Hackers: Information Warefare


Geoff Stafford
Dr. Clark
PHL 233

The Popularity Of The Internet Has Hrown Immeasurably In The Past Few Years.
Along with it the so-called "hacker" community has grown and risen to a level
where it\'s less of a black market scenario and more of "A Current Affair"
scenario. Misconceptions as to what a hacker is and does run rampant in
everyone who thinks they understand what the Internet is after using it a few
times. In the next few pages I\'m going to do my best to prove the true
definition of what a hacker is, how global economic electronic warfare ties into
it, background on the Internet, along with a plethora of scatological material
purely for your reading enjoyment. I will attempt to use the least technical
computer terms I can, but in order to make my point at times I have no choice.

There are many misconceptions, as to the definition, of what a hacker truly is,
in all my research this is the best definition I\'ve found: Pretend your walking
down the street, the same street you have always walked down. One day, you see
a big wooden or metal box with wires coming out of it sitting on the sidewalk
where there had been none.

Many people won\'t even notice. Others might say, "Oh, a box on the street.". A
few might wonder what it does and then move on. The hacker, the true hacker,
will see the box, stop, examine it, wonder about it, and spend mental time
trying to figure it out. Given the proper circumstances, he might come back
later to look closely at the wiring, or even be so bold as to open the box. Not
maliciously, just out of curiosity. The hacker wants to know how things
work.(8)

Hackers truly are "America\'s Most Valuable Resource,"(4:264) as ex-CIA Robert
Steele has said. But if we don\'t stop screwing over our own countrymen, we will
never be looked at as anything more than common gutter trash. Hacking computers
for the sole purpose of collecting systems like space-age baseball cards is
stupid and pointless; and can only lead to a quick trip up the river.

Let\'s say that everyone was given an opportunity to hack without any worry of
prosecution with free access to a safe system to hack from, with the only catch
being that you could not hack certain systems. Military, government, financial,
commercial and university systems would all still be fair game. Every operating
system, every application, every network type all open to your curious minds.

Would this be a good alternative? Could you follow a few simple guidelines for
the offer of virtually unlimited hacking with no worry of governmental
interference?

Where am I going with this?

Right now we are at war. You may not realize it, but we all feel the
implications of this war, because it\'s a war with no allies, and enormous stakes.
It\'s a war of economics.

The very countries that shake our hands over the conference tables of NATO and
the United Nations are picking our pockets. Whether it be the blatant theft of
American R&D by Japanese firms, or the clandestine and governmentally-sanctioned
bugging of Air France first-class seating, or the cloak-and-dagger hacking of
the SWIFT network (1:24) by the German BND\'s Project Rahab(1:24), America is
getting screwed.

Every country on the planet is coming at us. Let\'s face it, we are the leaders
in everything. Period. Every important discovery in this century has been by
an American or by an American company. Certainly other countries have better
profited by our discoveries, but nonetheless, we are the world\'s think-tank.

So, is it fair that we keep getting shafted by these so-called "allies?". Is it
fair that we sit idly by, like some old hound too lazy to scratch at the ticks
sucking out our life\'s blood by the gallon? Hell no.

Let\'s say that an enterprising group of computer hackers decided to strike back.
Using equipment bought legally, using network connections obtained and paid for
legally, and making sure that all usage was tracked and paid for, this same
group began a systematic attack of foreign computers. Then, upon having gained
access, gave any and all information obtained to American corporations and the
Federal government.

What laws would be broken? Federal Computer Crime Statutes specifically target
so-called "Federal Interest Computers."(6:133) (i.e.: banks, telecommunications,
military, etc.) Since these attacks would involve foreign systems, those
statutes would not apply. If all calls and network connections were promptly
paid for, no toll-fraud or other communications related laws would apply.

International law is so muddled that the chances