[ISN] Hacker takes revenge on computer security expert

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Tue Feb 02 1999 - 14:26:03 PST

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    Forwarded From: Cecilie P Johansen <isisat_private>
    The Electronic Telegraph
    Monday 1 February 1999
    Hacker takes revenge on computer security expert 
    By Robert Uhlig, Technology Correspondent 
    A DISGRUNTLED computer hacker has wreaked revenge on the British creator
    of a security system by changing his bank details and making it impossible
    for him to sell his house or get a mortgage. 
    Paul Smith, 29, a creator of Access Denied, a so-called firewall security
    system, is now fighting to clear his name after the hacker added six
    default notices and a County Court judgment to the financial records held
    on him. 
    Mr Smith's employer, Gen Technology, had issued a challenge on the
    Internet to hackers, defying them to break into a computer network
    protected by its Access Denied system. Hackers routinely breach military,
    government, commercial and private systems within a few hours of trying,
    but after spending several weeks making 240,000 attacks on Access Denied,
    no hackers had breached the firewall. 
    Most firewalls need only a user name and password to allow access.  Access
    Denied also needs a user profile and serial number hidden on the computer
    of the person wanting access to the network. If it does not find these,
    its makers claim it will terminate the connection within an eightieth of a
    second. Three weeks after the hacker challenge was issued, a disgruntled
    hacker managed to contact Mr Smith. 
    "I got a phone-call from a hacker with a British voice. He said he was
    part of a team of hackers and had been humiliated in front of his friends
    after he had boasted that he would get in within five minutes," Mr Smith
    said. "He threatened me with a list of what was going to happen to me." 
    A few weeks later Mr Smith applied for a mortgage, only to be rejected.
    "The hacker had managed to do exactly what he threatened to do," he said. 
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