Re: [ISN] Experts: Cyberspace could be next target

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Oct 15 2001 - 01:07:15 PDT

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    Forwarded from: Eric Lee Green <ericat_private>
    On Friday 12 October 2001 04:46, you wrote:
    > Forward from: Dan Verton <Dan_Vertonat_private>
    > Ted,
    > I reported on this when it first happened and have a source in Moscow
    > who was, in fact, interviewed by the FBI in Russia shortly after this
    > news broke. So I think it is fair to say that although there is much
    > speculation about the nature of Moonlight Maze, and even if it every
    > really happened, something serious did occur that sparked an
    > investigation overseas. I would also add that I have been told that
    The problem is that a) Moonlight Maze first came to light in the
    spring of 1999, b) indications at the time was that the documents were
    "sensitive" in that they described important technologies and policies
    but not classified (if classified documents were connected to the
    public Internet then someone was not doing their job big-time!), and
    c) there were no indications at the time that this had any connection
    to bin Laden.
    The fact that Moonlight Maze is once again trotted out in a
    dog-and-pony show through un-named "experts" (undoubtedly government
    law enforcement officials)  in order to justify new cyber-crime laws
    justifiably makes people suspicious.  It may very well be true that
    Moonlight Maze has some connection to bin Laden, but trotting it out
    once again as the tired two-year-old McGuffin of this drama and having
    tame unskeptical journalistic mouthpieces with no computer expertise
    as their primary mouthpieces tends to reduce their credibility.
    I will add that the USA Today puff piece was some of the shoddiest
    journalism I've ever encountered.  The writer of that piece apparently
    made no attempt to run the assertations made past outside security
    experts or even look at past reporting on Moonlight Maze but, rather,
    simply repeated the assertations of the un-named "experts"
    uncritically. That's not being a journalist. That's being a government
    propoganda mouthpiece. Journalists are supposed to make at least some
    attempt to verify their facts independently, instead of simply
    repeating the official Bush administration line as gospel truth. Alas,
    journalists are becoming an endangered species, being swiftly replaced
    by hackneyed keyboard pounders who uncritically turn corporate and
    administration press releases into "stories".
    Note that this is NOT, BTW, a blast at Dan Verton, who IS a journalist
    and who does make an attempt to independently verify the things he
    reports upon (unlike the writer of the USA Today puff piece).
    As for Dan's reporting of lack of Russian cooperation: Russia operates
    in their own best interest, not that of the United States. There are
    indications that the Russian Mafya, government, and various powerful
    oligarchs are deeply entangled with each other. It is not surprising
    that U.S. law enforcement officials cannot get cooperation in this
    case. That does tend to indicate, however, that this is NOT a bin
    Laden operation, but, rather a case of enterprising Russians
    attempting to gain commercial advantage. The Russians have no love for
    bin Laden, who they hold partially accountable for terrorism on their
    own soil.
    Eric Lee Green          GnuPG public key at
               mailto:ericat_private  Web:
                 You do not save freedom by destroying freedom
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