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Preview of Meinel's latest book, Überhacker! continued...

War in Cyberspace

Most Überhackers agree that we don't want war in cyberspace. However, it isn't up to us to just say no to hacker wars. Regardless of how pacifist we may be, a tidal wave of crime has struck cyberspace. Computer criminals plunder banks through sophisticated credit card theft schemes, while their "code kiddie" disciples boot teenagers off ICQ and reformat the hard drives of little kids who are just trying to enjoy the Web.

I first encountered war in cyberspace in August 1996, when a group of computer criminals tried to run my Happy Hacker group off the Internet. Eventually criminals from this same alliance of gangs that have been after me broadened this conflict into the first hacker war against the US Federal Government.

Their "War against the Feds" phase opened May 2 nd, 1999. Near midnight the Global Hell gang broke into the White House web site. They insulted President Clinton, "Tiffany G," and "Caroline Meinel - CRACK WH0RE!!!!" Yes, the attackers meant me, they just didn't know how to spell too well. (See Figure 1.)

Just six days later, May 8th, the FBI arrested Eric Burns, hacker handle Zyklon, for a hack against the US Information Agency (USIA) computers. News stories suggested he might also have been responsible for the White House attack. September 7 th, 1999, Burns pleaded guilty. According to an Aug. 30 Nando Times report, "Prosecutors said the attacks affected U.S. embassy and consulate Web sites, which depended on the USIA for information. One attack resulted in the closing down of the USIA Web site for eight days, they said."
The crimes for which Burns was convicted were just a fraction of Global Hell's rampage. According to Brian Martin's Attrition.org web site, during the period of Nov. 12, 1998 through Aug. 7, 1999, his associates in Global Hell took credit for defacing a total of 115 Web sites. Their rampage mobilized a massive Federal crackdown, including a series of FBI raids carried out around the Memorial Day 1999 weekend:

The FBI crackdown is part of an 11-city operation that began Wednesday and so far has involved more than 18 searches in several states...The hackers have engaged in "fraud-related activities such as stealing credit-card numbers, misusing identification numbers and passwords," according FBI special agent Don K. Clark... FBI agents across the country zeroed in on suspects -- some of whom are alleged to be members of a loose-knit gang known as "Global Hell"...The government's campaign against Global Hell touched off a rash of brazen protests among hackers, who yesterday defaced a Department of Interior Web site and tampered with a site owned by a federal supercomputer laboratory in Idaho...The attacks began on Wednesday, when hackers hit the FBI's Web site. The following night, hackers broke into the Senate Web site, altering the page with digital graffiti taunting FBI agents: "Who laughs last?"--"Crackdown On Hackers Continues; FBI Conducts Raids," By John Simons, DOW JONES NEWS, May 31, 1999

More Introduction to Überhacker --->>


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