[ISN] RIAA calls hacking claim a hoax

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Jan 15 2003 - 04:15:50 PST

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    Forwarded from: William Knowles <wkat_private>
    By Robert Lemos 
    Staff Writer, CNET News.com
    January 14, 2003
    Claims that the music industry hired a group of hackers to create a 
    worm to infect peer-to-peer networks are being dismissed by security 
    In an advisory posted to security mailing lists, a group called 
    Gobbles Security delivered its latest vulnerability--a real one found 
    in a relatively unknown MP3 player--wrapped in an apparent joke aimed 
    at the Recording Industry Association of America. The main part of the 
    advisory consisted of Gobbles' claims that its programmers had created 
    a "hydra"--a worm capable of spreading in a variety of ways--that 
    infects all major music software. 
    The RIAA, the organization that represents major music publishers, 
    wasn't amused. "It's a complete hoax," said an RIAA spokesman, who 
    asked that his name not be used. "It's not true." 
    Security experts agreed. Steve Manzuik, moderator of vulnerability 
    information site VulnWatch, received the advisory on Sunday. But 
    because of the apparent joke, he held the document until the 
    vulnerability was verified a day later. 
    "This is typical Gobbles, is it not?" Manzuik said. "Cause a stir, but 
    also release useful information." 
    The true vulnerability is not found in the major music 
    players--Windows Media Player, WinAMP and Xmms are among the players 
    Gobbles names--but in the MPG123 music player, a relatively unknown 
    piece of open-source software. 
    Mailing list BugTraq also decided to post the advisory. "In this case, 
    it contained valid vulnerability details, so we decided to publish 
    it," said Oliver Friedrichs, senior manager at computer security firm 
    Symantec, which owns the mailing list. 
    This is not the first time that the RIAA has been a potential target 
    of hacker humor. Over the weekend, unknown hackers hit the 
    organization's site and replaced some content with false releases. In 
    July, the music industry's Web site was hit by vandals in an attack 
    that caused the pages to be available sporadically for four days. 
    The music industry isn't hacking back, but someday it might. A bill 
    sponsored by Reps. Howard Berman, D-Calif., and Howard Coble, R-N.C., 
    would allow copyright owners and such groups as the RIAA and the 
    Motion Picture Association of America to disable, block or otherwise 
    impair a "publicly accessible peer-to-peer file-trading network." 
    Nowadays, that's called hacking.
    "Communications without intelligence is noise;  Intelligence
    without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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