Computer Underground Digest Volume 2, Issue #2.02 (September 9, 1990)

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

**************************************************************************** >C O M P U T E R U N D E R G R O U N D< >D I G E S T< *** Volume 2, Issue #2.02 (September 9, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** MODERATORS: Jim Thomas / Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.bitnet) ARCHIVISTS: Bob Krause / Alex Smith USENET readers can currently receive CuD as COMPUTER UNDERGROUND DIGEST is an open forum dedicated to sharing information among computerists and to the presentation and debate of diverse views. CuD material may be reprinted as long as the source is cited. It is assumed that non-personal mail to the moderators may be reprinted, unless otherwise specified. Readers are encouraged to submit reasoned articles relating to the Computer Underground. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ DISCLAIMER: The views represented herein do not necessarily represent the views of the moderators. Contributors assume all responsibility for assuring that articles submitted do not violate copyright protections. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ CONTENTS: File 1: Moderators' Corner File 2: Musing over Operation Sun Devil File 3: IPCO BBS Back on-Line File 4: CuD Index, Volume 1 (Nos. 1.00 through 1.29, complete) File 5: The CU in the News ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ******************************************************************** *** CuD #2.02, File 1 of 5: Moderator's corner *** ******************************************************************** Date: September 9, 1990 From: Moderators Subject: Moderators' Corner ++++++++++ In this file: 1) CRAIG NEIDORF DEFENSE FUND ++++++++++++++++++ Craig Neidorf's Defense Fund ++++++++++++++++++ Craig Neidorf's legal expense still linger near six figures. We urge readers to consider sending a few dollars, even if it's just a token amount. Cases such as Craig's and Len Rose's affect us all, and even a couple of dollars would help. Those interested in contributing the Craig Neidorf's defense fund to help reduce his legal costs should do so soon. Checks should be made out to the law firm of KATTEN, MUCHIN AND ZAVIS, and sent directly to his defense attorney: Sheldon Zenner c/o Katten, Muchin and Zavis 525 W. Monroe, Suite 1600 Chicago, IL 60606 Len Rose has been hit especially hard by legal expenses, and lost virtually everything he has, including his house and a car to pay his first attorney. Len is now relying on a public defender, but hopes to retain one more specialized in computer cases. There has been talk of a defense fund for him also, and we'll provide more details if it comes about. It's easy to sit back and remain apathetic if we don't perceive the issues to affect us directly, but in both cases the issues of telecommunication law affect all modem users. In Len's case, the definition of "telepiracy" could be expanded in such a way that people sending copies of any copyright program could be subject to prosecution. Those who were on the PHRACK mailing list, or who downloaded it regularly should be especially concerned. ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ Date: September 8, 1990 From: Jim Thomas Subject: Musing over Operation Sun Devil ******************************************************************** *** CuD #2.02, File 2 of 5: Musing over Operation Sun Devil *** ******************************************************************** It is nearly four months after the May 8 raids from Operation Sun Devil, and pushing three years since the investigation began. To date, there still seems to be little that has come from the highly publicized operation. In various press releases, public appearances, and comments to the media, the operation was called by law enforcement a major effort in the crackdown on hackers, the beginning of a national sweep against computer crime, and an attack on threats to national security. In many ways, Operation Sun Devil and the raids that preceded it were "trial by media." Law enforcement officials issued press releases, appeared on tv and radio talk shows, and made themselves quite visible with their sweeping, strident, and often factually wrong comments. Craig Neidorf's first indictment associated him with the Legion of Doom, and it associated the LoD with bank theft and disruption of E911 services, among other crimes. The public was asked what other group of criminals held conferences and published newsletters. This does not strike us as an unprejudicial statement, especially when the presumed "criminal" about whom the allusion apparently was made was not only not convicted, but had his trial cancelled before the prosecution had even finished presenting its case. Yet, it has been those critical of the raids who were sometimes called "mean spirited," hypocritical, and worse law enforcement and others who supported the crackdown. Other indictments still may be forthcoming. But, our concern is that, to save face and avoid the embarrassment of what at this point appears to be a major fiasco, law enforcement officials may stretch legal definitions to prosecute even the most minor offenses as a means of showing that the Operation was justified. It is still not clear why the particular boards that were raided were picked. The language of the indictments and comments to the media convey the imagery of a "ring," of something organized, of people acting in collusion or in a conspiracy. Yet, neither the evidence presented so far nor any other facts that have surfaced support this. It appears that confiscation of equipment is being used as a form of intimidation or as punishment without trial. Because of the raids, lives have been traumatically disrupted, perhaps destroyed, innocent employees have been put out of work because of the financial hardship the raids caused at least one company, and many would argue that the Bill of Rights has been tarnished by those charged with protecting them. Most of us have consistently argued that we should not build barriers between computerists and law enforcement and that we should try to educate agents, legislators and the public to the nature of the computer underground. This, however, seems perhaps naive and idealistic. Despite the evidence, despite the reasoned approach of many, such as EFF, and despite the lack of indictments to date, those involved in Sun Devil show no indication whatsoever that they have listened to any of the concerned voices. They repeat the same hackneyed phrases that paint "hackers" as dangerous criminals. Dramatic statements about the costs of hackers to society, their threats to security, or their past actions for disruption are raised. But, when asked to name a few examples, or when asked for the sources of their information, they are silent, either changing the subject, repeating glib one-liners, or falling back on that old standby "We can't discuss on-going investigations." Perhaps serious crimes were committed by some. But, if so, indictments should be issued. When suspects are investigated in a serious crime, the public (and the suspects) are generally told the specific nature of the crime and the evidence, or at least the reason they're a suspect, is revealed. One maddening tendency of law enforcement is that of "guilt by association." A few dramatic crimes are cited and then hackers are drawn in by association. By analogy, the logic would be akin to stating that speeding get-away drivers in a bank heist are dangerous felons, and then comparing them with a driver who speeds 10 mph over the speed limit on the freeway as a means of invoking law to confiscate speeders' cars, send them to prison for a mega-sentence, or to otherwise hassle drivers. Driving infractions, however, do not raise the Constitutional issues of right to privacy, search and seizure, or freedom of speech. Crimes, and very serious crimes, are committed with computers. But, we suggest, the so-called "hacker community" is generally not the primary culprit. To claim that computer crime costs society x-billion dollars a year as a means of justifying the current practice of punishment without trial is deceptive at best. August Bequai indicated that most computer crime occurs from within an organization. Other serious crimes (embezzlement, theft of trade secrets) are rarely, if ever, done by the "common hacker." There is virtually no evidence that we have seen--and if any law enforcement officials want to present some, we will alter our views--to substantiate the "slippery slope" thesis--that just as marijuana leads to "harder stuff," a young computer hobbyist begins hacking and then moves on to bank robbery or planting serious viruses. This is just one of many examples of the hyperbole of some officials to justify their attack on the CU. The danger is that instead of finding more constructive ways to combat this new form of juvenile delinquencyy, they are swiping at an ant with an h-bomb (and missing). If resources are as limited as officials claim in explaining why it takes so long to investigate, or why they can't put technologically-trained agents in the field, then shouldn't those limited resources go to better use? ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ Date: September 8, 1990 From: Moderators Subject: IPCO BBS Back on-Line ******************************************************************** *** CuD #2.02, File 3 of 5: RIPCO BBS Back on-Line *** ******************************************************************** Good news for computerists: **RIPCO BBS IS BACK UP**!! Ripco went down on May 8 in the Sun Devil raids, and Dr. Ripco's equipment, software, logs, and even manuals for his software, were seized. He was apparently the only victim of a "seizure warrant," *not just a search warrant*, which is usually served *after* an arrest or indictment. Perhaps a lawyer could send us the distinction and clarify the significance. Dr. Ripco has not been indicted, and to our knowledge there is no evidence that he knowingly participated in any illegal act on his board. It is still unclear why his board was targeted. Perhaps it was longevity (over six years), perhaps because some of the users were nationally well known, or perhaps because of the text file collection, which to our knowledge were all public information. The Doc met with representatives from EFF in late August and early September. The meetings were informational and centered on the type of files users posted, the nature of the messages, and other general information to determine whether there are sufficient Constitutional issues to warrant further steps. Ripco's number is the same--(312)528-5020, and he is hoping that previous users can upload the numerous g-philes lost in the confiscation. ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ Date: September 8, 1990 From: Moderators Subject: CuD Index, Volume 1 (Nos. 1.00 through 1.29, complete) ******************************************************************** *** CuD #2.02, File 4 of 5: Index, Volume 1, Nos. 1.00-1.29 *** ******************************************************************** **************************************************************************** >>C O M P U T E R U N D E R G R O U N D I N D E X<< ** INDEX: Volumes 1.00 - 1.29 ** **************************************************************************** **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.00 (March 28, 1990) ** ****************************************************************************0) File 1: Moderator's Introduction (Vol 1.00 File 2: Background of the LoD Debates (Vol 1.00 File 3: Use of Aliases in the BBS World (Vol 1.00 File 4: Craig Neidorf Indictment (the first) (Vol 1.00 File 5: Press Release Accompanying first Neidorf Indictment (Vol 1.00 (Vol 1.00 **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.01 (March 31, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: "Opening the Kimono too Far" (by Mark Seiden) (Vol 1.01 File 2: "Which Witch Hunt?" (Editorial response) (Vol 1.01 File 3: CuD's First Copyright Squabble--AUSTIN-AMERICAN STATESMAN (Vol 1.01 File 4: Satirical article from PHRACK 29, phile 7 (reprint) (Vol 1.01 **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.02 (April 2, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Messages Received (Vol. 1.02 File 2: Hacking in England (news article) (Vol. 1.02 File 3: The FBI and BBS Surveillance (PHRACK Reprint) (Vol. 1.02 **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.03 (April 8, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: News and Notes (moderators) (Vol. 1.03 File 2: The Future of Hacking (Christopher Seline) (Vol. 1.03 File 3: Hacking into Nasa (Ellis Dea) (Vol. 1.03 File 4: The FBI sets up Earth First!? (Anonymous contributor) (Vol. 1.03 File 5: An Alternative view of Piracy (Jim Thomas/Gordon Meyer) (Vol. 1.03 File 6: Hackers in the News: LoD, Australian Hackers (Vol. 1.03 **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.04 (April 11, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Special Issue: ALCOR'S SUIT AGAINST E-MAIL CONFISCATION (Vol. 1.04 **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.05 (April 22, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Moderators' Corner (news and notes) (Vol 1.05 File 2: From the Mailbag (Vol 1.05 File 3: An Awkward conversation with S.P.A (Vol 1.05 File 4: Freedom of Information / FBI Surveillance of BBSs (Vol 1.05 File 5: "ERRATA" (Go placidly amongst the BBS world....hi-camp!) (Vol 1.05 **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.06 (April 27, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Moderators' Corner (news and notes) (Vol. 1.06 File 2: Lists *CAN* Get You Listed! (Vol. 1.06 File 3: Legion of Doom (Austin / Chicago) Update (27 April) (Vol. 1.06 File 4: Review of THE CUCKOO'S EGG (Vol. 1.06 File 5: SMTP Hints (Vol. 1.06 **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.07 (May 5, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Moderators' Corner (news and notes) (Vol. 1.07 File 2: The CU in the News (Vol. 1.07 File 3: Response to the Stoll review by Stephen Tihor (Vol. 1.07 File 4: A Comment on Hacking (reprint) (Vol. 1.07 File 5: A Computer Game that "Just says No??!" (Vol. 1.07 File 6: CU Poem: "IMAGINE," by Roberta Barlow (Vol. 1.07 **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.08 (May 9, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Moderators' Corner (news and notes) (Vol. 1.08) File 2: From the Mail Bag (Could it be the Broccoli King?) (Vol. 1.08) File 3: Report on Morris Sentencing (by Lawrence Kestenbaum) (Vol. 1.08 ) File 4: Sysops under Fire (reprint) (Vol. 1.08) File 5: BBS Symbols (by Ruth Hanschka) (Vol. 1.08) **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.09 (May 16, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Moderators' Corner (news and notes) (Vol. 1.09) File 2: From the Mail Bag (Richard Duffy) (Vol. 1.09) File 3: Operation Sun Devil: Press Release (Vol. 1.09) File 4: Operation Sun Devil: Secret Service Statement (Vol. 1.09) File 5: News Excerpts about Operation Sun Devil (Vol. 1.09) File 6: Software Publishers Association Update (Vol. 1.09) **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.10 (May 17, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: 2600 MAGAZINE'S COMMENTARY ON OPERATION SUN DEVIL (Vol. 1.1 **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.11 (May 29, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Moderators' Corner (news and notes) (Vol. 1.11) File 2: Media and the (witch)hunt for the Computer Underground (Vol. 1.11) File 3: BBS Stings (anonymously sent) (Vol. 1.11) File 4: Comment on Sun Devil Press Release and related issues (Vol. 1.11) **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.12 (June 10, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Moderators' Corner (news and notes) (Vol. 1.12) File 2: From the Mail Bag (Vol. 1.12) File 3: Another CUCKOO'S EGG Review (By Charles Stanford) (Vol. 1.12) File 4: Pat Townson Interview with David Tomkin (reprint) (Vol. 1.12) File 5: Where are they Now? (Tracing CU Magazines) (Vol. 1.12) **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.13 (June 12, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Moderators' Editorial: The Chilling Effect Hits Home (Vol. 1.13) File 2: A Hacker's Perspective (by Johnny Yonderboy) (Vol. 1.13) File 3: Len Rose Information and Commentary (Vol. 1.13) File 4: Response to Telecom Digest's Views (by Emmanuel Goldstein) (Vol. 1.13) File 5: Reprinted Editorial on Steve Jackson Games (Vol. 1.13) **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.14 (June 14, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Moderators' Comments (Vol. 1.14) File 2: Mail: 1) SS jurisdiction; 2) Busts (Vol. 1.14) File 3: Craig Neidorf's New Indictment (Gordon Meyer) (Vol. 1.14) File 4: Is this Evidence (response to indictment, Jim Thomas) (Vol. 1.14) File 5: Mike Godwin on Search Warrants etc. (Vol. 1.14) **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.15 (June 16, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: SPECIAL ISSUE: June Indictment of Craig Neidorf (Vol. 1.15) **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.16 (June 19, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: SPECIAL ISSUE: JUDGE BUA'S OPINION ON MOTION TO DISMISS (Vol. 1.16) **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.17 (June 21, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Moderators' Comments (Vol. 1.17) File 2: From the Mailbag (6 items) (Vol. 1.17) File 3: Info World article and response (Mike Godwin) (Vol. 1.17) File 4: LoD and the Secret Service (Mike Godwin) (Vol. 1.17) File 5: California Law Targets Info Possession as Felonious?? (Vol. 1.17) File 6: Hackers in the News (reprint by Adam Gaffin) (Vol. 1.17) **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.18 (June 25, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Moderators' Comments (Vol. 1.18) File 2: From the Mailbag (3 items) (Vol. 1.18) File 3: Title 18 USC %Section% 1343 and comments (Mike Godwin) (Vol. 1.18) File 4: Have Federal Prosecutors gone too far? (Jim Thomas) (Vol. 1.18) File 5: FBI response to Rep. Don Edwards query of BBS Spying (Vol. 1.18) **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.19 (June 26, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: SPECIAL ISSUE: MALICE IN WONDERLAND: THE E911 CHARGES (Vol. 1.19) **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.20 (June 29, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: SPECIAL ISSUE: MALICE IN WONDERLAND (PART II) (Vol. 1.20) **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.21 (July 8, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Moderators' Comments (Vol 1.21) File 2: From the Mailbag (Vol 1.21) File 3: On the Problems of Evidence in Computer Investigation (Vol 1.21) File 4: Response to Mitch Kapors Critics (E. Goldstein) (Vol 1.21) File 5: The CU in the News: Excerpts from Computerworld article (Vol 1.21) **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.22 (July 14, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Moderators' Comments (Vol 1.22) File 2: From the Mailbag: More on CU and Free Speech (Vol 1.22) File 3: Response to "Problems of Evidence" (Mike Godwin) (Vol 1.22) File 4: What to do When the Police come a'knocking (Czar Donic) (Vol 1.22) File 5: Observations on the Law (Mike Godwin) (Vol 1.22) **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.23 (July 18, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Moderators' Comments (Vol 1.23) File 2: FTPing Thru Bitnet: BITFTP Help (Vol 1.23) File 3: Phrack as "Evidence?" (Vol 1.23) File 4: CU in the News (Vol 1.23) **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.24 (July 22, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Moderators' Comments (Vol 1.24) File 2: Neidorf Trial: The First Day (Vol 1.24) File 3: Electronic Frontier Update (John Perry Barlow) (Vol 1.24) File 4: Press Release from Atlanta Prosecutor on LoD Guilty Pleas (Vol 1.24) File 5: CU in the News (Vol 1.24) **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.25 (July 28, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Moderators' Comments (Vol 1.25) File 2: Neidorf Trial Over: CHARGES DROPPED (Moderators) (Vol 1.25) File 3: Warning about Continued Harassment of BBSs (Keith Henson) (Vol 1.25) File 4: League for Programming Freedom Protests Lotus Litigation (Vol 1.25) **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.26 (Aug 2, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Moderators' Corner (Vol 1.26) File 2: GURPS: Review of Steve Jackson's Cyperpunk Game (GRM) (Vol 1.26) File 3: Cyberspace Subculture in Real Life (Mike Godwin) (Vol 1.26) File 4: Update on RIPCO BBS and Dr. Ripco (Jim Thomas) (Vol 1.26) File 5: The Current TAP (TAP Editors) (Vol 1.26) **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.27 (Aug 9, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Moderators' Corner (Vol 1.27) File 2: From the Mailbag (Response to Neidorf article) (Vol 1.27) File 3: Dr. Ripco Speaks Out (Vol 1.27) File 4: SJG Gurps Cyberpunk (Vol 1.27) **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.28 (Aug 12, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1: Moderators' Corner (Vol 1.28) File 2: A Conversation with Len Rose (Vol 1.28) File 3: Len Rose's Indictment (Vol 1.28) File 4: CU in the News (Vol 1.28) **************************************************************************** *** Volume 1, Issue #1.29 (Aug 19, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** File 1:: Moderators' Corner (Vol 1.29) File 2:: From the Mailbag (Vol 1.29) File 3:: Direction of CuD (Vol 1.29) File 4:: Password checking programs and trojan horses (Vol 1.29) File 5:: What is "CYBERSPACE?" (Vol 1.29) File 6:: The CU in the News (Vol 1.29) (END C-u-D Index, Volume #1, Numbers 1.00 - 1.29) ******************************** ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ Date: September 7, 1990 From: Various Contributors Subject: The CU in the News ******************************************************************** *** CuD #2.02, File 5 of 5: The CU in the News *** ******************************************************************** Date: Wed, 5 Sep 90 19:29:47 CDT From: edtjda@MAGIC712.CHRON.COM(Joe Abernathy) To: tk0jut2%niu.bitnet@UICVM.UIC.EDU Subject: Text of chron-sundevil article War on computer crime waged with search, seizure By JOE ABERNATHY Houston Chronicle The government's first assault on computer crime, un- veiled with fanfare six months ago, has generated few criminal cases and is drawing allegations that federal agents are using heavy-handed tactics. Although only four people have been charged, searches and seizures have been conducted in at least 44 homes or businesses in the crackdown, called Operation Sun Devil. One prosecutor attributed the delay in filing cases to the vast amount of information that must be sorted. Authorities would not say, however, when or if additional charges might be re- turned. Sun Devil, so named because it began in Arizona and targeted an evil that investigators deemed biblical in stature, is held forth as a sophisticated defense of the nation's computer in- frastructure. Computer-related abuses will cost the nation's business community $500 million this year, according to some esti mates. Operation Sun Devil and several related investigations made public in March have been under way for more than two years. Hun- dreds of agents from the Secret Service, U.S. attorney's office, the Bell companies, and assorted law enforcement agencies are involved. But the operation is coming under fire for what critics describe as unjustified searches and seizures of property and electronic information protected by the Constitution. Among examples they cite: * An Austin publishing house is clinging to life after Secret Service agents confiscated equipment and manuscripts, leaving behind an unsigned search warrant. * A Missouri college student faces an extra year in school and $100,000 in legal fees after defending himself from charges that he stole a proprietary document from the telephone company by publishing it in a newsletter. * The wife and children of a Baltimore corporate computer consultant were detained for six hours while he was interrogated in a locked bedroom and his business equipment was confiscated. With no way to support itself, the family has sunk into pover- ty. At a press conference in March, authorities presented Sun De- vil as a full-scale response to a serious criminal threat. "The United States Secret Service, in cooperation with the Un- ited States attorney's office and the attorney general for the state of Arizona, established an operation utilizing sophisticat- ed investigative techniques,'' a press release said, adding that 40 computers and 23,000 data disks had been seized in the initial sweep. "The conceivable criminal violations of this operation have serious implications for the health and welfare of all individu- als, corporations, and United States government agencies relying on computers and telephones to communicate,'' it continued. Six months later, most officials are silent about Sun Devil. But at least one principal denies excesses in the operation. "I am not a mad dog prosecutor,'' said Gail Thackeray, assistant attorney general for the state of Arizona and the intellectual parent of Operation Sun Devil. "(Agents) are acting in good faith, and I don't think that can be said of the hacker community. "Over the last couple of years, a lot of us in different places -- state, federal and local -- have been getting hit with a dramatic increase in complaints from computer hacker victims. So in response to that the Secret Service started the Sun Devil in- vestigation trying to find a more effective way to deal with some of this.'' Thackeray said the Secret Service, an agency of the U.S. Treasury Department, assumed jurisdiction because computer crime often involves financial fraud. Most of the losses are at- tributed to stolen long distance service. "It's not unusual for hackers to reach six figures (of abuse) in one month'' at a single business location, she said. "This whole mess is getting completely out of hand.'' But computer experts critical of Sun Devil contend the opera- tion also is out of hand. They have rallied behind the banner of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which contends that computer networks represent a fundamentally new realm of self-expression into which constitutional protection must be extended. Some visitors to this realm deem it cyberspace, using termi- nology borrowed from a science fiction genre set in a gritty fu- ture in which computer and telephone lines become extensions of one's intellect and even physical being. Hackers, as those who enter others' computers without authori- zation are known, are referred to as cyberpunks by some computer network users. It may have been this connection that drew the Secret Service to the Austin offices of Steve Jackson Games, which early this spring was about to publish something called "GURPS Cyber- punk." It is a rule book for a role-playing adventure along the lines of Dungeons & Dragons, played with dice and not computers. The cover page, however, credits the Legion of Doom, a self- professed underground hackers group, for assistance in providing realism. The game's author admits discoursing with the Le- gion. This link ensnared the company in the nationwide sweep con- ducted March 1, when 27 search warrants were executed in 14 ci- ties. A number of cases targeted members of the Legion. The Secret Service seized all copies of the Cyberpunk manuscript, along with the computers on which it was being stored prior to publication. "One of the Secret Service agents told Steve Jackson that they thought the book was a handbook for computer crime,'' said Sharon Beckman of the Boston firm Silverglate & Good, Jackson's attorney. "It looks like what (this) was, in effect, was a prior restraint on protected speech, speech protected by the First Amendment.'' Jackson's company, which had revenues of $1.4 million in 1989, was nearly dealt a death blow by the raid. Cyberpunk was to be its main spring release, but it would have to be rewritten from scratch. Jackson was not allowed access to the reams of in- formation stored on the confiscated equipment. "We had to lay off eight people, and we had to cut way back on the number of products we were producing,'' said Jackson, who put the cost of the raid at $125,000. That doesn't include lost revenues, "or the value to the company of the eight (of 17) em- ployees we had to lay off, because I don't know where to start to put a value on that.'' Beckman described her client as an ordinary businessman who uses a computer in his business. "He's not a computer hacker. He's not even a particularly sophisticated computer user,'' she said. "It was terrifying,'' Jackson recal ed. "I was in the hands of a lot of keen, earnest, sincere people who had no idea what they were doing and who had federal law enforcement powers. "It's frightening that they can do this to innocent people.'' No charges have been filed. Some of the equipment has been returned, but some was damaged beyond repair. Jackson said agents recently acknowledged that some equipment indeed is gone forever. The Secret Service, Arizona U.S. attorney's office and Justice Department all refused to discuss any specifics of Jackson's case, or any activities associated with Operation Sun Devil. "We're a very efficient organization, and we follow the guide- lines set forth by the law,'' said Michael Cleary, assistant to the special agent in charge of the Secret Service in Chicago, which has jurisdiction in the case. "If we have a signed, sworn affidavit, and a search warrant, we execute that warrant.'' Cleary wouldn't say why the search warrant used against Steve Jackson was not signed. A request by Jackson's attorney for more information went unanswered. Beckman said a raid conducted without a signed warrant would violate Fourth Amendment protection against unwarranted search and seizure. Mike Hurst, a Steve Jackson Games editor who lost his job to the raid on the company, offered bitter advice: "The Secret Ser- vice ought to make some attempt to find out if there's actually a case involved before they begin searches and confiscations of property.'' In one incident, the government did file a case, only to aban- don it when it fell apart in court. The defendant, Craig Neidorf, is going back to college at the University of Missouri this fall, but his reputation is stained, he's having to repeat his senior year, and he's $100,000 in debt. An intrusion into the computers of Bell South by a Legion member in 1988 set off much of the activity in Operation Sun De- vil, including the case against Neidorf. While in Bell South's computer, Legion member Robert Riggs found and copied a document describing administrative aspects of the emergency 911 system. Riggs and associates Franklin E. Darden Jr. and E. Grant, all three of whom are from Georgia, recently pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges and await sentencing. Darden and Riggs face up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Grant faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Neidorf, publisher of Phrack, a newsletter for hackers, was accused of theft for republishing the 911 document stolen by Riggs. Prosecutors stopped the trial after the document was shown to be freely available. His case received widespread coverage because it raised is- sues of free speech. Phrack was published electronically via computer networks instead of on paper, and thus did not immedi- ately receive the First Amendment protection that virtually would have been assured a paper document, according to Sheldon Zenner, Neidorf's attorney. "Going through this last seven months is not something I would wish on my worst enemy,'' said Neidorf, 20, who faced 31 years in prison. "It devastated my parents. My grandparents, they didn't take it well. They're in their 80s. "I kind of broke down myself at one point. I don't like to talk about it exactly.'' Leonard Rose, a computer consultant in Baltimore, let the Legion forward network mail through his computer, an everyday ar- rangement on the sprawling Internet research and education net- work. But because the name of his computer appeared in the group's electronic address, he was portrayed by the government as the mastermind of the group. "I've lost everything because of it,'' he said. Business con- tracts worth $100,000 a year, $70,000 worth of computer equipment used in his business, his top secret clearance, his wife's dream home, their credit rating, cars, are gone. The Roses now live with their two young children in an apartment furnished with two mattresses and a TV. "I used to look at people in the street and I couldn't under- stand how they could get there,'' Rose said. "I couldn't under- stand how you could sink that low, but now I understand. I under- stand a lot more now.'' He was never charged as part of the Legion of Doom investiga- tion, but during that probe he was found to have received an il- licit copy of a computer program that must be licensed from AT&T. "What Len Rose is accused of turns software piracy into a felo- ny,'' said John Perry Barlow, a co-founder of the Frontier Foun- dation. "If the government is prepared to go out and turn every- body who has engaged in software piracy into a felon, it'll make the war on drugs look like a minor undertaking.'' Detractors say that the investigative techniques used in Operation Sun Devil are at best rude, at worst illegal. Authori- ties respond that they are adjusting to a new world. Most concerns center on bulletin board systems, a frequent point of access into the nation's computer network byways. Locals call the BBS, which then moves private electronic mail and pub- lic messages into the public networks, which as a whole are re- ferred to as Internet or simply the matrix. "The government is seizing electronic mail like crazy, in the sense that it's seizing BBS's and all their contents,'' Barlow said. "It's the equivalent of seizing post offices and all their contents.'' The privacy of electronic mail is protected under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, which is also the law setting forth most of the conditions under which computer hacking can be con- sidered a crime. "We've seized lots of BBS's,'' acknowledged Thackeray of the Arizona attorney general's office, although search warrants were obtained only for the owner of each computer, not for each person with electronic mail stored on that computer. Benjamin Wright, a Dallas attorney who writes and lectures frequently on electronic data interchange, said that surveillance of electronic mail poses serious questions even when conducted properly under the supervision of a court. "A huge amount of information could build up, so there could be a great mass of information laying at the government's feet,'' he said. "To tap into all the phone lines of a corporation would be a lot of work, but if there's this database building up of a large part of a company's business, then there's a reason for being a little bit concerned. "This applies to private people as much as it applies to cor- porations.'' Authorities see the BBS seizures as preventive medicine. "The only thing I have ever found that has an effect on these kids is to take their computer away,'' Thackeray said. "It final- ly sinks in, 'I'm really not going to get this back.' '' But Barlow criticizes that approach. "Essentially what they have done is to fine (the suspect), without conviction, for the entire value of his property,'' he said. "They're not making arrests. This is turning the whole search and seizure into the punishment.'' ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The preceding appeared Sunday, 9/2/90, on the front page of the Houston Chronicle. Please send comments to: ------------------------------ From: Mike Rosen Subject: Articles Date: Sun, 9 Sep 90 0:53:09 EDT From: Computerworld, September 3, 1990, pg. 94, Inside Lines: "The Foreign Legion" Chaos Computer Club, West Germany's most active hacker group, is lining up members in the U.S., according to a hacker we know who is no slouch when it comes to illegal electronic break-ins. Members of the group were targets of the investigation that was the subject of _The Cuckoo's Egg_, Clifford Stoll's account of hackers-turned-spies for the KGB. Whatever happened to... Robert T. Morris, convicted in March of turning a worm loose on Internet, will file an appeal next week to overturn his felony conviction, according to Thomas Guidoboni, his attorney. The filing of the appeal has been delayed because the entire transcript of the trial, amounting to 1,300 pages, was not available until two weeks ago, Guidoboni said. What to do about it all Two bills wending through the U.S. House of Representatives would have made it a felony to unleash a computer virus, but both have died as a result of a jurisdictional turf war between the subcommittees on crime and criminal justice, according to a source. Key members of the subcommittee on crime - which typically handles bills related to malicious conduct such as the unleashing of viruses - were miffed that the rival subcommittee was doing the groundwork on the two virus bills. To assert its jurisdictional claim, the subcommittee on crime added a provision that makes loosing a virus a misdemeanor into the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1990. That leaves one bill in the Senate specifically aimed at applying stiffer penalties. ******************************************************************** ------------------------------ **END OF CuD #2.02** ********************************************************************


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