Computer underground Digest Sun Mar 28 1993 Volume 5 : Issue 23 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Ji

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Computer underground Digest Sun Mar 28 1993 Volume 5 : Issue 23 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 Ian Dickinson Copy Eater: Etaion Shrdlu, Senior CONTENTS, #5.23 (Mar 28 1993) File 1--Response to Virus Writing Contest (#5.21) File 2--Akron BBS Sting Update File 3--Akron Beacon Editorial on Akron Bust File 4--Getting information to and from the White House Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost electronically 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 Delphi in the General Discussion database of the Internet SIG; on the PC-EXEC BBS at (414) 789-4210; in Europe from the ComNet in Luxembourg BBS (++352) 466893; ANONYMOUS FTP SITES: UNITED STATES: ( in /pub/cud ( in /pub/CuD/cud in /pub/mirror/cud AUSTRALIA: ( in /pub/text/CuD. EUROPE: in pub/doc/cud. (Finland) in pub/cud (United Kingdom) Back issues also may be obtained through mailservers at: or 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: Wed, 24 Mar 93 13:03:09 PST From: Subject: File 1--Response to Virus Writing Contest (#5.21) This note is in reference to the current issue of CuD and the all the discussion of Mark Ludwigs' virus writing contest. Let's just say I decided to have a bomb making contest. This is for the purely scientific purpose of studying how bombs work, and allowing people to study different ways to defuse bombs. I am going to award some cash to the winner and publish the plans for making the bomb in my soon-to-be-released book called "The Little Black Book of Bomb Making Techniques". So, the book gets published and sells lots of copies. Mark Ludwig arrives home one day to find that his place of residence has been destroyed by a huge bomb. It just so happens that the type of bomb used is the same award winning explosive device as I published in my book. Surely, Mr. Ludwig would not hold me responsible for the destruction of his home caused by someone who decided to implement the plans I presented purely for "scientific research purposes". Roy Batchelor / Burn This Flag BBS / San Jose, CA / 408-363-9766 / ------------------------------ Date: 24 Mar 93 01:16:36 EST From: David Lehrer <71756.2116@COMPUSERVE.COM> Subject: File 2--Akron BBS Sting Update Akron Anomaly BBS trial issue: Distributed with permission of The Akron Beacon Journal David Lehrer ******************** POLICE SAY THEY WERE TAKING A BYTE OUT OF CRIME MUNROE FALLS MAN WAS ARRESTED FOR HAVING X-RATED PICTURES ON HIS COMPUTER BULLETIN BOARD; HIS PARENTS BELIEVE THE STING OPERATION WAS POLITICALLY MOTIVATED. Akron Beacon Journal (AK) - MONDAY March 22, 1993 By: CHARLENE NEVADA, Beacon Journal staff writer Edition: 1 STAR Section: METRO Page: A1 Word Count: 1,538 TEXT: When the police cars pulled up to David Lehrer's quiet Munroe Falls street last June, it was a little like they were swooping down on a major criminal. Police Chief Steve Stahl went to the door and told Lehrer that he had a search warrant to seize computer equipment belonging to Lehrer's son, Mark. The chief told the elder Lehrer that there was reason to believe Mark Lehrer, then 22, was using the computer and a modem to disseminate matter harmful to juveniles. Essentially, the chief said, it appeared that there were dirty pictures on a popular computer bulletin board operated by the younger Lehrer and that teen-agers could use their own computers to view the dirty pictures. The police went through the Lehrers' home -- seizing, labeling and photographing anything and everything that fit on the computer. It was just like on a police television show, only it was happening in Munroe Falls and the accused was a college student computer whiz. Greg Lehrer, Mark's younger brother, remembers asking one of the officers: 'Why don't you go out and find some real criminals?' That was nine months ago. Some might still ask that question. The case of the State of Ohio vs. Mark Lehrer was closed last week when Lehrer stood before a judge in Summit County and pleaded guilty to one rather strange misdemeanor: attempted possession of a criminal tool. Lehrer and his family said the plea bargain was a way to put the matter behind them without risking a jury trial and more legal expenses. They consider the whole episode a witch hunt by Munroe Falls police. David Lehrer has said from the beginning that Munroe Falls police only wanted to appropriate his son's high-power computer -- which they labeled a criminal tool -- for their own use. Within the computing community, the case caused so much outrage that some lawyers and accountants set up a defense fund to help Lehrer. More than $1,500 came from all over the country. Munroe Falls Police Chief Steve Stahl is about as unhappy over the resolution as the Lehrers. Stahl wanted a felony conviction. The chief denied being on a witch hunt for criminals in a relatively crime-free suburban community. Lehrer's attorney, Don Varian, said the prosecutor offered to plea bargain because prosecutors would have had problems going to trial: 'They would have lost and they knew it,' he said. On this much everyone agrees: Between last June and last week, the case took lots of strange turns. THE AKRON ANOMALY It started one day last spring when Munroe Falls police got a tip from a Kent State University student who said he was concerned that obscene material was available to juveniles through a computer bulletin board known as the Akron Anomaly. The Akron Anomaly was the baby of Mark Lehrer, a University of Akron student. Lehrer has been into computers since he was in grade school and his dad brought the first one home. Among people who love computers, bulletin boards are a way to share ideas and programs. Bulletin board users are a little like yesterday's ham radio operators. The operator of a computer bulletin board is usually someone who has lots of games, pictures and programs to share. Others can sign onto their own computers -- and with the aid of a modem and telephone line -- tap into the bulletin board and copy the files. As computers go, Lehrer had a V-8 engine, a 486 IBM clone with 500 megabytes of memory. (The whole Bible could be stored in 1 1/2 of those megabytes.) Lehrer works at a computer store in Stark County. He was allowed to buy accessories and upgrades at discount. His system -- not including discs --was valued at about $3,000. The bulletin board was so successful that early last year a local computer group called it one of the best around. Those who wanted to use the bulletin board more than 45 minutes a day were asked to pay $15 a year, which Lehrer applied to his phone bill. X-RATED MATERIAL The board had an adult section with X-rated pictures and movies. Those who wanted access to the adult section had to send Lehrer a copy of a driver's license and get a special clearance. Computer users don't just take things from a bulletin board. They contribute, too. Programs and pictures sent to the Anomaly were received in sort of an 'in' basket. Lehrer then sorted them and filed them by category. The X-rated stuff -- which Lehrer said was less than 2 percent of the available files -- was put into the restricted-entry adult category. According to Stahl, some of the X-rated files wound up in the clean section. One in particular troubled Stahl. It was labeled '69,' a slang term for oral sex, and had three X's behind it. To Stahl, that meant dirty. And since it wasn't in a restricted-access section, anyone could see it. But since Munroe Falls didn't actually have any outraged parents complaining, the police set up a sting operation. Working on the advice of prosecutors from the Cuyahoga Falls Municipal Court, police found a 15-year-old volunteer and had him apply for membership under a fake name. They sat him down at a computer and had him press the button to access one of the X-rated files. Then he left because his parents didn't want him viewing the material. Lehrer was charged with disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and possession of criminal tools -- his computer. At a preliminary hearing last June, Cuyahoga Falls Municipal Judge James Bierce warned that more evidence would be needed to convict Lehrer. Nonetheless, the matter was bound over to the grand jury. And that's where it died. Just why isn't clear. Grand jury proceedings are secret. Stahl said the grand jury didn't actually get to see the pictures. Varian has his own theory. The police didn't have an independent witnesses saying they or their children were offended, Varian said. All they had was the 15-year-old kid who was set up. That meant the jury would have had to look at the issue of entrapment. Jurors might not have liked that. NEW CHARGES But the matter didn't end with the grand jury no-billing the issue of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. New charges surfaced. When authorities seized Lehrer's computer, they also took those shopping bags full of floppy discs. And apparently among them were some sex pictures in which the subjects could have been under 18. So Lehrer was indicted for pandering obscenity involving minors. It didn't matter that the pictures came from a disc and weren't on line or available through the bulletin board. The new charges made David Lehrer, Mark's father, suspect even more that there was a hidden agenda. POLITICS AT WORK? Lehrer chairs the city's charter review commission. Last May, the commission voted not to make the police chief's job classified, which would have afforded Stahl a great measure of job protection. Plus, after the bust, Susan Lehrer -- Mark's mother -- visited the chief. She took notes. She said Stahl talked about how her son's computer could be used in police work. Stahl denied his actions were politically motivated. He also denied wanting to get the computer, which is now in the hands of state law enforcement officials. The chief said he decided it would be wrong to ignore the case just because Mark Lehrer's father held a public position. Stahl denied digging through the floppies to find more to charge Lehrer with. The Bureau of Criminal Investigation did that, he said. COMPUTER GONE FOR GOOD Mark Lehrer acknowledged having some adult files in the unrestricted area. With 10,000 files to deal with, he said, it was a clerical error. Summit County Prosecutor Lynn Slaby said that it would have been tough to convict Lehrer on the kiddie porn charges because proving the ages of the people in the pictures would have been tough. Varian said the women looked in the range of 16 to 20. To salvage the case, prosecutors offered the plea bargain. Lehrer said he agreed to it because expert witnesses -- people to testify the people in the picture weren't under 18 -- would have cost $6,000. Most importantly, he said: 'I didn't want to go to trial for child pornography. Juries sometimes convict people unfairly.' He got no jail time, no probation and a small fine. But he had to give up his computer. 'We did not endorse the plea agreement,' Stahl said. He said he still believes that Lehrer is guilty of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. The chief said he isn't on an obscenity crusade. 'We're not Ravenna,' he said, referring to that city's anti-porn-crusading mayor, Donald Kainrad. To Lehrer -- who sees an empty room instead of a sophisticated computer -- it's been a nightmare and the end of a great hobby. 'Being hit with child pornography charges' was far from just, he says. 'It's scary what people -- police and prosecutors -- can do to a citizen.' CAPTION: Photo PHOTO: LEW STAMP Beacon Journal - David Lehrer (left) and his son Mark question why Munroe Falls police targeted Mark's computer bulletin board, the Akron Anomaly. DESCRIPTORS: DAVID LEHRER; MARK; MUNROE FALLS POLICE; SEARCH WARRANT; COMPUTER EQUIPMENT; COLLEGE STUDENT; OBSCENE; JUVENILE; BIOGRAPHY; INFORMATION ------------------------------ Date: 27 Mar 93 07:36:29 EST From: David Lehrer <71756.2116@COMPUSERVE.COM> Subject: File 3--Akron Beacon Editorial on Akron Bust "Munroe Falls carryout" The following is an editorial published in the Akron Beacon Journal on Wednesday, March 24, 1993. This editorial is copyrighted by the Akron Beacon Journal, and commercial use or resale of this article is forbidden. Permission to post this editorial in its entirety has been generously granted by Mr. David B. Cooper, Associate Editor. Background: The 9-month long Mark Lehrer/Akron Anomaly BBS felony trial situation terminated on March 8, 1993. Topic: Published articles about the Akron Anomaly BBS 'sting' directed by Munroe Falls, Ohio police chief Steve Stahl on June 18, 1992. All published articles concerning this 'sting' and associated battles will be distributed immediately upon permission being granted by the author(s). Responses are encouraged! >From the Beacon: "We welcome your letters and the chance to publish as many as possible." "We ask that letters be original, concise and legible and bear the writer's full signature, address and daytime phone number." "All letters are subject to editing. We withhold names only for good reason. The same conditions apply to letters sent by fax." "Please address your letters to Voice of the People, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, Ohio 44309-0640." "If you want to send your letter by fax, use our fax number: (216) 996-3520." David Lehrer ******************* 07084027 MUNROE FALLS CARRYOUT Akron Beacon Journal (AK) - WEDNESDAY March 24, 1993 Edition: 1 STAR Section: EDITORIAL Page: A14 Word Count: 313 MEMO: Editorial / Our Opinion TEXT: The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution was written to safeguard ordinary citizens against unreasonable search and seizure. Recently, however, law-enforcement officials have taken to seizing possessions of convicted and suspected criminals, particularly drug dealers. In the case of 23-year-old Munroe Falls resident Mark Lehrer, police confiscated a sophisticated, $3,000 computer setup, programs and disks on the suspicion that he might be letting kids look at dirty pictures. That charge was never proved. In fact, it appears that police received only one or two complaints about his computer bulletin board, none from area parents. Lehrer contends a clerical error put the pornography into files accessible to all the bulletin board's users, not just adults. Police enlisted a 15-year-old, falsified his identity for a membership and then helped the teen call up a possibly offending program. But, when the Summit County grand jury refused to indict the University of Akron computer whiz on the original charges, Munroe Falls police filed other charges based on the possibility that some of the programs in Lehrer's private collection contained pictures of minors. Lehrer did plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of 'attempted possession of criminal tools' -- his computer -- based on those subsequent charges. No one downplays the seriousness of crime in our society, whether it's in the suburbs or inner cities. None argue that children should be able to view pornography. But in the absence of compelling evidence that Lehrer was trying to peddle child porn to kids, either at the outset of this case nine months ago or now, it could appear that the police acted hastily in confiscating the computer. Such actions invite questions as to whether the police were protecting against a child pornographer or using the intimidating powers of the police and judicial system to help themselves to a nice hunk of expensive machinery. dl DESCRIPTORS: MUNROE FALLS; MARK LEHRER; POLICE; BIOGRAPHY; CHILD PORNOGRAPHY; EVIDENCE; OBSCENITY ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1993 08:08:53 -0800 (PST) From: booloo@FRAMSPARC.OCF.LLNL.GOV(Mark Boolootian) Subject: File 4--Getting information to and from the White House GETTING INFORMATION TO AND FROM THE WHITE HOUSE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Updated March 12, 1993 A. HOW TO SIGN UP FOR ELECTRONIC RELEASES FROM THE WHITE HOUSE: The White House Communications office is distributing press releases over an experimental system developed during the campaign. You can sign up to receive press releases on this experimental system by using the automated computer server. You will be carried forward onto the system that replaces it. However, it would be appreciated if you used this service sparingly at this time. The present system was not designed to handle high levels of message traffic. In due course, a more powerful system will be available. You can also find copies of the press releases in certain on-line bulletin board groups devoted to discussions of either national politics in general or President Clinton in particular. 1. On USENET/NETNEWS, electronic publications are found on a variety of groups: Direct Distribution alt.politics.clinton alt.politics.reform alt.politics.usa.misc alt.activism talk.politics.misc Indirect Distribution cmu.soc.politics assocs.clinton-gore-92 2. On CompuServe: GO WHITEHOUSE 3. On America Online: keyword WHITEHOUSE or THE WHITEHOUSE or CLINTON 4. On The WELL: type whitehouse 5. On MCI: type VIEW WHITE HOUSE If you don't have access to the these accounts or if you would prefer to receive the releases via e-mail, then the next section details how to sign up for this service. The server is not set up to answer e-mail letters, comments or requests for specific information. To reach this server, send e-mail: to: Clinton-Info@Campaign92.Org subject: Help The server works by reading the subject line of the incoming message and taking whatever action that line calls for. If you want to sign up to automatically receive press releases, then your subject line would begin with the word RECEIVE. You can then specify what kind of information you are interested in receiving. The categories of information are: ECONOMIC POLICY Get releases related to the economy such as budget news, technology policy review, etc. FOREIGN POLICY Get releases related to foreign policy such as statements on Bosnian airdrop, Haitian refugee status, etc. SOCIAL POLICY Get releases related to social issues like National Service (Student Loan) program, abortion, welfare reform, etc. SPEECHES All speeches made by the President and important speeches made by other Administration officials. NEWS Transcripts of press conferences released by the White House Communications office, as well as the President's remarks in photo ops and other Q&A sessions. ALL All of the above So, if you wanted to sign up to get releases related to the economy your e-mail message would look like this: To: Clinton-Info@Campaign92.Org Subject: RECEIVE ECONOMY When you send a signup message to the clinton-info server, it sends you back a status message letting you know what distribution streams you are signed up for. If you ever want to check on what groups you are signed up for send the following message: To: Clinton-Info@Campaign92.Org Subject: STATUS You can stop receiving e-mail releases by sending a REMOVE message to the clinton-info server. The word REMOVE would be followed by whatever distribution stream you wanted to drop. If you wanted to stop receiving message about the ECONOMY then your mail would look like this: To: Clinton-Info@Campaign92.Org Subject: REMOVE ECONOMY You could substitute SOCIAL, FOREIGN, SPEECHES, NEWS or ALL for ECONOMY in the above message and you would be dropped from that distribution list. If you send the subject line REMOVE ALL, then you will be taken off the e-mail distribution system all together and will not receive further releases of any kind. You can also ask for help from the automated server. Send an e-mail query as follows: To: Clinton-Info@Campaign92.Org Subject: HELP The server will respond by sending you a detailed form that will guide you through the process of signing up for the various distribution streams. B. ARE THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS RELEASES BEING ARCHIVED. Yes. Various sites are archiving the press releases. What follows is an incomplete list of some of the sites containing the documents that have been released to date. This FAQ will be updated to reflect new sites as they become known. SITE DIRECTORY 1. SUNSITE.UNC.EDU /HOME3/WAIS/WHITE-HOUSE-PAPERS 2. FTP.CCO.CALTECH.EDU /PUB/BJMCCALL 3. FTP MARISTB.MARIST.EDU 4. CPSR.ORG /CPSR/CLINTON 5. FedWorld BBS 703-321-8020 8-N-1 Notes: The following are notes on how to log in and get information from the above sites. 1. Office FOR Information Technology at University of North Carolina Maintains the full collection of White House electronic release available for search with WAIS. (:source :version 3 :database-name "/home3/wais/White-House-Papers" :ip- address "" :ip-name "" :tcp-port 210 :cost 0.00 :cost-unit :free :maintainer "" :description "Server created with WAIS release 8 b5 on Feb 27 15:16:16 1993 by These are the White House Press Briefings and other postings dealing with William Jefferson Clinton and Albert Gore as well as members of the President's Cabinet and the first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chelsea, Socks and others in Washington DC. Dee Dee Meyers and George Stephanopoulos. Other good words: United States of America, Bill Al Tipper Democrats USA US These files are also available via anonymous ftp from The files of type filename used in the index were: /home3/ftp/pub/academic/political-science/whitehouse- papers/1993 ") Folks without WAIS clients or gophers that act as WAIS clients may telnet to and login as swais to access this information via WAIS. 2. No special instructions. 3. The CLINTON@MARIST log files which contain all the official administration releases distributed through the MIT servers are available via anonymous FTP. These logs contain in addition to the official releases, the posts that comprise the ongoing discussion conducted by the list subscribers. To obtain the logs: FTP MARISTB.MARIST.EDU - the logs are in the CLINTON directory and are named CLINTON LOG9208 thru CLINTON LOGyymm where yymm stands for the current year and month. Problems should be directed to my attention: URLS@MARISTC.BITNET or URLS@VM.MARIST.EDU. Posted by Lee Sakkas - owner, CLINTON@MARIST 4. Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility is providing all Clinton documents on technology and privacy at the CPSR Internet Library, available via FTP/WAIS/Gopher at /cpsr/clinton (and in other folders as relevant). For email access, send a message with the word "help" at the 1st line of text to 5. The White House Forum (GO WHITEHOUSE) on CompuServe is devoted to discussion of the Clinton administration's policies and activities. The forum's library consists of news releases and twice daily media briefings from the White House Office of Media Affairs. CompuServe members can exchange information and opinions with each other in the 17 sections in the forum's message area. The message board spans a broad range of topics, including international and United Nations activities, defense, health care, the economy and the deficit, housing and urban development, the environment, and education and national service. 6. On America Online the posts are sent to the White House Forum, located in the News & Finance department of the service and accessible via keywords "white house" and "clinton." The White House Forum on America Online contains the press releases from the White House, divided into the categories "Press Briefings," "Meetings & Speeches," "Foreign Policy," "The Economy," "Technology," "Health Care," and "Appointments." The area features a message board so you can discuss the releases with other AOL members, and a searchable database for easy retrieval of releases in the topic that interests you. 7. MCI Mail users can access daily information on the administration's programs provided by the White House through MCI Mail bulletin boards. The available boards are: WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC, WHITE HOUSE FOREIGN, WHITE HOUSE SOCIAL, WHITE HOUSE SPEECHES and WHITE HOUSE NEWS. A listing of these boards can also be obtained by simply typing VIEW WHITE HOUSE at the COMMAND prompt. C. SENDING E-MAIL TO THE WHITE HOUSE The White House e-mail system is under construction. This is a new project and suffers from all of the problems common to a startup operation. The Communications office is currently working on defining what this system will do, as well as trying to come up with equipment and staffing to make sure that it works. E-mail messages are currently being printed out and responses are being sent out via US Mail. Nobody wants this new venture to work more than the staff that has devoted so many hours to getting it up and running. But much time and effort will be required before the system is truly interactive. In the mean time, they will need a little patience from the electronic community. If you send a message to the White House, please include a US Post office address for replies. You can send e-mail to the following accounts: Compuserve: 75300,3115 GO: WHITE HOUSE finds White House forum America OnLine: clinton pz KEYWORD: WHITEHOUSE finds White House area MCI TO: WHITE HOUSE VIEW WHITE HOUSE views bulletin boards Internet: clinton-hq@Campaign92.Org Please send corrections, deletion and additions to this faq to: Updates@Clinton92.Org ------------------------------ End of Computer Underground Digest #5.23 ************************************


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