Computer underground Digest Wed June 9 1999 Volume 11 : Issue 26

Computer underground Digest    Wed  9 June, 1999   Volume 11 : Issue 26
                           ISSN  1004-042X

       Editor: Jim Thomas (
       News Editor: Gordon Meyer (
       Archivist: Brendan Kehoe
       Croupy Editor:       Etaion Shrdlu, III
       Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth
                          Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala
                          Ian Dickinson
       Cu Digest Homepage:

CONTENTS, #11.26 (Wed, 9 June, 1999)

File 1--Web Sites Defaced; Webmasters Unaware; Can't Stop It
File 2--U.S. News Online
File 4--details on Cal PUC plan to make *all* calls to ISPs "long distance"
File 5--Fighting the PUC -- re hearing to make *all* ISP calls "long dist"
File 6--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 10 Jan, 1999)


Date: Tue, 8 Jun 1999 03:57:05 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: File 1--Web Sites Defaced; Webmasters Unaware; Can't Stop It

TELECOM Digest     Tue, 8 Jun 99 03:57:00 EDT    Volume 19 : Issue 129

Date--Tue, 8 Jun 1999 03:23:55 EDT
From--TELECOM Digest Editor 
Subject--Web Sites Defaced; Webmasters Unaware; Can't Stop It


What would you say if I told you there was now software available
and being distributed which allows users to change the contents of
a web site, adding their own remarks to it as desired, and that
there was *no way* the webmaster was able to prevent it; in fact
the webmaster might not even be aware it was happening?

You would say I was nuts probably, but then, that is because you
have not heard of a new company on the net called Third Voice,
which is understandable, because they just began distributing their
'browser application' in May.

Third Voice  has a new treat for all the
webmasters ... and you are going to love it!

Their browser application lets you mark up any web site you visit with
your own commentary, anywhere on the page you feel like. *Your copy*
of the page is then stored on a server at Third Voice. Anytime you
set your browser to some URL, a search is made of the server at Third
Voice at the same time ... if a copy of the page is found at Third
Voice, then **that copy is sent to you instead of the one at the actual
web site** and what you see is the marked up copy by whoever did it.
Its sort of like when a government web site gets hacked, everyone
wants to rush over and look at it before the damage gets cleared. If
those government and large corporate websites which get hacked did not
have such dumb webmasters who gave up root so easily it would not
happen, but that's not my point here today.

If Third Voice does not have a copy of the page on file, then they
just let you take the webmaster's actual copy instead, and they copy
it from you. For the user, it is all quite transparent. All the user
has to do is indicate a desired URL, and the browser will go off in
two directions: one to the actual site, and two, to the Third Voice
server. If it finds a copy at Third Voice, then that is the copy you
receive, however defaced or marked up it may be by the time you get
around to looking at it.

In most cases, unless the webmaster himself happens to view his page
using the Third Voice browser application, he won't even know his
page was defaced and rewritten or whatever ... because anyone without
the Third Voice browser application will merely see the page as the
webmaster wrote it. Third Voice users will have sort of their own
'secret club'; they will see a web site with whatever comments and
remarks, however crude or ignorant they may be, which were embedded
there by other Third Voice users. Everyone else just stays in the
dark about it.

Now if that news does not please all the fine webmasters who read my
words each day, I do not know what would.

   1. Your page gets marked up by users with their own commentaries
      and you cannot stop them from doing it;

   2. You cannot see what they did unless you use the Third Voice
      browser application to 'review' their work, and even if you
      do see it you are helpless to stop it.

   3. User asks for your page, but gets it served from the cgi-bin
      or whatever of Third Voice instead.

According to Third Voice, they will check to see if you changed your
page or not before sending their copy of it. If your page is newer,
then your copy will be the one delivered. This is necessary since they
want to make certain that user 'commentaries' about your site stay in
the same place on the screen where the user originally put them, etc.

I guess you could sub-title this, 'Users get revenge on webmasters
by marking up their sites for all other users to see', and I have a
feeling a few people are going to say that this is taking the
concept of 'free speech' just a bit too far.

Third Voice says they see no problem with it at all; in fact they
believe it will improve the net by allowing everyone to comment on
whatever web sites they visit, and to have their comments available
to all other visitors as well; sort of like Usenet: you say one
thing then I come along and add my two-cents worth.

Third Voice users will be anonymous. The only registration required
to get your free browser application is by going to their web site
and giving them some name and email address, of someone, somewhere,
and maybe you are not a very good typist and got the address wrong.
Enter a name and email address, download your free software on the
spot, install it on your browser (a simple job which takes five
minutes or less total) and get busy defacing the web sites of your
choice so that other passers-by can see and appreciate your work.

The Third Voice browser application is currently available only for
IE-4, but IE-5 is coming in a few days I am told, or by the end of
June. Then they will begin working on a version for Netscape. The
example I saw of it makes use of the 'search box' on the left side
of the IE screen, in the space where the favorites go, or the
various search engines to pick, etc.  With Third Voice installed,
that same space will be where you find the commands used by Third
Voice, such as what to click on when you wish to position your
cursor at a certain point on the screen to begin your 'markup' or
commentary or whatever. Another command there will be to transmit
your marked up version of the web site over to the Third Voice
server, where it will be indexed and made available to the next
person who comes to that webmaster's site.

Third Voice says this is just a way to 'make the web a little more
democratic by allowing users to speak out' ... and while that may
be all well and good, I see a few problems:

       An anti-abortion web site is visited in large numbers by
       pro-choice people who completely render the site useless
       for its intended audience.

       Ditto in reverse of course; some anti-abortion people are
       as hateful and mean-spirited as you can find anywhere.

       And what about sites like Black Voices, a combination web
       site and chat room (via AOL) for the black community. I
       suppose the white-racists can go visit them.

       Sites which are usually family-oriented discover suddenly
       they have become x-rated based on pornographic comments
       added to their pages.

       Adult sites with sexually oriented material get visited
       by folks from the Bible Church who leave admonitions and
       scriptural references questioning the salvation of the
       users of that site.

       Anti-government extremists should have a great time with and other federal agency web sites.

       Homophobic visitors to gay web sites should provide us all
       with a real laugh when we read their crude remarks.

       Of course, editors and columnists at {New York Times}
       are likely to go spastic when they find out how free
       speech really works, and discover 'editorials from the
       people' written all over their web site.

So anyway, for further reading on this latest challenge to the
net, take a look at:

then go pick up your free, anonymous software patch for your IE-4
browser which lets you become your very own 'web-spammer' at the
sites of your choice at

Is there anything at all webmasters can do to prevent this desecration
of their sites? Not a lot; it seems now it is the users' turn to
abuse the webmaster rather than the other way around, if news reports
are to be believed.

Probably -- I cannot say this for sure, and webmasters need to
investigate this closely -- the damage to your sites can be mitigated
by refreshing/rewriting your pages on a frequent basis. If the Third
Voice server does not find your page exactly the way it was the last
time it looked, my understanding is it will not serve up its bastardized
version. Also, the Third Voice browser application may be sending out
its own navigator.strings, i.e. identifying itself, but I do not
know that for sure. If so, you could look for those and act on them.
You may be able to get away with just having a newer time stamp on the
file than the one that Third Voice will issue.

The other thing you might be able to do is if Third Voice does indeed
serve the actual page, and not just a 'transparent overlay' of user's
remarks is copyright your page and forbid its being served from any
location other than your own. If they send a transparent overlay of
just things users have done to the page, you cannot very well get them
on copyright violations, nor can you get them for misrepresenting your
page and your work since they will claim all they are doing is giving
their customers access to things written by other customers, which of
course is all Usenet ever was about.

Anyway webmasters, pass the word around, and get yourself a copy of
the Third Voice browser application so that if nothing else you can
see what they are saying about you behind your back. Users started
picking up the patch as of last weekend.



Date: Tue, 08 Jun 1999 11:17:25 -0400
From: Emily Schmenk 
Subject: File 2--U.S. News Online

((CuD MODERATORS' NOTE: There are about a dozen interesting
links and stories hooked up here. It's worth a look))

This week U.S. News Online features a special report
on protecting the computer systems  from criminal hackers.
 Visit this report at
to find out what you need to know to protect yourself.

Please view this feature and consider adding a link.
We appreciate your visit and any comments.


Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 23:12:11 -0400
From: Jonathan Wallace 

Source -
Date--Tue, 25 May 1999 16:32:09 -0400
To--ALA Washington Office Newsline 

ALAWON: American Library Association Washington Office Newsline
Volume 8, Number 47
May 25, 1999

In this issue:

Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Violence and Hate on Internet;
Committee Chairman Promises Early Consideration of S. 97

In the wake of the school shootings in Littleton, CO, the Senate
Commerce Committee held a hearing on May 20 on the availability of
information on the Internet related to hate, violence and bomb

Testifying before the committee were Peter Nickerson, CEO of N2H2,
Inc., a company which markets filtering services to business and
government as well as a "kid friendly" search engine to schools
and libraries; Mark Potok, director of intelligence at the
Southern Poverty Law Center; Howard Berkowitz, national chairman
of the Anti-Defamation League; and Mark James, special agent with
the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  Attending the
hearing were Sens. John McCain(R-AZ), Ernest Hollings (D-SC), John
Rockefeller (D-WV), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Slade Gorton (R-WA).

Sen. McCain, the committee chairman and principal sponsor of S.97,
a bill to require E-rate participants to use blocking and
filtering technology, began by stating that those who preach hate
can spread their "toxic message" to a larger audience on the
Internet.  He urged passage of S.97 to help parents and reduce the
threat not only to the children who view the material but to those
impacted by their actions. He announced his intention to mark up
S. 97 soon.

Dr. Nickerson, CEO of N2H2, a privately-held company based in
Seattle which provides Internet filtering and caching
services, presented a slide show on the range of hate and violence
Web sites on the Internet.  He said that N2H2's filtering product
addresses many of the problems of earlier filtering products.
Most importantly, he said, it does not use keyword blocking; it
relies instead on 75 employees who review more than 10,000 sites a
day. Nickerson explained that schools using this product can block
a wide range of categories, ask for exceptions from categories, or
unblock educationally valuable material upon demand -- such as a
site on a war that might otherwise be blocked because of violence.
N2H2 also markets "Searchopolis," a search portal "appropriate for
K-12." He concluded his testimony by urging that E-rate funds be
permitted to pay for filtering products.

Sen. McCain asked Nickerson if the concern about blocking out
valuable sites by typing in a keyword like "breast" was still
valid.  Nickerson replied that the concern was no longer valid for
most products and that no school should be on the Internet without
filtering and blocking software.

Mr. Berkowitz, national chairman of the Anti-Defamation League,
charged that the Internet generation has been "seriously infected
with the virus of hate," and reviewed a number of hate sites and
their tactics to recruit young people.  He explained that while
these sites were constitutionally protected, they could be

Berkowitz described a filter available online from the Anti-
Defamation League which not only blocks hate sites but redirected
users to educational sites on hate. He expressed concern about
mandatory filtering in public institutions, particularly
libraries, and noted that there were constitutional concerns that
needed to be addressed as well.

Mr. Potok, director of intelligence at the Southern Poverty Law
Center, described how hate groups target children by using cross
word puzzles, hangman and video games -- such as those featuring
militant Aryan Warriors -- to bring children to their sites and
spread their message. When asked by the chairman whether these
sites were outside the protection of the Constitution, Potok
responded that they generally are not.

In response to a question about filters, Potok expressed
reservations about the usefulness of such products.  He said that
for many hate sites, one has to click through many pages to
discover the site's real purpose. He urged that the "real
inoculation" was communication between parents and children, and
that the presence of these sites should be treated no differently
than "if the Klan were coming to town."

Mr. James, special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms, described the bomb making sites on the Web and the
availability of books like the "Anarchist's Cookbook" and the
Army's manual on explosives. He argued that the number of
incidents recorded or reported that could be tied in some manner
to information on the Internet had grown from five in the mid-
1980s to more than thirty in 1996.

One Senator expressed concern as to whether or not the legislation
would work.  "My concern is that after thirty years and billions
of dollars fighting drugs, we are back to the task of education,"
said Ernest Hollings, ranking minority member and cosponsor of the
legislation. "Why shouldn't we start with education here?"

It was not clear whether Hollings' statement signaled a new
position on the bill.

ALAWON (ISSN 1069-7799) is a free, irregular publication of the
American Library Association Washington Office. All materials
subject to copyright by the American Library Association may be
reprinted or redistributed for noncommercial purposes with
appropriate credits.

To subscribe to ALAWON, send the message: subscribe ala-wo
[your_firstname] [your_lastname] to or go to  To unsubscribe to ALAWON, send
the message: unsubscribe ala-wo to or go to ALAWON archives at

ALA Washington Office, 1301 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Suite 403,
Washington, D.C. 20004-1701; phone: 202.628.8410 or 800.941.8478
toll-free; fax: 202.628.8419; e-mail:; Web
site:  Editor: Lynne E. Bradley;
Managing Editor: Deirdre Herman; Contributors: Phyllis Albritton,
Mary Costabile, Carol Henderson, Peter Kaplan, Claudette Tennant
and Rick Weingarten.


Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 16:14:38 -0700
From: Jim Warren 
Subject: File 4--details on Cal PUC plan to make *all* calls to ISPs "long distance"

((CuD Moderators' Note: The hearing dates on the following two
posts have just passed, but the information is sufficiently
interesting to warring publishing)).

This is NOT an "urban legend"!  And the cartel of telco local monopolies
(RBOCs, regional Bell operating companies) are pushing this in almost all
states; not just before California's Public Utilities Commission.

--jim, Jim Warren,, GovAccess list-owner/[im]moderator/janitor
345 Swett Rd, Woodside CA 94062; 650-851-7075; fax-for-the-quaint/650-851-2814
To add or drop GovAccess, email to  ('Subject' ignored)
with message:  [un]subscribe GovAccess YourEmailAddress (insert your eaddr)
For brief description of GovAccess, send MajorDomo the msg:  info GovAccess

=== the outrageous details ===

>> >

CPUC ruling on Local vs. Long Distance access in California CPUC Issues on
    Local vs. Long Distance Internet Access in California

This information was updated 5/27/99 at 4:30pm

The consideration of matters scheduled for May 27 has been postponed at
the request of the Commissioners of the CPUC.

The matter involving Pac West and Pacific Bell will be considered on
June 3. The decision to rehear will be considered on June 10.

The California PUC (Public Utilities Commission) is considering a
ruling that would affect California customers' access to the Internet.
Basically, as part of an arbitration proceeding between Pacific Bell and
Pac-West Telecomm, Pacific Bell has asked the PUC to rule that calls to
the Internet are long distance calls instead of local calls! This web
page documents information concerning this issue, and gives information
on contacting public officials to express your opinions.


In October, 1998, the California PUC ruled that calls to Internet Service
Providers (ISP's) should be considered local, rather than long distance.
Two commissioners dissented and 3 concurred. Pacific Bell appealed
the ruling to an arbitrator, who concurred with the original ruling.
Pacific Bell now has appealed the arbitrator's decision back to the PUC.
The PUC will rule on this appeal on May 27, 1999. The PUC now has three
commissioners, and commissioners Neeper and Duque dissented from the
October decision, arguing that ISP access should be considered long

On one agenda for the May 27th meeting are two possible responses to the
arbitrator's decision (Items 5 and 5a under "Orders"). Under another
agenda, the request to rehear the previous decisions is covered under
item EX-4 under "Orders". Please see the links near the bottom of this
page for the text of these two agendas.

The PUC could:

Uphold the arbitrator's decision, thus maintaining the status quo. This
is item 5 on the 5/27/99 agenda, and this is the item that the ISP's
would like to see passed.

Modify the arbitrator's decision by removing "reciprocal compensation"
from it. This modification would stop payments by Pacific Bell to PacWest
Telecomm, thus forcing PacWest to increase its charges to the ISP's
which are PacWest's customers. These increased costs would be passed on
to ISP customers in the form of rate increases. This is item 5a on the
PUC agenda. The ISP'S recommend NOT passing item 5a.

   Contact Information
   Please do NOT send e-mail to the Commission.
   It is recommended that persons interested in contacting the PUC
   concerning this issue write "snail-mail" letters to: California
   Public Utilities Commission Telecommunications Division,
   Issue 98-11-024 505
   Van Ness Ave. San Francisco, CA 94102
   Or you may FAX your letter to:
   (415) 703-1158
   (415) 703-1910

   Your letter should include:
     Your Name
     Your Address
     Your Phone Number
     Reference to issue 98-11-024
     Your Comments
     Your Signature

   Since the commission now contains only three commissioners (out of
   five seats), it would be a good idea to also write to the governor:
   Governor Gray Davis State Capitol,
   1st Floor Sacramento, CA 95814
   (916) 445-2841 (Voice)
   (916) 445-4633 (FAX)
   (No E-mail address given) And you may wish to contact your
   California representatives:

An analysis of the situation is as follows:

Pacific Bell was required by the PUC to allow competing companies to
offer local telephone service in the state of California.

Pacific Bell implemented "reciprocal compensation". This meant that if
a customer of a competing local telephone company made a call which
terminated in Pacific Bell, the competing company would pay Pacific
Bell a nominal fee for completing the call. Likewise, if a Pacific
Bell customer made a call which terminated to a competing company's
customer, Pacific Bell would pay the competing company a nominal
fee for completing the call. This normally would favor Pacific Bell,
since more calls would go toward Pacific Bell, since it has the most
customers.  PacWest Telecomm registered as a local telephone company,
and began providing local telephone services. PacWest targeted ISP's,
and provided attractive competitive rates to the ISP companies. Thus,
many ISP's began using PacWest's services, and their customers, who were
Pacific Bell customers, began placing calls from Pacific Bell telephones
to the ISP's which were on PacWest. Therefore, Pacific Bell began having
to pay PacWest Telecomm to complete these calls.

Pacific Bell, wishing to preserve the original model of reciprocal
compensation, asked the PUC to re-classify calls to ISP's as long
distance. That way, such calls would result in PacWest paying Pacific Bell
MUCH more than Pacific Bell is now required to pay PacWest (since long
distance access charges are much higher than reciprocal compensation).

The PUC ruled against Pacific Bell's request in October, 1998. Pacific
Bell then appealed, and the arbitrator ruled against Pacific Bell in
April, 1999. Pacific Bell is now appealing the arbitrator's ruling back to
the PUC at a time when the original rulings might be overturned.  The PUC
agenda at this point lists two possible rulings. The first, item 5, would
preserve the status quo. The second, item 5a, would most likely result in
increased rates to Internet users throughout California. On May 27th, the
commissioners will adopt one of these agenda items.  The California ISP's
and their customers need to let their voices be heard before May 27th,
1999, or Internet access in the state of California may be drastically
altered! Rates will rise for customers and many rural areas may lose
local Internet access altogether!


SaberNet's position in this matter is as follows:

The Commission should not modify its October decision or the
arbitrator's decision without obtaining input from the ISP's and their

The Commission should wait until five commissioners are seated before
considering this issue, especially if the commissioners favor item 5a.


The following links give background information on the issue: Agenda for
5/27/99 meeting.See Items 5 and 5a under the "Orders" section. Item
5, if approved, would keep the status quo. Item 5a, if approved,
would raise the base rates being charged to ISP's by companies like
Pac-West Telecomm, since those companies would stop receiving reciprocal
compensation from Pacific Bell, and would have to raise their rates to
compensate. Fortunately, no item is proposed to overturn the arbitrated

Another agenda for the May 27th meeting - see item EX-4 under "Orders".

PUC's write-up on the original ruling on 10/5/98
Commissioner Knight's memo concurring with the decision (Note:
Commissioner Knight is no longer with the PUC)
Commissioner Duque's dissent memo
Commissioner Neeper's dissent memo


Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 19:55:07 -0700
From: Jim Warren 
Subject: File 5--Fighting the PUC -- re hearing to make *all* ISP calls "long dist"

More regarding the local telcos' plan to make all [local] phone calls to
ISP numbers into "long distance" calls, and thus, billable.  [BCC'ed to
others; please pass it along.  The CalPUC hearing on this is now set for
JUNE 3rd!]

The following is from a close friend who is VERY knowledgable about how the
Calif PUC works, and how to be effective in dealing with them.  I trust
this advice *completely*!

(Also, I know that the California Newspaper Publishers' Association chief
counsel [lobbyist] has shown some interest in this -- since it is a
potential disaster for every newspaper, and every other California
business, that is now developing an online presence to reach consumers.)

--jim, Jim Warren,, GovAccess list-owner/[im]moderator/janitor
345 Swett Rd, Woodside CA 94062; 650-851-7075; fax-for-the-quaint/650-851-2814
To add or drop GovAccess, email to  ('Subject' ignored)
with message:  [un]subscribe GovAccess YourEmailAddress (insert your eaddr)
For brief description of GovAccess, send MajorDomo the msg:  info GovAccess

=== from a VERY experienced and VERY *effective* long-time insider ===

>If the net community really wants to get results, ISPs need to set up a fax
>server that goes directly into the Governor's office, then broadcast an
>action alert as widely as possible to email lists and newsgroups. ISPs
>themselves can email their own customers about the issue and point them to
>the web site where the fax service is located.  There isn't any better way
>to reach people, and it's a legitimate issue for ISPs to contact their
>customers about.
>Contacting the California PUC is basically a waste of time.  Historically,
>pressure from the public just delays their decisions for a while.
>People need to get their concerns to Gov. Davis rather than the PUC because
>Davis has two vacancies to fill on the PUC.  If Davis gets enough pressure,
>he will be inclined to pressure the PUC to put off its decision until he
>fills the vacant seats, and if he's feeling heat on the issue his
>appointees will, also.  Davis could even formally ask the PUC to delay a
>decision until he fills the vacant seats.

[Although the previous governor had an email address, our new governor's
homepage begins with his bio and photos, but lists no email address on .  All it says about contacting him is to
  Governor Gray Davis
  State Capitol Building
  Sacramento, CA 95814
  Phone (916) 445-2841
  Fax (916) 445-4633

>The other key pressure points are the chairs of the Senate and Assembly
>committees with oversight responsibility for the PUC.  Your old friend
>Debra Bowen chairs the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications
>Committee, and Roderick Wright chairs the Assembly Utilities and Commerce
>I don't know anything about Wright, but Bowen is a strong legislator.  These
>folks can literally order the PUC to appear before their committees.  If
>Gov. Davis is feeling pressure, you can bet he's going to put some pressure
>on his Democratic committee chairs to look into it.

[Email to and,  or see
and .


Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 22:51:01 CST
From: CuD Moderators 
Subject: File 6--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 10 Jan, 1999)

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