[ISN] [defaced-commentary] Commentary on "Patriotic Hacking"

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Fri Sep 21 2001 - 00:33:44 PDT

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    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2001 21:26:23 -0600 (MDT)
    From: Sioda an Cailleach <siodaat_private>
    To: defaced-commentaryat_private
    Subject: [defaced-commentary] Commentary on "Patriotic Hacking"
    Commentary on Patriotic Hacking
    Attrition staff have been getting several mails warning of impending
    "patriotic hacking" in retaliation for the terrorist attacks on
    September 11.  Some are from the usual opportunists, exploiting
    world-wide attention on the recent terrorist attacks to further their
    own agenda. Others are from people who just want to do -something- to
    feel like they are striking back at those responsible, even if it's
    the wrong thing. We have all been profoundly affected in our own way
    by what has occurred, but a reality check is in order. How effective
    are "cyber-attacks"?
    First, let's put "cyber-war/jihad/whatever" in perspective to the very
    real, physical attacks of September 11, 2001. Buildings that were as
    familar to people as their homes were utterly destroyed. Thousands of
    people were killed. There are no "backups" to restore what has been
    lost forever. -No one- was ever killed from a "cyber attack".
    In a "cyber-war", where is the enemy? The FBI would just love to know
    that hackers have managed to positively identify which sites belong to
    those responsible for the terrorist attacks. Even if they could be
    identified, attacking them could destroy crucial evidence. Blindly
    attacking sites perceived to be vaguely Arabic is just plain stupid.
    Attacking sites of people who aren't even remotely involved to vent
    emotions is even more moronic.
    What would be the results of a so-called "hacker call to arms"?
    Typical bottom-feeders will exploit the opportunity presented to
    generate press and revenue.  Law-enforcement is already demanding
    greater discretionary powers and restrictions on cryptography. The
    Internet was not the instrument of this any more than freedom was.
    Hackers who participate in this are providing a nicely wrapped package
    to justify knee-jerk legislation that will restrict our freedom in the
    name of "security". Make no mistake - legislating the Internet will
    not make us more secure. A group with the resolve to murder thousands
    of innocent people will not be deterred by Internet restrictions. They
    will just find another way.
    The biggest result of a "hacker call to arms" is that it will generate
    a lot of noise that will aid the enemy in destroying our freedom -
    something they will not permit their own people. If what is perceived
    to be "our side"  attacks "their side", the retaliatory attacks will
    keep fueling this futile "battle". Our industries need to focus on
    rebuilding, not responding to nonsense. Those who participate in this
    should be considered agents of the enemy.
    This is not to say that we shouldn't take extra precautions to
    safeguard our networks. People are in a very raw emotional state right
    now, no doubt making mistakes trying to cope with compromise
    solutions. Technical people who want to help should do so in whatever
    way they can, whether it be to volunteer time and skill to the
    businesses affected, or even just answering technical questions. Those
    who can't do that should at least help by staying out of the way for
    now. Don't exploit this for self aggrandizement.
    The information and commentary is Copyright 2001, by the individual author.
    Permission is granted to quote, reprint or redistribute provided the text is not
    altered, and the author and attrition.org is credited. The opinions expressed
    in this mail are not necessarily the opinion of all Attrition staff members.
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