A year of "On Testing"

So a year ago, while debugging a SQL statement in an identity system, I jotted a stupid joke into Twitter.


It has garnered some popularity, for some reason.




I probably should use this time to discuss the ins and outs of software testing, how it integrates with security, and why there is such a response to the joke. But that's all been done.

Instead, I'd just like to take a moment to marvel at the insane power of social media. I mean, that joke has touched over four MILLION people. That's a lot. And it's still going! If I go right now and look at my notifications, 42 more folks have retweeted it.



I have had to turn off my notifications on all devices, otherwise everything buzzes constantly. It's nuts!

But take a second and compare this 15 seconds of fame to the larger issue.  Take Ahmed Mohammed, who went from arrested at school to a white house invite in what, 36 hours? The whole internet stood up! I couldn't believe how aligned my timeline was.  But now, we start to learn that there might be two sides to that story, and that it might have all been a setup. How about that? Someone playing the Social Network? Like a fiddle? Say it ain't so!

With great power comes great responsibility, but what if that power is distributed? And anonymous? Who bears the responsibility? There are some things you just "don't do," but they get done all the time. Someone - someone anonymous, in the network - doxxes someone who the Social Network has decided is worth contempt and then WHOOPS, we were wrong. But now their life is in shambles, and the horde moves on to the next worthy adversary.

I don't really have a solution, but having had a taste of the immense power of the network in a very small way (seriously, 610 replies!) I can just imagine what it would have been like if one of my more off-color or politically or morally charged posts caught the interest of the horde.

Be careful what you share. Make sure your family does as well. You never know what's gonna catch on.

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Bill Sempf

Husband. Father. Pentester. Secure software composer. Brewer. Lockpicker. Ninja. Insurrectionist. Lumberjack. All words that have been used to describe me recently. I help people write more secure software.

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