[ISN] Hackers Pay no Heed to Chaos They Might Cause

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Thu Aug 13 1998 - 10:45:07 PDT

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    Forwarded From: Nicholas Charles Brawn <ncb05at_private>
    Kuji hacked computer systems for the same intellectual kick others get
    from completing cryptic crosswords or solving mind teasers.  For hackers
    it is a numbers game with no thought to the possible enormity of the
    consequences. The dangers are not real and do not equate to physical
    things; cars, buildings or disasters. 
    Kuji - the codename used by Mathew Bevan when he was active - and the
    Datastream Cowboy (Richard Pryce) managed to provoke an investigation by
    the United States Air Force and Scotland Yard's computer crime unit after
    hacking into the Pentagon computer in 1993. Their inspiration then was to
    learn more about UFOs. 
    Despite more sophisticated security systems, the talented amateurs still
    get in. 
    The hackers who hit India's national security computer system at the
    Bhabba Atomic Research Centre had political motives.  All aged between 15
    and 18 and codenamed the MilwOrm Group, they claimed to be protesting
    against the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan in May this
    Team Jajis threatened the New York Times and CyberTimes and in April an
    Israeli teenager broke into the Pentagon's computer system, a repeat
    performance of Mathew Bevan who breached that system when he was 18.  The
    costs for computer security can be awesome. 
    United States industry estimates the costs of keeping the intruders at bay
    at $US10 billion ($19.68 billion) while the Pentagon alone had 25,000
    hacker attacks last year. 
    Bevan, now employed to test computer security for private firms, says
    hackers are not out to cause chaos, they are looking for acceptance, kudos
    and fame amongst their peers. Frequently it is just an amusing game of
    breaking codes and challenging authority. 
    The unauthorised access or trespassing and vandalism to software are often
    secondary to their considerations. 
    Mathew Bevan's view is that hackers are generally the tinkerers, the
    people who at school, wanted to ask the questions the teachers could never
    answer.  Meta-hackers have other aims: they are commissioned to steal
    information.  This information is then resold to foreign governments or
    business interests. 
    This is the evolving world of hackers as disclosed by Alan Hood, a
    research scientist in the information warfare unit of Britain's Defence
    Evaluation and Research Agency. 
    There are also darksiders using hacking techniques for financial gain and
    there is the lamer who is someone who thinks they know everything about
    hacking but doesn't. 
    Computer security isn't always easy. 
    A recent article in New Scientist said computer security managers could be
    seen to be breaking the law by using counter-attack methods. 
    There are firewalls blocking unauthorised access but now there are also
    programmes which have been developed to retaliate. The damage that could
    result from aggressive anti-hacking programs cannot necessarily be
    justified, even in self-defence. 
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