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Perhaps this has been gone over before here, but Musings on the nature of Malware, and "security"


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#1 Djimbe

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 02:14 PM

Okay, First things first:
I have Autism. Im VERY Direct. BEING direct sometimes ruffles peoples feathers. TRUST me when i say Im not itting here angry about any of this , I just think that its a set of interesting Co-incidences , and what we the community online at large could do to stop/abate this trend. These things may not seem related to you, but to e they totally ahave to be...

And I type like bleep... Giant hands, NO Patience, and I oftentimes have the tendency to misspell words as to how they sound, even thouth I know better.

Okay, thing 1)
Why does it seem to me that the time I get Malware is only once a year, and always around early september? Could it have anything to do with all the new School Supplies being bought?

thing 2)
WHO HAS THE ENERGY to write all these programs? I mean, its not like you can SEE the person's computer being blown up and them getting mad or having to pay $$$ to fix the thing, right? I mean, its always put off to me that Malware/trojans/worms/viruses were always made by some angry teenager, but to what end? Where is the reward for all that coding? And wouldnt that sort of thing yeild Jailtime in many instances? Thats adverse to basica human nature right there, we arent programmed to do anything not in our direct self-interest.


Thing 3)
Wardriving/Network Hacking/etc...
The need for every wireless network to have a WPA on it is freaking rediculous. I mean arent the majority of routers limited to 8 inputs as it is, And if you have your 20 Gig/sec Cable Modem and your 300 router, there is NO FRIGGIN WAY youre even going to NOTICE some homeless guy snatching your Wifi to watch Crackle on his Cellphone at 1Mbps, hell you would notice someone playing Deathmatches at 54Mbps ... itd be like Pissing up a Waterfall.


Thing 3a)
"Security"
WHO THE HELL AM I PROTECTING MY PORN FROM???
I mean seriously, I DLed it all OFF the net in the firstplace ! Be honest, Is there ANYTHING that you have on a NETWORKED COMPUTER that is honestly SECRET??? Like Im not talking about ooh, I spank my maid when the wife isnt looking secret, i mean CHANGE THE WORLD secret? Do we REALLY need 256bit encryption keys 64 charachtes long? I understand if you work for the DOD or some crap, but somehow we have all been sold this Idea that SOMEONE (*dun duh DUHHHHNNNNN* >_> <_< >_> ) Wants YOUR DATA, and they WONT be stopped, they CANT be stopped, not wtithout MacApee's newest ... blahblahblahohmyghodstoptalkingnowbeforeishootmyselfintheheadkthxbye. Again, NOBODY Thhat wants my Porn, or Cute pics of my neices and nephews, or that show that I played that one time with that one guy, or that Picture I got with that famous such and so cant find ALL of that crap on FaceSpace or MyBook Or PornTube already.

And Im not talking about the RIGHT to privacy here, You want to hide the fact that you Torrented all the Seasons of Red Dwarf, Lexx Farscape and Babylon5 from the Fibbies then you should have the RIGHT to pay for security. Im just saying that if you look at the above things all together then you start to see a rather insidious pattern...

Or perhaps its just me?

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#2 groovicus

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 02:37 PM

I have to approve this topic. It has the proper mix of porn, maid spanking,and Red Dwarf. Also, there are a few misconceptions that I think are worth clearing up.

Like for instance, malware has no real season. I usually noticed an uptick of people infected around the holidays. I just assumed that it was due to people spending more time online due to xmas shopping and such. It also isn't unusual to me that you detect an uptick in September. It could be nothing more than a consequence of children suddenly responsible for their own browsing habits, and no clue how to do it safely.

Also, while you may not notice someone's cell phone using some bandwidth, you might notice federal agents kicking in your door because someone using your IP address tried to buy explosives, child porn, etc. True, in time you may be able to prove that it wasn't you, but in the man time you have a broken down door, and I would imagine some large measure of inconvenience.

There are very, very few malicious 'viruses' out there any more. I mean the ones that erase your hard drive, etc., mainly because there is no way to profit from a dead computer. If I can control your computer, I can do with it what I want, including using it to send out other malware. I could even place copies of it on your hard drive so that it looks like you are the one doing it. Meanwhile, I can rent out time on your computer and profit. If I have 100,000 similarly compromised systems, then I have a bot net that can be used to dos other sites, or do mass spam mailings.

#3 myrti

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 03:32 PM

Hi,

Let me also add a few words:

1) It may be coincidence, it may be social engineering. If there are events that are likely to affect many people, malware authors will try to exploit this and fool you into installing their malware. Right now, for example, spam is being sent out which relates to the Hurricane Sandy with titles like Sandy Got you down? We've got you covered! (Link goes to a sophos blog post about the spam).
They will do anything to increase the number of hits. For that they will exploit also use xmas/valentin's day/school start themed topics, to fake a degree of intimacy with you they don't really have. You may wonder why they want more hits. This leads us to your second question.

2) There is one big misconception here, namely that malware writer don't make money out of this. They do. They make lots and lots and lots of money. So much money it blows your mind. See for example this news item here at BC from a while ago: Hacker Makes $600,000 From Fake Android Apps and that's small change compared to what some of the big organized malware rings make: ZA making over $100,000 a day. There is money in this, a LOT of money and that's why people are slaving over this. They want to get rich quickly.
There are also many many many different ways on making mony out of a botnet. For example you can simply rent it out, you can use it to click on ads and thereby get paid for traffic, you can take the PC ransom and demand 100/200$ to unlock the machine, you can trick the user into installing a phony payable security program. You can steal and use credit card information. You can steal and sell personal information. There is no end to what you can do to make money once you have access to another person's PC. You can even go ahead and infect others from that PC. A summary was recently released by sophos here: click. They go through most of the different possibilities to make money and quickly explain how they work.
Money motivates a lot of people and you get a lot of money, if you do this.

Getting to your question 3, I don't know how it is in your country, but in my country I can be held accountable for anything done through my internet connection unless I can prove that it was someone else doing this. It will be very hard for you or me to identify the guy with his cellphone passing by later on should he have been DDOS'ing websites, downloading illegal material or infecting other users.
In addition, your router serves as your first line of defense, it also acts as a firewall blocking a lot of malicious traffic from the internet trying to infect you. Inviting anybody in weakens your security and may lead to you getting infected.
However you will be pleased to hear that there are ISPs making use of this "wasted" bandwidth. Effectively the french ISP FREE announced earlier this year that everybody having a fixed land line with FREE would automatically allow mobile users of FREE to use wifi for free. The wifi offered through the customers is called FreeWifi and is separate from the persons own network, so that you don't need to worry about security being compromised.
I think this is pretty much the perfect solution. You're not going to be liable for whatever that person does, while allowing them to access WiFi for free at the same time. Of course, this isn't your decision, it's your ISP's.

Getting to 3a, there are things on my PC that I would not want to see in public. Anybody stealing those and threatening to publish those on photobucket or youtube would have a hold over me. So I take my security seriously. But that's not all of it, you may have the access to you itunes account where your credit card info is stored on your PC or maybe your paypal credentials. If you have ever had to interact with official agencies, your social security data, your passport number, your full name and birth day may be stored on that PC. Heck, some people have even sent their credit card info to others by mail and anybody with access can then read that... Even if you don't have any of this, you may have your login info for MSN/Facebook and the emails of your friends stored on the PC. That's an invitation for the hacker to spread out and enlarge his botnet. Do you really want to be the reason that your friends got infected and their credit card info/etc stolen? Do you really want to put even more money into those scumbag's pockets by allowing them to infect you and stay infected over a long period of time?

regards myrti

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#4 Djimbe

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 04:04 PM

I guess it all comes down to how we view and use the webternet. I dont save anythign (personal information wise ... I mean your social?> Really?) on my computer, and i have an algorythym that i use for passwording that i can do in my head so its easy to never use the same one twice. And like my momma told me , never do anything i wouldnt tell her about.

But at the end of the day we shouldnt be Charged for what is , in the states at least , a FREE nfrastructure that our Tax dollars already payed for, and dearly each month. Wireless signal should be ubiquitous and the fact is that the end user would not need to have his device hacked to upline to the network.

And as for paying someone $200 to "unlock" mt Box? Youre friggin kidding me. Thats what External HDDs are for. I can go to Walmart and get a brand new box thats as good as the one that I bought 6mos ago for $350 . Its Rediculous. Its al about Attatchments and Expectations. Anything you seriously want to keep you need to keep on an external HDD, and only connect it to Back it up or when not connected to a network.

And giving people more jailtime than child molesters for DDOS attacks?? Thats another topic in its entirety.

There are too many "Crimes" on the books , and too much Punishment for all of them. The concept of taking someones life/liberty from them for communicating still boggles my mind. No matter WHAT it is they chose to communicate and to whom. (yes even a DDOS atack)

#5 the_patriot11

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 05:28 PM

Im sorry, but a DDOS attack, isnt communicating, not in the least bit, its infringing on other peoples rights and security. Whats on my computer, is mine-I paid for that computer, I worked hard for it, and what I choose to put on it, is my business, and my business alone-to call someone trying to hack it, or hitting it with a DDOS attack, as someone who is just "communicating?" well, thats just plain wrong. What your saying, is its ok for them to attack with the intent of damaging my personal property, my freedom and liberty to have my computer and my data on it, and use that for their gain, and its wrong to punish them for it? Im sorry, but no, it doesn't work that way. I will hide behind my routers and firewalls, and anyone hacking my system is welcome to a free ticket to jail.

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#6 Djimbe

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:15 PM

I think that people having such sttements have no Idea what it is like to BE imprisoned. I work in so-called Correctional Institutions all over the country and A denial of service is basically just like being shouted down in a bar. It does NOT actually HURT you , and cannot be compared to Rape or bodily mutilation , and should not even carry anything REMOTELY compensatory as a sentance. You talk about Privelages like tey are rights and someonbe costing you money like they have hurt you. the two things are completely different, and its what Civil maters are for. Im not saying that you shouldnt be compensated for your loss, but the two things dont reach the same water margin.

#7 the_patriot11

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:36 PM

oh, you get m. e wrong. Ive worked in corrections off and on, and Im sorry, I know its rough, but if we let the criminals out of the jail, then the outside world will get just as rough. If you dont want to go to jail, then dont break the law Im sorry if you dont think criminals ought to go to jail-but if you ask me, thats where they belong, instead of infringing on my rights. If you infringe on my rights, then your rights are forfeight, and you should accept the consequences. That is what is wrong with this world-people think they can do whatever they want, without consequences.

You say you think its wrong for a hacker to go to jail. Well, what about that persons identity he stole? A guy hacks somebody else, and makes a lot of money on it, you think he should go free? but what about the guy he hacked. What if its a single parent, trying to raise two kids, and now is losing the house because their credit just went straight down the tubes, and is facing living on the streets. You think, that its better for that single mom to be forced onto the streets with her two young kids, just so that "hacker" doesnt have to go to jail, that all he should get is a "denial of service?" Im sorry, but in todays world, thats not even a slap on the wrist-they will find another way online to hack. They need to suffer the consequences for what they did-if you let them off the hook, then WE have to suffer the consequences for what they did. How is that fair to the hackers victims? while that hacker gets a slap on the wrist, his victim is at best, paying hundreds of dollars that they may not have to get their computer working again-at worse, could have their credit ruined and lose house and home. If they dont want to go to jail, then they should follow the rules-like everyone else, and to say otherwise shows a flawed view of justice, and thats all I have to say on the matter.

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#8 groovicus

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 05:11 AM

"A denial of service is basically just like being shouted down in a bar"

And robbing a bank is basically a financial transaction.

Let's suppose for a moment that you own a grocery store. One day I decide that I am not going to let anyone in your business, so for a week I prevent anyone from entering your store, and for a week you are unable to sell anything. You have 'stolen' my ability to earn a living, and yes, you would be guilty of a crime. If someone DOSes my website, on which I depend for my livelihood, then they have committed a crime.

"The concept of taking someones life/liberty from them for communicating still boggles my mind."

The other day I saw a guy walk up and punch another guy in the face. Perhaps all he was doing was communicating his displeasure with the person he hit. Is it OK to run someone off of the road in order that I communicate my displeasure in being cut off? My neighbor stole all of the money from the church offering; maybe he was just communicating his disdain for organized religion.

And finally:
in the states at least , a FREE nfrastructure that our Tax dollars already payed for
Which by definition makes it not free.

Edited by groovicus, 06 November 2012 - 05:12 AM.


#9 Djimbe

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:39 AM


"A denial of service is basically just like being shouted down in a bar"

And robbing a bank is basically a financial transaction.


Well that is what they call it when they rob YOU , so I am unable to find fault with that statement quite honestly...



Let's suppose for a moment that you own a grocery store. One day I decide that I am not going to let anyone in your business, so for a week I prevent anyone from entering your store, and for a week you are unable to sell anything. You have 'stolen' my ability to earn a living, and yes, you would be guilty of a crime. If someone DOSes my website, on which I depend for my livelihood, then they have committed a crime.


I have damaged your ability to function, and once again, I Believe that you may be entitled to some Recompense. But honestly FAR greater financial robberies go on every day in the form of Ponzie (sp?) schemes and the lending scandal and the like and people do FAR less time, if ANY, and the fact is that, taking the classic case of the Scientologists They had done the EXACT same thing in effect, just through more traditional means.

The fact is that the "CRIMILAAALS GOES TOO DE JAYLZ!!" mentality is FAR outstretched and Idiotic. MOST people are incarcerated for Victimless crimes (drig possession/transactions - and please dont bother to go into how "awful drugs are" when its been proven COUNTLESS times that its not Drugs that cause societal woes - its CLEARLY the PROHIBITION thats the issue. NTM the fact that the worst drug BY FAR is the only legal one on the market 9alcohol), outstripping the dngers of all Illegal narcotics combined.) and the prison industrial complex has created FAR more societal damage than it solves , and its deateable that it solves ANY. Its a childish, overly costly, Barbaric, and archaic system that should only be reserved for the most heinous and unresolveable of situations.

If we spent 1/10th of the money and effort that we spend on Punitive aggression tward Social engineering over the last 200 years alone wed already be damned near a utopian society by now. But instead of actually solving problems, and take away the NEED to transgress against our fellow men , and the REASONS for said transgressions, we make more and more stupid and useless rules, then throw people away like disposeable chord wood when they break them

"The concept of taking someones life/liberty from them for communicating still boggles my mind."

The other day I saw a guy walk up and punch another guy in the face. Perhaps all he was doing was communicating his displeasure with the person he hit.


okay, once again,NOT something that should be solved by taking away a person's life and/or liveley hood. I know weve grown into a culture of nannering sissies, but ive been sluggesd more than once (Im a musician and in a LOT of bars), and I never thought "THIS PERSON SHOULD BE IMPRISONED!!!!" like some punk. Even when they were DEAD wrong. Its REALLY NOT THAT SERIOUS unless someone throws down a Life-threatening beating of Overwhelming Force. A single shot, or shooting the fair one? (a fistfight) No, Incarceraton is one of the most VILE , RAPEY things that can happen to a person. And frankly in many instances Rape HAPPENS to an incarcerated individual. Only the most heinous of acts should involve Real Jail time, and the Exclusion in outer society that the onus of felony records bring with it.


Is it OK to run someone off of the road in order that I communicate my displeasure in being cut off?


Well, my honest response would depend on how endangered you were and how reckless they were being. In some instnces its EXACTLY what the person deserves. I mean , isnt it wat they just ut you in danger of? Why wouldnt they deserve the same?


My neighbor stole all of the money from the church offering; maybe he was just communicating his disdain for organized religion.

Well , frankly the Church only beat him to stealing that money, so... (yes im being sarcie) but once agin, NOIT somethiing that rises to the level that would justify the way we deal with EVERY offence. Appropriate punishments would be Restitution, Being forcesd to work for the church, tend the Soupline, whatever. Bt no, We profit from prisons, so fill them we shall.


in the states at least , a FREE nfrastructure that our Tax dollars already payed for
Which by definition makes it not free.

Free to them, in the sense that they did not outlay the cost of the network. Pardon my rushing my ride had arrived and was waiting for me.

#10 Djimbe

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 09:40 AM


oh, you get m. e wrong. Ive worked in corrections off and on, and Im sorry, I know its rough, but if we let the criminals out of the jail, then the outside world will get just as rough. If you dont want to go to jail, then dont break the law Im sorry if you dont think criminals ought to go to jail-but if you ask me, thats where they belong, instead of infringing on my rights. If you infringe on my rights, then your rights are forfeight, and you should accept the consequences. That is what is wrong with this world-people think they can do whatever they want, without consequences.


Wow. See, thats the crap of it right there. MOST persons (Over 70%) are in jail for two reasons.

1)Doing or trafficking in drugs (neither of wich violated YOU in ANY way despite what some politicians may have you believe.):

Drugs dont cost ANYTHING. Heroin, Coke, Mushrooms. LSD... All Items you can grow in/at your house for less than $100 Investment for a LIFETIME of any habit. What makes them Valuable , and thus worth stealing and killing and roggong and raping for, is the PROHIBITION on them! People always whine like anyone that WANTS crack isnt already getting it (trust me they are) and like Crackheads are somehow already contributing members of society, but if we made Crack legal then WERE ALL DOOMED!!!! Thats dumb. And frankly, guy wants to be strung out take his Job. Darwinism at its finest. Personally, Im Straightedge, I dont "get" the whole drug thing. But its not my place to play god and say what another citizen can do with their body. that includes Religion, Intellectualism, Ideology, Sexual orientation, plastic surgery... whatever.

And before you run to me with the whole inevitable "Social Cost"/"Social Welfare" argument... :
It costs 65,000 per year to house an Inmate.
It costs $34,000 to make a Habitat for humanity home


Funny because most crimes are committed to pay the lagest expense in life.
The rent.

There are 18.6 MILLION vacant houses in the us. But we have the False Scarcity act down so pat that we still have it so people can probably not affoard to buy one in their lifetimes if theyre graduating highscool now. That wasnt the case in the 50s



or 2)for doing something to pay the rent:
And USUALLY these things relate to the above in some way, though not always. But even when they do not, Its ALWAYS the poor, colored and disinfranchised that end up in this position. Capaitalism is DESIGNED to be an unwinable game for the poor, and ALL money trickles uphill. MOST full time jobs dont make ends meet any more. and its just going to get worse. And letws face it , everyone CANT be "the talented one" or "the brainy one" that "Make it good" from the ghetto. No matter how hard they try, the fact is RUN DMC said it in "Its like that" DECADES ago, and things have gotten FAR worse now...

Unemployment at a record highs
People coming, people going, people born to die
Don't ask me, because I don't know why
But it's like that, and that's the way it is

[D.M.C.]
People in the world tryin to make ends meet
You try to ride car, train, bus, or feet
I said you got to work hard, you want to compete
It's like that, and that's the way it is
Huh!

[Run &amp; D.M.C. alternate lines for the remainder of the song]
Money is the key to end all your woes
Your ups, your downs, your highs and your lows
Won't you tell me the last time that love bought you clothes?
It's like that, and that's the way it is

Bills rise higher every day
We receive much lower pay
I'd rather stay young, go out and play
It's like that, and that's the way it is
Huh!

Wars going on across the sea
Street soldiers killing the elderly
Whatever happened to unity?
It's like that, and that's the way it is

Disillusion is the word
That's used by me when I'm not heard
I just go through life with my glasses blurred
It's like that, and that's the way it is
Huh!

You can see a lot in this lifespan
Like a bum eating out of a garbage can
You noticed one time he was your man
It's like that (what?) and that's the way it is

You should have gone to school, you could've learned a trade
But you laid in the bed where the bums have laid
Now all the time you're crying that you're underpaid
It's like that (what?) and that's the way it is
You know its like that and thats the way it is
Because it's like that and thats the way it is


The last part of this is so sad because I know ppl that HAVE gone to school, HAVE learned a trade, and theres just NOTHING out there for them . BUT selling drugs. If they made that legal there would just be some Crime & Punishment style Jean ValJean type stuff. Imprisonment over loaves of bread. Its were were heading.


You say you think its wrong for a hacker to go to jail.

No, I did not, I said that about a person launching a DDOS attack on an Offensive corporate entity. The classic example, again , being the case of scientology I also said that the fact that someone could get more time than a Rapist or a child molester is rediculous. "Hacking" isnt as specific a term as, say "Raping"
or "Stabbing".

Well, what about that persons identity he stole? A guy hacks somebody else, and makes a lot of money on it, you think he should go free? but what about the guy he hacked. What if its a single parent, trying to raise two kids, and now is losing the house because their credit just went straight down the tubes, and is facing living on the streets. You think, that its better for that single mom to be forced onto the streets with her two young kids,

Identity theft and Hacking are two seperate crimes wich CAN go together but do not need to per say. And obviously the more damage done the more severe the punishment should be, MOST hackers are NOT identity theives, or farankly thieves of any kind. Wardriving is Hacking , and no one goes Hungry or bankrupt when it happens... Yet its still an Imprisonable Offense.

just so that "hacker" doesnt have to go to jail, that all he should get is a "denial of service?" Im sorry, but in todays world, thats not even a slap on the wrist-they will find another way online to hack.

Dude , you need to re-read my post. Im my postulation DDOS WAS the "hacking offense" in question. Not the consequense FOR the crime , the crime itself.

They need to suffer the consequences for what they did-if you let them off the hook, then WE have to suffer the consequences for what they did. How is that fair to the hackers victims? while that hacker gets a slap on the wrist, his victim is at best, paying hundreds of dollars that they may not have to get their computer working again-at worse, could have their credit ruined and lose house and home. If they dont want to go to jail, then they should follow the rules-like everyone else, and to say otherwise shows a flawed view of justice, and thats all I have to say on the matter.


Man , its like youre making my argument FOR me. Hows he going to replace that $ from jail?, How is the person going to fix what they have undone? the family STILL has to live with the weckage. We just make people feel better because weve given them "vengance" on their transgressor. the fact is that if you took away the NEED to do such things they would stop happening. And if you saw the numbers on imprisonment as a deterrent to crime you would just plotz. It dosent work. It doesnt scare anyone. Not even from recitivism. All it sdoes is create a University for hardening better, badder criminals. Lock someone up for ten years, brand them for life with a scarlet "F" on their record, and when you let them out their only options will be to commit ANOTHER crime just to feed themselves. And then you have another family(or 100) s lives ruined.

#11 Andrew

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 07:19 PM

Each of us are entitled to act as we see fit and according only to our own whims. We voluntarily forgo this, however, and live in complex social groupings which demand as a condition of membership the adherence to certain rules and acceptance of the group's authority to punish infractions.

I have experienced imprisonment first-hand, and I still believe that people who use the benefits of society to harm others are rightly expelled from that society. Commonly, this means imprisonment. In other cases, execution. In ancient Rome, a citizen could be exiled for 10 years on pain of death by a simple vote. Why? Because that's what society made law.

Attacks over the Internet are no different in social character than attacks upon any other property, and are condemned by our society. This condemnation stems from the strong Western notion of Personal Property: that people have the right to exclusively posses, use, and enjoy that which they hold title (right of ownership) to. Defacing or DoS'ing a website deprives the owner of that website the use of their property, may directly impact their income, and exhausts resources belonging to the owner without their consent.

Certainly, these sorts of crimes do not approach the level of severity that rape, murder, assault, robbery, etc. do. Defacement and DoS, generally, ought to be regarded in the same vein as graffiti.

As has been, stated, however, malware is far from petty vandalism. Modern malware supports, and is supported by, organized criminal syndicates. These malicious programs are not the simple and destructive worms and viruses of the '80s and '90s. Today, malware tries to stay hidden, and is rarely used as a prank. Common practices among malware these days include fraud, extortion, and blackmail; these criminals are after money and have no qualms with harming others to get it. Malware has even become weaponized by state actors to cause real-world physical damage.

Do we have too many laws in the USA? Perhaps. Do we imprison far too many of our own citizens? Definitely. And I agree that the practice of "branding for life" creates a situation where ex-cons are left few legitimate avenues to make a living, and so wind up back in jail. It's a broken system. But it's better than nothing and it's not immutable.

#12 the_patriot11

the_patriot11

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:17 PM

I will say this, anyone who things anything to do with drugs is a victimless crime, is obviously nieve-drugs hurt people to. You just lost all credibility in my mind with that statement-if your willing to let criminals, whether it be a drug dealer, or a hacker, hurt others, with no punishment, then you have no real idea of what justice is.

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