Ok first off i'll reply to wiliams comment and then to Abrahams comment that he posted right after Wiliam's. Then in the next reply i'll comment on
Abraham's initial reply to my post (as it is an enourmous amount of text to reply to).
Wiliam starts off claiming that terrorism is easy to define. And he posts this sentence as THE definition of terrorism:
an act of aggression on an innocent party to get the attention of other parties you believe not to be innocent.
If you really believe that this statement is 'A' or 'THE' definition of terrorism, then god help all of us that are about to commit a crime.
Now keep in mind that i'm not an American but a Dutchman thus i'm not a native English speaker nor am i an expert on American law.
If your statement is an exerpt of the official definition of the word or act of terrorism, you should post a link to the full explaination/definition.
Because i cannot imagine that this is an official and complete definition of terrorism.
If this is an official definition of terrorism i truely fear for the people, who by accident or by intent commit an act of agression (in the real
world or in the digital world) on an innocent party just to be heard, and i fear mostly for their civil rights and a fair trial as they are taken from
you when you have been accused of being a terrorist.
The crimes we are talking about are absolutely crimes. I will not deny that, not now not ever!!! But if your definition is accurate, then all sorts of
people that commit a "normal" crime (as defined by the law) will be labled terrorists. And that is why i think people need to be very carefull of
calling any and every crime an act of terrorism.
For instance... i am a protestor... I want to be heard... I want better wages for my fellow cabdrivers... we go out on the streets to protest... we
come across a group of people that disagree with our statements... we start a fight with those people just to get our message across... a couple of
people get hurt.
Now were we to use your definition of terrorism as if it was a law.. we the cabdrivers that started that fight would have to be labled terrorists.
Now ofcourse everyone knows that what we did was a crime and we have to be brought to justice... but in real life we are NOT terrorists. We committed
a crime and have to pay for it as defined by law.
Same goes for neo nazi protestors that get into a fight with left wing anti nazi protestors.
Same goes for the virtual world... if i as a hacker decide to break into a computer to steal certain documents I would have committed a crime... the
crime of breaking and entering (burglary). Computer crime laws define these acts a little different but they do recognise the fact as a crime and not
Same goes for large groups of hackers/scriptkids/crackers (whatever you want to call them) attacking random individual non-essential servers.
When i say non-essential i mean servers that belong to ordinary companies, organisations and private people. Being attacked merely for content of
websites or because they're easy targets.
These things are still crimes... very annoying, costly, bothersome and dammageing. Wether done by (as i previously stated) the goodguys or the badguys
they remain crimes that are defined by law.
Cyber terrorism isn't an illusion... i won't claim that it doesn't exist because it does or it can.
Freeze's PERSONAL definition of terrorism.
Terrorism is an attack on your opponent to cripple and/or destroy him. Terrorism is a militairy operation that is well planned, highly effective and
targetted at the innocent. One needs good intel and loads of research to make it go smoothly and effectively.
I'll give you an example:
I want to do serious damage to the us... so I use expert hackers, militairy planners and intelligence agents. I will use the militairy strategists to
plan which targets if controlled will do a maximum of damage to my opponent. I will gather all the information about the targets that i want through
my intelligence agents so i know as much as i can about the target before attacking it... Then we'll put the plan and the intel on the table discuss
it and refine the final plan... Then i'll execute it. I would go for essential services to the US citizens and government. If one controls
powerplants, airport ATC, traffic lights, stock exchange and anything else operated by computers and hooked up to a network one could definetely plan
and execute a cyber terrorism attack.
In relation to our discussion one can clearly see that these petty hacks done under the vail of a challenge were nothing even remotely like a
terrorism attack. Instead what they were is childs play.
Wiliam goes on to state the following:
Unwanted intrusion into computer networks/systems can be defined as a form of terrorism, no matter how you attempt to justify the motives of
hackers/crackers with terms like white hats or black hats.
I'd like to say the following to Wiliam.
I was not attempting to justify the act of breaking into a computer system... as stated in this reply i know and realise that a crime is a crime... if
you break into a place/computer that you have no official access to then you are committing a crime and you need to be punished for it no matter what
your intentions were. And as i have tried to explain in this post i deeply deeply disagree with your statement that breaking into a computer is an act
of terrorism. It is not an act of terrorism it's a crime... and it's a crime that is clearly defined by law as a crime... not as terrorism.
As for your comments on the organisors of the defacing challenge... i'll take your word in the info you've provided... However it has proven not to
be as large a threat as you had stated... The fact that they are fooling and recruiting script kids and that they might be building a list of
exploitable servers is something that i will believe... It's easy to attract script kids with these kind of challenges.
All in all it has proven not to be such a large threat as many had thought it to be.
I ofcourse wish to commend wiliam for his adequate reaction to a possible threat. I recognise that hackers as portrayed in the media are nothing but
trouble and a pain in the a$s for us system admins.
I want to explain one last thing... and then i'll conclude my reply to wiliam's post.
I've tried to explain, in my first post, the difference between real hackers (people with good intentions) and crackers/script kiddies (people out
for personal gain and/or destruction). I've tried and failed to get the message across. Therefore i'll try again.
Definitions of a true hacker can be found all over the net, in technical computerbooks on security and hacking and in non technical books on (for
instance) the history of computers and hacking. Take your pick...
To me a real hacker is a person with an unusual amount of knowledge of computers and the skills to match. Steve Wozniak is one of those original real
hackers... to my knowledge he has never ever committed a computer crime. You yourself Wiliam are a real hacker (wether you like the title or not) you
also posess the skill of computer security and programming (for as far as i've seen your work).
This is the greatest compliment a computer expert can get... to be called a hacker by his peers.
To be an expert on home security you don't need to be a burglar. A burglar is a criminal and a security expert is not.
The same goes for hackers... Hackers that cross the line are criminals... Hackers that don't are computer experts.
The difference between a blackhat and a whitehat hacker is that blackhats break into systems for personal gain and whitehats break into systems with
so called good intentions... Both are breaking in and thus are breaking the law. Blackhats hack for money, information and destruction... Whitehats
hack to point out flaws in computer security or for governments. As said... they're both still breaking the law and need to be brought to justice for
doing so. But they are criminals and NOT terrorists.
I hope this will clear up the different interpretations of a true hacker.
I think that people the world around (after the tragedy of 9/11) are at a point that, guided by the examples of the U.S. government, every crime can
and will be labled as terrorism if it suits the people or the government.
Therefore i think that we (ATS members), who's eyes have been opened, should refrain from labeling every crime being committed as acts of terrorism.
Because it could mean that in the long run people lose their rights to stop all this terrorism in the world.
I'll write my comments to Abrahams posts in a short while... it took me several hours to write this... so i'll take my leave for now and be back