Hello John,

Thanks for a great resource, I have been reading antionline avidly for a while now, its fantastic.
I have noticed that over the years people have been breaking into PC's and *nix boxes with I guess you
could say relitive ease but there are no reports of people cracking Macintoshes, I get a lot of flack for liking
macs but don't really pay much attention. I guess that there are ways of breaking them but no one seems to bother,
or if they try they fail or just keep it to themselves. my mac is running all the usual network stuff, Httpd, ftpd, and a
slew of other things, and the only thing that seems to work is denial of service attacks, such as "ping of death". this has
been fixed resently (93-95-ish?) with the introduction of OpenTransport, Apples tcp-ip software. I use a Macintosh as a
gateway on a medium sized unix network, containing several Suns, Linux boxes etc, and have never had any problems,
I am not a cracker, so I cant say for sure that I am truly secure but I have tried most of the programs listed on Antionline
and at l0pht, Rootshell and various other sites and they have ALL failed to even see the computers behind my Mac.
So.... I guess the point of all this is (as was said at a microsuck convention) GET A MACINTOSH!
And for the truly paranoid, use SSH, its good, fast, VERY SECURE, and free, if you dont its your own fault if you get cracked.

Thanks again for your site,

and please pardon my spelling,

Neil Braun

Scientist for The Smithsonian

Well now, you covered a lot of ground there ;-) Any system which is not multi user is inherently more
secure than one which is. I know i'm going to catch hell from some for saying that, but I think it's true. This is also why you
don't hear about win95 boxes being "broken into" (unless of course via an installed server software package, haha, like Back Orifice for example).
As far as virii and denial of service goes, Macs face many of the same
problems that other systems do. I'm not going to start listing the reasons that I dislike Macs, all that I think I really need
to say is "error type 11" haha. The Mac users out there know what I'm talking about ;-) As for your spelling well, I have
no room to talk either.

Dear John,

MSN has accused me of hacking into a university system.
I have not nor wish to do so. Please explain to me how someone
could get my address and password to do this, and how can I prevent
this from happening again. As you may have perceived, I know very
little about computers, and especially hacking.


Tina Reddick

Well, when you say they accused you of "hacking", what exactly
were the accusations? Let me tell you how ISPs usually come up with such claims. Either
#1, they had an individual or another isp call them up and say at 12:00pm on Friday,
someone from a MSN dial up account "modem1.msn.com" or whatever "hacked" them. They can then
check the logs on their com server and see who they have a record of being logged
into modem1 at 12:00pm. Of course, the person making the claims may either be
lying, mistaken on the time, or mistaken on the domain, or the hacker that really broke
into the system could have been spoofing or could have altered the logs. The second way, is through
internal detection by msn itself. Some ISPs will monitor their dial up accounts for
users doing things such as spamming, or denial of service attacks. Since this is an
automated process, it's often easy for regular network activity to be mistakenly
labled inappropriate behavior. So, i'm not sure about your particular case, but I hope
this may have helped a bit.

I am amazed that the SF Chronicle refered to AntiOnline as a "computer security group".
Anyone who spends any time on your site will clearly see that your claimed desire to help
improve computer security is just an attempt to gain some legitimacy. No legitmate "journalist"
would provide links to John the Ripper. Yeah, I hear your response now: "I just want to provide
tools for sysadmins to determine the security of their networks". Sure. Not much they could do
against hacked encryption, is there? [....] You've actually become more blatant in your
support of hackers and their so-called noble aims. In the past you seemed to be less biased.

Anyway, I thought about putting up a site: AntiAntiOnline, just to counter some of the things on
the website and your "I love AntiOnline" mailbag, but heck, I work for a living so who has time
for that. I've scaled down my ambitions and now just write to journalists who cite AntiOnline as a
legitimate source. I provide them with links to pages on your site that show your bias as well as
links to legitimate computer security groups, like CERT.


Now, reading that letter, wouldn't you say to yourself two things. Number one,
this person sounds immature, so is more than likely a young, insecure teenager (antiantionline, give me a break). Secondly,
he's probably not familiar with computer administration, or security. Any security consultant can tell you
how network admins use programs like John The Ripper to secure their own networks, and how it's
important to provide such software to the "mainstream". Well, thanks to a reporter at the SF Chronicle, who
I won't mention by name here, I've found out that this individual is none other than a Captain for the United
States Airforce. Now, I'm not going to mention him by name here, but needless to say I sent the man a letter.
I hope that people can realize the reasons why we post the type of information that we do. There are two
conventions in the security field. One of which is the free exchange and public development of new technologies,
including security. The second, outdated theology, being "security through obscurity". Even CERT, which he
mentions in his letter, releases advisories and the like. As for my MailBag being bias? Well, I post hate letters
like yours all the time. But then again, it's my MailBag, and I'll post what I see fit :P

I didn't know who else to ask about this. I use the
Anonymizer service at www.anonymizer.com to do my daily
surfing. Can Anonymizer really protect my privacy or am I
just wasting my time and money. I would appreciate any
thoughts you may have on this issue.

Thank you.


Sure things like this help to protect your privacy. They stop the sites that
you're visiting from logging your true domain or ip, and from tracking what you're viewing. They're
known as a "proxy". Not to do the anonymizer out of buisness or anything, but you may want to
check out this one at: http://www.lpwa.com/ It's a free proxy made available by Lucent.

What a load of bull. I guess that there is no need for
anti-virus software because, if you get all your programs
from a trusted host, there won't be any virus on them.
The truth of the matter is that people of all levels of
computer literacy use computers on the internet. Someone is
going to catch it and spread it.

Fred McMullen

Network Engineer - US Army

I'll assume that he's talking about Back Orifice here. BO isn't a traditional
"virus" that infects binaries or other files on a system, and then spreads. It falls more in line with being
a "trojan", or back door into a system. As for how big of a threat I think it'll become? Refer to my
editorial from a couple weeks ago.

Hi JP, been following your site for about eight months.
Got a question on BackOrifice...I thought this would be a
good tool to use to remote control a PC, but am a chicken
**** to install it. In my paranioa, I figure they have put code
in the software to enable anyone (especially them) to gain
access to the machine/network it is installed on. I'm getting to
old to look for another job so I don't dare install it at work.
Have u heard anything like this...u think it's OK to install it at
least at the house to play with it.

If anyone would know, I figure you would. Thanks!

Don Herring

LAN Admin for Branch Electric Supply

Well, I don't want to have to get another job by telling you
it's ok to install either. Haha. All I can say is this. There was a letter on BugTraq
from an admin talking about "strange network activity" at night, but it appeared to be
supplied without proof of BO being the cause, so I don't think it holds much water. BUT!
The encryption scheme used by BO is KNOWN to be weak. AND, the cDc did not code the program for
the purposes of it becoming a network administration tool (at least that's my understanding).
So, to be safe, I'd use a program like timbukto for my administration, and not BO.

Isn't there a couple of books or journals out by like the NSA, they are multi colored. like there is a red book, orange book. etc... If I have the wrong agency or company could you direct me to the right one.
If I have lost you. These books are on network security and
other stuff in that area. I know they exist just can not
remember where to get then.
also do these things cost or are they free?

Thank You For Your Time.

Dustin D'Amour

Sure I know what you're talking about. As you suggest, they're actually called the "rainbow books".
The rainbow books are a six foot tall stack of multi-colored books (the primary one being orange I think?) that talk of evaluating "Trusted Computer Systems"
according to the NSA. As a matter of fact you can download them online here: http://www.radium.ncsc.mil/tpep/libr...bow/index.html