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Happy Hacker Digest Feb. 16, 1997
____________________________________
This is a moderated list for discussions of *legal* hacking. Moderator is
Carolyn Meinel. Please don't send us anything you wouldn't email to your
friendly neighborhood narc, OK? Send posts to . Better
yet,
To subscribe or unsubscribe, use the subscribe boxes on the menubar. If you decide you just want to
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Happy hacking! The aim of the superior man is truth -- Confucius
---------------------------------------------------------

Erratum O' the day: It's SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol), not SMPT. See
RFC 821.

Hoax 'O the day: Deyeenda Virus. See http://ciac.llnl.gov/ciac/CIACHoaxes.html

Table of (dis)Contents:

How Hackable Are Macs?
Telnet Troubles
Uptight ISP
More Linux Questions
Email Bombing/Forging  -- Technical and Legal Stuph
Hacker Hot Spots!
More Calm, Measured Discourse

HOW HACKABLE ARE MACS?

From: Dave Andersen <angio@aros.net>

]> I'm not a Mac lover by any means, BUT their Web Servers are the most secure
> on the net today and I'd put one of them up against a Unix system any day.
> So go back to school, or work and forget about this 10,000 whatevers (it's
> Swedish money) because I bet they don't even have it. If someone does hack
> it, I'll eat a bug.......

   I don't know if anyone's going to go to the effort to do it - I doubt
it - but I'm fairly sure it's not impermeable.  At a minimum, it may be
crashable.  A buffer overflow could actually kill the entire Mac, because
there's no protected memory in system 7.x.  Hacking it would present a
large technical challenge to anyone, however.  You'd almost have to have
it write a little server that you could connect to, or something.  Not
pretty.

From: bbuster@succeed.net (Bronc Buster!!!)

Just to make this a little clearer, I was not saying a MAC is not hackable,
but the WebSTAR Web server they are running at that site. I have worked with
it and it's very simple design leaves little to look into. It's like setting
up a Microsoft Front Page server on a Windows 95 run computer. (Well kinda,
after all it is a MAC) I'm not saying it's UN-hackable, but 99% UN-hackable ;)

From: "John D. Robinson"  <Strider@mail.clarityconnect.com>
 
> From: TQDB <tqdb@feist.com>
>
> > I will tell you all now, don't waste your time. Although they have
> > made this server a Public Domain and given the proper legal disclaimers to
> > the authorities on placed them on their sites, this site (I'm 99% sure) CAN
> > NOT be hacked into. "What?" you say. Bronc Buster saying a site is
> > UNhackable? Well this site in running on a MAC.
>
>     Whooptee.  People basically said the same thing about Windows NT in
> the beginning.  "There isn't any shell access, how can we hack it?!!"
> Guess what, you don't need shell access to hack a server.  And that
> includes Macs.

True. However, a few months back, a contest was set up by Quarterdeck, the
makers of Webstar, the best webserver on the planet (bias? yep.) to see if
ANYONE could hack their site. $10,000 was the reward, all correct legal venues
were used: Quarterdeck lost no money. I'd like to see THAT on WinNT.

> > I'm not a Mac lover by any means, BUT their Web Servers are the most secure
> > on the net today and I'd put one of them up against a Unix system any day.
> > So go back to school, or work and forget about this 10,000 whatevers (it's
> > Swedish money) because I bet they don't even have it. If someone does hack
> > it, I'll eat a bug.......
>
>     Without trying to start any OS wars, I think it is safe to claim that
> most technical people move on to other OSes rather than stick with MacOS
> and due to this there is a lack of real Mac hackers.  Give people a few
> months, when the become bored with Unix, WinNT and Novell and you'll
> start hearing about some more Mac exploits.
 
I work at an ISP where, for two years, we've been running on Macs. Although no
one's tried on us yet, I've found that the Mac has had many attempts made on it-
no success yet. That may seem like a broad, sweeping statement, but it's true.
More people out there use Macs for serving than some people think- there's a
reason for that.

> Moderator: Yeah, but now Mac OS is dying, dying, gone... How many Amiga
> hackers are there out there? On the other hand, now Apple is going to use a
> new, improved version of the NeXt flavor of Unix. NeXt boxes are notoriously
> hackable!

New, improved. Not to mention the fact that it's not going to even... well,
you'll see for yourself, I'm sure. The hybrid OS is not going to be based on
UNIX, just have some of its advantages.

-Strider

"A mighty storm is rising,
a darkness in the land.
But surely this must be a light,
to those who understand..."

TELNET TROUBLES

From: "Roy Hasson" <candyman@voicenet.com>

Hi, I was looking for a terminal program so I can access Telnet, because
whenever I try to log on Telnet I get a bunch of characters as the prompts
and as the text I input. Can anyone tell me where can I get this kind of
terminal program ?
Thanks ..
Candyman

Moderator: Sounds like you are using a telnet program that doesn't handle a
PPP connection. Either get a program that does work with PPP such as the
Win95 or Quarterdeck telnet programs.

UPTIGHT ISP

From: Nils van den Heuvel <n.heuvel@pi.net>

Hi,

I have been looking for a provider that offers shell accounts, I have
found one in my country (Holland) that does, but they say: "We can't
allow our users to hack servers outside of our domain (www.xs4all.nl),
you can only hack our machines."

Now, I have 2 questions:

1) Is this really possible?

2) Is there a way to bypass their security, so I can hack whatever I
want?

I hope you can help me,

Nils van den Heuvel
n.heuvel@pi.net

Moderator: I don't know the law in your country as of today. But the
government of Holland has long been (in)famous for letting hackers do almost
anything. On the other hand, chances are that your ISP also has the right to
close your account if they don't like what you are doing.

I've found it helps to make friends with the sysadmins at my ISP so they
feel like I'm not going to do anything horrible while hacking. On the other
hand, as a 50-year-old mom, I don't exactly fit the hacker profile.

Perhaps some of the other Dutch hackers on this list could help Nils find a
friendlier ISP?

MORE LINUX QUESTIONS

From: root <root@ruined.all-net.net>

This is to the person who was having problems with his /etc/resolv.conf.

I didn't see an explanation of what to put there. So I'd thought it'd be
worth mentioning that the unresolved IP of his ISP's DNS servers need to
be there in the format :

nameserver xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
 
You can list as many as you like. ;)

From: "Roger A. Prata" <prata@cyber-wizard.com>

Carolyn,  I hope you can help me here.  I currently downloaded (over 4
nights) all the /base and /rpms files for RedHat 4.0, as well as the
boot.img and supp.img.  I am trying to install from my HD to a dedicated
partition for Linux:

/dev/hda1  (c:\)  is for Win95
/dev/hda2   is for Linux (linux native partition)

when I try to choose source media, it asks which partition and DIRECTORY
the media is in.   The source files are on /dev/hda1   (C:\)  off the root
dir.  so they are c:\rpms and c:\base.   When asked which directory on
/dev/hda1, I have tried /, /mnt, /dos, /mnt/dos, etc..  I cannot get it.
can you help??

TIA,

Rog
 

LEGAL STUPH

From: jericho@dimensional.com

> URL O' the Day: http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/loukas.halo8 Excellent graphics,
> great newbie hacking tips, some PG-13 language, hacker programs are offered,
> some of which are illegal to use (like the war dialer), but overall a
> sincere attempt at being a good guy hacker site.

Since when is a war dialer software program illegal?! In some counties in
some states there are statutes against wardialing, but no federal laws
regulating the software that does it.

> address all over them.  On the legal side of things, am I correct in
> assuming that the user is in no way liable until he cracks and makes use of
> passwords from the passwd file?

Technically/Legally, having a cracked password with a valid login
constitutes having an "illegal access device". Someone verify this please,
but I *think* each such device is a Class 5 felony now.

> In fact, I also believe it is morally acceptable to organize letter writing
> campaigns, to strike, picket, demonstrate, and boycott.  Those were the
> peaceful tactics of  the Civil Rights movement for which we honor Martin
> Luther King.

So you consider MLK a hacker by your previous guides... interesting.

Moderator: Hackers can learn a lot from MLK, Gandhi and Jesus. Too many
hackers get in trouble for a tendency to let being a vigilante overstep the
bounds of the law. Cracking and email bombing come to mind. Now possessing
war dialing software -- I haven't heard of that being illegal, either. But
using it in the US sure is.

X-Sender: bbuster@succeed.net

I wanted to thank k1neTiK for elaberating on my sendmail/Identd post. I
wanted to put it into "laymans" terms, but after thinking about it I should
of put it in real terms to.

I also wanted to inform people that most servers, about 80% to 90%, run
Identd, including most (if not all) ISPs and commercial providers. The few
sites that are left that don't run Identd are schools/colleges, home
systems, old servers that were not meant to be sending mail, but have it
running anyway, and systems who's sysadmin are clueless. I also, after
looking HARD for laws that might concern e-mail bombings use of other peoples
servers, I found some little scraps of information. If you use another
server to pass mail to someone other than a user on that system, or to
yourself, and if you do something HARMFULL, like crash their server with
mail, you can be held liable, if caught. The fines and levels of the crime,
from with I could gather, very from state to state, and depending on the
damage done, if any. The only loop hole I could find was this: These was DO
NOT apply internationally, so you could use a server in Germany all day long
to punish someone here in the states. Well there are still problems if you
get caught on this end, like your ISP booting you for being naughty ;)

PLEASE, this is NOT the law. These are scraps of information I gathered for
your better understanding of what could happen you get caught. The Laws
vary from State to State.

Moderator: Email bombing is a denial of service attack. If the attack
crosses state lines it is illegal in the United States under 18 USC, Chapter
47, Section 1030. Sure, you could use a server outside the US to launch an
attack. But you would have to worry about getting caught if you were to be
found in the US. Penalty is fine and/or up to 1 year in prison for first
offense, and up to 10 years in prison if it is a repeat offense.

Does anyone know what are the laws in some other countries? We have lots of
people on this list from around the world. In fact, now is a good time to
give some demographics from this list.

HACKER HOT SPOTS!

Top twenty countries with people on Happy Hacker List:

US
Canada
Australia
Germany
United Kingdom
Sweden
Spain
Italy
Singapore
Netherlands
South Africa
Brazil
Finland
Mexico
New Zealand
Denmark
China
Indonesia
Peru
Norway

MORE CALM, MEASURED DISCOURSE

From: "ruben d canlas jr" <benc@skyinet.net>

mulder@ntplx.net said:
 
> If I see a site that I personally find distasteful, it no
> more gives me the right to persecute it and attempt to get it removed than
> it gives a nazi the right to attempt to destroy a Jewish homepage.

mulder, thanks for bringing this up. it will set us to thinking
deeply on the philosophy of protest, which I think is a natural
aspect present in all hackers.

I'd like to argue on two levels. here's the first:

there is a big difference between arguing in the abstract and in the
concrete. for instance, you are using the nazi experience to validate
that violating children is not offensive.

the nazi experience is racial. sexual abuse of children is definitely
a different matter. it is not just abuse, it is taking advantage of
the innocent. that is the concrete level of this issue.

you just can't generalize based on the nazi example.

the second level:

our upbringing shapes the way we think. if we were brought up to
react against something "immoral", we can't help that unless we are
made to see the consequences of our violent actions.

in any case, what is good about the net is that if you vandalize a
site, you are not creating any physical damage. since you are against
the idea that is on the site, you are just showing your protest
against that idea, by means of another idea.

also: to proceed from mulder's argument, if everyone must be open,
then there should also be a provision for striking a balance between
a pro and a con.

if someone puts up a website I don't like, I should be able to
respond to that website on equal terms.

sending protest email to the offending webmaster is not equal
enough, because the offending website is, after all, a website. email
disappears in anonymity, unless of course the offending webmaster
publishes it in their website.

arguing this way, we see that the appropriate equal response is to
put up a website that denounces the offensive website.

and in the spirit of a true openness, I will send to the offending
webmaster the URL of my "anti-website".

but will the offending webmaster put a prominent link to my website
on his own website?

the answer to this question will show how open people truly are.

sending protest email to the offending webmaster is not equal
enough, because the offending website is, after all, a website. email
disappears in anonymity, unless of course the offending webmaster
publishes it in their website.
 

ruben d. canlas jr.
http://www.skyinet.net/users/benc
-------------------
Thought for the day:
    The only thing that hurts more than paying income tax
    is not having to pay income tax.

Carolyn Meinel
M/B Research -- The Technology Brokers

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