AOH :: P31-09.TXT

PWN/Part02



                               ==Phrack Inc.==
                 Volume Three, Issue Thirty-one, Phile #9 of 10
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              PWN             Phrack World News               PWN
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{C}omputer {E}mergency {R}esponse {T}eam
----------------------------------------
     Some call it "Internet Police" -- Others call it "just stupid."
CERT however is a mix.  But I do give them credit -- After all, have your
number one goal being 'making the Internet more secure' has to be a tough task.
Therefore, we give them credit.
     However, CERT is funded by DARPA, which is a government agency.  And
anything in my book that the government runs is bad news.  Yes, the government
pays the 6 man salary and keep their hot-line active 24 hours a day.
     Ahh..  What do you know about CERT?  "Nothing" you say?  Well, the
following is the press release and other reprints of information about CERT.
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Richard Pethia <rdp@SEI.CMU.EDU>
DEAR XXXXXXXXX,
I have been reviewing our correspondence files and have discovered
that your request for information may not have been filled.  I
apologize for the delay and hope that the information is still useful
to you.  If, after reading the following, you have additional
questions or would like to subscribe to one of our information lists,
please send email with your question/request.
The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) was established by the Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency in November of 1988 to serve members
of the Internet Research community.  The press release below describes
the general role of the CERT.
More specifically, the CERT supports individual Internet sites by:
 -Working with site personnel to help resolve individual computer security
  incidents.  Contact potentially affected sites to warn them of
  possible security breaches.  Work with sites to change the
  conditions that allowed incidents to occur.
 -Issuing advisories that alert the community to specific system
  vulnerabilities or intrusion techniques, as well as the methods to
  protect against them.
 -Working with the community and system (primarily Unix) vendors to
  reslove specific system vulnerabilities.
 -Maintaining and operating moderated mailing lists that: (1) provide a
  discussion forum for tools and techniques to improve the security of
  Unix systems, and (2) provide a discussion forum and alert mechanism
  for PC viruses, trojan horses, etc.
Over the past year we have developed hundreds of working relationships
with members of the Internet and other communities and have
established an extensive information collection and dissemination
network.  Because of this network of cooperating individuals and
organizations, we are often able to advise the community of problems
allowing them to take corrective action before being affeceted by
those problems.
---------------------
                                                No.  597-88
                                                (202) 695-0192 (Info.)
                                                (202) 697-3189 (Copies)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE       December 6, 1988        (202) 697-5737
(Public/Industry)
        DARPA ESTABLISHES COMPUTER EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced today
that it has established a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) to
address computer security concerns of research users of the Internet,
which includes ARPANET.  The Coordination Center for the CERT is
located at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), Carnegie Mellon
University, Pittsburgh, PA.
In providing direct service to the Internet community, the CERT will
focus on the special needs of the research community and serve as a
prototype for similar operations in other computer communities.  The
National Computer Security Center and the National Institute of
Standards and Technology will have a leading role in coordinating the
creation of these emergency response activities.
The CERT is intended to respond to computer security threats such as
the recent self-replicating computer program ("computer virus") that
invaded many defense and research computers.
The CERT will assist the research network communities in responding to
emergency situations.  It will have the capability to rapidly
establish communications with experts working to solve the problems,
with the affected computer users and with government authorities as
appropriate.  Specific responses will be taken in accordance with
DARPA policies.
It will also serve as a focal point for the research community for
identification and repair of security vulnerabilities, informal
assessment of existing systems in the research community, improvement
to emergency response capability, and user security awareness.  An
important element of this function is the development of a network of
key points of contact, including technical experts, site managers,
government action officers, industry contacts, executive level
decision-makers and investigative agencies, where appropriate.
Because of the many network, computer, and systems architectures and
their associated vulnerabilities, no single organization can be
expected to maintain an in-house expertise to respond on its own to
computer security threats, particularly those that arise in the
research community.  As with biological viruses, the solutions must
come from an organized community response of experts.  The role of the
CERT Coordination Center at the SEI is to provide the supporting
mechanisms and to coordinate the activities of experts in DARPA and
associated communities.
The SEI has close ties to the Department of Defense, to defense and
commercial industry, and to the research community.  These ties place
the SEI in a unique position to provide coordination support to the
software experts in research laboratories and in industry who will be
responding in emergencies and to the communities of potentially
affected users.
The SEI is a federally-funded research and development center,
operating under DARPA sponsorship with the Air Force Systems Command
(Electronic Systems Division) serving as executive agent.  Its goal is
to accelerate the transition of software technology to defense
systems.  Computer security is primarily a software problem, and the
presence of CERT at the SEI will enhance the technology transfer
mission of the SEI in security-related areas.
                                        -END-

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:  DARPA ESTABLISHES CERT, 12/6/88
Q: Can you provide background on earlier break-ins?
A: On November 2, 1988, thousands of computers connected to
unclassified DoD computer networks were attacked by a virus.  Although
the virus did not damage or compromise data, it did have the effect of
denying service to thousands of computer users.  The computer science
research community associated with the Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency (DARPA), along with many other research laboratories
and military sites that use these networks, quickly responded to this
threat.  They developed mechanisms to eliminate the infection, to
block the spread of the self-replicating program, and to immunize
against further attack by similar viruses.  Software experts from the
University of California at Berkeley, with important contributions
from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other network
sites, rapidly analyzed the virus and developed immunization
techniques.  These same software experts also provided important
assistance in the more recent Internet intrusion of 27-28 November.
As the events unfolded, DARPA established an ad hoc operation center
to help coordinate the activities of software experts working around
the clock and to provide information to appropriate government
officials.  The operations center had three main tasks.  It
facilitated communications among the many groups affected, it ensured
that government organizations were promptly informed of developments,
and it provided initial technical analysis in DoD.  Although the
threat was contained quickly, a more maliciously designed virus could
have done serious damage.
The recent events serve as a warning that our necessarily increasing
reliance on computers and networks, while providing important new
capabilities, also creates new kinds of vulnerabilities.  The
Department of Defense considers this an important national issue that
is of major concern in both the defense and commercial sectors.  The
DoD is developing a technology and policy response that will help
reduce risk and provide an emergency reaction response.
Q: Who will be on the CERT?
A: The CERT will be a team of over 100 experts located throughout the
U.S.  whose expertise and knowledge will be called upon when needed.
When not being called upon, they will continue their normal daily
work.  As noted in the release, these experts will include: technical
experts, site managers, government action officers, industry contacts,
executive-level decision-makers and representatives from investigative
agencies.
recommendations that will be acted upon by DoD authorities.
Q: Is the CERT fully operational now?
A: We are in the very early stages of gathering people for the CERT.
We are first concentrating on collecting technical experts.  A staff
is in place at SEI, but details are still being worked out.
Q: Will there just be one CERT?
A: The intent is that each major computer community may decide to
establish its own CERT.  Each CERT will therefore serve only a
particular community and have a particular technical expertise.  (The
DARPA/SEI CERT will serve, for example, the research community and
have expertise in Berkeley-derived UNIX systems and other systems as
appropriate.)  The National Computer Security Center and the National
Institute of Standards and Technology will support the establishment
of the CERTs and coordinate among them.
Q: What are the special needs of the research community that their
CERT will serve?
A: The special challenge of the research community is improving the
level of computer security without inhibiting the innovation of
computer technology.  In addition, as is often DARPA's role, their
CERT will serve as a prototype to explore the CERT concept so that
other groups can learn and establish their own.
Q: Does the CERT Coordination Center have a press point of contact?
A: No.  Their function is to serve as a nerve center for the user
community.
.end
_______________________________________________________________________________
USA Today and the devil
-----------------------
     Many controversies have been made of the article printed in USA Today
after Operation Sun-Devil took it's toll.
     Phrack inc. tried to contact the author, and with no luck she wasn't
accepting phone calls.  Please remember, this is only a USA Today article --
C'mon, get real USAT.
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byline 'Debbie Howlett, USA Today' reads:
A network of computer hackers operating in 14 cities -- which bilked phone
companies of $50 million -- has been unplugged, police say.
"We're not talking about somebody who played Space Invaders too many
times," says Tim Holtzen, spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Phoenix.
The hackers -- the largest such ring discovered in the USA --broke into
phone company and bank computer systems to obtain account numbers and run
up an unknown total in debts, police say.
"The main thing is the life-threatening information these computer hackers
were trying to get into," says Richard Adams of the Secret Service.  "It
goes beyond being monetary to totally mischievous."
The ring was uncovered 18 months ago, when members tried and failed to
infiltrate computers at Barrows Neurological Institute in Phoenix.
They later tried to block incoming calls to the 911 emergency service in
Chicago.  The motivation?  "The primary reason is as kind of a malicious
hobby." says Gary Chapman of Computer Professionals for Social
Responsibility.  "People are interested in testing their skills against
security measures." But, Adams says, "I hate to minimize it by saying it
was just for kicks."
Police seized 40 computers and 23,000 disks during searches Tuesday in 14
cities, officials said Wednesday.  Five men, between the ages of 19 and 24,
have been arrested.
What's been uncovered so far, says Holtzen, may be "just the tip of the
iceberg."
                              [END OF STORY]
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