Why Should I Give
a Darn? -- Ways Bystanders Get Hurt
To most people, hacker wars are Legion of Doom vs. Masters
of Deception stuff. Interesting, but like reading science fiction.
But what does it have to do with your life? You may figure that
if you never do anything that gets some computer dweeb who thinks
he's a haxor mad, you won't have a problem.
Yet chances are that you may already have been brushed by
hacker war. Have you ever tried to login to your online provider
and couldn't make a connection? Did you call tech support and
they told you they were "down for maintenance"? Tried
to send email and gotten a message "cannot send mail now.
Please try again later"? Sent email that disappeared into
cyberspace without a trace? Gotten email back with a "User
unknown" or worse yet, "host unknown" message?
Been unable to surf to your favorite Web site?
It could have been technical error (cough, cough). But it
may have been more. A cardinal rule of online services is to
never, ever admit in public to being hacked. Only if a reporter
"outs" them first will they reluctantly admit to the
attack. This is because there are cybernazi gangs that, when
they hear of an online service under attack, join in the attack.
Why cybernazis do this is not clear. However, what they accomplish
is to make it hard for small companies to compete with giants
such as America Online. The giant online services can afford
a large staff of computer security experts. So with the cybernazis
rampaging against the little Internet service providers, it is
not surprising that so many of them are selling out to the giants.
I don't have any evidence that the cybernazis are in the pay
of giants such as AOL. In fact, I suspect cybernazis are trying
to drive the small competitors out of business solely on the
general principle that they hate freedom of anything.
It is common for hacker wars that start as a private disagreement
to spill over and affect thousands or even millions of bystanders.
For example, in Sept. 1996, syn flood attackers shut down
the Panix ISP for several days. In Oct. 1997 the ISP Succeed.net
was shut down by a team of hackers that deleted not just Bronc's
but also over 800 user accounts. Many other ISPs have suffered
shutdowns from hacker wars, often because the attackers object
to political views expressed on their Web pages.
On June 4, 1997, hacker wars made yet another quantum leap, shutting
down the Internet backbone service provider AGIS in retaliation
for it allowing Cyberpromo and several other spam empires to
Tomorrow these skirmishes could pit nation against nation:
power grids that serve hundreds of millions failing in the dead
of winter; air traffic control systems going awry with planes
crashing; hundreds of billions, trillions of dollars in banking
systems disappearing without a trace. Pearl Harbor. Digital Pearl
Harbor. Famine. Years before we could climb out of an economic
collapse as bad as the Great Depression.
You think this is a ridiculous exaggeration? Those of use
who have been in the bullseye of the cybernazis find this future
easy to believe.
Winn Schwartau has been warning the world of this coming disaster
since June of 1991. Someone must be listening, because in September
1997 an industry group, formed in the wake of hearings by the
US Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, appointed
Schwartau team leader, Manhattan Cyber Project Information Warfare/Electronic
Civil Defense (see http://www.warroomresearch.com/mcp/ and http://www.infowar.com).
Schwartau, in his book Information Warfare, tells us about
some of the attacks the cybernazis have made on his family. These
attacks have included massive credit card fraud, tampering with
his credit rating, turning off his home power and phone, and
even tampering with the local emergency services dispatch system
so that all ambulance, fire and police calls were directed to
his home instead of to those who called 911 for emergency help.
Those of us on the front lines of cyberwar have seen these
attacks first hand. The cybernazis, as Schwartau discovered,
were willing to even risk the lives of people who had nothing
to do with him.
Yes, we know hacker wars do to us, and we know what it does
to you bystanders.
More on hacker wars--->>