t byfield on Mon, 19 Apr 1999 09:20:23 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Risks Digest 20.31 [excerpts]

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----- Forwarded 

Date: Sun, 18 Apr 1999 20:10:04 -0700 (PDT)
From: risks@csl.sri.com
To: risks@csl.sri.com
Subject: Risks Digest 20.31

RISKS-LIST: Risks-Forum Digest  Sunday 18 April 1999  Volume 20 : Issue 31

   ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy, Peter G. Neumann, moderator

***** See last item for further information, disclaimers, caveats, etc. *****
This issue is archived at <URL:http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/20.31.html>
and at ftp.sri.com/risks/ .

BART ghost train snarls morning commute (PGN)
EMI from USS Carl Vinson opens garage doors in Hobart (Norbert Thumb)
ASerbic cyberattacks and counterattacks (PGN)
Fake ATM front panel copies cards and PINs (Ulf Lindqvist)
Overzealous applications (Ian Cargill)
Outlook '98 not Y4.501K Compatible (Eric Zago)
favicon.ico (Robert David Graham)
Leap year 2000 and C (Mark Brader)
Risks of April foolery (Pete Mellor)
GUIDs and Melissa (Robert David Graham)
Phone company says keep your PIN on your calling card (David Graf)
Re: Mainframe viruses (Julian Thomas)
E-mail and communications history (Dennis Ritchie)
REVIEW: "Hacker Proof", Lars Klander (Rob Slade)
Abridged info on RISKS (comp.risks)



Date: Sat, 17 Apr 1999 23:37:50 +0200
From: Norbert Thumb <thumb@ict.tuwien.ac.at>
Subject: EMI from USS Carl Vinson opens garage doors in Hobart

As the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson approached port in Hobart,
Australia, last week, its communications at 310-320 MHz jammed most
garage-door openers within 6 miles.  (The same thing happened on the
Vinson's previous visit.  Most garage doors have manual overrides.)  The EMI
also immobilized the "shielded" car security system of a resident near the
docks, whose car could not be started -- no manual backup there.  [Source:
US Navy Closes Doors Down Under, by Stewart Taggart, 16 Apr 1999,
Anonymously contributed to cypherpunks; PGN-ed]

Dipl.Ing. Norbert Thumb, Institut f.Computertechnik, Vienna University of 
Technology; Austria  +43/1/58801-3704 thumb@ict.tuwien.ac.at


Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 10:34:44 +0000
From: "Peter G. Neumann" <neumann@csl.sri.com>
Subject: ASerbic cyberattacks and counterattacks

NATO announced that its Web server in Brussels had been under a
PING-of-death (Packet INternet Groper) attack from somewhere within Serbia.
John Pike labeled it "a textbook example that will be cited from now on as a
low-cost, high-value attack."  [Source: Serbia launches cyberattack on NATO,
*Federal Computer Week*, 31 Mar 1999, by Daniel Verton (dan_verton@fcw.com);
PGN-ed] The ease with which such attacks and other denials of service can be
perpetrated is one more reminder of the general flakiness of our information
infrastructures, but then RISKS readers are probably the last to be

In a spy-vs-spy-style retaliation, various Internet denizens sent half a
million e-mail bombs to www.gov.yu, the main Yugoslav Web site, before it
shut down on 3 Apr 1999.  There were also reports *The Boston Globe* of a
U.S. group called Team Spl0it and European and Albanian penetrators changing
Web sites.  On the other hand, there are also reports of Russian hackers
going after U.S. Navy Web sites.  [Source: E-Strikes and Cyber-Sabotage:
Civilian Hackers Go Online to Fight.  15 Apr 1999, by Patrick Riley,
http://www.foxnews.com/stage11.sml; PGN-ed from a cypherpunks item courtesy
of Dave Farber <farber@cis.upenn.edu>] 

Riley cited some concerns that vigilante hacktivism might be misinterpreted
as sanctioned government action.  On the other hand, given the existing
system and network flakiness, there might also be concern that what might
seem to be vigilante hacktivism might actually be government sponsored!
Perhaps future wars will be fought by our-hackers-vs-their-hackers in purely
electronic warfare.  It would save a lot in armaments, and would inspire
greater system robustness that otherwise seems impossible to attain!


Date: Sat, 17 Apr 1999 23:43:24 +0100 (BST)
From: Pete Mellor <pm@csr.city.ac.uk>
Subject: Risks of April foolery 

This is not really computer related, but have a laugh! 

Having had experience of two computer April 1st jokes that were 
taken seriously, I was amused to hear an item on the "Today" 
programme on BBC Radio 4 on the morning of April the 1st. 
This concerned a new Euro-anthem which would replace all of the 
European national anthems. It had been written in German and was sung 
(very well) by a choir from a German school in London. The tune was 
the "Ode to Joy" theme from Beethoven's 9th. 

The following day, the newsreaders came clean. Yes, it was a joke 
(although the EU gets up to such daft stuff that the listeners could 
have been forgiven for believing it). 

One particularly eminent listener was apparently impressed by it. 
The programme received a request for further information from 
Buckingham Palace, allegedly originating from Prince Charles' staff! 

Pete Mellor, Centre for Software Reliability, City University, London 



Date: Fri, 2 Apr 1999 01:18:09 -0500
From: dmr@plan9.bell-labs.com
Subject: E-mail and communications history (Re: RISKS-25,28)

The recently published "The Victorian Internet" by Standage (Walker, 1998)
is not technically deep but has interesting parts, and in particular does
discuss the fraternity of telegraphers (earliest chat groups?) and has some
discussion of security issues that arose even in the 1800s.  No computers
involved, but some of today's issues arose then.

The older "The Early History of Data Networks" by Holzmann and Pehrson (IEEE
Computer Society Press, 1995) is more scholarly and includes much more of
the earlier history, in particular about the remarkable story of the optical
telegraph networks that developed in Europe during the early 19th century.
Link-layer protocols and encoding were important even in 1800.  Disclaimer:
Holzmann is a close colleague, so this is a plug. Anti-disclaimer: the
on-line booksellers differ about its availability.

Dennis Ritchie



Date: 23 Sep 1998 (LAST-MODIFIED)
From: RISKS-request@csl.sri.com
Subject: Abridged info on RISKS (comp.risks)

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End of RISKS-FORUM Digest 20.31 

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