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Фантастика. Фэнтези
   Зарубежная фантастика
      Bruce Sterling. The hacker crackdown -
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ke a man walking on air. The ballroom's atmosphere crackles with surreality. A female lawyer behind me breaks into a sweat and a hot waft of surprisingly potent and musky perfume flows off her pulse-points. People are giddy with laughter. People are interested, fascinated, their eyes so wide and dark that they seem eroticized. Unlikely daisy-chains form in the halls, around the bar, on the escalators: cops with hackers, civil rights with FBI, Secret Service with phone phreaks. Gail Thackeray is at her crispest in a white wool sweater with a tiny Secret Service logo. "I found Phiber Optik at the payphones, and when he saw my sweater, he turned into a *pillar of salt!*" she chortles. Phiber discusses his case at much length with his arresting officer, Don Delaney of the New York State Police. After an hour's chat, the two of them look ready to begin singing "Auld Lang Syne." Phiber finally finds the courage to get his worst complaint off his chest. It isn't so much the arrest. It was the *charge.* Pirating service off 900 numbers. I'm a *programmer,* Phiber insists. This lame charge is going to hurt my reputation. It would have been cool to be busted for something happening, like Section 1030 computer intrusion. Maybe some kind of crime that's scarcely been invented yet. Not lousy phone fraud. Phooey. Delaney seems regretful. He had a mountain of possible criminal charges against Phiber Optik. The kid's gonna plead guilty anyway. He's a first timer, they always plead. Coulda charged the kid with most anything, and gotten the same result in the end. Delaney seems genuinely sorry not to have gratified Phiber in this harmless fashion. Too late now. Phiber's pled already. All water under the bridge. Whaddya gonna do? Delaney's got a good grasp on the hacker mentality. He held a press conference after he busted a bunch of Masters of Deception kids. Some journo had asked him: "Would you describe these people as *geniuses?*" Delaney's deadpan answer, perfect: "No, I would describe these people as *defendants.*" Delaney busts a kid for hacking codes with repeated random dialling. Tells the press that NYNEX can track this stuff in no time flat nowadays, and a kid has to be *stupid* to do something so easy to catch. Dead on again: hackers don't mind being thought of as Genghis Khan by the straights, but if there's anything that really gets 'em where they live, it's being called *dumb.* Won't be as much fun for Phiber next time around. As a second offender he's gonna see prison. Hackers break the law. They're not geniuses, either. They're gonna be defendants. And yet, Delaney muses over a drink in the hotel bar, he has found it impossible to treat them as common criminals. Delaney knows criminals. These kids, by comparison, are clueless -- there is just no crook vibe off of them, they don't smell right, they're just not *bad.* Delaney has seen a lot of action. He did Vietnam. He's been shot at, he has shot people. He's a homicide cop from New York. He has the appearance of a man who has not only seen the shit hit the fan but has seen it splattered across whole city blocks and left to ferment for years. This guy has been around. He listens to Steve Jackson tell his story. The dreamy game strategist has been dealt a bad hand. He has played it for all he is worth. Under his nerdish SF-fan exterior is a core of iron. Friends of his say Steve Jackson believes in the rules, believes in fair play. He will never compromise his principles, never give up. "Steve," Delaney says to Steve Jackson, "they had some balls, whoever busted you. You're all right!" Jackson, stunned, falls silent and actually blushes with pleasure. Neidorf has grown up a lot in the past year. The kid is a quick study, you gotta give him that. Dressed by his mom, the fashion manager for a national clothing chain, Missouri college techie-frat Craig Neidorf out-dappers everyone at this gig but the toniest East Coast lawyers. The iron jaws of prison clanged shut without him and now law school beckons for Neidorf. He looks like a larval Congressman. Not a "hacker," our Mr. Neidorf. He's not interested in computer science. Why should he be? He's not interested in writing C code the rest of his life, and besides, he's seen where the chips fall. To the world of computer science he and *Phrack* were just a curiosity. But to the world of law.... The kid has learned where the bodies are buried. He carries his notebook of press clippings wherever he goes. Phiber Optik makes fun of Neidorf for a Midwestern geek, for believing that "Acid Phreak" does acid and listens to acid rock. Hell no. Acid's never done *acid!* Acid's into *acid house music.* Jesus. The very idea of doing LSD. Our *parents* did LSD, ya clown. Thackeray suddenly turns upon Craig Neidorf the full lighthouse glare of her attention and begins a determined half-hour attempt to *win the boy over.* The Joan of Arc of Computer Crime is *giving career advice to Knight Lightning!* "Your experience would be very valuable -- a real asset," she tells him with unmistakeable sixty-thousand-watt sincerity. Neidorf is fascinated. He listens with unfeigned attention. He's nodding and saying yes ma'am. Yes, Craig, you too can forget all about money and enter the glamorous and horribly underpaid world of PъOSECUTING COMPUTEъ CъIME! You can put your former friends in prison -- ooops.... You cannot go on dueling at modem's length indefinitely. You cannot beat one another senseless with rolled-up press-clippings. Sooner or later you have to come directly to grips. And yet the very act of assembling here has changed the entire situation drastically. John Quarterman, author of *The Matrix,* explains the Internet at his symposium. It is the largest news network in the world, it is growing by leaps and bounds, and yet you cannot measure Internet because you cannot stop it in place. It cannot stop, because there is no one anywhere in the world with the authority to stop Internet. It changes, yes, it grows, it embeds itself across the post-industrial, postmodern world and it generates community wherever it touches, and it is doing this all by itself. Phiber is different. A very fin de siecle kid, Phiber Optik. Barlow says he looks like an Edwardian dandy. He does rather. Shaven neck, the sides of his skull cropped hip-hop close, unruly tangle of black hair on top that looks pomaded, he stays up till four a.m. and misses all the sessions, then hangs out in payphone booths with his acoustic coupler gutsily CъACKING SYSTEMS ъIGHT IN THE MIDST OF THE HEAVIEST LAW ENFOъCEMENT DUDES IN THE U.S., or at least *pretending* to.... Unlike "Frank Drake." Drake, who wrote Dorothy Denning out of nowhere, and asked for an interview for his cheapo cyberpunk fanzine, and then started grilling her on her ethics. She was squirmin', too.... Drake, scarecrow-tall with his floppy blond mohawk, rotting tennis shoes and black leather jacket lettered ILLUMINATI in red, gives off an unmistakeable air of the bohemian literatus. Drake is the kind of guy who reads British industrial design magazines and appreciates William Gibson because the quality of the prose is so tasty. Drake could never touch a phone or a keyboard again, and he'd still have the nose- ring and the blurry photocopied fanzines and the sampled industrial music. He's a radical punk with a desktop- publishing rig and an Internet address. Standing next to Drake, the diminutive Phiber looks like he's been physically coagulated out of phone-lines. Born to phreak. Dorothy Denning approaches Phiber suddenly. The two of them are about the same height and body-build. Denning's blue eyes flash behind the round window- frames of her glasses. "Why did you say I was 'quaint?'" she asks Phiber, quaintly. It's a perfect description but Phiber is nonplussed... "Well, I uh, you know...." "I also think you're quaint, Dorothy," I say, novelist to the rescue, the journo gift of gab... She is neat and dapper and yet there's an arcane quality to her, something like a Pilgrim Maiden behind leaded glass; if she were six inches high Dorothy Denning would look great inside a china cabinet... The Cryptographeress.... The Cryptographrix... whatever... Weirdly, Peter Denning looks just like his wife, you could pick this gentleman out of a thousand guys as the soulmate of Dorothy Denning. Wearing tailored slacks, a spotless fuzzy varsity sweater, and a neatly knotted academician's tie.... This fineboned, exquisitely polite, utterly civilized and hyperintelligent couple seem to have emerged from some cleaner and finer parallel universe, where humanity exists to do the Brain Teasers column in Scientific American. Why does this Nice Lady hang out with these unsavory characters? Because the time has come for it, that's why. Because she's the best there is at what she does. Donn Parker is here, the Great Bald Eagle of Computer Crime.... With his bald dome, great height, and enormous Lincoln-like hands, the great visionary pioneer of the field plows through the lesser mortals like an icebreaker.... His eyes are fixed on the future with the rigidity of a bronze statue.... Eventually, he tells his audience, all business crime will be computer crime, because businesses will do everything through computers. "Computer crime" as a category will vanish. In the meantime, passing fads will flourish and fail and evaporate.... Parker's commanding, resonant voice is sphinxlike, everything is viewed from some eldritch valley of deep historical abstraction... Yes, they've come and they've gone, these passing flaps in the world of digital computation.... The radio-frequency emanation scandal... KGB and MI5 and CIA do it every day, it's easy, but nobody else ever has.... The salami-slice fraud, mostly mythical... "Crimoids," he calls them.... Computer viruses are the current crimoid champ, a lot less dangerous than most people let on, but the novelty is fading and there's a crimoid vacuum at the moment, the press is visibly hungering for something more outrageous.... The Great Man shares with us a few speculations on the coming crimoids.... Desktop Forgery! Wow.... Computers stolen just for the sake of the information within them -- data- napping! Happened in Britain a while ago, could be the coming thing.... Phantom nodes in the Internet! Parker handles his overhead projector sheets with an ecclesiastical air... He wears a grey double-breasted suit, a light blue shirt, and a very quiet tie of understated maroon and blue paisley... Aphorisms emerge from him with slow, leaden emphasis... There is no such thing as an adequately secure computer when one faces a sufficiently powerful adversary.... Deterrence is the most socially useful aspect of security... People are the primary weakness in all information systems... The entire baseline of computer security must be shifted upward.... Don't ever violate your security by publicly describing your security measures... People in the audience are beginning to squirm, and yet there is something about the elemental purity of this guy's philosophy that compels uneasy respect.... Parker sounds like the only sane guy left in the lifeboat, sometimes. The guy who can prove rigorously, from deep moral principles, that Harvey there, the one with the broken leg and the checkered past, is the one who has to be, err.... that is, Mr. Harvey is best placed to make the necessary sacrifice for the security and indeed the very survival of the rest of this lifeboat's crew.... Computer security, Parker informs us mournfully, is a nasty topic, and we wish we didn't have to have it... The security expert, armed with method and logic, must think -- imagine -- everything that the adversary might do before the adversary might actually do it. It is as if the criminal's dark brain were an extensive subprogram within the shining cranium of Donn Parker. He is a Holmes whose Moriarty does not quite yet exist and so must be perfectly simulated. CFP is a stellar gathering, with the giddiness of a wedding. It is a happy time, a happy ending, they know their world is changing forever tonight, and they're proud to have been there to see it happen, to talk, to think, to help. And yet as night falls, a certain elegiac quality manifests itself, as the crowd gathers beneath the chandeliers with their wineglasses and dessert plates. Something is ending here, gone forever, and it takes a while to pinpoint it. It is the End of the Amateurs. *********** Afterword: The Hacker Crackdown Three Years Later Three years in cyberspace is like thirty years anyplace real. It feels as if a generation has passed since I wrote this book. In terms of the generations of computing machinery involved, that's pretty much the case. The basic shape of cyberspace has changed drastically since 1990. A new U.S. Administration is in power whose personnel are, if anything, only too aware of the nature and potential of electronic networks. It's now clear to all players concerned that the status quo is dead-and-gone in American media and telecommunications, and almost any territory on the electronic frontier is up for grabs. Interactive multimedia, cable-phone alliances, the Information Superhighway, fiber- to-the-curb, laptops and palmtops, the explosive growth of cellular and the Internet -- the earth trembles visibly. The year 1990 was not a pleasant one for AT&T. By 1993, however, AT&T had successfully devoured the computer company NCъ in an unfriendly takeover, finally giving the pole-climbers a major piece of the digital action. AT&T managed to rid itself of ownership of the troublesome UNIX operating system, selling it to Novell, a netware company, which was itself preparing for a savage market dust-up with operating-system titan Microsoft. Furthermore, AT&T acquired McCaw Cellular in a gigantic merger, giving AT&T a potential wireless whip-hand over its former progeny, the ъBOCs. The ъBOCs themselves were now AT&T's clearest potential rivals, as the Chinese firewalls between regulated monopoly and frenzied digital entrepreneurism began to melt and collapse headlong. AT&T, mocked by industry analysts in 1990, was reaping awestruck praise by commentators in 1993. AT&T had managed to avoid any more major software crashes in its switching stations. AT&T's newfound reputation as "the nimble giant" was all the sweeter, since AT&T's traditional rival giant in the world of multinational computing, IBM, was almost prostrate by 1993. IBM's vision of the commercial computer-network of the future, "Prodigy," had managed to spend $900 million without a whole heck of a lot to show for it, while AT&T, by contrast, was boldly speculating on the possibilities of personal communicators and hedging its bets with investments in handwritten interfaces. In 1990 AT&T had looked bad; but in 1993 AT&T looked like the future. At least, AT&T's *advertising* looked like the future. Similar public attention was riveted on the massive $22 billion megamerger between ъBOC Bell Atlantic and cable-TV giant Tele-Communications Inc. Nynex was buying into cable company Viacom International. BellSouth was buying stock in Prime Management, Southwestern Bell acquiring a cable company in Washington DC, and so forth. By stark contrast, the Internet, a noncommercial entity which officially did not even exist, had no advertising budget at all. And yet, almost below the level of governmental and corporate awareness, the Internet was stealthily devouring everything in its path, growing at a rate that defied comprehension. Kids who might have been eager computer-intruders a mere five years earlier were now surfing the Internet, where their natural urge to explore led them into cyberspace landscapes of such mindboggling vastness that the very idea of hacking passwords seemed rather a waste of time. By 1993, there had not been a solid, knock 'em down, panic-striking, teenage-hacker computer-intrusion scandal in many long months. There had, of course, been some striking and well-publicized acts of illicit computer access, but they had been committed by adult white-collar industry insiders in clear pursuit of personal or commercial advantage. The kids, by contrast, all seemed to be on IъC, Internet ъelay Chat. Or, perhaps, frolicking out in the endless glass-roots network of personal bulletin board systems. In 1993, there were an estimated 60,000 boards in America; the population of boards had fully doubled since Operation Sundevil in 1990. The hobby was transmuting fitfully into a genuine industry. The board community were no longer obscure hobbyists; many were still hobbyists and proud of it, but board sysops and advanced board users had become a far more cohesive and politically aware community, no longer allowing themselves to be obscure. The specter of cyberspace in the late 1980s, of outwitted authorities trembling in fear before teenage hacker whiz- kids, seemed downright antiquated by 1993. Law enforcement emphasis had changed, and the favorite electronic villain of 1993 was not the vandal child, but the victimizer of children, the digital child pornographer. "Operation Longarm," a child- pornography computer raid carried out by the previously little- known cyberspace rangers of the U.S. Customs Service, was almost the size of Operation Sundevil, but received very little notice by comparison. The huge and well-organized "Operation Disconnect," an FBI strike against telephone rip-off con-artists, was actually larger than Sundevil. "Operation Disconnect" had its brief moment in the sun of publicity, and then vanished utterly. It was unfortunate that a law-enforcement affair as apparently well-conducted as Operation Disconnect, which pursued telecom adult career criminals a hundred times more morally repugnant than teenage hackers, should have received so little attention and fanfare, especially compared to the abortive Sundevil and the basically disastrous efforts of the Chicago Computer Fraud and Abuse Task Force. But the life of an electronic policeman is seldom easy. If any law enforcement event truly deserved full-scale press coverage (while somehow managing to escape it), it was the amazing saga of New York State Police Senior Investigator Don Delaney Versus the Orchard Street Finger- Hackers. This story probably represents the real future of professional telecommunications crime in America. The finger- hackers sold, and still sell, stolen long-distance phone service to a captive clientele of illegal aliens in New York City. This clientele is desperate to call home, yet as a group, illegal aliens have few legal means of obtaining standard phone service, since their very presence in the United States is against the law. The finger-hackers of Orchard Street were very unusual "hackers," with an astonishing lack of any kind of genuine technological knowledge. And yet these New York call-sell thieves showed a street-level ingenuity appalling in its single- minded sense of larceny. There was no dissident-hacker rhetoric about freedom- of-information among the finger-hackers. Most of them came out of the cocaine-dealing fraternity, and they retailed stolen calls with the same

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