Re: Hacking: A story untold

Re: Hacking: A story untold
Re: Hacking: A story untold

Forwarded from: security curmudgeon 
cc: tjohnson (at)

: By Tim Johnson
: Free Press Staff Writer
: June 13, 2008
: NORTHFIELD -- The contest among computer-savvy graduate students was 
: billed as a kind of novel spectator sport.
: It didn't work out that way, though, thanks to -- what else? -- some 
: sort of technical glitch that obstructed efforts to monitor what the 
: competitors were doing. So for the few non-techie spectators who 
: showed up, the business of hacking was still as opaque and mysterious 
: at the end of the 1 1/2-hour exercise as it was in the beginning.

: This year, the challenge was more complex. Justin Peltier, a 
: computer-security consultant from Michigan, was on hand with another 
: simulated system that competitors were invited to break in to. They

: The commentary was to come from Peter Stephenson, a member of the 
: program's faculty, who sat at his own terminal and displayed on a big 
: screen something he called a "sniffer trace," a multi-colored table 
: with

: The minutes passed, and not much happened. The sniffer trace stayed 
: the same, and from time to time, when Stephenson tried to check on 
: what individual teams were up to, the screen went blank. Could it be 
: that the hackers weren't getting anywhere?

: Could the monitoring system have fallen victim to hacking, someone 
: wondered. Unlikely, someone else said, but who could say for sure?

"I'll take 'Routing Basics' for 100 Alex!"

"In a nutshell, the problem these security 'professionals' encountered."

"What is 'switched routing'?"

"That's correct, 100 points for you."

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