[iwar] news

From: Fred Cohen (fc@all.net)
Date: 2001-06-05 05:29:44

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From: Fred Cohen <fc@all.net>
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Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001 05:29:44 -0700 (PDT)
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Subject: [iwar] news
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U.S.  Falling Behind in Cyber Combat As the latest computer virus --
this one featuring actress Jennifer Lopez -- makes its way around the
Internet via e-mail, the number of people who wonder if the government
is up to the task of providing electronic security is growing.  The
Jennifer Lopez file, which spreads the highly destructive Chernobyl
virus, is the latest in a string of mass-mailing worm viruses -- copycat
versions of the Anna Kournikova virus which spread across the globe last
February.  While these kinds of viruses have the potential for causing
millions of dollars in damage, at least they are usually detected early
in the process.  It's the unannounced hack attacks and cybercrime that
comprise the real problem facing both government and business.  And from
all appearances, the bad guys are way ahead. 

Bennett urges agencies to sharpen security tests Agencies should
regularly test systems security as if they expect an onslaught from
terrorists or a hostile government, Sen.  Robert Bennett (R-Utah) says. 
Civilian agencies are logical candidates for attack because their
systems aren't locked down as tight as those operated by the Defense
Department or the intelligence community, the Utah Republican said. 
Bennett spoke last month at an Armed Forces Communications and
Electronics Association conference in Washington.  Testing in which one
agency team tries to hack into its own computers as another team tries
to fend off the attack may be the key to protecting systems, Bennett
said.  Agencies should use Presidential Decision Directive 63, which
orders agencies to protect systems that manage the nation's
infrastructure, as a starting point for more stringent control over
government systems, he said. 

Trojan lets cyber-cops plant bogus evidence A new tool of Fascist
control, with which law-enforcement agents can secretly monitor the
entire range of a suspect's computer activity, has been developed by
self-proclaimed 'computer surveillance experts' Codex Data Systems,
according to a document sent to Cryptome.org.  The source here is a
PowerPoint slide show, presumably by Codex PR bunnies, boasting of
D.I.R.T.'s amazing capabilities to violate in secret the last vestiges
of civil protections from state oppression.  "Imagine being able to
remotely monitor any PC in the world anytime you want," the company
taunts.  "Suppose you could read every keystroke...  Access and retrieve
any file from the hard drive without having physical access...  No more
secrets..." The company slide show is carefully crafted to generate
maximum suspense among Feds and cops straining to find ways around such
regrettable obstacles as civil rights. 

Secure mobile phone offers public military-grade protection It used to
be that top-secret communication gadgets were reserved for the military
and security services.  Now, a German company is selling a cellular
phone that offers consumers military-grade privacy.  The TopSec cell
phone is being marketed toward corporate executives and government
officials who want to discuss sensitive matters wherever they are. 
Security experts believe the $3,000 phone is the first mass-marketed
mobile phone that offers a reliable, secure conversation with a high
level of encryption. 

Security expert waves DDoS white flag Security expert Steve Gibson has
posted a plea on his Web site grc.com for hackers to leave him alone. 
"I surrender.  I surrender right now, completely and unconditionally,"
it begins.  Now what kind of talk is that? Of course this is all over
Steve's widely read piece on the DDoS attacks he was suffering.  Steve
did a whole lotta investigative work but also made some strong comments
about various parties.  We gave it some publicity of course,
particularly his claim that Windows XP threatens the stability of the
Internet.  The article certainly started some debate and attracted
plenty of criticism - some of it nonsense ranting, some more reasoned. 
[FC - how much of an expert can he really be?]

Up from the Underground Never mind the economic slowdown-vandalism and
larceny continue to plague computer networks.  Corporations are
dramatically increasing security budgets, creating lots of new,
high-paying jobs for skilled security professionals.  Who is earning the
big bucks? Mostly young men, from their late teens to their early
thirties.  College educated? Who cares, as long as they know their
stuff.  Slovenly? Whatever.  Questionable backgrounds? Well...fact is,
some of the best anti-crook hackers have at some point in their young
lives danced along some serious ethical and legal lines.  Guys with
raging testosterone power hormones and skills that make the game of
trespass challenging but winnable find it hard to resist. 


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : 2001-06-30 21:44:15 PDT