RE: [ISN] LayerOne Hacking Exposed

From: InfoSec News (isn@private)
Date: Fri Jun 25 2004 - 06:06:34 PDT

  • Next message: InfoSec News: "Re: [ISN] Feds urge secrecy over network outages"

    Forwarded from: The LayerOne Staff @
    How Tom's Hardware Guide Got It All Wrong
    There's that well worn saying that declares "There's no such thing as
    bad press."  After seeing all the traffic that Tom's Hardware Guide
    drove to the LayerOne site yesterday, we'd almost be ready to agree.  
    We pulled in almost 6000 unique visitors yesterday.  That's four times
    the amount of traffic we picked up from a mention on Slashdot the day
    To be honest, anyone should be satisfied with this sort of buzz.  We
    know we are.  But we're also disappointed with the reasons why people
    are flocking to the site.  The article [1] on Tom's Hardware Guide,
    borders on sensationalist journalism.  Despite having things clarified
    to the author in both public and private forums, the article still ran
    with a slew of half-truths and included events that were altogether
    unrelated to the conference.
    The first and perhaps most distressing portrayal that the article made
    is that LayerOne is yet another hacker conference.  While it's nice to
    be listed amongst the ranks of Defcon and Toorcon, we've strived
    really hard to make LayerOne it's own beast.  Sure the inspiration for
    LayerOne came from ToorCon, but we also pulled ideas and inspiration
    from events like CodeCon and O'Reilly's Emerging Tech. As Danny
    O'Brien said in the intro to NTK's NotCon the weekend prior to
    LayerOne, the whole idea of the conference was to "cross the streams".
    After hearing Justin Mason say that he picked up a few good ideas for
    Spamassassin while talking with some folks at the conference we knew
    we were on to something.
    In fact we think there's a new breed of conferences on the horizon.  
    One where open source coders can mingle with the people who look for
    security vulnerabilities.  One where spam fighters can mingle with
    biology majors to go off on the tangent of treating junk email as a
    virus.  One where people who want to take a look at the amazing new
    stuff people are working on but can't justify paying $1000 a head to
    do so.
    That was the whole concept for LayerOne:  Make it cool.  Encourage
    growth and exploration.  Keep it cheap.  We think we're on our way to
    doing that - but being dismissed as a hacker con sort of takes the
    wind our of our sails.
    Now, before we lose focus on why we're here we have a few more
    reflections on the THG article that we found to be less than pleasing.  
    To his merit, the author does a moderately decent job converting three
    talks into Reader's Digest style summaries.  Only towards the end of
    Dan Kaminsky's talk does he overreach a bit by trying to draw a dotted
    line between the Akamai DNS outage on June 16th, 2004 to Dan's talk.  
    Dan hasn't released any of the tools used in his talk yet, and if one
    actually sat in on his talk you'd know the last thing any of the tools
    could be used for would be to launch a Denial of Service attack.  
    Even if the author didn't make that claim outright, he seemed to make
    an affront to something sinister.
    Finally, to clarify some things, the Irvine Underground party where
    there was apparently a wrestling match between attendees was not a
    sanctioned LayerOne event.  We had no altercations between attendees
    at the actual conference, but we didn't really expect any either.  
    Even though the author claims that we may never know why the hotel's
    fire alarm was tripped twice on Sunday the answer is actually simple;  
    A piece of paper had fallen over on the exhaust vent on the hotel's
    sauna.  It wasn't any malicious hackers or miscreant kids causing
    trouble as the author suggests.  It was a piece of paper and some
    wind. This was also explained to the author but he seemed to not
    report it. I guess the truth is boring.
    Still, the saddest part of all of this is the author seems to have a
    thing for blowing things out of proportion.  He said "The rumors will
    morph into something outrageous by next year." in a public forum [2]
    as if it were some sort of consolation.  The author of the article
    seems to think that spreading rumors and disinformation will actually
    do us some sort of favor.  If that was the type of event we were
    trying to put on, perhaps it would assist us in some way.  But we're
    not looking for those types of favors, nor are we attempting to
    address the crowd he seems to think we are. We thank you for taking
    the time out of your busy day to give us a few minutes to set things
    	Your Servants,
    		The LayerOne Staff
    ISN mailing list
    Sponsored by: - For 15 cents a day, you could help feed an InfoSec junkie!
    (Broke? Spend 15 minutes a day on the project!)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Jun 25 2004 - 07:48:49 PDT