RE: [ISN] Warning on Iraqi Hackers and U.S. Safety

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Jan 20 2003 - 00:55:59 PST

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    Forwarded from: Rob Rosenberger <junkmailat_private> Virus Hysteria Alert
    {17 January 2003, 01:35 CT}
    The home page now displays two major headlines about Iraq:
    (1) "Inspectors Find Empty Warheads in an Iraqi Depot," and (2) "Iraqi
    Computer Attacks Feared."  The latter story cites a classified
    document from the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center (FBI
    The threat of pro-Iraqi hackers "could signal a 'potential crisis' in
    national security," reporter Eric Lichtblau states in his opening
    paragraph. "Experts say the link between Iraq and computer hacking may
    have been underestimated and poses a growing threat to United States
    security," the story goes on to say.  Lichtblau quotes congressman
    Robert E. Andrews (D-NJ), who declared "a cyberattack really fits
    Saddam Hussein's paradigm for attacking us."
    Andrews sits on the House Armed Services Committee -- but that doesn't
    make him a computer security expert.  The congressman merely suffers
    from False Authority Syndrome (see for
    Vmyths dismisses a "possible" Iraqi cyber-attack as pure hysteria.  
    U.S. air-to-ground missiles will take out their entire
    telecommunications infrastructure in the first hour of conflict.  We
    also dismiss the idea of a cyber-war waged by a band of childish Iraqi
    sympathizers.  FBI NIPC has a notorious habit of "reading tea leaves
    and seeing ghosts."  Any classified document they produce should be
    viewed with utmost skepticism.
    FBI NIPC has been the subject of multiple Hysteria Alerts.  See for more details.  The
    agency exists as a political & bureaucratic tool; it has always
    suffered from "too many chiefs and not enough indians."  Other
    agencies have used FBI NIPC as a holding pen for their "problem
    children" (e.g. CIA analyst Terrill Maynard). The antivirus industry
    privately views them as a farce.  FBI NIPC relies on contractors to
    provide some expertise, plus they rely on security vendors who provide
    expertise at no charge.  The agency has a sordid history of
    plagiarizing the investigative work of others.  NIPC suffered a major
    setback recently when FBI took away some important functions from them
    in order to make those functions useful.
    Reporter Eric Lichtblau has obtained classified documents in the past
    (see for example) filled with
    computer security hysteria.  Vmyths speculates his source(s) exploit
    him to further their political agendas.  We must note the fact his story highlights quotes from Michael Vatis -- the first
    director of FBI NIPC who was fired (repeat: "fired") for turning the
    agency into his personal PR machine.
    Vmyths predicts the following:
       (A) Internet media outlets will regurgitate the article
    in their own stories.  We believe Eric Lichtblau will refuse to share
    the classified document he obtained, and this will force other
    reporters to turn to "experts" who will speculate wildly.  Hungry
    security vendors (e.g. mi2g) will ride on the coattails of media-borne
    hysteria.  So, too, will childish hackers who suffer from Narcissistic
    Personality Disorder.
       (B) If the U.S. goes to war, Internet users will overwhelm
    mainstream media websites in an effort to see video clips of smart
    bombs raining down on Iraqi bridges & facilities.  This flood of
    Internet users will be identical to a distributed-denial-of-service
       (C) If the U.S. goes to war, disorganized U.S. hackers will
    outnumber the Iraqi cyber-sympathizers by at least 10-to-1 -- just as
    they did when disorganized Chinese hackers supposedly declared a
    cyber-war on America (see for
    details).  Internet media outlets will provide little coverage of the
    "other" side of the Iraqi cyber-war, for three major reasons: (1)
    security fearmongers overwhelmingly live in first-world nations, (2)
    disorganized sympathizers don't hire PR teams, and (3) Internet media
    outlets don't send reporters to Iraq for on-the-scene coverage.
    The mainstream media focuses on the physical aspects of war -- leaving
    the cyber-war to Internet media outlets, who will report even the most
    absurd stories under the pretense of "war coverage."  Stay calm.  
    Stay reasoned. And stay tuned to Vmyths.
    Rob Rosenberger, editor
    Richard M. Smith ( for
    pointing Vmyths to the website.
    --------------- Useful links ------------------
    Remember this when virus hysteria strikes
    Other "cyber-wars" raging around the world as we speak
    Common cliches in the antivirus world
    False Authority Syndrome
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