Re: please stop the Mitnick stuff

At 3:45 AM 1/7/96, Lucky Green wrote:

>Of course it was a set-up. Mitnick got into Shimomura's computer by
>impersonating the IP address of one of Shimomura's machines. The router
>should have never let packets in from outside that have an IP address that
>is supposed to be inside. That a 'security expert' would overlook such a
>blatant and well publicized hole in his _own_ router is inconceivable.
>Shimomura was trying to get someone to break into his system. If the bait
>was specifically for Mitnick, we may never know.

I've met Shimomura several times, and I don't think he was trying to get
someone to break into his system. I tend strongly to believe his basic
story, that he found someone entering his system. (Shimomura as I have met
him is not some kind of Junior G-Man, intent on catching minor criminals.
He's about as counter-cultural as any of us. Thus, his account that he
found Mitnick breaking into his systems and stealing things as a taunt
rings more true than some view that he is an FBI or BATF narc in training.)

As to whether a security expert should have seen this coming, there are a
couple of factors at work. First, being a security expert/consultant
doesn't mean one has perfect security oneself (the shoes of the cobbler,
etc.). Second, new attack modes are often involved. Third, Shimomura _did_
ultimately find the attack.

As to what really happened with Shimomura, Markoff, Mitnick, and the Feds,
I have no idea. The Littman account is one side of the story. The
Shimomura-Markoff book will be another. The various movies and other deals
will further complicate the picture. (There are some mighty strange
characters involved. Katie Hafner, former wife of Markoff, wrote a piece
for one of various weeklies or monthlies (maybe "Esquire," as I recall)
about a former prostitute living in a trailer in Nevada--do former
prostitutes ever live anywhere else?--who was badmouthing Shimomura and
praising her buddy Mitnick...bizarre stuff...maybe it's make it into the
movie. I understand that Christian Slater has agreed to play Mitnick, John
Lone will play Shimomura, and Richard Drefuss will get the role of

Knowing Markoff, Shimomura, and (vaguely) Menapace, and not knowing either
Littman or Mitnick, I am somewhat biased toward the M-S-M view of things.

While I don't think news of Mitnick is utterly alien to our group, I think
people need to be discriminating in ascribing pro-Mitnick views to the
Cypherpunks, at least as individuals. Supporting Mitnick just because he is
a "hacker" or a "cracker" or a "cyber-outlaw" is wrong-headed.

Also, I'm not persuaded that the Feds used blatantly illegal search and
seizure tactics to arrest Mitnick.

--Tim May

We got computers, we're tapping phone lines, we know that that ain't allowed.
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
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Higher Power: 2^756839 - 1  | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."