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(The information i got for world news was at phrack magazine)
0x01: Life sentence for hackers
0x02: Newest IT Job Title: Chief Hacking Officer
0x03: Download Sites Hacked, Source Code Backdoored
0x04: Mitnick testimony burns Sprint in Vegas 'vice hack' case
0x05: Feds may require all email to be kept by ISP's
0x06: BT OpenWorld silent over infection / Customers still clueless
0x07: DeCCS is Free Speech - CSS reverse engineer Jon Johansen set free!
0x08: Gnutella developer Gene Kan, 25, commits suicide
|=[ 0x01 - Life sentence for hackers ]=----------------------------------=|
July 15, 2002
WASHINGTON - The House of Representatives on Monday overwhelmingly approved
a bill that would allow for life prisin sentences for computer hackers.
CNET writes that the bill has been approved by a 385-3 vote. The same bill
expands police/agency ability to conduct Internet or telephone
eavesdropping _without_ first obtainin a court order. The Cyber Security
Enhancement Act (CSEA), the most wide-ranging computer crime bill to make
its way through Congress in years, now heads to the Senate. It's not
expected to encounter nay serious opposition.
"A mouse can be just as dangerous as a bullet or a bomb." said Lamar Smith
Another section of CSEA would permit Internet providers to disclose the
contents of e-mail messages and other electronic records (IRC, http, ..)
The Free Congress Foundation, which opposes CSEA, criticized Monday
"Congress should stop chipping away at our civil liberties," sai Brad
Jansen, an analyst at the conservative group. "A good place to start would
be to substantially revise (CSEA) to increase, not diminish, oversight
and accountability by the government.".
http://www.freesk8.org [<---- check it out!]
|=[ 0x02 - Newest IT Job Title: Chief Hacking Officer ]=-----------------=|
By Jay Lyman
Companies seeking to ensure they are as impervious as possible to the
latest computer viruses and to the Internet's most talented hackers often
find themselves in need of -- the Internet's most talented hackers.
Some of these so-called "white-hat" hackers hold high positions in various
enterprises, including security companies, but analysts told NewsFactor
that they rarely carry the actual title "chief hacking officer" because
companies tend to be a bit skittish about the connotation.
Still, some security pros -- such as Aliso Viejo, California-based Eeye
Security's Marc Maiffret -- do carry the "CHO" title, and few argue the
point that in order to protect themselves from the best hackers and
crackers, companies need to hire them.
SecurityFocus senior threat analyst Ryan Russell told NewsFactor that while
only a handful of companies actually refer to their in-house hacker as
"chief hacking officer," many companies are hiring hackers and giving them
titles that are slightly less indicative of their less socially acceptable
"A large number of people who used to do that sort of thing end up working
in security," Russell said. "There are some companies out there
specifically saying, 'We do not hire hackers, we are against that,' but
really they are [hiring them]."
Russell said that while there is definitely an increased emphasis on
security since last year's disastrous terrorist attacks, deflation of the
dot-com bubble has resulted in consolidation among security personnel and a
reduction in the number of titles that are obviously associated with
Born To Hack
Russell noted that hackers legitimately working in IT are usually
involved in penetration testing.
While companies are uncomfortable hiring IT security personnel with prior
criminal records, there are advantages to hiring an experienced hacker,
even if the individual has used an Internet "handle" associated with
so-called "black-hat" hackers.
Still, Russell said, "I think in very few cases do people with the
reputation of a hacker or black-hat [get hired]."
One such person who was hired is Cambridge, Massachusetts-based security
company @Stake's chief scientist, Peiter "Mudge" Zatko -- well-known hacker
and security expert who has briefed government officials, addressed
industry forums and authored an NT password auditing tool.
Regardless of whether they wear a white hat or a black one, Russel said it
takes more than good hacking skills to land a legitimate job.
"You want someone who does [penetrations] for a living," Russell said of
penetration testers. "You want them to be good at giving you the
information you need."
Russell added that while some hackers hold chief technical officer or
equivalent positions, the rule of fewer managers and more employees means
there are probably more hackers working in regular jobs than in management.
Forrester (Nasdaq: FORR) analyst Laura Koetzle told NewsFactor that
companies will not hire anyone convicted of a computer crime, but they will
seek out hackers, particularly for penetration testing.
"They won't have a title of chief hacking officer, and they haven't
necessarily broken any laws, but they're still skilled at this stuff," she
Koetzle said many companies avoid the issue of checking the backgrounds of
former hackers by using services firms, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers or
Deloitte & Touche, to hire such personnel.
Extortion and Employment
But hiring hackers can backfire.
Russell said cases of extortion range from blatant attempts at blackmail --
demanding money to prevent disclosure of customer data or security
vulnerabilities -- to more subtle efforts, wherein hackers find holes,
offer a fix and add a request for a job.
According to Koetzle, despite the desire to keep security breaches quiet,
companies must resist attempts on the part of potential hacker-hires to
extort money or work in computer security.
"I would strongly caution against dealing with that type of hacker,"
Koetzle said. "It absolutely does happen, but it's absolutely the wrong
thing to do."
Right or wrong, however, it seems that the person best equipped to ferret
out a hacker is another hacker. So, as unsavory as it may seem, the better
the hacker, the more likely he or she is to join the square world as chief
|=[ 0x03 - Download Sites Hacked, Source Code Backdoored ]=--------------=|
By Brian McWilliams
When source code to a relatively obscure, Unix-based Internet Relay Chat
(IRC) client was reported to be "backdoored", security professionals
But last week, when three popular network security programs were reported
to be similarly compromised, security experts sat up and took notice.
Now, it appears that the two hacking incidents may have been related.
According to programmer Dug Song, the source code to Dsniff, Fragroute, and
Fragrouter security tools was contaminated on May 17th after an attacker
gained unauthorized access to his site, Monkey.org.
In an interview today, Song said affected users are being contacted, but he
declined to provide details of the compromise, citing an ongoing
When installed on a Unix-based machine, the modified programs open a
backdoor accessible to a remove server hosted by RCN Corporationm according
to an experpt of the contaminated Fragroute program posted Friday to
Bugtraq by Ansers Nordby of the Norwegian Unix User Group.
In another posting to the Bugtraq mailing list last Friday, Song reported
that nearly 2,000 copies of the booby-trapped security programs were
downloaded by unsuspecting Internet users before the malicious code was
discovered. Only 800 of the downloads were from Unix-based machines,
according to Song.
Song's subsequent Bugtraq message said that intruders planted the
contaminated code at Monkey.org after successfully penetrating a machine
operated by one of the site's administrators. The attackers exploited
"client-side hole that produced a shell to one of the local admin's
accounts," wrote Song in his message.
The exploit code planted at Monkey.org was nearly identical to a backdoor
program that was recently slipped by attackers into the source code of the
Irssi IRC chat client for Unix. It's is currently unclear why the attacker
used a backdoor that could easily be detected.
According to the notice posted May 25th at Irssi.org, someone "cracked" the
distribution site for the IRC program in mid-March and altered a
configuration script to include the back door.
New Precautions Implemented
Installing the compromised Irssi program provided a remove server hosted by
FastQ Communications with full shell access to the target machine, said the
notice. Irssi's developer, Timo Sirainen, was not immediately available
Today, the Web server at the Internet protocol address listed in the
backdoored Irssi code returned the message: "All your base are belong to
Meanwhile, Unknown.nu, the collocated server listed in the backdoored
Monkey.org code, today displayed the home of the Niuean Pop Cultural
When contacted by SecurityFocus Online, the site's administrator, Kim
Scarborough, said he was unaware that the machine had been used by the
Monkey.org remote exploit.
Scarborough reported that he completely reinstalled the server's system
software, including the FreeBSD operating system, on May 30th after
discovering evidence that someone had hacked into it.
According to Scarborough, he had first installed the Irssi chat client on
the machine around May 17th at the request of a user.
The two security incidents have forced authors of the affected programs to
implement new measures to insure the authenticity of their downloadable
According to a page at Irssi describing the backdoor, new releases will be
signed with the GPG encryption tool, and the author will periodically
review the program for changes.
Song said that Monkey.org has implemented technology to restrict user
sessions, and that he is considering adding digital signatures to software
distributed at the site.
|=[ 0x04 - Mitnick testimony burns Sprint in Vegas 'vice hack' case ]=---=|
By Kevin Poulsen
Since adult entertainment operator Eddie Munoz first told state regulators
in 1994 that mercenary hackers were crippling his business by diverting,
monitoring and blocking his phone calls, officials at local telephone
company Sprint of Nevada have maintained that, as far as they know, their
systems have never suffered a single intrusion.
The Sprint subsidiary lost that innocence Monday when convicted hacker
Kevin Mitnick shook up a hearing on the call-tampering allegations by
detailing years of his own illicit control of the company's Las Vegas
switching systems, and the workings of a computerized testing system that
he says allows silent monitoring of any phone line served by the incumbent
"I had access to most, if not all, of the switches in Las Vegas," testified
Mitnick, at a hearing of Nevada's Public Utilities Commission (PUC). "I
had the same privileges as a Northern Telecom technician."
Mitnick's testimony played out like a surreal Lewis Carroll version of a
hacker trial -- with Mitnick calmly and methodically explaining under oath
how he illegally cracked Sprint of Nevada's network, while the attorney for
the victim company attacked his testimony, effectively accusing the
ex-hacker of being innocent.
The plaintiff in the case, Munoz, 43, is accusing Sprint of negligence in
allegedly allowing hackers to control their network to the benefit of a few
crooked businesses. Munoz is the publisher of an adult advertising paper
that sells the services of a bevy of in-room entertainers, whose phone
numbers are supposed to ring to Munoz's switchboard. Instead, callers
frequently get false busy signals, or reach silence, Munoz claims.
Occasionally calls appear to be rerouted directly to a competitor. Munoz's
complaints have been echoed by other outcall service operators, bail
bondsmen and private investigators -- some of whom appeared at two days of
hearings in March to testify for Munoz against Sprint.
Munoz hired Mitnick as a technical consultant in his case last year, after
SecurityFocus Online reported that the ex-hacker -- a onetime Las Vegas
resident -- claimed he had substantial access to Sprint's network up until
his 1995 arrest. After running some preliminary tests, Mitnick withdrew
from the case when Munoz fell behind in paying his consulting fees. On the
last day of the March hearings, commissioner Adriana Escobar Chanos
adjourned the matter to allow Munoz time to persuade Mitnick to testify, a
feat Munoz pulled-off just in time for Monday's hearing.
Mitnick admitted that his testing produced no evidence that Munoz is
experiencing call diversion or blocking. But his testimony casts doubt on
Sprint's contention that such tampering is unlikely, or impossible. With
the five year statute of limitations long expired, Mitnick appeared
comfortable describing with great specificity how he first gained access
to Sprint's systems while living in Las Vegas in late 1992 or early 1993,
and then maintained that access while a fugitive.
Mitnick testified that he could connect to the control consoles -- quaintly
called "visual display units" -- on each of Vegas' DMS-100 switching
systems through dial-up modems intended to allow the switches to be
serviced remotely by the company that makes them, Ontario-based Northern
Telecom, renamed in 1999 to Nortel Networks.
Each switch had a secret phone number, and a default username and password,
he said. He obtained the phone numbers and passwords from Sprint employees
by posing as a Nortel technician, and used the same ploy every time he
needed to use the dial-ups, which were inaccessible by default.
With access to the switches, Mitnick could establish, change, redirect or
disconnect phone lines at will, he said.
That's a far cry from the unassailable system portrayed at the March
hearings, when former company security investigator Larry Hill -- who
retired from Sprint in 2000 -- testified "to my knowledge there's no way
that a computer hacker could get into our systems." Similarly, a May 2001
filing by Scott Collins of Sprint's regulatory affairs department said that
to the company's knowledge Sprint's network had "never been penetrated or
compromised by so-called computer hackers."
Under cross examination Monday by PUC staff attorney Louise Uttinger,
Collins admitted that Sprint maintains dial-up modems to allow Nortel
remote access to their switches, but insisted that Sprint had improved
security on those lines since 1995, even without knowing they'd been
But Mitnick had more than just switches up his sleeve Monday.
The ex-hacker also discussed a testing system called CALRS (pronounced
"callers"), the Centralized Automated Loop Reporting System. Mitnick
first described CALRS to SecurityFocus Online last year as a system that
allows Las Vegas phone company workers to run tests on customer lines from
a central location. It consists of a handful of client computers, and
remote servers attached to each of Sprint's DMS-100 switches.
Mitnick testified Monday that the remote servers were accessible through
300 baud dial-up modems, guarded by a technique only slightly more secure
than simple password protection: the server required the client -- normally
a computer program -- to give the proper response to any of 100 randomly
chosen challenges. The ex-hacker said he was able to learn the Las Vegas
dial-up numbers by conning Sprint workers, and he obtained the "seed list"
of challenges and responses by using his social engineering skills on
Nortel, which manufactures and sells the system.
The system allows users to silently monitor phone lines, or originate calls
on other people's lines, Mitnick said.
Mitnick's claims seemed to inspire skepticism in the PUC's technical
advisor, who asked the ex-hacker, shortly before the hearing was to break
for lunch, if he could prove that he had cracked Sprint's network. Mitnick
said he would try.
Two hours later, Mitnick returned to the hearing room clutching a crumpled,
dog-eared and torn sheet of paper, and a small stack of copies for the
commissioner, lawyers, and staff.
At the top of the paper was printed "3703-03 Remote Access Password List."
A column listed 100 "seeds", numbered "00" through "99," corresponding to a
column of four digit hexadecimal "passwords," like "d4d5" and "1554."
Commissioner Escobar Chanos accepted the list as an exhibit over the
objections of Sprint attorney Patrick Riley, who complained that it hadn't
been provided to the company in discovery. Mitnick retook the stand and
explained that he used the lunch break to visit a nearby storage locker
that he'd rented on a long-term basis years ago, before his arrest. "I
wasn't sure if I had it in that storage locker," said Mitnick. "I hadn't
been there in seven years."
"If the system is still in place, and they haven't changed the seed list,
you could use this to get access to CALRS," Mitnick testified. "The system
would allow you to wiretap a line, or seize dial tone."
Mitnick's return to the hearing room with the list generated a flurry of
activity at Sprint's table; Ann Pongracz, the company's general counsel,
and another Sprint employee strode quickly from the room -- Pongracz
already dialing on a cell phone while she walked. Riley continued his
cross examination of Mitnick, suggesting, again, that the ex-hacker may
have made the whole thing up. "The only way I know that this is a Nortel
document is to take you at your word, correct?," asked Riley. "How do we
know that you're not social engineering us now?"
Mitnick suggested calmly that Sprint try the list out, or check it with
Nortel. Nortel could not be reached for comment.
|=[ 0x05 - Feds may require all email to be kept by ISP's ]=-------------=|
By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos
WASHINGTON - It may sound like a plot device for a futuristic movie, but
the federal government may not be far from forcing Internet service
providers to keep copies of all e-mail exchanges in the interest of
The White House denied a Washington Post report Thursday alleging that the
Al Qaeda terrorist network is working on using online and stored data to
disrupt the workings of power grids, air traffic towers, dams, and other
infrastructure. But a White House official did acknowledge that Al Qaeda
has an interest in developing such abilities.
And it's that interest that has technology circles wondering if the
federal government is going to follow the European Union's lead in passing
legislation that would allow the government to mine data on customers saved
Last month, the European Union passed a resolution that would require all
ISPs to store for up to seven years e-mail message headers, Web-surfing
histories, chat logs, pager records, phone and fax connections, passwords,
Already, Germany, France, Belgium, and Spain have drafted laws that comply
with the directive. Technology experts say the U.S. federal government may
try to do the same thing using the vast law enforcement allowances provided
under the USA Patriot Act.
"They drafted the Patriot Act to lower all of the thresholds for the
invasion of privacy," said Gene Riccoboni, a New York-based Internet
lawyer who said he has found loopholes in the anti-terror legislation
that could open up the possibility for an EU-style data retention provision.
Under the Patriot Act signed into law in October, law enforcement needs as
little as an administrative subpoena to trace names, e-mail addresses,
types of Internet access individuals use, and credit card numbers used online.
|=[ 0x06 - BT OPENWORLD silent over infection /Customers still clueless ]=|
Subject: [phrackstaff] WORLD NEWS / BT OPENWORLD silent over infection /
Customers still clueless after nearly 2 yrs
Btopenworld  have been notified to a problem with their Customers
computers being infected with the DEEPTHROAT, SUB7 and BO server files
(Available from ) The computers were infected by downloading and
installing BTOWs Dialler Software. Bt were aware of this fact around 18
months ago and the only thing they have done is replace the infected
download with a fresh copy of their software.
No customers have been notified and there are still hundreds of users
infected with the trojans. Just scan the Ip range 213.122.*.* using the
DeepThroat or Sub7 ip scanner and you will see for yourself...
Oh.. one positive note is that BTOW have changed the way you pdate
Credit Card information. Previously you could simple use DT to do a
"RAS RIP" (steal dialup info), Go onto the BTOW account details section and
log-on. Sometimes you would have to enter D.O.B and mothers maiden name..
but with access to your victims machine this was never hard to get...
Before you all start going on about how LAME trojans are and only
Script-Kiddies use them, think about the damage they do and how popular
they are. The reason why I have been using the trojans mentioned above is
to see how many ppl are infected and what is posible to access with these
programs installed on a target puter...
Oh and I always inform the ppl that they are infected and how to remove
the Trojan form their Machine..
|=[ 0x07 - DeCCS is Free Speech ]=---------------------------------------=|
An appeals court in California has sided with DVD code crackers like
teenage computer whiz-kid Jon Johansen from Norway. The ruling is a kick in
the face of the multi-billion-dollar entertainment industry, which is
trying to protect its warez by censorship.
Jon Johansen, aslo known by the tabloid as DVD-Jon, ran into trouble when
he (with some friends) reverse-engineered the DVD codes and shared the
findings on the Internet. He was sued by some of the biggest names in the
entertainment industry when he made it harder for them to control viewing
videos and CDs.
The CSS algorithm was extremly weak, this made it easy to recover the keys
used by other DVD players, breaking the entire system.
|=[ 0x08 - Gnutella developer Gene Kan, 25, commits suicide ]=-----------=|
SAN FRANCISCO (REUTERS) - Gene Kan, one of the key programmers behind the
popular file-sharing technology known as Gnutella, has died in an apparent
suicide, officials said on Tuesday. He was 25.
San Mateo County Coroner spokeswoman Sue Turner said Kan was found last
week at his northern California home.
"The cause of death was a perforating gunshot wound to the head," Tuner
said. "It was a suicide."
A spokeswoman for Kan said he died on June 29 and was cremated on July 5.
Further details were being withheld at the request of the family.
Kan helped develop an open source version of the Gnutella protocol, which
marked a further step in popularizing the peer-to-peer file-sharing
revolution pioneered by the Napster song-swapping service.
|=[ EO PWN ]=------------------------------------------------------------=|
This weeks box Plan is...The Beige Box