TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Main Web Site Hackers Are Schoolboys, Watchdog Says

Re: Main Web Site Hackers Are Schoolboys, Watchdog Says
27 Apr 2005 09:52:10 -0700

Lisa Minter wrote:

> LONDON (Reuters) - Attacks on company and government Internet sites
> spike during school holidays when the main culprits -- schoolboys --
> spend time in front of their computers rather than in the classroom.

This doesn't surprise me in the least. Kids were doing it in a crude
way back when I was in high school. (They would get into time sharing
systems, figure out ways to crash them or access executive accounts
and create accounts for themselves).

The question is what is to be done about it. What troubles me is that
when news like this is posted everyone here ignores it. There are a
lot of network techies on this newsgroup and like it or not, as such
they have a responsibility to at least think about these things in a
global sense, not just to protect their own tiny piece of the kingdom.

Automated routines that constantly send out test-inquiry signals put a
lot of wasted traffic on the Internet as well as waste computer time
of recipients. Owners of personal networks tell me even their
firewalls report constant attempts to breach.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: We had some excitement today here on
the CableOne system. Around 1 PM some damn fool customer 'gave birth'
to a 'worm', thinking it would shut things down. Well, it did. About
five minutes after he released the worm, CableOne gave a loud and
boisterous 'hiccough'. The tech support center cleaned it up pretty
fast, but a large number of their customers (including myself) got
bumped in the process. All we could get was the 'registration page'
which is always offered up when a new piece of equipment is put on
someone's personal network (such as a router, etc). And, clicking on
the 'registration page' returned a message saying 'registration is
not available right now, try in a few minutes'. All of us who were
affected had to reboot our entire systems, the cable modem of course,
the routers and whatever. I guess CableOne identified who the moron
customer was who did it and gave him much hell. I first discovered I
was down when the local CableOne office here in town called me and
said "the techs do not know what is going on just yet, but _everyone_
is getting that registration page and can't go further than that. We
will call you back as soon as we get word." About five or ten minutes
later, she called again and said to close it all down, reboot it and
try again. I did, and all was fine.

I wanted to know a bit more, of course, so I called the Phoenix tech
support center. (Due to the commotions the hold time was about 20
minutes, which is quite unusual.) The techs told me about the
'hiccough' and said they were encouraging everyone to make certain they
had the latest firewall and anti-malware stuff installed. PAT]

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