Re: [ISN] UK: Hackers Fight Net Monsters

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Fri Jun 26 1998 - 03:55:55 PDT

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    Reply From: "Peter A. DeNitto" <denittoat_private>
    > By Adam Barnard.
    > A new breed of hackers who use their codebreaking skills to crack down on
    > paedophiles and child pornographers on the Internet could help those
    > campaigning to make the Net safe for children.
    I love this...  A "New" breed of hackers.  The clueless ones.  The ones
    who use the scripts and work of the real hackers to do their work.  These
    New hackers have no idea about the OSI model, a TCP handshake, et. al.
    > StRyKe (as he is known) is typical. By day an electronic systems specialist
    > in Cumbria, the 25-year-old hacker spends evenings and weekends furthering
    > the cause of his Internet Combat Group (ICG). Formed last year, the group's
    > 15 members are united in two areas - their skills with the keyboard, and
    > their hatred of people who exploit children. "It makes me sick," says
    > StRyKe, his Lakeland tones giving way to an angry snarl. "These people are
    > animals. They commit the worst sort of evil. There is no such thing as a
    > good paedophile."
    I'm amazed he's not a teenager.
    > StRyKe's first goal is to identify and locate suspected paedophiles. "There
    > are ways of pinning down where they are working from, even if they have
    > tried to disguise their identity," he says. He uses techniques with names
    > such as "pinging" and "fingering" to trace users back to their original
    > Internet service provider.
    Woo, super secret hacker skills there.  Ping, traceroute, even finger.
    Wow.  Sounds like he spent hours learning about tcp packet structures to
    figure those things out.
    > "Once you have traced the path they take, you can use search engines and
    > other methods to find a person's e-mail address and then learn their real
    > name and address."
    > Another option is to attack suspected paedophiles' computers to discourage
    > them from logging on. "You can 'bomb' them, and there is a flaw in Windows
    > 95 which you can take advantage of to lock up their system. You can knock
    > them off-line."
    Wow!!! He's got WinNuke!!!!!!
    > An Australian hacking friend wrote a virus - appropriately named
    > Codebreaker - for StRyKe and his colleagues. "It will wipe a computer
    > clean," says StRyKe with palpable excitement. "It will take over the hard
    > disk and destroy all the pictures.
    Hrm, using the tools of someone elses hard work.  The Australian hacking
    friend sounds like the real hacker.  He's smart enough to let someone do
    the work that would get them caught.  Aiding and abieting is a far less
    punishable crime.
    Probably he's got his hands on something like Virus Creation Labs.  It's
    not hard to find virus source code on the net.
    > "Anything is possible. You can delete pictures posted on newsgroups and
    > change what's on a website. You can take over a chat room and then ban
    > everyone from it. You can even shut down an entire system. It's all a
    > question of knowing how.
    And as we've learned before (See archives of this list), REAL hackers take
    over chat rooms. 
    > But even StRyKe concedes that hackers may never entirely rid the Internet
    > of child abuse. "It is almost an impossible battle," he admits.
    > "But if you stop one person from harming one child then it's been worth it.
    Excuse me while I rant.
    I do not condone child pornography.
    But I despise someone like this being seen in the eyes of the world as a,
    how does IBM put it, "Ethical Hacker?"  This StRyKe is just like every 14
    year old computer jock on IRC with their latest mIRC war scripts.  He is
    just as malevolent as someone who does it to take down an ISP, or hack the
    DoJ website and put anti-semetic drivel up.
    It's the clueless media that puts fools like this on a pedestal.  The
    media in it's lack of skill into anything technical, see someone like this
    as a real "do-gooder" and "really knows their 'hacking'" make me want to
    puke.  Anybody can go to rootshell, download some binaries, and become
    just as big a hacker as StRyKe is.  
    I'd wish they'd stop glorifying these people.  They hack clueless sites
    set up by people like those in the media who don't know much but want to
    make money, (Isn't that what the internet is for???) and get lauded for
    their actions.
    They are not "Ethical Hackers" but "Vigilante Hackers", and the media
    seems to approve of and encourage more and more of this.  Next, someone is
    going to say "I don't like people who run Pro-Choice sites," or "I don't
    like people who run gay & lesbian sites," or "I don't like people who run
    H/P/V/C sites" and these people find themselves flooded under a barrage of
    smurf pings, land/nestea/winnuke, spam/mailbombs until they can no longer
    deal with the "Vigilante Hackers"  and are forced to remove their sites.
    Egging the Vigilante hackers on will just lead to a type of net justice
    not sought after by anyone but these hackers.  It hurts everyone when
    someone is able to force someone else to remove their ideas and
    information from the net.  The opressors should not be viewed any
    differently no matter what or whom their war is against.
    As everything we read here, the media makes the news what they want it to
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