FC: Kidnappers of WSJ reporter may have tried to duck Net surveillance

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Sat Feb 02 2002 - 00:38:48 PST

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    [This explanation may be reading a bit much into a language barrier.
    "Daniel Pearl" is not a common name in some countries, and mispelling it
    accidentally seems understandable. --Declan]
    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 12:29:37 -0800
    From: Xeni Jardin <xeniat_private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declanat_private>
    Subject: NYT, LAT:Pearl's captors may have taken steps to elude Net "wiretaps"
    Perhaps relevant to politech: Two stories today that explore steps that
    Pearl's kidnappers may have taken to ensure that their online
    communications are untraceable. Like many, many others around the world, I
    hope he's released soon, unharmed, and that the reports today of his
    having been executed are not true.
    FWIW, this web site appears to belong to the group that Pakistani police
    claim is responsible--Harkat-ul-Mujahideen:
    Safe travels,
    <<One curious element in the kidnappers' e-mail messages has been the
    persistent but inconsistent misspellings. Mr. Pearl's name, for instance,
    is seldom spelled the same way twice (Mr.danny, Mr.d.Parl, Daniel). Nor is
    the word "journalist," which is missing a different letter in each
    message. Mark Seiden, a computer security consultant in San Jose, Calif.,
    speculated today that the kidnappers might be familiar with the Internet
    equivalent of wiretaps.
    The misspellings could indicate, he said, that they understand how such
    "sniffing" programs hunt for key words to try to isolate suspect e-mail as
    it is being sent. Deliberate misspellings of telltale words, like Mr.
    Pearl's name, would indicate that "they are somewhat sophisticated about
    this technology," Mr. Seiden said.>>
    <<Other aspects of the e-mails, their sophisticated delivery and the
    senders' knowledge of U.S. media have led authorities to believe at least
    some of the kidnappers are well educated.
    "They obviously know about e-mails because they keep changing names and
    routing them differently," Noorani said. "They are obviously into
    international publicity, and they are getting it. They are not part of the
    uncouth, locally educated group of people. One or two of them are
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