July 24th, 2001, 09:39 PM
Not back from your little trip yet? I guess we can only hope that something terrible has happened to you and we won't ever have to hear from you again. Ahh, we can only dream. Somehow I think you are going to be around for a long time, if only to annoy us as long as possible.
Wish you weren't in CyberSpace,
Sorry to disappoint, but we are all still alive and well. Things have been nuts around here between our moving and getting a couple of new full time staff members on board. Look for an announcement about these issues, and some other exciting happenings at AntiOnline, coming soon!
Recently, I noticed something about hacker profiling on your site. It said
you would be at the FBI TRAINING ACADEMY teaching about HACKER PROFILING.
Well, it seems you have sold out to the government like everyone else.
Pretty soon, the government and the FBI!! will control everything thanks to
Yes, I admit it, I'm an evil bastard that's responsible for the collapse of free society as we know it. Grow up, this isn't the 60s.
Recently my girlfriend left me. Mad at her, I hacked Visa and stole her
credit card number. After that, I managed to break into the DMV and delete
her identity. The next target were the AS/400s owned by the city we live in,
where I managed to add a few moving violations to her driving record and
issue a warrant in her name, for public nudity and obscenity charges. Next I
broke into the INS database, where I managed to set her status to illegal
Cuban immigrant. My last trick (as I have already been hacking for almost an
hour!) involved breaking into the US Census and changing her 'Place of
Origin' to Sri Lanka, where (as her census now says) she worked as a
recruiter for under-age brothels.
I obviously did not need any help with those activities, but I am having a
problem. As I have previously mentioned, I managed to steal her Visa credit
card number. Wanting a little action, I tried to get access to
Afrolicious.com ("Big Black Booty GOLD"), but I can NOT figure out how to
enter her number into the 'form'. I have tried an advanced technique, called
'cut-and-pasting', but I just can not figure out how it works for the life
Any help would be appreciated greatly!
Thanks in advance,
Some people really do try to be funny.
Augur Submitted The Following:
I have to respond to every one who wrote to the mailbag the next to previous issue on the subject of online elections. First, the bloke who suggested that adequate security would make these elections feasible. Admittedly, it IS possible to make a limited scope of network secure against the common attacks perpetrated by the scum of the Net. Quality lock-downs can easily keep the kids out, and even keep the skilled independents out, but this isn't really the threat, is it? I mean, if I wanted to vote, but somebody had taken down the public interface to the site, I'd just have to go vote in person. If, however, a concerted effort were put to owning the back end without being detected, now that is another story. I can hear the hecklers now, but this is not only possible, but certain. Say a group desires to expand its interests. Let's say this group is a collection of D. Phil. candidates. Let's say they are at different universities now, but for their Baccalaureate, they all went to a top ranked university known
for its computer science and electrical engineering programme. When in undergraduate's school, they where friends, in fact, more than friends. Let's say...they were cohesive enough to be called a group, or even...a society. A good will society. Let us say that this group of friends, being of affluent back grounds, decided that all the members of their group would aid any other member in any endevour they might pursue. Let us say that these people moved from being a small group of friends, to being something in the order of a small Society of the Scull and Bones. Now they are studying for their doctorates, and a few are into business. They’re old money, but some of them aren’t doing so well. They were starting their first jobs with their fathers’ companies in the eighties. (By the way, since John catches so many complaints for any and all non PC statements, I just want to cover myself. I’m just assuming that it was their fathers’ companies because most old money has long traditions, so the wives still g
et delegated to homemaking, but obviously this isn’t universal.) Being influenced by business in the eighties, they didn’t learn the best of business habits. Some of them are beginning to realize that the expense accounts they got on graduation from their parents are running low. So, they get together, from disparate points of the world. They can’t communicate long distance for security reasons. One of them has had an idea. This man, who had been something of an outsider within his own group. Tall, thin, introspective, he was never popular outside the group, and within, his quiet, thoughtful nature made every one like him, but no one would remember him five minutes after he left the room. Now he takes centre stage, suffering a temporary affliction of attention in order to secure success. When they are all gathered, they begin. Some of the men are down to their last dime, spent on a Concorde flight to a site in Western Europe and a hotel room. The men gather in a rented meeting room, and after assur
ing that no eavesdropping devices were present, the quite man with an idea begins his presentation. When it is over, most of the group is with him. Those against the idea are coerced to swear not to reveal them. In one year’s time, after a thorough preparation, the men again disperse to the four corners, from which they shall work. Time is an issue, and they must complete their work without err. Elections in the States have begun, and so has their work. One year of intensive research into the security mechanisms used to protect the online elections has made their work that much easier. A network of immensely powerful computing systems, built to order, with custom hardware and software has been erected for the work. The very moment the polls open, the systems are waiting, and the men go to work. Intensive research * and practice permitted by their setting up a mock voting system. Through hook or by crook, they obtained detailed information of the system design. The encryption is the best the NSA was willing to let anyone else have, but the actual security is largely secrecy dependent. So they work quickly to break through the ice, and they get in. The most difficult part of the project is keeping the scum drawn to big name sites from drawing attention to the systems. No one even notices the presence of the men. They adjust the results carefully, gradually, as the votes are submitted. Perhaps the fatal flaw was obvious. The creators had assumed that all access was going to come through certain types of interfaces, and so they limited them carefully. But, by skillful observation of the public interface, the men found an exposed system that was actually responsible for tallying the votes. They compromised it easily, and they got a certain candidate, who no one expected to win, into office. This man was an independent, with his bare minimum contributions to demonstrate that he could campaign. Everyone liked the candidate, but he wasn’t likely to win. But he did. Now the men have a controllable man in office. Everything they do can be directed by what policies are about to be instituted, what is about to be made legal, illegal, or regulated. These men are now an opportunistic group of some of the most well informed persons in the world.
This is a good example, but not the only one. Perhaps the group was not of young men who were desperate, but rather old men who had once engaged in a similar activity when they were young and desperate for cash, and now it is standing policy to exploit every new circumstance.
Sorry I made you read all this, but this is significant. Holding online elections is just begging for trouble. There are many things that we must do, which present dangers of outside manipulation, but we shouldn’t do things just because we can when it presents so severe a security risk. Such a risk presents far more of a danger than some idiot taking down your favourite search site.
Oh, by the by, the fellow that had some remark about “your thoughts on the subject are irrelevant” is kinda dumb. 1, we do live in a democracy. People are always claiming that the most famous early democracy of Greece was a direct democracy. They believe that this means that since they made the democracy to begin with, clearly, if it isn’t like the original, it isn’t really a democracy. Unfortunately, this misconception is just that. Greece was a pretty big nation. Individual cities, where one could vote on everything that you pleased to do so, built small empires. When their territory began to touch with that of other cities, they had some wars. No, first of all, the whole “city-state” could not vote on every topic, it just wasn’t feasible, distances made it impossible. When the city-states worked through their differences, they formed a greater nation, a confederacy specifically. Now it was entirely impossible that everyone could vote on everything. Now, the people could still run in and fill out a ballot to decide whether the recent city taxes would be used to build another aqueduct to keep the waste from the overpopulated sections of the city from building up, or to expand the city wall, so that the overpopulated areas could get less overpopulated. The country folk probably couldn’t get to an assembly to vote anyway, so nobody was much concerned with them. Even the people of the city couldn’t spare enough time to gather to vote, so the greater confederacy of nations, when they were going to make a decision about who got to expand where, and whether they would make war on Persia, or how long they would let the people in Doria starve, they sent representatives in their stead. If in modern America, or Canada, or England or the rest of the UK, or Australia, or any vaguely similar nation, we started voting directly, numerous problems arise. No longer do we have any way of assuring equity. How many of the registered voters have to vote on an issue to consider it closed? What if a major problem a
rises when a large portion of a given district’s registered voters are on vacation in the Bahamas? What happens if a major epidemic of influenza tears through a community, leaving everyone sick in bed? The biggest problem is that if everybody voted on every issue, nothing would EVER get done. Everybody would sit in front of their systems all day, voting. Then, of course, the systems would fall apart, because no one tended them. File systems would overflow with logs and voting results. No one would perform the actions dictated by the votes, because they were voting. Anyway, I guess I’ve beat this to death, but it seems important to me.
Again, sorry it’s so long, and I would ask that you would put something to the general effect of this article on your site, somewhere. Feel free to chop it to pieces, make it into a haiku, or sell it to the men I spoke of to reveal to them a dangerous enemy…whatever, just get something to the general point on your site if you can. Thanks.
Holy hell, What is wrong with your head?. I hope you people are beginning to realize the type of sh!t that I am forced to put up with.
During a trip to a casino I started thinking about their computer security. They must have had 10's of thousands of video poker machines that use debit type cards. I am curious about the type of networking they use to handle all this information. I have done some research on it, would bet they use an AS400 mainframe at the core but any other information is hard to come by. You guys know of any resources for this? An article on this area would be interesting considering the amounts of money that go through casino's (not online ones).
Very interesting question. I'll have one of our staffers research this, and see if we can come up with a report. Anyone here work for a casino?