It's The Computer's Fault - Wells Fargo et al -- NOT!

By | August 9, 2018

Blaming Wells Fargo's recent woes (See this search for news on Wells Fargo) is like blaming the gun for killing people.  Just like someone must pull the trigger, someone must program the computer, fund the project and finally implement the project.

I am a programmer, or I used to be.  I understand that the code I write has a bit of liability ascribed to me.  This is why I encourage people to look to other sources before making a decision on something I write or publish about security or the weather.  I believe in what I am publishing, otherwise my name would not be behind it.  However, although I have decades experience in electronic, communications and information security, I make and always will make mistakes.

I HAVE NEVER BLAMED ANYTHING I SCREWED UP ON THE COMPUTER I WAS USING.

The old adage is: "To err is human, to really screw things up takes a computer."  I couldn't disagree with that more.  The computer is a tool.  It is a machine.  Just as I can take a sledge hammer to a BMW 500 series and really screw things up, I can do so with a computer.

I realized at some that I had the knowledge to build a USB flash drive in a certain way that could potentially take over a department store's point-of-sale equipment and potentially their entire network and the servers connected to it.  I became upset one time at checkout because I had to show my ID and a blood sample to purchase some Sudafed, but not a USB drive.

I grimaced and, jokingly, put the USB drive next to the Sudafed and said, "These two items are interesting.  One I have to have positive ID for, and I have a limited monthly purchase.  The other, is sold with no controls.  The first, I can treat a cold with.  The second, I can destroy the electronics in this store."  I quickly felt a sharp pain in the side of my chest as my wife withdrew her elbow.  I giggled.

Computer, guns, sledgehammers and Sudafed are all tools.  It is how we employ them that make the difference.  The maker of the devices, or solutions, are not at fault.  It is the user that bares the liability for how the tool is employed.

Thanks for reading, and don't blame me for my bad grammar and lack of spelling.  It's WordPress's fault.

Jay C. "Jazzy_J" Theriot

Jay C. Theriot can usually be found as “Jazzy_J” on the IRC Channel #ExtremeSpasticity on Freenode.net –> see: irc://irc.freenode.net/ExtremeSpasticity. You will need an IRC Client such as HexChat to connect.