Monkeywrenching in Cyberspace
Their technology makes them powerful, but it also makes them vulnerable!
“Techno-wizards have been hacking their way into the heart of the American military. The Pentagon confessed yesterday that joyriders have been using the Internet, which links computer systems worldwide, to look at new aircraft and ship design, simulated battle plans and correspondence. The raiders have taken over whole defence systems, and closed them down.
“Michael Higgins, of the Defence Information Systems Agency, said the break-ins are affecting the Defence Department’s military readiness. Hackers need only install a simple programme to snatch every password passing through the system, and store them for later use. Experts estimate that more than a million passwords have been stolen.”
Guardian, 22 July 1994
“An even more prevalent risk is the virus... according to the latest Dept. of Trade and Industry/NCC survey, 832 companies suffered 1,029 virus attacks in two years, at an estimated cost of £4,000 a time, (which sounds like an underestimate).
“One unfortunate outfit spent £100,000 wiping a virus off three servers and more than 200 PCs, after it had been spread by an infected antivirus disk...”
Computing Magazine, 19 May 1994
“The most graphic example of the huge amount of money that can be lost through ‘voice-mail squatters’ occurred recently in the US when a group of hackers broke into a corporate voice-mail box. The company's communication system, like many, allowed mail-box users to access outside telephone lines through an internal telephone exchange. Within a few hours, instructions on how to access the boxes had been distributed to at least 200 hackers who immediately began using the lines en masse, sending the company's telephone bill into the stratosphere. By the end of one weekend they had spent $1.4m (£933,000).”
Independent, 10. October 1994
“Contractors, consultants and other industry bodies are suffering mounting losses from a rising trend in organised crime.
“Recent victims include Wimpey [Pollock], Costain [Cardiff Bay], Blue Circle [many South West quarries], WS Atkins [M11], the Highways Agency and the British Roads Federation.
“When the British Roads Federation was broken into last year it took more than two months and a considerable improvement to the security of the organisation’s Old Kent Road premises before insurers stumped up the cash to replace stolen equipment. Now BRF staff remove hard disks every night to safeguard information.
“Another firm which has improved security after being raided is Costain. A company spokesperson described the thieves’ methods as dashing expensive equipment to the ground, removing the chips and leaving a trail of wreckage behind them.
“At Wimpey, thefts meant that computer staff had to work over the Sunday and Whitsun Bank Holiday Monday to replace damaged and stolen kit.”
Contract Journal, 8 June 1995
“Pry off access panels until you are looking in at rows of circuit boards. Turn the unit on, stand well back and toss salt water on the circuits from a water bottle - watch the circuits fry. Salt water is far more conductive of electricity than plain water, and also corrosive. Even after drying out, the salt will remain and continue to corrode circuit board copper and IC Pins whenever the humidity is high enough.”