"The root of the matter stems from people wanting to conduct business and commerce in a secure fashion when the foundation they want to do this on was never intended to be a secure commerce setting"
<Kitetoa> You said you could bring down the net in half an hour or so. That (and some other reasons) took you to the Senate where you've been asked about the real threats of infowar. Can you let us know what's your opinion today on those topics? I mean, is it still possible to bring the net down? And do you think people could really start some infowar that could have some mportant impact on -for example- the economy of a country?
<Dr Mudge> The problems are still there. They will always be there. The root of the matter stems from people wanting to conduct business and commerce in a secure fashion when the foundation they want to do this on was never intended to be a secure commerce setting.
<Kitetoa> There is a big a discussion about script kiddies and traditional hackers that is going on for months now. Don't you think script kiddies, later, become traditional hackers? I mean everybody's starting somewhere.
<Dr Mudge> That statement is akin to claiming that all people that engage in graffiti become artists, or all people who smoke marijuana will eventually become crack-addicts. Sure there are some "script-kiddies", as you put it, that will become traditional hackers - but many of them are not in it to understand how things work. In otherwords there are more consumers than creaters - and this does not just hold true for script-kids.
<Kitetoa> Anyway, do you think that governments [thinking back to MilW0rm and the indian nuclear research center or to the Pentagone story] should fear these kids? Can they really get to sensitive information from a public internet web or mail server. And if so, what could they do with it that could be a real threat to those govs?
<Dr Mudge> Legally the government is not allowed to connect classified systems to un-classified networks. This does not mean that it never happens by accident, but the public machines that have been hit in the past have largely had nothing to do with classified data.
<Kitetoa> Did you notice that the american government is being more and more tough with young kids that hacked some web servers. Looks like if the government wanted to set some "examples" for the young people out there like "don't be a hacker or you'll end in court". I feel there have been more and more kids arrested recently. [in my mind this is not the better way to protect the public and/or private networks]
<Dr Mudge> Nope - haven't noticed. If you have actual examples where they have succesfully prossecuted please forward them on. As it is, it seems that very few are actually prosecuted, let alone succesfully.
<Kitetoa> Do you think America should have a law so that personal and private information could not be made public. There is such a law in France. In a way, having such a law goes against the idea of information beeing free. [There has been in France a famous court case about a newspaper publishing the amount that a CEO in a very large corporation here paid to the IRS. You could then guess the amount he made in a year. He's been quite upset and sued the newspaper.]
<Dr Mudge> Unknown. Stating Yay or Nay here would be premature as both aspects have points which would need to be honed. There is a notion in the states that one has a right to privacy and yes, it needs to be honored. There is also the right to be involved with events that involve / affect the individual (ie one is afforded the right to proper representation). It boils down to who argues about exactly 'what' and 'how much' something needs to affect the individual before they have a right to know the information about the situation at hand.
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