through it all to find the legitimate mail. Bruce Schneier explains how to automate the attack:

If you type the following search string into Google—“request catalog name address city state zip”—you’ll get links to over 250,000 (the exact number varies) Web forms where you can type in your information and receive a catalog in the mail. Or, if you follow where this is going, you can type in the information of anyone you want. If you’re a little bit clever with Perl (or any other scripting language), you can write a script that will automatically harvest the pages and fill in someone’s information on all 250,000 forms. You’ll have to do some parsing of the forms, but it’s not too difficult. (There are actually a few more problems to solve. For example, the search engines normally don’t return more than 1,000 actual hits per query.) When you’re done, voila! It’s Slashdot’s attack, fully automated and dutifully executed by the U.S. Postal Service.

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