Some, er, errors in the Saturday Star

In reporting on the Robocalls during the Federal election, the Star claims to be quoting expert testimony that the messages sent by a specific IP address were all definitely sent from the same computer. I think this is incorrect for at least two reasons.

  1. The IP address assigned to me, by my provider, appears (from the Internet) to be the IP address of any machine connected on this side of their cable modem. If I have a router, I can have several machines all of which will appear, on the Internet, to be that same IP address. (The machines would all have unique, local-LAN IP addresses here which the router would translate both outgoing and incoming using a table to match request with response.)
  2. It is conceivable that a machine on the Internet could insert a message spoofing the originating IP address. Normally this is not useful as the general case of Internet use is, request, followed by response. If you request for someone else, you don’t get the response. However there are protocols that do not require a response. I have it in mind that some of the Black Hat packages used UDP, which is User Datagram Protocol, and it does NOT require a response (and is not using anything like error checking or timeout either, eh?). Two machines using UDP could, in principle, talk to each other (by sending to the correct IP addresses) while totally spoofing the apparent source IP addresses. I admit this is unlikely to be the case when ordering robocalls. It apparently can be the case when using compromised botnet computers.

It appears that Conrad Black got back into Canada with no special help from any politician, that it was a totally normal civil servant paperwork event.

In a letter to the editor, I think I saw the claim that when WalMart came to Canada they kept all the staff (unlike Target, who appears at some locations to have bought the lease, not the business, and will turn all the staff out as the deals mature). I beg to differ in the WalMart case. In our immediate neighbourhood there was a Woolco which WalMart bought and converted. It was announced that all the staff would keep their jobs. It was also announced that the store would be open 7*24.

My wife used this store quite a lot, and reported that only one of the original clerks was still on cash in the store. Apparently the others were all assigned to the midnight shift. After enough of them quit, the store reverted to normal operating hours. Then they moved it to a larger location. I believe the entire staff was turned over. It just took them awhile to cause it to happen.

My point: don’t believe everything you read (including here, eh?).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *