July 24th, 2001, 08:58 PM
We at BARC, India have been reading with interest your coverage
about Milw0rm's hacking into our barc.ernet.in. This group of
teenagers is obviously naive enough to think that they have been
able to get hold of some data of any worth, but we would imagine
that the editors of anti-online would have realised otherwise. The
BARC centre is a research institute and could be compared with any
of the national labs in the US. The centre is for the large part
engaged in academic research, most of the work done is published in
journals, such as Physical Review which is published in the US. So
what is there to hide at barc.ernet.in? No special care has been taken
nor is it neccessary. Its easy enough to hack into any of these systems
which use the old sendmail program. But this causes inconvenience to
us, as we have to restore our e-mail files and the web pages from
our backups. Therefore this type of activity should not be encouraged.
If milworm et al. think they have done something great let them not
be fooled into thinking so. We also, in India, have bright computer
savvy kids who can do such things, but we prefer that their energies
are directed into more useful channels. The statements made by the
hackers are childish. Milworm mentions, having got into the barc
system that he could impersonate the Indian authorities and send messages
to Pakistan that they were about to be attacked. We do not imagine
the Pakistani's to be so gullible. Everybody knows that the authenticity
of an e-mail cannot be checked. Which country in the world would send
such a message by e-mail?
However, the whole episode leaves an impression of misdirection and
misconception of the Indian nuclear effort in the minds of these young
people. I am sure that their feelings are a reflection of the fixed
ideas in the minds of their parents and teachers. India cannot be accused
of spelling doom for the world with nuclear weapons. After all in the
history of the world there is only one country that has ever exploded a
nuclear device, in fact two, in a military context.
Name Not Being Published
Ok, as with all people in a such a position, we are not posting
this person's name or e-mail address. We like to encourage administrators of systems
that were hacked, or people from military or governmental agencies to write in. Because of this,
we hold back their names and addresses so they don't have to worry about a superior having a fit.
As for how serious that data stolen was? Well, it's a case of he said she said. Milw0rm claim it
to be of great importance, and BARC isn't even admitting that data was stolen. Who knows....
I find the morality debate regarding the hacking of the Indian servers interesting.
I think a lot of the issues stem from the fact that the online world has not yet reached the balance of
"social trust" vs "security" that the RL world has. In small towns people leave their doors unlocked,
but in big cities where people are more anonymous it is common to have multiple locks on the door and to
lock them religiously. The same SHOULD be true on a trusted LAN vs. a site exposed to the whole world--but
people haven't made that adjustment yet.
In a similar fashion, the more vital the secrecy of the information in the RL world, the greater the security.
It is fairly easy to sneak into the administrative center of a grocery store compared to a corporation that is doing
genetic or weapons research. Military bases are out of the question even though they are generally publically accessible.
Again, the online analogy has yet to materialize, but I am sure it will.
If someone had snuck onto a military base a hundred years ago I would say "big deal" it was easy then. I'm sure the
online community a century from now will think the same thing about these incidents, but the relevant question is who is
Bottom line to me is that the hackers have no moral right to break into someone elses system, any more than PETA has the
right to break into an animal testing lab. India and Pakistan have no inherent moral right to put humanity at risk and to further
damn our environment. Conflicting moralities do not justify vigilante action. In this case I would say both are "wrong".
Yes, it's very true that the internet is very much in its infancy. We can look forward to it "maturing"
as the years go by.
First I would like to say that you all at AntiOnline are doing a great job keeping us all informed.
Someone has to. How else would hacker groups get their thing out.
And second. I feel that these hacker groups ARE our future. They are the only real protection we have
apart from the government. If they can stop something bad from happening
these hacker groups are the ones who will. Whether this is stopping a nuclear missile from activating, to a
world wide disaster. These guys can do it.
Computers will NEVER be secure. Nothing is more clever than the human brain.
If something can be encrypted. It CAN and WILL somehow be decrypted.
The world governments should be taking sides with these hackers, because they
will be the ones they will turn to when bad happens.
I wish these guys all the best. Just stay out of my bank accounts - grin.
Take Care. I say just go for it guys! P.s I wouldnt be surpised if alot of these problems the Space Station
MIR is having is caused by hackers. Anything is possible.
NEW ZEALAND reader.
"The Truth Is Sitting On Those Servers. Its just Finding The Right One"
Thanks for the kind words about our site. As for space station MIR? Well, I have a feeling
its problems have a lot more to do with the fact that it's older than dirt itself, rather from a group of hackers ;-)
I appreciate your coverage of milworm. It's a voice of freedom in this oft
censored world. I'm cheering for them, and I only wish I new how to do what
they do. Theirs is a heroic endeavor. Information mercenaries fighting for
the world's safety.
It's amazing, isn't it?
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit
of justice is no virtue." - Barry Goldwater
Well, out of the thousands of e-mails that we've gotten about the milw0rm, about 97.3% of
them think that the milw0rm are heros of sorts, with less than 3% thinking of them as criminals. Amazing. I think that
says a lot about our society today. People are just fed up with "big brother" perhaps? I don't know, but it'd make a
great research topic for a psychology or sociology student, huh?
What do you think you bloody fools? By hacking Indian server
you will be able to stop us from getting ourselves nuclear weapons.
If you guys can think even a bit sensibly, you should understand
that those big shits (5 nuke powers) are sitting on more bigger
weapons and freaking out. You can't see them and when we do it for our
safety, you threat us with hacking. Why does U.S. need to conduct over
thousand nuke tests? And the bastards are now coming and telling us
not to conduct the tests. Who are they to tell us? Except Japan, no
other country (especially the 5 big shits) have the right to tell
us to refrain from the tests. And be warned you mother ****ers, this
double standards is going to cost you very heavily.
You just keep in mind, hacking any of the indian sites is not going
to help you at all.
See you later
ABC - India
Dear God. All I have to say is that I hope this guy isn't put in charge
of guarding "the button" for India, or we're all in trouble. Haha.
(By the way I'm an Indian)
I feel that this Milworm thingie has unnecessarily been transformed
into a question of whether it was right or wrong to conduct the
nuclear test. (That is a different issue- and I personally feel
it was wrong)
I don't think that the entire incident could in any way seriously compromise
Indian security. On the other hand it will have the positive effect of causing
tremendous embarrassment to senior officials in the BARC, and prod them into being
more careful next time.
Another point. I am inclined to see the HAND OF THE US GOVERNMENT in
this entire thing. I suspect that access to U.S military servers was
deliberately granted to aid and protect the hackers and if the logs at
the BARC server show an attack by an agency of the US govt, they are not
very far wrong. It is ridiculous to say that Milworm managed to hack three
high security US servers.
Yes, it is amazing how this one hack has fed so much
fuel to the "India has nuclear weapons" debate. As for the US government
letting the hackers use the systems? Well, according to MSNBC the NSA
watched the hacks in "real time". So, yes, apparently, they did just sit
back and watch as their systems were being used to hack into a nuclear
research facility. How ethical is this? You be the judge.