AOH :: P22-12.TXT

Phrack World News Issue XXII


                                ==Phrack Inc.==

                     Volume Two, Issue 22, File 12 of 12

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            PWN                Issue XXII/Part 4                PWN
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Networks Of Computers At Risk From Invaders                    December 3, 1988
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
By John Markoff  (New York Times)

Basic security flaws similar to the ones that let intruders gain illegal entry
to military computer networks in recent weeks are far more common than is
generally believed, system designers and researchers say.

And there is widespread concern that computer networks used for everyday
activities like making airline reservations and controlling the telephone
system are highly vulnerable to attacks by invaders considerably less skilled
than the graduate student whose rogue program jammed a nationwide computer
network last month.

For example, the air traffic control system could be crippled if someone
deliberately put wrong instructions into the network, effectively blinding
controllers guiding airplanes.

The two recent episodes have involved military computers:  One at the Mitre
Corporation, a company with Pentagon contracts, and the other into Arpanet, a
Defense Department network with links to colleges.  But illegal access to
computer systems can compromise the privacy of millions of people.

In 1984, TRW Inc. acknowledged that a password providing access to 90 million
credit histories in its files had been stolen and posted on a computerized
bulletin board system.  The company said the password may have been used for as
long as a month.

This year an internal memorandum at Pacific Bell disclosed that sophisticated
invaders had illegally gained access to telephone network switching equipment
to enter private company computers and monitor telephone conversations.

Computer security flaws have also been exploited to destroy data.  In March
1986 a computer burglar gained access by telephone to the office computer of
Rep. Ed Zschau of California, destroyed files and caused the computer to break
down.  Four days later, staff workers for Rep. John McCain of Arizona, now a
senator, told the police they had discovered that someone outside their office
had reached into McCain's computer and destroyed hundreds of letters and
mailing addresses.

In Australia last year, a skilled saboteur attacked dozens of computers by
destroying an underground communication switch.  The attack cut off thousands
of telephone lines and rendered dozens of computers, including those at the
country's largest banks, useless for an entire day.

Experts say the vulnerability of commercial computers is often compounded by
fundamental design flaws that are ignored until they are exposed in a glaring
incident.  "Some vulnerabilities exist in every system," said Peter Neumann, a
computer scientist at SRI International in Menlo Park, California.  "In the
past, the vendors have not really wanted to recognize this."

Design flaws are becoming increasingly important because of the rapidly
changing nature of computer communications. Most computers were once isolated
from one another.  But in the last decade networks expanded dramatically,
letting computers exchange information and making virtually all large
commercial systems accessible from remote places.  But computer designers
seeking to shore up security flaws face a troubling paradox:  By openly
discussing the flaws, they potentially make vulnerabilities more known and thus
open to sabotage.

Dr. Fred Cohen, a computer scientist at the University of Cincinnati, said most
computer networks were dangerously vulnerable.  "The basic problem is that we
haven't been doing networks long enough to know how to implement protection,"
Cohen said.

The recent rogue program was written by Robert Tappan Morris, a 23-year-old
Cornell University graduate student in computer science, friends of his have
said.  The program appears to have been designed to copy itself harmlessly from
computer to computer in a Department of Defense network, the Arpanet.  Instead
a design error caused it to replicate madly out of control, ultimately jamming
more than 6,000 computers in this country's most serious computer virus attack.

For the computer industry, the Arpanet incident has revealed how security flaws
have generally been ignored.  Cohen said most networks, in effect, made
computers vulnerable by placing entry passwords and other secret information
inside every machine.  In addition, most information passing through networks
is not secretly coded.  While such encryption would solve much of the
vulnerability problem, it would be costly.  It would also slow communication
between computers and generally make networks much less flexible and
convenient.

Encryption of data is the backbone of security in computers used by military
and intelligence agencies. The Arpanet network, which links computers at
colleges, corporate research centers and military bases, is not encrypted.

The lack of security for such information underscored the fact that until now
there has been little concern about protecting data.

Most commercial systems give the people who run them broad power over all parts
of the operation.  If an illicit user obtains the privileges held by a system
manager, all information in the system becomes accessible to tampering.

The federal government is pushing for a new class of military and intelligence
computer in which all information would be divided so that access to one area
did not easily grant access to others, even if security was breached.  The goal
is to have these compartmentalized security systems in place by 1992.

On the other hand, one of the most powerful features of modern computers is
that they permit many users to share information easily; this is lost when
security is added.

In 1985 the Defense Department designed standards for secure computer systems,
embodied in the Orange Book, a volume that defines criteria for different
levels of computer security.  The National Computer Security Center, a division
of the National Security Agency, is now charged with determining if government
computer systems meet these standards.

But academic and private computer systems are not required to meet these
standards, and there is no federal plan to urge them on the private sector. But
computer manufacturers who want to sell their machines to the government for
military or intelligence use must now design them to meet the Pentagon
standards.

Security weaknesses can also be introduced inadvertently by changes in the
complex programs that control computers, which was the way Morris's program
entered computers in the Arpanet.  These security weaknesses can also be
secretly left in by programmers for their convenience.

One of the most difficult aspects of maintaining adequate computer security
comes in updating programs that might be running at thousands of places around
the world once flaws are found.

Even after corrective instructions are distributed, many computer sites often
do not close the loopholes, because the right administrator did not receive the
new instructions or realize their importance.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Computer Virus Eradication Act of 1988                         December 5, 1988
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The following is a copy of HR-5061, a new bill being introduced in the House by
Wally Herger (R-CA) and Robert Carr (D-Mich.).
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
100th Congress 2D Session                                             H.R. 5061

To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide penalties for persons
interfering with the operations of computers through the use of programs
containing hidden commands that can cause harm, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                                   July 14, 1988
Mr. Herger (for himself and Mr. Carr) introduced the following bill; which was
referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL
To ammend title 18, United States Code, to provide penalties for persons
interfering with the operations of computers through the use of programs
containing hidden commands that can cause harm, and for other purposes.

                                   -   -   -

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States
of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
           This Act may be cited as the "Computer Virus Eradication Act of
           1988".

SECTION 2. TITLE 18 AMENDMENT.
           (A) IN GENERAL.- Chapter 65 (relating to malicious mischief) of
           title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the
           following:

           S 1368.  Disseminating computer viruses and other harmful computer
                    programs
          (a) Whoever knowingly --
             (1) inserts into a program for a computer information or commands,
                 knowing or having reason to believe that such information or
                 commands will cause loss to users of a computer on which such
                 program is run or to those who rely on information processed
                 on such computer; and
             (2) provides such a program to others in circumstances in which
                 those others do not know of the insertion or its effects; or
                 attempts to do so, shall if any such conduct affects
                 interstate or foreign commerce, be fined under this title or
                 imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.
          (b) Whoever suffers loss by reason of a violation of subsection (a)
              may, in a civil action against the violator, obtain appropriate
              relief.  In a civil action under this section, the court may
              award to the prevailing party a reasonable attorney's fee and
              other litigation expenses.


           (B) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.- The table of sections at the begining of
           chapter 65 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at
           the end the following:
           S 1368.  Disseminating computer viruses and other harmful computer
                    programs.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
NOTE:  The above text was typed in by hand from a printed copy of HR5 061.
       There is a possibility that there may be typographical errors which
       could affect the nature of the bill.

       For an official copy of the bill, please contact:

                                Mr. Doug Riggs
                              1108 Longworth Bldg
                            Washington D.C.  20515

                           Information Presented by
               Don Alvarez of the MIT Center For Space Research
_______________________________________________________________________________

Virus Conference In Arlington, Virginia                        December 5, 1988
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Entitled "Preventing and Containing Computer Virus Attacks", it takes place
January 30-31, in Arlington, VA.  Speakers include Representative Wally Herger
(R-CA), a special agent from the FBI, John Landry (ADAPSO virus committee
chairman), Patricia Sission from NASA, as well as a collection of attorneys and
business folk.  The conference is chaired by Dave Douglass, no information
provided.  It supposedly costs $695.

The address provided is:

                         United Communications Group
                         4550 Montgomery Avenue
                         Suite 700N
                         Bethesda, MD   20814-3382


                    Information Provided By Gregg Tehennepe
_______________________________________________________________________________

New York Times Reviews Novel About Computer Sabotage           December 7, 1988
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Sunday, December 4, 1988 issue of the New York Times Book Review (their
Christmas Books issue) prominently reviews a new novel, 'Trapdoor,' by Bernard
J. O'Keefe.  The premise (from the review by Newgate Callender, NYT's crime
fiction reviewer):

"A brilliant American woman of Lebanese descent has developed the computer code
that controls the operation of all our nuclear devices.  Turned down for the
job she has sought, convinced male chauvinism is the reason, she is ripe to be
conned by a Lebanese activist.  At his suggestion she inserts a virus into the
computer system that in a short time will render the entire American nuclear
arsenal useless.  ... The Lebanese President ... demands that Israel withdraw
from the West Bank, or else he will tell the Russians that the United States
will lie helpless for a week or so."

Callender's review begins with the lead sentence, "November 2, 1988, was the
day computers in American went mad, thanks to the 'virus' program inserted by
the now-famous, fun-loving Robert T. Morris, Jr."

Some background on the author, also from the review:

"Bernard J. O'Keefe (is) chairman of the high-tech company EG&G and of an
international task force on nuclear terrorism ... (and is) the author
of a nonfiction book called 'Nuclear Hostages.'  O'Keefe says, "I wrote this
parable to point out the complexity of modern technology and to demonstrate
how one error, one misjudgment, or one act of sabotage could lead to actions
that would annihilate civilization.""

Callender also says "...the execution is less brilliant than the idea.  The
book has the usual flashbacks, the usual stereotyped characters, the usual
stiff dialogue."

Although the reviewer doesn't say so, the premise of this novel is quite
similar to a 1985 French thriller, published in the U.S. as 'Softwar.'  That
novel was also based on the idea that a nation's arsenal could be completely
disabled from a single point of sabotage, although in 'Softwar' it was the
Soviet Union on the receiving end.  Popular reviewers of both books apparently
find nothing implausible in the premise.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Hacker Enters U.S. Lab's Computers                            December 10, 1988
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
By Thomas H. Maugh II  (Los Angeles Times Service)

A computer hacker has entered computers at the government's Lawrence Livermore
Laboratory in the San Francisco Bay area eight times since last Saturday, but
has not caused any damage and has not been able to enter computers that contain
classified information, Livermore officials said Friday.  [Do they ever admit
to anyone gaining access to classified data? -KL]

Nuclear weapons and the Star Wars defense system are designed at Livermore, but
information about those projects is kept in supercomputers that are physically
and electronically separate from other computers at the laboratory.

The hacker, whose identitiy remains unknown, entered the non-classified
computer system at Livermore through Internet, a nationwide computer network
that was shut down at the beginning of November by a computer virus.  Chuck
Cole, Livermore's chief of security, said the two incidents apparently are
unrelated.

The hacker entered the computers through an operating system and then through a
conventional telephone line, he gave himself "super-user" status, providing
access to virtually all functions of the non-classified computer systems.

Officials quickly limited the super-user access, although they left some
computers vulnerable to entry in the hope of catching the intruder.

"There has been no maliciousness so far," Cole said.  "He could have destroyed
data, but he didn't.  He just looks through data files, operating records, and
password files...It seems to be someone doing a joy-riding thing."
_______________________________________________________________________________

Shattering Revelations                                        December 11, 1988
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Taken from the RISKS Digest (Edited for this presentation)

[Shatter is a hacker based in England, he is currently accused of breaking into
computers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  -KL]

(In this article, "IT" seems to refer to the computer community as a whole -KL)

Some of you may have already heard of me via articles in the Wall Street
Journal, New York Times, etc, but for those of you who do not have access to
copies of these newspapers I am a hacker of over 10 years activity who is based
near Nottingham, England [Rumored to be a false statement].  My specialities
are the various packet switched networks around the world such as PSS, Telepac,
Transpac, etc with various forays into UNIX, NOS/VE VMS, VM/SP, CMS, etc.

I feel that as a hacker with so much activity and expirience I am qualified to
make the following points on behalf of the whole hacking community.

Hackers are not the vandals and common criminals you all think we are in fact
most of the "TRUE" hackers around have a genuine respect and love for all forms
of computers and the data that they contain.  We are as a community very
responsible and dedicated to the whole idea of IT, but we also have a strong
dislike to the abuse of IT that is perpetrated by various governments and
organizations either directly or indirectly.  There is of course a small
minority of so called hackers who do cause trouble and crash systems or steal
money, but these people on the whole are dealt with by other hackers in a way
that most of you could not even think of and most never repeat their "crimes"
again.

The term "HACKER" is still one to be very proud of and I am sure that in days
past, anyone with a computer was called a hacker and they were very proud of
the fact that someone felt that you had a great technical expertise that
warrented the use of the term.  However, all of the accusers out there now
suffer from the standard problem that nearly all people involved within IT have
and that is non-communication.  You never pass on the information that you pick
up and teach to others within IT [American Government organizations and
Educational Institutes are among the greatest offenders] and this allows the
hacking community [who do communicate] to be at least one step ahead of the
system administrators when it comes to finding security problems and finding
the cause and solution for the problem.

A case in point is the recent Arpanet Worm and the FTP bug.  Both these
problems have been known for many months if not years but, when talking to
various system administrators recently, not one of them had been informed about
them and this left their systems wide open even though they had done all they
could to secure them with the information they had.

An interesting piece of information is that hackers in England knew about
Morris's Worm at least 12 hours before it became public knowledge and although
England was not able to be infected due to the hardware in use, we were able to
inform the relevent people and patrol Internet to Janet gateways to look for
any occurance of the Worm and therefore we performed a valuble service to the
computing community in England -- although we did not get any thanks or
acknowledgement for this service.

Hackers should be nurtured and helped to perform what they consider a hobby.
Some people may do crosswords for intelectual challenge -- I study computers
and learn about how things interact together to function correctly (or
incorrectly as the case may be).  The use of a group of hackers can perform a
valuable service and find problems that most of you could not even start to
think of or would even have the inclination to look for.

So please don't treat us like lepers and paupers.  Find yourself a "TAME"
hacker and show him the respect he deserves.  He will perform a valuble service
for you.  Above all COMMUNICATE with each other don't keep information to
yourselves.

Bst Rgrds
Shatter
_______________________________________________________________________________

IBM Sells Rolm To Siemens AG                                  December 14, 1988
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) announced on Tuesday that it was
selling its Rolm telephone equipment subsidiary to West Germany's Siemens AG.

Rolm has lost several hundred million dollars since IBM bought it in 1984 for
$1.5 billion.  Rolm was the first, or one of the first companies to market
digital PBX systems.

As most telecom hobbyists already know, the PBX market has been very soft for
years.  It has suffered from little or no growth and very bitter price
competition.

Siemens, a leading PBX supplier in Europe wants to bolster its sales in the
United States, and believes it can do so by aquiring Rolm's sales and service
operations.  Quite obviously, it will also gain access to some of the lucrative
IBM customers in Europe.

Rolm was an early leader in digital PBX's, but they were surpassed in 1984 by
AT&T and Northern Telecom Ltd. of Canada.  Part of the strategy behind IBM's
purchase of Rolm was IBM's belief that small personal computers would be linked
through digital PBX's. Although this has happened, most businesses seem to
prefer ethernet arrangements; something neither IBM or Rolm had given much
thought to.  IBM was certain the late 1980's would see office computers
everywhere hooked up through PBX's.

IBM made a mistake, and at a recent press conference they admitted it and
announced that Rolm was going bye-bye, as part of the corporate restructuring
which has seen IBM divest itself of numerous non-computer related businesses in
the past several months.  From its beginning until 1984, Rolm could not run
itself very well; now IBM has washed its corporate hands.  Time will tell how
much luck the Europeans have with it.

                  Information Contributed by Patrick Townson
_______________________________________________________________________________

Virus Invades The Soviet Union                                December 19, 1988
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>From The San Francisco Chronicle (P. A16)

(UPI) - The Soviet Union announced on Decemeber 18, 1988 that that so-called
computer viruses have invaded systems in at least five government-run
institutions since August, but Soviet scientists say they have developed a way
to detect known viruses and prevent serious damage.

In August 1988, a virus infected 80 computers at the Soviet Academy of Sciences
before it was brought under control 18 hours later.  It was traced to a group
of Soviet and foreign schoolchildren attending the Institute's summer computer
studies program, apparently resulting from the copying of game programs.

Sergei Abramov of the Soviet Academy of Sciences claims they have developed a
protective system, PC-shield, that protects Soviet computers against known
virus strains.  It has been tested on IBM computers in the Soviet Union.  "This
protective system has no counterpart in the world," he said (although the
details remain a state secret).
_______________________________________________________________________________

Phrack World News Quicknotes                                         Issue XXII
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1.  Rumor has it that the infamous John Draper aka Captain Crunch is currently
    running loose on the UUCP network.  Recently, it has been said that he has
    opened up some sort of information gateway to Russia, for reasons unknown.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.  Information Available For A Price
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A company called Credit Checker and Nationwide SS says that anyone can;
    o Take a lot of risk out of doing business.
    o Check the credit of anyone, anywhere in the United States
    o Pull Automobile Drivers License information from 49 states
    o Trace people by their Social Security Number

By "Using ANY computer with a modem!"

To subscribe to this unique 24-hour on-line network call 1-800-255-6643.

Can your next door neighbor really afford that new BMW ?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3.  Reagan Signs Hearing-Aid Compatibility Bill
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There is new legislation recently passed which requires all new phones to be
compatible with hearing aids by next August.  The law requires a small device
to be included in new phones to eliminate the loud squeal that wearers of
hearing aids with telecoils pick up when using certain phones.  Importers are
not exempted from the law.  Cellular phones and those manufactured for export
are exempt.
_______________________________________________________________________________
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