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Damian Menscher
Works at Google
Attended University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Lives in Mountain View, CA
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Damian Menscher

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Today three of my 20% projects were announced: a DDoS map that shows the history of botnet attacks over time, project Shield which will offer DDoS mitigation services for non-profits, and uProxy, a tool to let you proxy your internet connection through a trusted friend, thereby getting a view of what it looks like from their location (perhaps with less censorship).
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Emmett Smith's profile photoPeter Ward's profile photoLarry Bunch's profile photoDavid Hixson's profile photo
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UProxy may be something that people in other countries use to get past internet filters to view content prohibited by their government.
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The swans of Zürich, skiing in the Alps at Engelberg, and the burning of the Böögg for Sechseläuten. Photos from my recent trip to the Google office in Switzerland.
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Damian Menscher

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The largest DDoS ever seen (300 Gbps) has impacted shared infrastructure.  Perhaps now people will start taking the threat seriously?
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Damian Menscher

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It's unfortunate that the only thing the two parties can agree on is to stifle any independents. :(
 
I must confess, I am dreading today's elections.
Not because of who might win or lose.
Not because as a Californian, my vote for President will count 1/3 as much as an Alaskan (actually it won't matter at all -- I'm not in a swing state).
Not because my vote for Senate will count 1/50 as much as an Alaskan.

But because no matter what the outcome, our government will still be a giant bonfire of partisanship.  It is ironic since whenever I have met with our elected officials they are invariably thoughtful, well-meaning people.  And yet collectively 90% of their effort seems to be focused on how to stick it to the other party.

So my plea to the victors -- whoever they might be: please withdraw from your respective parties and govern as independents in name and in spirit.  It is probably the biggest contribution you can make to the country.

[If you agree, pass it on to your newly elected officials.]
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Rael Naem's profile photoCory Altheide's profile photo
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It's not that the parties are stifling independents, it's that our voting system has exactly one mathematically stable state: the two party system.  That everything is partisan bickering is really just a symptom of a much deeper problem with bug in our system.
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Damian Menscher

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Some of you may be seeing warnings about the internet ending within the next day.  Many of the news stories are vastly overblown, so in the interest of sanity, here are some facts:
  - This all started several years ago, when malware was released that modifies the computer's DNS settings to use custom servers.  DNS is like the internet's phonebook -- your computer looks up the name of a site like google.com and gets back a number to connect to.  The malicious DNS servers would return bad information, which the malware authors could use to hijack connections and make millions of dollars.
  - On November 8, 2011, the FBI, in cooperation with Estonian law enforcement, arrested 6 people involved in the scheme.  As part of the arrest, the malicious DNS servers were impounded.  But without those DNS servers, all the infected machines might stop working.  To avoid "breaking the internet" for those users, a court order allowed replacement servers to be run on a temporary basis, giving time for ISPs to inform their infected uesrs so they could be cleaned and avoid problems.
  - This was very difficult malware to clean, as it could also infect the home router if it used a default password, thereby affecting even mobile phones that use the wireless network.  Human nature is to procrastinate, so after 8 months of warnings from ISPs, Google, and Facebook, around half the machines are still infected.  Those users may face a slow or broken internet in the coming hours.
  - I estimate half a million devices will break, across hundreds of thousands of homes.  This may sound like a lot, but your chances of being affected are actually quite slim -- less than one in a thousand.  And if you haven't seen a warning at the top of your Google search results, then they're even more slim.  (If you have seen the warning, please take it seriously!  The Google warning will go away once you're clean.)

Please spread the word to anyone who might be concerned.  I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have.
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Damian Menscher's profile photoDavid Hixson's profile photo
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The shutdown is complete.  If you can read this, you can probably stop worrying (unless you use one of the half-dozen ISPs keeping their infected users online).
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Have him in circles
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Damian Menscher

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Pictures from another Poletential Air Show. As always, the lighting was challenging, but I got some decent shots anyway. I'm tempted to upgrade my camera before the next one, though I suspect the lighting would make it difficult regardless of the equipment used.
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Michal Zalewski's profile photoTom Grasso's profile photoDamian Menscher's profile photoMarius Schilder's profile photo
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I've been going to the wrong air shows all that time...
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Damian Menscher

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Photos from a recent vacation in The Netherlands. Featuring the Windmills of Kinderdijk, the transition of The Hague from castles to skyscrapers, shopping in Delft, and of course plenty of bicycles in Leiden.
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You take great photos.
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Damian Menscher

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Another year has passed, so I bring to you photos from this year's Google holiday party.  The theme was James Bond, and the venue Club Auto Sport.
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Paul Eubanks's profile photoDean Karres's profile photoAdam Bacchus's profile photoRanjit Bhalerao's profile photo
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There was a booze louge?
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Damian Menscher

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Going beyond telling users they're infected with generic malware, we're now  also telling users if they have been the target of a state-sponsored attack (a fancy way of saying a government is trying to hack their gmail).

It will be interesting to see whether these attacks become less common now that the governments face the very real risk that their targets may be warned.
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Richard Hearne's profile photoDamian Menscher's profile photo
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For those who run Windows: Microsoft has a temporary "fix-it" solution for a vulnerability being actively exploited in the wild.  This isn't part of their normal patch cycle, so it will take manual action to protect yourself.  For details, see http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2012/06/microsoft-xml-vulnerability-under.html
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Have him in circles
1,130 people
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Work
Occupation
Computer Security
Employment
  • Google
    Security SRE, 2005 - present
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Mountain View, CA
Previously
Ridgefield, CT - Milford, NJ - Provo, UT - Urbana-Champaign, IL
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Physics; Computer Security; DDoS Mitigation
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Education
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Ph.D. Physics, 1997 - 2005
  • Brigham Young University
    B.S. Physics, 1994 - 1997
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Damian Menscher's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Google+ Gets a “+1″ for Browser Security | The Barracuda Labs Internet S...
www.barracudalabs.com

by Ray Kelly, Manager of Client Side Technologies   Launching a new Web app today comes with a few certainties, and one of them is, “I will