How to find answers when you don’t have information

Everyday in IT you are asked to find answers when you don’t have information. For example, one time I was asked to find where a website was hosted with just the name of the website. I know from my website that you can sometimes trace the DNS or name server and that normally is the hosting company. When I tried to do that using the DNStools to the left, it resolved to a data-center that wasn’t for customers but was for re-sellers only. No contact information for help. So I paused and considered my options.

I simply typed in Google “how to find host of website” and it came up with several webpages. I tried the first one and it didn’t work and showed me the data-center I had found earlier. Then I tried the second one and it worked great. I was able to provide the information to the coworker who asked me, and everyone was happy.

This isn’t just saying use a search engine to find things. It is also to state that when you don’t have answers to a question, if you think about the mechanics of how something exists you often find a way to find the answer. Another example is when I used to have a car that had constant issues. I once owned a Volvo that was just a nightmare of maintenance. I was poor so I couldn’t afford a mechanic, so I tried to find answers and fix issues myself. I learned many things, and I discovered that if you look hard enough you can find any information even proprietary information. For example car companies have private information they share with their dealers and isn’t made for public consumption. However techs will post the information and then you can fix your car yourself. It was amazing.

So what I have seen is that every answer I have looked for on the Internet I have found. If it has a concrete answer, someone, somewhere knows it. The longest search for an answer has taken years, but I eventually found it. The secret of how to find answers when you don’t have information, is to associate with what you know. Try to brainstorm the different routes you think the information may exist and then you will find a way to find the information.

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Now stolen data can be quickly found

New technology protects customer privacy while it crawls the Dark Web for data compromised in corporate breaches.

Source: Terbium Labs Finds Stolen Data Before It Gets Sold – StumbleUpon

This is amazing. A private and secure way for companies to discover if information has been traded/sold in almost real-time. This will really cut down the time for hackers to be caught I hope.

What amazes me is that hackers have such an ability to hide on the Internet. It must be hosting companies, ISP’s, banks that allow these criminals to do business. We hear each day of companies that were negligent in dealing with crime. Bernie Madoff for example triggered some warnings by executives but those were ignored.

Crime doesn’t happen just by itself but by everyone who allows it to occur. As a society we pay for crime in so many ways. When I worked for a hosting company part of the job was to lookout for illegal activity. Those were against the terms of service. Why am I bringing this up? Some employees allow illegal activity by not having the proper amount of computer professionals who can monitor the system. They say “they didn’t know” but how can they know when the computer professionals are overworked just trying to maintain the system?

If society is serious about stopping crime then we need to hold decision makers responsible when crime occurs at a company. Otherwise what is the incentive? No one pretends that companies with a financial penalty really change behavior. When they make more money by breaking the law, what are people who are concerned with this quarters stock results going to do? We set up a system and then act like we don’t know how it works.

We can stop crime, it’s just clear that those who profit from it do not want to.

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