Computer underground Digest Sun Feb 28 1993 Volume 5 : Issue 17 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Ji

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

Skeptic Tank!

Computer underground Digest Sun Feb 28 1993 Volume 5 : Issue 17 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.BITNET) Archivist: Brendan Kehoe Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala Copy Editor: Etaion Shrdlu, Seniur CONTENTS, #5.17 (Feb 28 1993) Subject: File 1--Police motivations re. computer crime Subject: File 2--ACLU Interesting in Rusty & Edie's BBS? Subject: File 3--Re: File 4--Technology & Populist Publishing (#5.15) Subject: File 4--A Case for Electronic Publishing Subject: File 5--Obtaining Back Issues of CuD via FTP Subject: File 6--New Computer Viruses Run Amok (sort of) (Reprint) Subject: File 7--Netsys Startup Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost from The editors may be contacted by voice (815-753-6430), fax (815-753-6302) or U.S. mail at: Jim Thomas, Department of Sociology, NIU, DeKalb, IL 60115. Issues of CuD can also be found in the Usenet news group; on CompuServe in DL0 and DL4 of the IBMBBS SIG, DL1 of LAWSIG, and DL0 and DL12 of TELECOM; on GEnie in the PF*NPC RT libraries and in the VIRUS/SECURITY library; from America Online in the PC Telecom forum under "computing newsletters;" on the PC-EXEC BBS at (414) 789-4210; in Europe from the ComNet in Luxembourg BBS (++352) 466893; and using anonymous FTP on the Internet from ( in /pub/cud, ( in /cud, ( in /pub/mirror/cud, and ( in /pub/text/CuD. European readers can access the ftp site at: pub/doc/cud. Back issues also may be obtained from the mail server at 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 for non-profit as long as the source is cited. Some authors do copyright their material, and they should be contacted for reprint permission. 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 computer culture and communication. Articles are preferred to short responses. Please avoid quoting previous posts unless absolutely necessary. DISCLAIMER: The views represented herein do not necessarily represent the views of the moderators. Digest contributors assume all responsibility for ensuring that articles submitted do not violate copyright protections. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 26 Feb 1993 00:22:00 -0500 (EST) From: MFPORTER@DELPHI.COM Subject: File 1--Police motivations re. computer crime In the wake of every law enforcement action involving hackers, there is speculation about the motives of the police and the government in targeting computer-related crime. As readers of CuD well know, this topic can lead to some very wild conclusions -- The Government must be afraid of something! They see "hackers" as a threat to national security! The police are pawns of multi-national corporations! Conclusions such as these make for exciting commentary, but in the end they are not productive. They play sharply upon people's fears, but they sidestep the real challenges which face the community of computer users. The vast majority of the "hacker crackdown" actions and the ongoing harassment of hackers have nothing to do with perceived threats to national security. Most of the law enforcement actions against hackers have consisted of cops simply trying to do their job: protecting people from crime. This job includes protecting corporate persons such as AT&T and the RBOCs, as well as their customers. (This may not be the best use of our society's limited police resources, but that's a different issue, as is the question of what should be defined as a "crime.") To the police and prosecutors, the computer criminal is just another criminal. In this sense, at least, in most computer-crime cases -- as in most cases in general -- law enforcement agencies have good intentions. Good intentions, however, do not mean that there is not a real threat to the civil liberties of those who use computers and telephone networks. From Operation Sun Devil to the still-murky incident at the Pentagon City Mall, we all have cause for concern about the choices of both targets and methods by those who seek to fight computer-related crime, whatever their intentions. Actions which are designed to deter crime may all too easily deter honest citizens from exercising their constitutionally protected freedoms. As Justice Louis D. Brandeis wrote in 1928: Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding. (_Olmstead v. United States_) It's that lack of understanding which results in most of the problems before us. We've all heard plenty of examples of some law enforcement agents' lack of understanding of the computer world, be it "underground" or otherwise. Extreme conclusions about the government's motives, jumped to by some members of the computer underground, show the lack of understanding on the other side. Those who rely upon computers -- that is, everyone in the developed world -- and everyone who is interested in preserving civil liberties must work to bridge this gap in understanding. Books such as _The Hacker Crackdown_, with its candid and fair assessment of the events of 1990, from both sides of the fence, are an important step in the right direction. So is the work of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which uses the tools of law and government to educate those in power and to challenge those who would threaten our freedom. Paranoia and extremism, on either side, does little to help. ((The author is an attorney in Maryland and a former systems analyst.)) ------------------------------ Date: 26 Feb 1993 05:31:19 (EST) From: Subject: File 2--ACLU Interesting in Rusty & Edie's BBS? ((MODERATORS' NOTE: The following summary was sent to us from a Clarinet reader. One source cautions that the press may have over-stated the involvement of the ACLU at this point. Also, the rumor that the FBI seized the house in which the R&E computers were stored is apparently not true. Reportedly, the FBI is returning the file cabinet in which tax documents, house title, and other records were kept.)) BOARDMAN, Ohio (UPI) -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio says it may challenge the constitutionality of an FBI raid that shut down a Boardman computer bulletin board service. The Jan. 30 raid at the home of Russell and Edwinia Hardenburgh was conducted with a search warrant that alleged the couple illegally distributed copyrighted software programs without permission. The story reports that the board was one of the largest in the country, with 124 phone lines. According to the story, R&E's logged 3.4 million calls since 1984 and more than 4,000 new calls daily. R&E's had over 14,000 subscribers. The story summarizes the equipment seized, including business records and hardware. The ACLU's Ohio legal director, Kevin O'Neill, said Thursday the FBI copyright infringement allegations might have merit, but such allegations are normally resolved in civil lawsuits. He noted that Rusty & Edie's 14,000 subscribers are more subscribers than many small circulation newspapers enjoy. "Shutting down a computer bulletin board is analogous to shutting down a newspaper printing press," O'Neill said. "Our conception of constitutionally protected public forums must be broadened to include new communication networks like computer bulletin boards." The story reports that no charges have been filed against the Hardenburgs and quotes Mark Kindt, a Cleveland businessman and former regional director for the Federal Trade Commission, as comparing the FBI raid to "hunting gnats with an elephant gun," and he suggests that the FBI should have been more careful in its procedures. ``Computer bulletin boards are electronic town halls. Even if (Rusty & Edie's) pirated the moon, the government should have proceeded in a more careful, deliberative manner." ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 25 Feb 93 10:43:38 PST From: kurt@tc.fluke.COM (Kurt Guntheroth) Subject: File 3--Re: File 4--Technology & Populist Publishing (#5.15) Sheesh. Of course book publishing is business. Why should people bear the great expense of typesetting, printing, and distributing a book if they don't expect to make any money out of it. Sure, you'll say it's for the love of books or the pursuit of knowledge, but that's bullshit. Remember, if the publisher can't sell the book, that means NOBODY WANTS TO READ IT. Now maybe you know of a bunch of books that nobody wants to read but are so critical to our intellectual growth that they must be published anyway. I don't. I see a bunch of hack authors who THINK they have something important to say, and a bunch of cultists, and a bunch of paranoid conspiracy theorists, who can't get their garbage published and want to take it out on anybody but themselves. Sure an occasional gem may get missed by an editor pressed for time and buried under mounds of material. But remember, those guys are paid to find all the good stuff. They're quite motivated. I don't think they miss very often. Does a bunch of dreck get published? Sure. Is it worse than your dreck? Maybe but maybe not. My father has written a book about his dog for cirssakes. He can't get it published even though he's convinced everyone wants to learn of his dog's great spirit and almost telepathic link to her master. What's wrong with this picture? Is it the cruel money hungry publishing industry, or perhaps has the author misjudged the world's need to learn about his hound? In short, I don't blame the publishing industry. Everyone in the universe thinks they can write the great american novel. 99% of them are dead wrong. ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1993 23:18:54 (CST) From: CuD Moderators Subject: File 7--Netsys Startup NETSYS COMMUNICATION SERVICES Palo Alto, California Netsys is a network of large Sun servers dedicated to providing Internet access to individuals and corporations that need solid, reliable Internet connectivity. An account on Netsys will provide members with : Electronic Mail: to/from the Internet and gatewayed networks. (including BITNET, MILNET, and even Compuserve). Usenet: The worldwide networked message system that generates roughly 40-50 megabytes of information daily. Telnet: The capability to login to any remote host in any part of the world. Ftp: The ability to send and receive documents/programs/data to/from any site in the world. Misc: Archie,Gopher, Internet Relay Chat, and WAIS search tools. Support: 24 hour emergency response service. Dialups: Palo Alto area, High Speed (V.32 and PEP) Private Accounts: $20 monthly ( with file storage capacity of 5 megabytes) $1 per megabyte per month over 5 megabytes. Commercial Accounts: $40 monthly (file storage capacity of 10 megabytes) $1 per megabyte per month over 10 megabytes. Newsfeeds: We offer both nntp and uucp based newsfeeds , with all domestic newsgroups,and including all foreign newsgroups. SPECIAL FEATURES THAT NO ONE ELSE CAN PROVIDE Satellite Weather: Netsys has available real time satellite weather imagery. Images are available in gif, or Sun raster format. Contact us for NFS mirroring, and other special arrangement. These images are directly downlinked from the GOES bird. Contact Steve Eigsti ( Satellite Usenet: Netsys is offering Pagesat's satellite newsfeed service for large volume news distribution. Members of Netsys can obtain substantial discounts for the purchase and service costs of this revolutionary method of Usenet news distribution.Both Unix and MS Windows software available. Contact Kate Alexander ( for product information. Paging Services: Netsys is offering Pagesat's Internet to Pager mail service. Members of Netsys can obtain critical email to pager services. Pagesat has the ability to gateway any critical electronic mail to your display pager. Leased Line Internet Connections Pagesat Inc. offers low cost 56k and T1 Internet connections all over the United States. Since Pagesat is an FCC common carrier, our savings on leased lines can be passed on to you. For further information, contact Duane Dubay ( We offer other services such as creating domains, acting as MX forwarders, and of course uucp based newsfeeds. Netsys is now offering completely open shell access to internet users. For accounts, or more information , send mail to Netsys will NEVER accept more members than our capacity to serve. Netsys prides itself on it's excellent connectivity (including multiple T1's, and SMDS) ,lightly loaded systems, and it's clientele. We're not your average Internet Service Provider. And it shows. ------------------------------ End of Computer Underground Digest #5.17 ************************************


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank