|Reviews for Lost Kin|
| Crys chapter 25 . 2/11
Nice story. Too bad it seems abandoned.
Obviously AU, but you managed to explain most of the relevant changes.
Wish it would continue, but not like I can compel that of you.
Thanks for sharing it with us.
| Apparuerit Diabolo et Loqui chapter 25 . 9/13/2014
Its a pity this seems to be abandoned
| EvilTheLast chapter 25 . 8/29/2014
It was a good read while it lasted.
| nkh1 chapter 25 . 5/14/2014
Another great story left without an ending.
| deitarionSSokolow chapter 19 . 5/9/2014
More clever... but we've had defenses against the kind of code execution vulnerability you describe in mainframes since at least the 70s and in home PCs since around the time your wrote this. (AMD advertised it as "NX-bit", Intel calls it "ED-bit", and Microsoft calls it "Hardware DEP")
In fact, aside from using "movie magic" to make it do something other than just crash the system, the technique the Cylons are using is identical to the "Fuzzing" I mentioned earlier.
Anyway, our protections aren't perfect, because some programs (eg. the JIT engines for , Flash, and Java) actually need to treat data as code but, for most uses (including sensor analysis), segments of memory are marked as either data or code and the CPU hardware itself enforces the rule that data can't be executed and code can't be modified.
(Attempting to do either triggers an exception which suspends execution of the code which attempted to do it and hands over control to the OS kernel... which usually just kills the program.)
...and that's not even considering the kind of sandboxing used by things like Google Chrome where the JIT engine is so locked down that all it can do is pass messages back and forth between itself and the outer browser... requiring you to hack one system, then remote-control it to hack another and hope that the parent process doesn't detect your hack attempts as anomalous behaviour and kill the child process before you can finish your attack.
...and, again, MILSPEC is even stricter with Mandatory Access Control (MAC) systems like SELinux implementing sandboxing at the OS level where, even if you DID hack an application like Chrome, the OS itself limits what actions it can perform. (To the degree that you could have a copy of Chrome where it could read one file but not write it, write another but not read it, have no access to other files in the system, and only be allowed to open network connections to specific IP addresses on specific ports.)
...and MAC also limits what root/superuser/administrator means such that, in a secure system, even if you DID break through all the other layers and somehow gain root access, you wouldn't be able to do much with it because the system wasn't booted in maintenance mode and, to do that, you need physical access to the machine so you can insert a physical security key (or possibly flip a switch on the main circuitboard), reboot the entire system, and type a password into a physically attached console.
(And that's assuming you're not running the OS inside a hypervisor as is done with things like the Playstation 3's "Other OS" mode.)
These days, 99% of successful security attacks on home PCs aren't because we can't fix the technology... they're because the average computer-buyer isn't willing to put up with the hassle of a secure system. In a military machine, that problem goes away because you're not downloading arbitrary un-certified programs off the network and running them (, games, etc.) and your users get the training necessary to understand how to use a secured system without getting stuck.
| deitarionSSokolow chapter 8 . 5/9/2014
*sigh* As a programmer, I can never take these approaches to Cylon hacking seriously.
The Cylon attacks USED to work because networked computer technology used to take a naive approach to security... back in the '70s when Battlestar Galactica was first made.
Here on Earth, we haven't been that trusting in a while. Civilian programs like web browsers ALREADY have a counter for what the Cylons are doing... though we don't apply it thoroughly enough to be certain:
1. Secure modularization: Breaking the system into isolated pieces so bypassing one firewall doesn't get you the keys to the kingdom (websites that used this technique seriously enough were protected from the recent Heartbleed bug)
2. Taint separation: Clearly separating the code which processes filtered data from the code which processes unfiltered data so there are clearly defined "gatehouses" and you don't overlook a spot where invalid data could get through and trigger a security-compromising bug.
3. Fuzzing: Testing the code with massive amounts of intelligently randomized input to trigger, catch, and fix security holes before an attacker gets a chance.
The only reason civilian programs like web browsers still run up against vulnerabilities from time to time is that they don't have the manpower and money to apply these techniques strictly enough. Avionics certification DOES and that's still not as strict as MILSPEC (military spec).
Civilian aircraft computers alone would be enough to stop the Cylon hacking dead in its tracks and they've got nothing on the stuff you see in military hardware.
(Plus, a LARGE percentage of the security flaws in modern software trace back to how programming in C or C makes it very easy to do the wrong thing. Stricter languages exist but they're a hassle to program in. ...There's a programming language named Rust in development which intends to make that a viable, comfortable option for regular, ordinary programmers and this is 2014... not the thousands of years in the future of your story.)
...or, to put it another way, the cylon "via the sensors" attack is the computer equivalent of photosensitive epilepsy and and the Terrans invented a cure for digital epilepsy. (Seizures are quite literally the human brain's version of crashing and rebooting)
also, it's "wreak (cause) havoc", not "reek (stink) havoc".
| Illuviar chapter 25 . 3/29/2014
| justjoe chapter 25 . 1/6/2014
This is a really good story. I agree with all of the positive reviews. It's too bad that this wasn't finished.
| Louie Pastiche chapter 25 . 10/30/2013
I'll tell you why. Because, he's too cowardly to admit that he's gotten immovable writer's block and too lazy (and/or too egotistical) to remove the stories until such time as he can repost them in their _completed_ entirety!
If I'm wrong, Guy, there's only one way you can prove it to me. Finish up one of your older wip's BEFORE December 31, 2014!
| JackFrost21 chapter 25 . 10/4/2013
Why oh why did this die?
| Tweeky chapter 25 . 9/26/2013
This is a really good fic and I think it's shame that it has been abandoned without explaination from the author what is really is that we can't PM him to request he restart this fic or at least have the decency to explain why he stopped writing it:(.
| MyRandomName chapter 25 . 9/15/2013
| Guest chapter 25 . 8/28/2013
good story but taking so fucking along for the cylons to attack honestly its annoying
| EffervescentNova chapter 1 . 8/8/2013
I've read several of your stories, Lost Kin, A Day In The Life and the Muggle Way. I'm reading them now for the second time. It's driving me mad that you seem to have abandoned not only fanfiction generally but these excellent stories. It's possible that you've simply perished in the last three years in which case I apologize for disturbing your eternal peace/oblivion. Should you still be among the living I can say with a degree of authority that should you continue these fics or begin anew you will undoubtedly provide a great deal of pleasure to any and all who read them.
| Netchka3 chapter 25 . 7/23/2013
Can't wait to read more