Re: [ISN] Ex-Soviet States a Hotbed for World-Class Hacking

From: Robert G. Ferrell (rootat_private)
Date: Mon Apr 16 2001 - 10:33:23 PDT

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    >Russian hackers have been blamed for several high-profile
    >cyber-attacks in recent years, their Western targets ranging from
    > to Microsoft to NATO. At the same time, Russian police
    >say computer-related crimes such as stealing credit card numbers or
    >pirating software are rising dramatically at home as well.
    >"The best ones are all in Ukraine," Yevgeny said. "They are in high
    >demand from banks and other organizations, and sometimes they are
    >taken by bandit groups against their will. There are no more clever or
    >talented people anywhere else, not in America, not in Canada."
    Let's get one thing crystal clear:  breaking into an Internet-connected
    system, no matter how well fortified, does not elevate you into the
    rarified atmosphere of the world's most elite hackers.  Hacking is
    a complex artform that encompasses far more than cleverly guessing a
    poorly constructed password or smashing a stack from a program that
    lacks even rudimentary variable bounds checking.  You want world-class hacking?
    Try porting Unix to the Intel x86 architecture.  Try creating your own
    fully featured computer language from scratch and then writing a multiplatform
    compiler or interpreter for it.  Try writing a functional Linux kernel for a
    palmtop. Try incorporating RAC/F into BeOS...
    Stealing credit card numbers from an online shopping cart? That bears
    roughly the same relationship to hacking that gaining access to a car
    by busting out the window does to automotive engineering. It's not just
    apples and oranges; it's apples and doorknobs.
    There may well be world-class hackers in the Ukraine.  But nothing I read in
    this story is evidence of them.
    Robert G. Ferrell, CISSP
     Who goeth without humor goeth unarmed.
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