Tech

About the powerlessness of the sysadmin

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On the last Friday in July, the System Administrator Appreciation Day has been honoring the work of the IT staff since the year 2000, who take care of the well-being of the firewalls, routers, servers, the LAN and the countless tools, databases and programs non-stop. It is only under her organizing hands that a network emerges from the individual parts that is suitable for workplaces and playgrounds.

But who actually becomes a sysadmin? One of the first sysadmins in our company had already had a career as a programmer of several years when he felt: “The work no longer fills me, I need more variety, more certainty, to make a difference and keep it going.” With the sysadmin job and free delivery, he got a sack of fleas to guard against, because it quickly became clear: networks not only have to be set up, maintained and expanded, but also kept together and secured against intruders. The admin is noble, helpful and good.

But in retrospect, the first sysadmin days seem like blissful marmot days. Sysadmins, once rocks in the surf and above all doubt as a moral pillar, have to stand by and watch as ransomware takes control of their territory. And how do the sysadmins feel, the Russia in years of hard work “a whole donate your own internet had to “? Well, it was just a test run, but it was actually tested again and again whether Mother Russia would remain in good health if it was disconnected from the rest of the Internet and began a digital life of its own. For safety’s sake, of course, because evil always lurks beyond of the fence.

And was that really a sysadmin who Claimed a route from Deutsche Telekom for its Bulgarian network during the BGP configuration, like maybe a first grader with his hair still at half past seven, a couple of letters written off? Home office hosts were cut off from the blessings of the cloud for hours. However, it would not be the first time if such a BGP hijacking had also collected access data for cloud services.

How do sysadmins feel at companies like NSO? Their boss said yes in an interview: “If I knew that my company would dramatically violate human rights, I would hand over my key and leave the company – even though I once founded it”. The day has come, the boss hasn’t gone. Did the devil create the world when God was sleeping?

So who can help against Pegasus if not a sysadmin? Will smartphone throwing become an Olympic sport? No. Now the Android and iOS programmers are gradually cleaning Pegasus from the memories and locking it behind them. Everything back to normal, right?


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