Computer underground Digest Sun Oct 25, 1998 Volume 10 : Issue 52
Computer underground Digest Sun Oct 25, 1998 Volume 10 : Issue 52
Editor: Jim Thomas (email@example.com)
News Editor: Gordon Meyer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Archivist: Brendan Kehoe
Shadow Master: Stanton McCandlish
Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth
Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala
Field Agent Extraordinaire: David Smith
Cu Digest Homepage: http://www.soci.niu.edu/~cudigest
CONTENTS, #10.52 (Sun, Oct 25, 1998)
File 1--Fwd: Internet Pioneer Postel Dies
File 2--Jon Postel Tribute
File 3--Islands in the Clickstream. Who Cares? September 12, 1998
File 4--SANS News: First Salary Survey Results
File 5--Is Your Kid a Hacker? (ZDnet excerpt)
File 6--Cyber Patrol (and others) hacked
File 7--Wal-Mart Sues Amazon.com (AP Excerpt)
File 8--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 25 Apr, 1998)
CuD ADMINISTRATIVE, EDITORIAL, AND SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION ApPEARS IN
THE CONCLUDING FILE AT THE END OF EACH ISSUE.
Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 11:54:59 EDT
Subject: File 1--Fwd: Internet Pioneer Postel Dies
Source - AOLNews@aol.com
Internet Pioneer Postel Dies
.c The Associated Press
By TED BRIDIS
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Jon Postel, the Internet pioneer who wielded
enormous influence managing technical details of the global
computer network, has died of complications from heart surgery in
Los Angeles, friends in Washington said Saturday. He was 55.
Postel, considered by the Clinton administration to be a crucial
player in the future of the Internet, died Friday night while
recovering from surgery to replace a leaking heart valve, said
Vint Cerf, a senior vice president for MCI Worldcom Inc. who
worked closely with Postel.
The death also was announced Saturday at an Internet conference in
Barcelona, said Bill Semich, the president of .nu domain, another
Postel's death comes at a critical juncture for the Internet, with
the federal government in the midst of largely turning over
management of the worldwide network to a non-profit group that
Postel helped organize.
Though Postel worked behind the scenes and was hardly known
outside high-tech circles, his role as director of the Internet
Assigned Numbers Authority allowed the Internet to match unique
numerical addresses for computers on the global network with its
millions of Web addresses, such as www.ap.org.
So powerful was Postel that ``The Economist'' once dubbed him
``god'' of the Internet.
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998 16:57:17 -0700 (PDT)
From: Pallas Anonymous Remailer
Subject: File 2--Jon Postel Tribute
Who runs DNS?
Fat, bearded computer geek
Send no more email
Those numbers to names
Connect computers worldwide
Used to download porn
What a crazed numbering scheme!
They will still run fine
Sitting at a desk
Cerebral life unbalanced
Move only fingers
Nerd in chair still eats
Body responds with belly
Arteries clog fast
Convulsions of stroke
Brutal seizure of organs
The body dumps core
Life lived on the net
Life in virtuality
Death does not reboot
His lover alone
No more big hugs to be had
Email is cold death
Each day on the net
Disconnected from real life
Brings us emptiness
Type email with pride
Impotence of modern age
It is all bullshit
Click the damned icon
A life gone by sans meaning
Geeks all die lonely
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 17:41:34 -0500
From: Richard Thieme
Subject: File 3--Islands in the Clickstream. Who Cares? September 12, 1998
Islands in the Clickstream:
"Because they have so little," observed Eleanor Roosevelt, "children rely
on imagination rather than experience."
Which is why childhood is such a magical time, during which - even among
the worst deprivations - children can weave a luminous web around their
daily lives, filling the landscape with lively fantastic shapes.
Just like adults.
This week an extraordinary event gave the digital world its seal of
approval. Lively fantastic shapes humped and bumped their way across our
monitors, a magic lantern show for the wickedly leering.
Those of us who remember Watergate recall a judicial process that proceeded
at a deliberate pace. Congressional hearings spelled out how the President
of the United States had undermined the law by directing criminal
activities from the Oval Office. The intelligence community was widely used
to destroy enemies, distort the truth, subvert the constitution.
A generation later, the independent prosecutor's report of the Clinton
affair is shot-gunned onto the Net so debate can slosh back and forth
across the body politic and members of congress, fingers to the wind, can
sail toward impeachment, or not.
We all frame the world according to our experience. As the Viet Nam War and
Watergate unfolded, it became clear that our leaders, Democrats and
Republicans alike, were lying through their teeth. Our denial eroded, and
the voice of the people grew until it was amplified by those hearings,
saving the constitution for another generation.
Where is that "voice of the people" now, crying out for the deeper truth?
Is it locked in the closet with our comic books, faded tales of Superman,
an idealized father who couldn't protect us? Whose heroic belief in "truth
and justice" made us feel better when we were children afraid of the night,
as Auden said, lost in a haunted wood?
The digital world, with its altered or manufactured images, is a haunted
wood, a prison of the imagination. But when we use digital images to tell
as much truth as can be told, the prison walls become transparent and we
see real trees in the digital forest.
We need to see more than the rubble and dust of falling-down public lives.
There is so much more going on out there than presidential peccadilloes. We
need a transcendent vision that begins with the simple truth but moves
toward larger possibilities.
A former computer hacker who occupies a sensitive position in corporate
America and works frequently with the intelligence establishment described
a chilling moment. He found himself involved with something so much bigger,
deeper, more evil than he had imagined that he felt that chill running down
his spine that tells us our world view has shifted forever. My friend had
stumbled into the heart of darkness.
Once we know, we can't not know what we know.
Hackers are often portrayed as criminals, but - like many hackers - my
friend was really an innocent. The hacker ethic of integrity, a passion for
truth and knowledge, an obsessive desire to put together the Big Picture -
that's closer to the superhero credo of "truth, justice, and the American
way" than a criminal code.
The History Channel just ran a series on the Kennedy assassination. The
series raised legitimate questions - again - about a conspiracy. All we
can know now about the assassination is filtered through text, the
television screen, the digital interface and sometimes, the words of a
friend. A prominent local physician remembers when his mentor at Medical
School was called away to examine Kennedy's body. When he returned, he
tried to work as if nothing had changed, but he kept looking away and
muttering to himself, "It's the damndest thing."
Then he said: "One day - one day it'll all come out."
Just another "conspiracy theory." Like Gary Webb's.
This month's Esquire has a story about Webb. He wrote articles for the San
Jose Mercury News about the connections between cocaine distribution, the
CIA, and the Contras. His story was well-documented but it didn't take long
for the guardians of consensus reality to whack him. The truth is, he
described the tip of the iceberg, but that's all he had to do to find
himself surrounded, isolated, neutralized. The deep involvement of members
of our government in narcotic trafficking is well documented, but when Webb
tried to tell the truth, it was as if he had screamed himself awake from a
nightmare and rushed to the window, only to find it nailed shut and people
on the walk below who would not look up.
Besides guns, Contras, cocaine who really cares?
I have explored the fun-house mirrors of the world of UFOs for years. When
you brush away the cobwebs of disinformation, snake oil, mistakes, and
reports of remarkable flying machines that we make ourselves, we are left
with credible people telling us what they saw. Fighter pilots, intelligence
agents, commercial airline pilots have told me what they or their friends
encountered, that the hardware is real and flew rings around them, leaving
them in the dust.
We're a small planet on the edge of a vast spiral of stars, the center of
nothing but our own perspective. All we have is our small voice. Digital
media can amplify that voice or drown it out.
"The movie "Conspiracy Theory," said my hacker friend, "doesn't even come
As Jane Wagner said, I get more and more cynical all the time and still
can't keep up. Yet we humans are meant for a deeper truth, more truth than
a thousand pages of a president lying to keep a sexual affair secret.
Perspective, as Alan Kay said, is worth fifty points of IQ. Sex on the Net
is a sideshow, keeping our eyes on the dancing bears.
So step right up! The circus is just beginning! Elephants are on parade,
clowns pour out of a tiny auto, a calliope pipes and - in the distance - we
think we can hear a voice, a contrarian voice, a still small voice but
it's only our imaginations. Isn't it?
Anyway who cares?
Islands in the Clickstream is a weekly column written by
Richard Thieme exploring social and cultural dimensions
of computer technology. Comments are welcome.
Feel free to pass along columns for personal use, retaining this
signature file. If interested in (1) publishing columns
online or in print, (2) giving a free subscription as a gift, or
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email for details.
To subscribe to Islands in the Clickstream, send email to
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Richard Thieme is a professional speaker, consultant, and writer
focused on the impact of computer technology on individuals and
Islands in the Clickstream (c) Richard Thieme, 1998. All rights reserved.
ThiemeWorks on the Web: http://www.thiemeworks.com
ThiemeWorks P. O. Box 17737 Milwaukee WI 53217-0737 414.351.2321
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 20:12:10 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: File 4--SANS News: First Salary Survey Results
((MODERATORS' NOTE: Thanks to SANS for allowing reprint of their
salary survey results. SANS News is an excellent source of
security and other news, and an invaluable resource. It's a low
cost subscription and well worth it. Contact them at:
or visit the homepage at:
FIRST SALARY SURVEY RESULTS
The average annual salary for the 7209 valid respondents was
US$61,072/year. All numbers below are annual salaries converted to
How do the salaries break down? What about the gender gap?
Salary range M+F % Males/% Females/%
Under 20,000 105 1.5% 103/ 1.6% 2/ 0.3%
20,000-29,999 245 3.4% 220/ 3.4% 25/ 3.4%
30,000-39,999 659 9.2% 574/ 8.9% 85/11.5%
40,000-49,999 1226 17.1% 1078/16.8% 148/20.1%
50,000-59,999 1415 19.7% 1258/19.5% 157/21.3%
60,000-69,999 1338 18.7% 1204/18.7% 134/18.2%
70,000-79,999 880 12.3% 799/12.4% 81/11.0%
80,000-89,999 532 7.4% 472/ 7.3% 60/ 8.2%
90,000-99,999 272 3.8% 250/ 3.9% 22/ 3.0%
100,000 & up 499 7.0% 477/ 7.4% 22/ 3.0%
Other than at the highest salaries (for which the female sample size is
a bit small for great conclusions), there does not appear to be a major
gender gap in salary.
What about salaries for the different kinds of administrators?
--- Administrator Type ---
Sal Range System Network Security
Under 20,000 63 1.7% 31 1.4% 11 1.0%
20,000-29,999 136 3.6% 78 3.5% 30 2.7%
30,000-39,999 322 8.4% 270 12.0% 64 5.8%
40,000-49,999 692 18.1% 431 19.2% 109 9.8%
50,000-59,999 773 20.3% 455 20.3% 188 17.0%
60,000-69,999 729 19.1% 391 17.4% 217 19.6%
70,000-79,999 454 11.9% 241 10.7% 190 17.2%
80,000-89,999 273 7.2% 135 6.0% 119 10.7%
90,000-99,999 135 3.5% 80 3.6% 55 5.0%
100,000 & up 240 6.3% 131 5.8% 124 11.2%
Average 60394 58455 68261
Security administrators seem to make significantly more money than
their counterparts in System and Network administration.
How did salaries increase from year to year? Is there a gender gap?
Sal Range Male Memale
Under 20,000 18.32% [ 92] 26.65% [ 2]
20,000-29,999 10.16% [ 187] 14.32% [ 23]
30,000-39,999 10.46% [ 513] 7.65% [ 66]
40,000-49,999 11.12% [ 974] 8.08% [ 137]
50,000-59,999 11.57%  9.73% [ 149]
60,000-69,999 11.72%  10.34% [ 123]
70,000-79,999 11.95% [ 762] 10.60% [ 79]
90,000-99,999 12.79% [ 241] 9.48% [ 21]
80,000-89,999 13.55% [ 453] 11.61% [ 60]
100,000 & up 16.86% [ 437] 24.83% [ 20]
5996 Male respondents
680 Female respondents
Except on the very highest and lowest end, male salaries seem to be
rising faster than their female counterparts.
NOTE: People totals on some charts are fewer than 7,209 because some
people omitted certain pieces of information (e.g., gender).
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998 22:48:18 -0500
From: jthomas@SUN.SOCI.NIU.EDU(Jim Thomas)
Subject: File 5--Is Your Kid a Hacker? (ZDnet excerpt)
IS YOUR KID A HACKER?
By Kevin Poulsen
If you suspect your kid is a computer hacker, here's some advice
from a convicted hacker on how to handle it
It starts with a knock on the door. A dozen men in suits and
shoulder holsters are outside, their Buicks and Broncos crammed
into your driveway and parked along the street. Over their
shoulders you can see your bathrobe-clad neighbors watching the
spectacle from their lawns. It might be the FBI, it may be the
Secret Service, but whoever it is, the humorless agents hand
you a piece of paper and head toward your son or daughter's
room. You wonder, perhaps for the first time, what your kid has
been doing in there with the computer.
If you're a parent, you probably regard the Internet as a font
of both promise and peril for your children. It can be an
invaluable learning tool and a way to encourage your kids to
develop the basic computer skills they'll eventually need. But
what if they take to it a little too eagerly and
enthusiastically and begin using it to get into places where
they don't belong? In that case, normal youthful rebellion, or
simple inquisitiveness, if it's expressed over the Internet,
could turn your family upside down.
It happened last February in Cloverdale, California, when
surprised parents found out their teenage son was suspected in
a series of Pentagon intrusions. It happened again in
Massachusetts a week later, when the Justice Department won its
first juvenile conviction under the Federal Computer Fraud and
It happened to my family 15 years ago, in one of the first
hacker raids in the country. At that time, I was the teenage
miscreant who was illegally accessing federal computers. Now,
in my early thirties, I've begun to wonder how I would protect
a kid of my own from becoming a poster child for computer
crime. I believe the best approach is to stay informed and to
communicate with your potential cyberpunks.
Open Communications Channels
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 14:11:05 -0500
From: Bennett Haselton
Subject: File 6--Cyber Patrol (and others) hacked
We've posted a program on Peacefire.org that will display the
Cyber Patrol administrator password on any computer where it is
Cyber Patrol has just found out about it, and they are not
pleased. They have about 9 million users and the dam is about to
We also have instructions for disabling all the other blocking
programs --CYBERsitter, SurfWatch, BESS, I-Gear, etc. We're
protesting the imminent likely passage of "CDA II" and legislation
that is likely to make it mandatory for schools and libraries to
use blocking software.
All programs and instructions are at:
firstname.lastname@example.org (615) 421 5432 http://www.peacefire.org
Date: Sat, 24 Oct 1998 16:47:19 -0500
From: jthomas3@SUN.SOCI.NIU.EDU(Jim Thomas)
Subject: File 7--Wal-Mart Sues Amazon.com (AP Excerpt)
Wal-Mart Sues Amazon.com
.c The Associated Press
By RACHEL BECK
NEW YORK (AP) -- In a battle of booksellers, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
has sued Amazon.com and claimed the Internet company that wants to
be the discount superstore of cyberspace is stealing trade
In a lawsuit filed in Chancery Court in Benton County, Ark.,
Wal-Mart asked for an injunction against Amazon.com to prevent the
Seattle-based company from allegedly trying to duplicate
The order also would apply to Amazon.com affiliates Kleiner
Perkins Caufield & Byers and Drugstore.com.
The Bentonville, Ark.-based company claims Amazon.com recruited
its former associates and targeted its vendors to learn more about
Wal-Mart's information database, which analysts say is second in
size only to the U.S. government. It includes data on sales,
inventory and consumer buying habits.
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 1998 22:51:01 CST
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Subject: File 8--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 25 Apr, 1998)
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