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FOSS Week in Review: Happy Sysadmin Day, SEC’s New Cyber Attack Rules, and Musk Steals User Handle

Be nice to your SysAdmin, SEC makes rules for reporting cyber attacks, and Musk purloins a user’s $40,000 Twitter X handle.

Source: Pixabay

Guess what? This week’s roundup is going up on time, a pleasant change from last week when we went up a day late.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that yesterday the weather turned fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk hot, and according to the folks at Channel 12 it’s going to stay that way until Monday.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you. So far this summer, while much of the country has been suffering from heat wave after heat wave, we’ve had it pretty mild here in rural North Carolina. I think that until yesterday we’d only seen a couple of days when the temps went up into the 90s, which is pretty unusual for this neck of the woods. We had a nice spring this year as well. Lots of times around here we go straight from winter to summer. This year we had a nice spring, that extended all the way into June.

Oh, and did I tell you that we had a mild winter this year too? We are blessed.

Happy SysAdmin Day

Today is SysAdmin Day. Really? Who even knew there was such a thing? Well, I probably should have known because it seems that everybody on the planet in some way has their own day these days.

I just heard about it from an article by Bobby Borisov on Linuxiac, who not only told that today is a holiday, he told me that the first SysAdmin Day was celebrated on July 28, 2000, as well. Unless my fingers and toes are lying to me, that means it’s a day that’s been being observed for 23 years.

So I learned something new today. And since I’ve always been one to use any excuse for a party — if you’re a sysadmin, you have my permission to take the day off and do whatever you want. If the boss gives you any flack, tell him or her that I said it was OK.

SEC Toughens Up

The Securities and Excahnge Commission on Wednesday announced that going forward, publicaly traded companies will need notify the SEC of a cyber attack within four days of figuring out that it will have a “material” impact on the company’s finances.

This has got a lot of companies crying “foul!”, which isn’t surprising since many if not most corporate types think they should be able to ply their trade without having regulators get in the way — and nothing hurts the bottom line like announcing, “We got hacked, and by the time the dust settles it’s going to cost us several boatloads of money!”

It may come as a surprise to those who have been led to believe the captains of commerce are always the good guys wearing white hats, but the complaining appears to be a bit on the deceitful side, with claims being made that the SEC’s new rule requires things it doesn’t.

For example, before the ink was dry on the SEC’s new regulation, the chief security scientist and advisory CISO at access-management-focused Delinea, was saying this:

“The latest US Security and Exchange Commission ruling will cause shock waves for publicly traded companies and their legal teams trying to assess how they can quantify and measure a ‘material’ impact to their finances within four days of a cyberattack.

“Typically, within four days, organizations would be in the midst of trying to retain control over their systems from unauthorized access, rather than having to also try and determine any ‘material’ impact to their finances.”

He makes a really good case, except for one thing. The new SEC reg doesn’t require that companies “quantify and measure a ‘material’ impact to their finances within four days of a cyberattack.” What they do require is, according to the SEC press release, is this: “An Item 1.05 Form 8-K will generally be due four business days after a registrant determines that a cybersecurity incident is material.”

In other words, by all means, take your time and do due diligence to get back online and assess the damage and all that, but at the moment you realize that, “oops, that cyber attack is going to cost us,” then you have four days to fill out the form and tell the SEC.

Jeez guys, why do you always have to make so much drama?

‘X’ Marks the Spot

Since 2007, Gene X Hwang could be found hanging out on Twitter under his moniker “@X”.

By dint of being an early adopter, for 17 years he’s had one of the coolest handles going: the single ‘X’, a lone crosshair designating his middle name, but also “X marks the spot” or the place where “you are here” is marked on a map, or the markings made by a salesperson on a contract to point to places needing initials or signatures. No matter how you look at it, it was a freaking cool Twitter handle.

But Hwang isn’t Mr. X any longer. That designation now belongs to the maniacal manchild who now calls the shots at the platform formally known as Twitter.

I’m pretty sure that even if you haven’t heard the news yet, by this point you’ve got a pretty good idea of where this is going: that when Musk changed Twitter’s name to X he decreed that the @X handle was now the property of Twitter. If that’s what you’re thinking, you would be correct.

“They just took it essentially — kinda what I thought might happen,” Hwang told The Telegraph, which evidently broke the story. “They did send an email saying it is the property of ‘x’ essentially.”

It’s a good thing Hwang saw it coming, so he wasn’t taken by surprise when Musk just grabbed his handle, offering little in the way of compensation.

According to Ars Technica: “The company offered ‘to switch the @x account and its history/followers etc to a new handle once I select one that is available,’ Hwang told us. ‘They also offered some merch and to meet with the management team as well.'”

Hwang turned down the invite to meet with the management team. “I am not sure what that convo would be really,” he told Ars.

The name “@X” certainly had monetary value. Naoki Hiroshima, who possesses the Twitter handle “@N,” has said that he’d been offered as much as $50,000 for the name in an article he wrote after the name was stolen from him (not-to-worry, Twitter eventually restored his ownership).

In fact, back in 2018 the tabloid paper The Sun ran an article about insanely large offers for Twitter handles that owners had turned down. That article included a couple of paragraphs about Hwang who, according to The Sun, “said no to multiple offers ranging between 10k-40k because he didn’t think they were legit.”

Until Hwang decides what he wants his new handle to be, Twitter X has given him @x12345678998765 as a temporary handle.


That’s going to do it for this week. See you at the next weekly round-up. Until then, may the FOSS be with you…

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