Cypherpunks response to viral stimuli

Eugen Leitl eugen at
Tue Feb 3 02:16:50 PST 2004

On Mon, Feb 02, 2004 at 05:23:02PM -0800, Bill Stewart wrote:

> Five or ten years ago, when the Feds were still pretending to be in
> control of crypto, crypto enthusiasts were still a threat - these days you
> can pick up VPN boxes at the grocery store, and if they still care about
> us, they're more likely to be interested in content and the identities of
> active posters than in the identity of lurkers.   They can observe a lot

I presume tracking down people who're actually concerned about security and
take some troubles to conceal their identity would be a good bootcamp for 
beginner TLAings. Iterated tiger teams interactions will inbreed, so they
need a source of novelty. But tracking down competent h4x0rs will be no doubt far
more challenging.

> just by looking, or they can announce a sale on tinfoil hats and see who
> responds, or ask a Stupid Newbie Question and see who flames them, or
> forge a message about Guns from a Usual Suspect and see who claims that
> theirs is bigger, or post about something tangential like how to stop spam
> (which has pretty much replaced libertarianism and censorship as the
> all-consuming discussion topic on the net.)

What's the point of busting a wannabee? Just to earn some tinfoil stars, to
make your organizational unit look good? Doesn't compute. No one got
bitchslapped but the AP fellow.

> Viruses and Web Bugs are less likely to be useful for detecting
> Cypherpunks (or Mac users, or Linux users) than for detecting the general
> public - to some  extent we may be smarter about that, or at least
> grumpier about HTML mail, plus some of the cpunks nodes filter out that
> sort of thing.  But perhaps they're exploiting that stack overflow bug in
> PGP 2.6.2 instead.

If you have advanced remote-diagnostic and remote-exploit capabilities, you
never let your hand show on an insignficant target. Even if you camouflage as
a h4x0r, penetrating a well-secured box is bound to raise some eyebrows (you
don't see a packet logger in passive mode).

No doubt such capabilities are reserved for cyberwar and industrial

P.S. Sorry about the MIME sig screwup. I forgot.

-- Eugen* Leitl <a href="">leitl</a>
ICBM: 48.07078, 11.61144  
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