[ISN] Hackers worry Minneapolis Officials

From: cult hero (jerichoat_private)
Date: Sat May 22 1999 - 01:22:16 PDT

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    Forwarded From: William Knowles <erehwonat_private>
    Hackers worry Minneapolis Officials 
    MINNEAPOLIS (APBNews.com) [5.21.99] - The arrival of several hundred
    computer hackers this weekend has prompted the city to shut down several
    vulnerable points in its computer network. 
    While the city's computer guru called the weekend shutdown "an opportunity
    to remind ourselves of network-based security," the conference organizer
    called the measures "an overly paranoid precaution."
    The hackers descended today on the Minneapolis Convention Center for
    RootFest 99, a three-day discussion of computer security open to "the
    computer underground, hackers, IT professionals, government agents, feds,"
    according to the conference's Web site.
    The conference features sessions entitled "Circumventing Internet
    Censorship," and "Internet Security in Europe: State of Affairs." 
    Speakers include both hackers and computer security consultants
    City downplays concerns
    But the city responded to the event by closing off some older dial-up
    modem lines that a few telecommuting employees and remote city agencies
    still use to connect into the city's network.
    Don Saelens, the city's information technology manager, downplayed
    concerns about possible hacking attempts.
    The conference, Saelens said, presented "an opportunity to remind
    ourselves of network-based security."
    But Saelens did admit that the timing of the system shutdown was not
    wholly coincidental.
    "We've been doing a number of upgrades on our own networks, and these were
    all slated to go out anyway this year," Saelens said. "I have to admit,
    [this conference] was a reminder of network security that heightened the
    Police reportedly shut down
    In addition, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the city Police
    Department shut down its computer network over the weekend.  Saelens and a
    police official refused to confirm the report, citing safety concerns.
    "The only thing the police is saying is we are not releasing anything we
    are doing for security reasons," said Penny Parrish, a police department
    'Hacker threat'? 
    Chris Lothos, an organizer of RootFest, attacked the city's measures in a
    dispatch on the RootFest Web site.
    "It's an overly paranoid precaution taken for the 'hacker threat' that
    RootFest supposedly poses to the world at large," Lothos wrote.
    The conference also printed on its Web site a copy of the e-mail memo
    Saelens sent to city employees alerting them to the security measures. 
    Saelens said he's not sure how the group got a copy of his e-mail.
    [WK Note:  http://www.rootfest.org/park.txt ]
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