Thursday, August 20, 2009

Maricopa County Sheriff’s office vs. Maricopa County ongoing

I haven’t heard much since last week about the armed raid promoted my the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office against a County held IT facility. I know about this because it actually managed to make it onto Slashdot, a news site for the IT and computer oriented. Basically making a laughingstock out of Maricopa County and our sheriff’s office.

I am not sure if Joe Arpaio happened a direct hand in this, but the actions of his subordinates in this case does not reflect well upon him.

Last week, a judge cited a restraining order against the MCSO and possible contempt charges coming down for an MCSO lieutenant if he did not turn over the new password of the systems. The officers who raided the facility did so in order to take control of the computers for the time necessary to change the password and lock the civilian operators out of the system.

The sheriff’s office claims this was done because they felt an intrusion as imminent. However, this either displays a gross ignorance of exactly how computer security works or is a cover for another action. Changing the password does nothing to defend the servers from civilian operators who already have physical access to the machines in question—in fact, nobody needs a password when they can physically remove the hard drive from a computer if they want to read or tamper with data.

Political ramifications aside for the sheriffmen’s actions; the excuse they’ve given themselves for what basically amounts to a powerplay coup doesn’t hold up to basic scrutiny.

Elaine Mercer from Black Hat Magick Detective Agency is currently writing up her own thoughts on the mater, but insofar news on the subject is extremely sparse.

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