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Everything You Wanted to Know about Social Engineering -- But Were Afraid to Ask...


Levy might be excused for letting the first phony post onto the list. One might charitably think that Levy was simply gullible. To be specific, that first post was a copy of Martin and Space Rogue's news story from Hackernews.com.

Internet Bully Shuts Down Largest Free Security Site…

… PacketStorm Security site (packetstorm.harvard.edu) was abruptly shut down... PacketStorm was one of the largest and most respected sites catering to security professionals worldwide… a valuable resource to an estimated 10,000 security professionals world wide.

This major security resource did not suffer at the hands of hackers, crackers, network intruders, or cyber terrorists. Instead, a new kind of malicious bad guy found success through a fear that haunts more and more Americans today. A single piece of email from John Vranesevich (founder of AntiOnline) to the university hosting Packetstorm requested that the site be shut down. This email claimed that PacketStorm was hosting potentially libelous material about John Vranesevich… With that mail, Harvard University pulled the plug.

Email from Ken Williams, primary administrator for the site, indicated that not only did Harvard shut down the site, they denied him access to the machine and all information stored on it. The correspondence noted the likelihood that all information on the machine, and all backups would be destroyed in order to avoid any sort of legal fallout from AntiOnline. "All of the content and the backups made are either destroyed, being destroyed now, or will be before I can do anything to prevent it." Said PacketStorm founder Ken Williams.

…Along with the security site, months of William's own school work was lost. "I have just lost seven weeks of [class] work and data that cannot be replaced in 4 weeks." Williams said, referring to deadlines on the school work.

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