IT Security17 Dec 2014 09:10 am
I already posted about this funny issue twice on Facebook, but, the issue continues to fascinate me, so it gets a blog entry as a learning and warning to others on the potential ills of text messaging.   I have had numerous discussions with my middle school and high school aged sons, regarding propriety in txt messages, tweets, and emails.  With cell phones having cameras I have had the “direct” conversation about not taking inappropriate pictures or videos and certainly never posting “sketchy” photos or videos on social media and DO Not send them via text to their friends.    This conversation started a few years ago and continues to this day, because I believe youngsters need reinforcement.  And, when sitting at the “breakfast” place on Saturday, when I reiterate a life lesson, I laugh to myself when Josh or Daniel complain that we already covered the issue over and over again.    The conversation started a few years ago, because one of Josh’s friends was walking home from school, when another kid who would be labeled “a jock” decided to give a beating to a kid that would be labeled a “computer nerd”.  Who knows why kid A decided to beat up kid B.  Josh was not friends with either of them, but did know one of the kids who was walking home, with a less then smart participant video taping the beating, quickly posting it to Facebook.   Josh showed me the video when I got home, and my first comment was “nothing good was going to come of it”.   The next day, the principal called kids into the office at the middle school, and asked a simple question, to the kids that where there, but, not the kid who gave the beating.  The question was “were you at the incident”.  One by one the kids he called into the office said “No”, the principal said, “I saw the video, you were there, your suspended for a week.”.  This occurred for everybody on the video.  Suspended, not because they participated in the beating, but, because they lied to the principal.  The kid who gave the beating was suspended, not allowed to participate in graduation but he did graduate form 8th grade and move on to High school.  H was lucky the issue was not escalated to the police department.  In the day of camera phones its remarkable that he didn’t have the common sense to not get into a fist fight, and the other Einstein who video taped also had no common sense.   I’m glad my sons were not involved but, it because a very good life lesson discussion on the evils of capturing inappropriate images or videos and then posting them on social media.  I laterally told them, if they are ever walking home and something like this happens, RUN the other way and come home.

Another discussion point down the same path is never get into txt message wars, do not send emails that contain anything negative, and never get into social media wars.  If its not nice, don’t post it.

In my current role, I hire consultants.     The skill setI need for a certain role is VERY specific.   Application Security manual testing, with knowledge of Java and J2EE, burp suite, and other manual testing tools.  Its a difficult skill set to find.    To determine if the candidate is worth having a discussion with, we have a test we send the potential candidates.  Its open book.  They do the answers at home.  And they can google to get the correct answers.     For candidates that really want to come work for me, they can even “mock up” the source code examples, compile them, and get the 100% correct answer.   But, unfortunately, application security is a hot market, and candidates can find lots of opportunities so they simply don’t take the time to answer the test questions.  So they don’t do well on the test, and we don’t have much interest in interviewing them.   Q.E.D.

I use a consulting company for these technical application security consultants.  We paid them about $300K this year, and we have committed to spending another $400K with them in 2015.   He presented a candidate that did poorly on the test.  But, meh, I thought we would interview him.  And its the holidays and its hard to get the right people on the interview, which I ultimately agreed to have the phone interview on a Tuesday and here is where the wheels came off the bus.  I did not schedule the interview on Tuesday fast enough for his liking, so, the recruiter had some type of FIT, and instead of texting whomever he wanted to text that I was trying to be a “douche bag” for dragging my feet setting up the interview for his less then qualified candidate, HE SENT THE TEXT to me.    Spend $300K with a vendor in 2014.  Lock in a spend of $400K with a vendor for 2015.  Get a Text message from the vendor calling me a “Douche Bag”.  PRICELESS.

The lesson learned?  Only send positive text messages, emails and social media posts.  I bet the executives at Sony are also wishing they are followed these guidelines when referring to the talent they work with in such a negative fashion.  If I were the talent that was based I would certainly not work with Sony again, based on the emails that the Sony Hackers have released from the Sony Executives.

john

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