It’s dark and it’s a network. It’s the Dark Net

NED Darknet 30 January

I must confess that I liked this one.  The indefatigable Greg Jones gave an excellent debrief on the Darknet using some weird font which made his presentation look like The Nightmare Before Christmas meets The Matrix.  Well cool and well worth the trip into town.  Greg did overrun somewhat though, but I think on balance it was worth it.  Whatever lecture we missed can’t have been half as good as the exposition of the Darknet, TOR and various other vegetables.  Most impressive as Greg always knows his onions.  Particularly interesting was taking a peek at some of the actual sales and auction sites selling the various goods that most people want to own but don’t want to actually be caught buying, it made a refreshing change to actually see something on sale, rather than the usual platitudes implying that such-and-such is on sale for “fifty dollars”.  A mistake that one of the later presenters made, unfortunately.  Now I’m sure that the Security Architect who works for Visa also knows her Togaf from her Toga, but she fell into that rather obvious trap that tech-light presenters do and tried to befuddle her audience.  She threw lots of arcane, unattributed statistics at us and while I’m sure that some must have been correct, I didn’t see any empirical evidence supporting the assertions about the “number of businesses who can’t recruit the right staff”.  Dear heart, what is a business in the cold light of day?  She also annoyed some of us by constantly referring to the cost of her favourites in “dollars”, presumably she can’t put the numbers into a spreadsheet to convert to cowrie shells which are God’s own currency.  The we had more sales pitches dressed up as thought leadership by the usual anonymous crowd.

An informal little gathering of about fifty or so listened politely and then opined through the usual faux questions.  At one point I felt myself wondering what would have happened if I had turned left out of the lift and gone to the Nursing Gastrointestinal Conference.  I once had gastroenteritis so I think I am well qualified to attend such a conference and I am sure that we’d all have learned something interesting by swapping at least one of the lectures over.

I wanted to ask the police commissioner why the police simply don’t take financial crime seriously if the victim is not a corporation.  For example, if you get your cheques forged, they simply won’t help.  But I didn’t.  Because I’m a craven coward.  So I waited to the end at mid day and went back to the office.

The greats included:

  • Commissioner Adrian Leppard, City of London Police
  • Greg Jones, Director, Digital Assurance
  • Rashmi Knowles, Chief Security Architect EMEA, RSA
  • Martin Jordan, Chairman, NED Forum
  • Paul Webster, Global Head of Technology Audit, Vodafone Group
  • Ross Dyer, Technical Director, Trend Micro
  • Dan Buckley, Director EMEA and APAC, Core Security
  • Phil Huggins, Vice president, STROZ FRIEDBERG

But what about the nosh?  The morning started very well with super little biscuits and pastries filled with custard and other such sugar and fat fests.  Tea of course.  But no lunch, which was a shame.  Perhaps next time the sponsors could spring for bowl of crisps.  I regret not jumping over to the nursing section as they had what looked like a lovely plate of salad, but I thought that as I don’t exactly look like an off-ward but on-duty nurse that trying to explain why I was snaffling a free plate of scran might not do my immortal soul any good.


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