[ISN] Pentagon Challenges Claims Of Hackers

From: mea culpa (jerichot_private)
Date: Tue Apr 28 1998 - 03:57:15 PDT

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    [Moderator: So let me see if I get the chain of events: hackers claim
     they got in and stole neat software.. media ooohs and ahhhs at it..
     everyone and their dog with a clue reply that the articles are full
     of it.. someone goes as far as showing the software is available
     via anon ftp.. DOD finally figures it out enough to issue a statement..
     the whole time we are slapping our collective heads wondering why
     this wasn't realized sooner. I think that covers it.]
    Forwarded From: Simon Gardner <junipert_private>
    Pentagon Challenges Claims Of Hackers
    By CHRIS ALLBRITTON, AP Cyberspace Writer
    NEW YORK (April 27, 1998 3:13 p.m. EDT) -- Hackers who broke into Pentagon 
    computers and bragged that they had stolen the means to cripple the 
    military's communications network instead took publicly available software 
    that is almost worthless without the data to run it, security consultants 
    and the Defence Department say.
    Security experts around the world scoffed Monday at the claims made by a 
    hacker group calling itself "Masters of Downloading."
    "They may have gotten what they say they got," said Aaron Bornstein, a 
    free-lance computer security consultant in New York. "But what they claim 
    they could do with it is ridiculous."
    Last week, the group's 15 hackers said they broke into computers at the 
    Defence Information Systems Agency and stole software. The program, they 
    said, controls the military's Global Positioning System of satellites that 
    are used to target missiles and coordinate troop movements.
    The group claimed it could shut down the military's networks with the 
    stolen software, and threatened to sell it to terrorist groups or foreign 
    The pilfered software is not classified, said Pentagon spokeswoman Susan 
    Hansen. Nor does it allow access to classified data, she said.
    And the software is useless without classified data, Hansen said.
    Supporting Hansen's assertions, Bornstein provided The Associated Press a 
    link to the software available to anyone with a Web browser. The Masters 
    of Downloading "are just trying to scare people," the consultant said.
    Another consultant, Shimon Gruper, a former Israeli army security expert, 
    said he was confident that Masters of Downloading had not stolen anything 
    Other governments' top secret computers, he said, are not connected to the 
    Internet or other public networks. "And," he said, "I'm sure the U.S. 
    government is the same" -- an assertion the Pentagon spokeswoman 
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