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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 be customers.

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--->>


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