Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cyber Space -Virtual Playground of the Gods


For over 15 years I have been writing about the potential of the Internet to bring good or evil to our world.  No doubt there are countless functions the cyber space universe can supply for the good of mankind.
Scientific and medical research both benefit from it with the ability to share data and speed up the processing of information.  It has been instrumental in the evolution of capitalism by dramatically changing the way people do business and get information.
Book publishers have been decimated by the Internet impact on book sales with e-books now able to instantly deliver books to your home or office at far less cost than you going to the nearest book store and fighting the crowds.
In music new artists abound on the Internet free of the shackles of the music publishers, the control of the producers and with the elimination of bribes paid to radio stations to only put certain artists in their playlist who are under contract to powerful record labels.
Both the fields of book and music publishing are in serious trouble, but maybe they earned it by trying to spoon feed the public certain authors and artists while refusing to take any risk on new artists in need of help thus strangling the heart and soul of American music, it's essential creative energy and powerful will to take risks and push the envelope.
The digital revolution is also extending it's tentacles into the movie and television business and once again is serving as an instigator of long overdue change to yet another industry that was growing irrelevant with it's risk aversion and obsession of control of artists, scripts and productions.
Thanks to our virtual world on the Internet books, records and movies are now available to us from old and new artists, every day there are new productions that actually have meaningful stories, coherent lyrics and happy endings that can have a lot of impact on the quality of life and attitude of people.
Of course in their last gasps of life the old guard are dumping junk on the market still using their worn out formulas of success to avoid risk, in other words, a propensity to simply copy the last successful movie and flood the market with multiple sequels is failing them at last.  With the Internet people now have the power to make choices for themselves and find the independent artists and companies long shunned by mainstream producers.
Beyond that there are many educational and informational benefits from the Internet.
But there are also dark sides to the Internet that have opened the floodgates to the demons who prey on the weaknesses and perversions which afflict a great many of our people.
About ten years ago I discovered an international prostitution ring operating on a popular social site.  After documenting how it worked, I was able to contact some of the actual prostitutes and interview them.
They told how they were recruited throughout Europe and were sent to major European cities, usually for a period of a few months, where they would rendezvous with the clients.  They were very high end, meeting in the best hotels and given the most expensive clothes and chauffeured limousines.
Every few months they were rotated to another major city to avoid detection by local and international police.  But they owed a lot of money to their "sponsors" and in fact were nothing but high-end sex slaves.  So I turned my information over to the owner of the Internet social service.  What a dumb thing to do.
Terrified (I guess) that I was going to post a news release accusing them of moral bankruptcy or something, instead of a thanks I got threats to sue me, sue me until I was bankrupt since they had billions and I was just a lowly reporter.  Some good did result as the highly sophisticated prostitution ring vanished from the Internet, no doubt resurfacing in some other location but no longer part of a mainstream social site..
To this day the Internet is used for every illegal and immoral purpose possible from child molestation to prostitution, pirating to pimping.   Then there is the DarkNet, that sinister and mysterious no man's land in cyber space where good intentions are swallowed up by evil results.  You should learn more about the DarkNet.
Finally, there is the world of cyber security where honesty and disclosure long ago vanished from the scene.
The culmination of Dark Force power manifests in cyber security where virtually everyone lies, or is required to lie, by the governments, private contractors and individual hackers involved in raping your rights to privacy and freedom.
I got to see this world from the inside out and rest assured what goes on in this arena most likely exceeds your wildest imagination.  Without a doubt the entire world was pretty much hacked over a decade ago and ever since competing interests from big and small countries and companies alike have been building profiles on you.
Every time I hear President Obama condemn China for hacking US top secret files I think of how many years the US has been hacking everyone else's top secret files in the world.  No one is without guilt when it comes to stealing records from other sovereign nations.
The bizarre NSA scandal dominating world news right now is the inevitable result of a lust for power and obsession with stealing information by governments, and powerful corporations.
One by one it seems our revered institutions are falling because they got a little too greedy and decided they were above the law.  Just look at the rash of illegal activity revealed recently in the fields of housing, financial speculation, energy pricing, international banking ad infinitum.
We need to pay a lot more attention to the administration and management of the virtual world.  It certainly serves some mighty beneficial purposes but it also serves some rather sinister masters and the Internet, unfortunately, is totally oblivious to characteristics like knowing right from wrong, knowing the value of children or young girls being forced into sexual slavery and perversion.
It certainly does not have the capacity to tell the truth as it has no basis for truth or lies.  And it has no empathy or compassion for people for there is no emotional sensitivity in virtual space.  In terms of a mathematical algorithm it is free of bias, prejudice, and discrimination because it is also free of morality, ethics and oversight.
Be informed and beware.
The following was published by The Telegraph from the United Kingdom.
We present the ten most famous hackers
1. Kevin Mitnick
Probably the most famous hacker of his generation, Mitnick has been described by the US Department of Justice as "the most wanted computer criminal in United States history." The self-styled 'hacker poster boy' allegedly hacked into the computer systems of some of the world's top technology and telecommunications companies including Nokia, Fujitsu and Motorola. After a highly publicised pursuit by the FBI, Mitnick was arrested in 1995 and after confessing to several charges as part of a plea-bargain agreement, he served a five year prison sentence. He was released on parole in 2000 and today runs a computer security consultancy. He didn't refer to his hacking activities as 'hacking' and instead called them 'social engineering'.
2. Kevin Poulson
Poulson first gained notoriety by hacking into the phone lines of Los Angeles radio station KIIS-FM, ensuring he would be the 102nd caller and thus the winner of a competition the station was running in which the prize was a Porsche. Under the hacker alias Dark Dante, he also reactivated old Yellow Page escort telephone numbers for an acquaintance that then ran a virtual escort agency. The authorities began pursuing Poulson in earnest after he hacked into a federal investigation database. Poulson even appeared on the US television Unsolved Mysteries as a fugitive – although all the 1-800 phone lines for the program mysteriously crashed. Since his release from prison, Poulson has reinvented himself as a journalist.
3. Adrian Lamo
Adrian Lamo was named 'the homeless hacker' for his penchant for using coffee shops, libraries and internet caf├ęs as his bases for hacking. Most of his illicit activities involved breaking into computer networks and then reporting on their vulnerabilities to the companies that owned them. Lamo's biggest claim to fame came when he broke into the intranet of the New York Times and added his name to their database of experts. He also used the paper's LexisNexis account to gain access to the confidential details of high-profile subjects. Lamo currently works as a journalist.
4. Stephen Wozniak
Famous for being the co-founder of Apple, Stephen "Woz" Wozniak began his 'white-hat' hacking career with 'phone phreaking' – slang for bypassing the phone system. While studying at the University of California he made devices for his friends called 'blue boxes' that allowed them to make free long distance phone calls. Wozniak allegedly used one such device to call the Pope. He later dropped out of university after he began work on an idea for a computer. He formed Apple Computer with his friend Steve Jobs and the rest, as they say, is history.
5. Loyd Blankenship
Also known as The Mentor, Blankenship was a member of a couple of hacker elite groups in the 1980s – notably the Legion Of Doom, who battled for supremacy online against the Masters Of Deception. However, his biggest claim to fame is that he is the author of the Hacker Manifesto (The Conscience of a Hacker), which he wrote after he was arrested in 1986. The Manifesto states that a hacker's only crime is curiosity and is looked at as not only a moral guide by hackers up to today, but also a cornerstone of hacker philosophy. It was reprinted in Phrack magazine and even made its way into the 1995 film Hackers, which starred Angelina Jolie.
6. Michael Calce
Calce gained notoriety when he was just 15 years old by hacking into some of the largest commercial websites in the world. On Valentine's Day in 2000, using the hacker alias MafiaBoy, Calce launched a series of denial-of-service attacks across 75 computers in 52 networks, which affected sites such as eBay, Amazon and Yahoo. He was arrested after he was noticed boasting about his hack in online chat rooms. He was received a sentence of eight months of "open custody," one year of probation, restricted use of the internet, and a small fine.
7. Robert Tappan Morris
In November of 1988 a computer virus, which was later traced to Cornell University, infected around 6,000 major Unix machines, slowing them down to the point of being unusable and causing millions of dollars in damage. Whether this virus was the first of its type is debatable. What is public record, however, is that its creator, Robert Tappan Morris, became the first person to be convicted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Morris said his 'worm' virus wasn't intended to damage anything and was instead released to gauge the size of the internet. This assertion didn't help him, however, and he was sentenced to three years probation, 4000 hours of community service and a hefty fine. A computer disk containing the source code for the Morris Worm remains on display at the Boston Museum of Science to this day.
8. The Masters Of Deception
The Masters Of Deception (MoD) were a New York-based group of elite hackers who targeted US phone systems in the mid to late 80s. A splinter group from the Legion Of Doom (LoD), they became a target for the authorities after they broke into AT&T's computer system. The group was eventually brought to heel in 1992 with many of its members receiving jail or suspended sentences.
9. David L. Smith
Smith is the author of the notorious Melissa worm virus, which was the first successful email-aware virus distributed in the Usenet discussion group alt. sex. The virus original form was sent via email. Smith was arrested and later sentenced to jail for causing over $80 million worth of damage.
10. Sven Jaschan
Jaschan was found guilty of writing the Netsky and Sasser worms in 2004 while he was still a teenager. The viruses were found to be responsible for 70 per cent of all the malware seen spreading over the internet at the time. Jaschan received a suspended sentence and three years probation for his crimes. He was also hired by a security company.
CPT Editor's Note:  If the bad guys (China, etc.) do all the hacking why are all or most all of the world's top ten hackers from America?  And isn't it true that the best of all hackers are the ones who don't get caught?

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