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FBI Does A Cracker-Jack Job

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the it's-not-entrapment-and-nobody-saw-us dept.

News 306

kade writes: "MSNBC has an article on a story about the FBI hacking the machines of a bunch of Russian crackers in an attempt to get evidence on them due to the the inability or unwillingness of the Russian goverment to assist them in fighting cybercrime." Another reader pointed to coverage on CNN as well.

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306 comments

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OK but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#267864)

When do I get my speedboat?

Re:Great line (1)

DataPath (1111) | more than 13 years ago | (#267865)

Well, the issue is WHERE they broke the law. They broke Russian law, but that is out of their jurisdiction, so that action is ONLY viewable as illegal under either 1) international treaties, or 2) Russian law.
The only thing that could bite them is international treaty. What they need to do is lure those FBI agents over to Russia so they can be prosecuted for their little hacking gig.

Re:Great line (2)

Zachary Kessin (1372) | more than 13 years ago | (#267866)

Assuming that it gets to trial you can assume that the Defense lawyers will argue that the FBI did need a warent to do this. I imagine a court will decide one way or the other.

One of my favorite bits of USSC writing is the Justice Brandeis desent on the wiretapping case from the 20's when the FBI said that they did not need a warrent to tap a phone. (Brandeis and Homes said that they did but were in the Minority)

In all probability the evidence will be challenged in court.

IANAL!

Re:This quote says it all... (1)

Glytch (4881) | more than 13 years ago | (#267873)

I love that metaphor. I'm going to steal it sometime.

Re:The Interesting Ending (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 13 years ago | (#267874)

I would say that the Russian mob would have better offers to them (drugs, sex, and more alcohol than they usually have)

:)

Re:The Interesting Ending (1)

sacherjj (7595) | more than 13 years ago | (#267875)

Very common technique. Surely you have head of the "award winners" police scams. Where those with outstanding warrants are sent prize vouchers and they get to come to a certain location to claim them. One such event had television coverage where the "winners" were interviewed. They were taken 10 at a time into another room to be given their prizes.

Those prizes consisted of handcuffs and getting read some rights before leaving out the back for jail time.

What hack? (1)

nneul (8033) | more than 13 years ago | (#267876)

I'd like to know how "getting them to sit down at a computer running a sniffer" counts as "hacking into their computers".

Electronic Evidence (1)

RichMan (8097) | more than 13 years ago | (#267877)

Part of a trial is establishing a chain of evidence. How on earth can you ever prove that an electronic train of evidence has not been tampered with.

Prosec: "As you can see in the log files .."
Defens: "Objection: the material security of the log files has not been proven. The prosecution has to prove it that the log files are a true recording of what happened. That the log files and logging process was a completely secure and tamper proof system."
Prosec: "The log files show that no one accessed the system."
Defens: "Objection: Log files are just that, they can be edited. Was the console secure? Was the net access secure?"
Prosec: "When we examined the system."
Defens: "Objection: Prove that the system was not tampered with or completely ghosted by a backup system between the time of the events in question and the time the material was secured."

Invicta? (2)

PD (9577) | more than 13 years ago | (#267880)

Could this fake company name be a purposeful mishmash of the words "indict" and "convict"? Who said that the suits don't have sense of humor?

Re:What are the politics of this? (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 13 years ago | (#267890)

persecuted under US law

Many of us are persecuted under US law, but only lawbreakers are Prosecuted under US law.

I am sure you all might feel different... (1)

andreass (12654) | more than 13 years ago | (#267893)

If it was your machine that Alexi cracked. Then tried to export us for $4,500 (?!?) then ran "rm -rf /" on our machine when we refused to give him money. This happened in December 1999, it was Alexi, we had his address, picture, but could not do a thing. He was even bragging to us that we could not bust him because he was in Russia and the Russian authorities would not act -- which was true.

I am personally glad he's in the slammer. And I'm sure all you bleeding hearts would be too if it was you that spent 72 hours without sleep trying to recover from his activities. My only complaint is that it took 3 years to do it.

Seriously though, what do we do about Internet users in countries with no low enforcement -- should we just cut Russia off from the Internet entirely? I think that would be worse than running sting operations like this one. If anyone has better ideas, post them! And "secure your machine" isn't the answer, no matter how secure the thing is, there will always be an exploit tomorrow that will root it.

Re:I am sure you all might feel different... (1)

andreass (12654) | more than 13 years ago | (#267894)

Oh sure, we'll just take our main mail server offline, I'm sure the customers won't mind.

Yes backing up the data was easy and quick. Building a machine that does mail, shell logins, back-end accounting, running the way it was running before takes a bit longer. Though 16 gigs does take a while. Needless to say, all these services are on different machines now, but we were small and on a budget in those days.

He stopped getting into UNIX machines after this incident, as he was not able to get back into to our rebuilt machine. At least NT must have been an easier target.

Re:being clueless (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#267895)

Good point. The Russian government should really make an international incident out of this, since it is deception of their citizens with intent to take property held in Russia. There's no way the U.S. would allow another nation's government to do this to to a U.S. citizen. Unfortunately, Russian law enforcement is probably happy enough to be rid of these guys without having to go to the trouble of catching them that they won't do a thing.

And people complained about the U.S. being the world's policeman before? Just you wait....

The Interesting Ending (3)

Jethro73 (14686) | more than 13 years ago | (#267897)

Perhaps more interesting was how they lured them into this country with the promise of a job (and toilet paper, bread, etc.), and nabbed them when they got here... Brilliant!

Jethro

Re:Indymedia raided by FBI (1)

sith (15384) | more than 13 years ago | (#267898)

They have come for your uncool niece?

Not really a double standard. . . (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | more than 13 years ago | (#267903)

. . .as they were gathering evidence outside the United States, of crimes committed in or on US entities or persons.

Obvious case in point: Manuel Noriega, still sitting in US Federal Prison...

Re:The Interesting Ending (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | more than 13 years ago | (#267904)

I was thinking about that too. The FBI was investigating crimes against American companies and the cracked computers are on US soil. The CIA doesn't investigate crimes, just commits them. The military is not in the investigating business either. That leaves the FBI, probably with some involvment from the state department.

-B

Reverse Hacking? (2)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | more than 13 years ago | (#267905)

What is reverse hacking? Ugly solutions to non-existent problems? White hat...black hat...grey hat...whatever illegal shit the FBI does in the name of law and order...it's just hacking.

-B

Reverse hacking? (2)

Plasmic (26063) | more than 13 years ago | (#267906)

"FBI uses reverse hacking to catch Russians" -- CNN.com

Oh yeah, reverse hacking... that's kinda like when someone punches you in the stomach and then you use reverse punching to get back at 'em.

Let's take a look at an executive summary of the etymology of this term: it's cropped up in a couple of mailing lists and yet it seems to have no useful meaning. A mere 35 hits on Google [google.com] for 'reverse hacking', but it seems to have a different meaning each time it was used, from "corporate cyber-vigilantism" to "hacking your own computer." Although, it's used exclusively on reputable mailing lists like 'The Hacker Bulletin Board' and 'Windows Security Advice'.

"Reverse hacking" was referenced as early as 1987 by 1 person in the phreaking community to describe "services putting a carrier tone in thier recordings to fool your friendly hacking program into thinking that the code was valid". If that doesn't prove that this term adds no value to the English language, I'm not sure what would.

Anyhow, it's amusing that I suspected that this term was only used by a moron at CNN, and after 5 minutes of investigation, I determined that it was only used by morons around the world.

Re:Double Standard (2)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 13 years ago | (#267910)

  • A better double standard example is:
  • Can Russian law enforcement break into the computer of a U.S. citizen?
  • Can Russian law enforcement break into the computer of a third party which was being used without permission by a U.S. citizen?

Time To Create Russian Honeypots (2)

scotpurl (28825) | more than 13 years ago | (#267911)

Quick, someone get a honeypot up in the .ru domain. Then we can all see exactly how the FBI hacks.

No privacy violation here (2)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 13 years ago | (#267913)

the use of the "sniffer" software violated his client's right to privacy

BWHAAHAAHA! Right to privacy! That's a good one guys!

"The cop just sat there and watched as I walked into the bank. You can't just sit there and watch criminal who are minding their own business. That's invading their privacy!"

Idiots. The courts have upheld that if a police officer believes there is sufficient probability to support that evidence may be destroyed, they may take steps to protect that evidence. Like they can stop drug dealers from flushing during a raid.

These jerks are BUSTED, plain an simple. Good going FBI with the human engineering!!

Re:Reverse Hacking? (2)

Janthkin (32289) | more than 13 years ago | (#267914)

Reverse Hacking is starting with a nice, elegant, and simple solution...and then turning it into Windows.

Re:Indymedia raided by FBI (1)

gimpboy (34912) | more than 13 years ago | (#267918)

they have come for your uncool niece

use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that

Re:Indymedia raided by FBI (1)

gimpboy (34912) | more than 13 years ago | (#267919)

close your eyes, it cant happen here.

use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that

Re:Double Standard (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 13 years ago | (#267923)

It is interesting to see the double-standard with which the U.S. Government operates.

Indeed. We typically have spy planes trolling up and down China's coast, and since we are The Light of the World [tm], we are entitled to do that, especially against Devil of the Day [tm]. Imagine China (aka "Devil of the Day[tm]") trolling spy planes up and down California's coast, and them selling missiles to Cuba. The Righteous Indignation! The horror! The shock!
--

Re:Amazing (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 13 years ago | (#267924)

The rules are always different for government workers in positions of power. In fact, lots of rules don't even apply to them. Like Bill Clinton, for example. He was the Commander in Chief of all of the armed services at the time that he lied about the Monica Lewinski scandal. I know the creed of the Air Force Academy is: "We will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate among us anyone who does." Uhhh, don't you think the 'high commander' would be subject to this rule? Apparently not, because he's got good lawyers and all the power. So don't think this will set a precedence in your favor of copying digital media. If anything, it will give the government more power to do whatever they want, and you less. Sorry man.

Hope all you rebels like northern North Dakota, or the hot wind-scoured plains of West Texas, because that's where the reeducation camps will be set up.

"He loved Big Brother". The chilling last line of _1984_.


--

Amazing (2)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 13 years ago | (#267928)

"The agents downloaded the data, but did not view it until they obtained a search warrant from a U.S. federal court, he said."

Am I the only one completely amazed by this statement. Here, these agents plainly admit to *copying* data which may not be legal to have or view. Um, how is this different from copying some piece of music or literature you may or may not be allowed to use, without listening to or reading it? This seems like it could set (or shatter) a big precedent. Imagine that, *copying* digital data may not necessarily be equivalent to "stealing" it. Amazing.

What are the politics of this? (2)

solios (53048) | more than 13 years ago | (#267929)

A situation similar to this could easily be considered an act of war- particularly if the hackers or script-kiddies were targeting .gov sites as opposed to corps [who, given the technology and $ at their disposal, are asking for it if they leave their systems open].

Technically, if the compromised hardware, software, company, what have you is physically *inside* united states boundaries, then the attacker could be persecuted under US law, yes? Conversly, if some 1337 d00d in Jersey hacked a Russian site and pissed them off, he should likewise be subject to the same considerations.

Yeah, it's the internet, no physical boundaries and all that. Root my server and the only thing seperating you from a fractured skull is the distance factor- something governments don't have to worry about. Crackers do this kind of shit because they know they're not going to get caught- a few serious, well-founded PROVEN criminal cases may serve as a deterrent, or at least get the issue out in the open.

Re:Ah.. (1)

grazzy (56382) | more than 13 years ago | (#267930)

please dont forget that the united stats of america is the nation of freedom.

ofcourse all us citizens should be allowed to do whatever they want.

hackers treating national security should be prosecuted though..

Re:Hackers should have never been fooled (1)

Capt_Troy (60831) | more than 13 years ago | (#267932)

That's not what I got...

Whois Server Version 1.3

Domain names in the .com, .net, and .org domains can now be registered
with many different competing registrars. Go to http://www.internic.net
for detailed information.

Domain Name: INVITA.COM
Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS, INC.
Whois Server: whois.networksolutions.com
Referral URL: http://www.networksolutions.com
Name Server: NS.UNI2.NET
Name Server: NS2.UNI2.NET
Updated Date: 09-feb-2001

>>> Last update of whois database: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 07:35:40 EDT

The Registry database contains ONLY .COM, .NET, .ORG, .EDU domains and
Registrars.

Packet Sniffing (1)

tuiedm (67883) | more than 13 years ago | (#267935)

The Russians should have been using SSH for there remote communications.. At least that way it would have taken the FBI longer to figure out what they were actually doing and how they were doing it.

On a side note, the issue about the NT exploit. If it is a big firm that is running NT as an actual webserver, they deserved to be slapped. The major problem with NT and it's updates is that for most of them you have to reboot for the changes to take place. That just doesn't go well when you trying to provide a 24/7 service. I meen have you ever seen how long it takes a server with 5+ UWSCSI Drives and 1 1/2 gigs of ram to boot? Almost like 10 minutes, and most of that is just waiting for the SCSI controller to find all the bloody drives. Anyways, enough bableing.. I'm ranted for the day..

Ed.

Entrapment (was Re: ...ramifications) (1)

Iorek (68393) | more than 13 years ago | (#267936)

Did they consider any of the ramifications? Entrapment was the first word that popped into my head. Am I missing something? What's the loophole?

-Iorek

Re:Great line (2)

po_boy (69692) | more than 13 years ago | (#267939)

That's the dissenting opinion that McVeigh quoted at his sentencing hearing. Pretty harshly written for a Supreme Court Justice.

Re:Very Bad Joke (2)

po_boy (69692) | more than 13 years ago | (#267940)

I thought it was the 3Ff B33 3y3!@#$

Gold Old NT (2)

selectspec (74651) | more than 13 years ago | (#267943)

Once again, someone proves that NT's only security is that it is likely to crash while your cracking it.

The Russians had a sense of humor... (1)

szcx (81006) | more than 13 years ago | (#267944)

From the MSNBC [msnbc.com] article;

"The Russian hackers drew the ire of the FBI when hundreds of emails were sent to agents. Translated, all of the messages read 'All Your Base Are Belong To Us'."

Those wacky Russians.

Hope they had a warrant (1)

$nyper (83319) | more than 13 years ago | (#267946)

If they did not have a warrant to search and seize the data. The evidence will still be thrown out of court and they FBI will have no joy.

for the FBI (1)

holzp (87423) | more than 13 years ago | (#267952)

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." - Nietzsche

There is a reason illegal means to capture criminals is considered so dangerous in the USA.

Re:What hack? (1)

graniteMonkey (87619) | more than 13 years ago | (#267953)

Simply put, it's a sort of side-channel attack, much like those used to compromise encryption through means other than "brute mathematical force". It's quite remarkable that the FBI actually got crackers from Russia to sit down at FBI computers and hand them the keys to the house all by themselves. It was so easy that I'd competent thief shouldn't have bungled so badly.

One would think that the method used here would be considered by the /. community to be a "hack" by merit of its elegance and wit. But I guess since it's "the man", people like you will continue to look for ways to rag on them.

being clueless (1)

graniteMonkey (87619) | more than 13 years ago | (#267954)

You're confusing issues here. You might want to read the article again and note that the information was only searched once it was on US soil and only after a search warrant was obtained. In that sense it was perfectly legal. Now whether or not they had the right to bug the computer is a totally separate issue, where there might be room for discussion.

Re:The Russians had a sense of humor... (1)

graniteMonkey (87619) | more than 13 years ago | (#267955)

Back in my day, when we wanted to demonstrate our overwhelming 1337ness and ability to use advanced utilities like "grep", we often performed an operation known as "reading" an article like this. "reading" is incidentally a by-product of processing this article for many organic life-forms.

I can just see the next X-Files... (5)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 13 years ago | (#267957)

Mulder: 1 4M 1337 H4X0R B140+CH!
Scully: 411 UR B453 4R3 B310NG 2 U5!

At which point hopefully the smoking man comes in and shoots them both in the back of the head.

Very Bad Joke (1)

Stephen VanDahm (88206) | more than 13 years ago | (#267958)

So now they're known as the FB1?


========
Stephen C. VanDahm

Re:Double Standard (1)

Vinson Massif (88315) | more than 13 years ago | (#267959)

If a US agency finds your extraterritorial company's activities 'interesting', they have no qualms about cracking it. Nice.

I think I'll go check my f/w logs...

Great line (3)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 13 years ago | (#267960)

I just LOVE this line...

He also maintains that no search warrant was needed because the FBI lacks jurisdiction in Russia.

Pardon me for being clueless... but if you don't have jurisdiction there... then you have NO legal right to do that, meaning you BROKE THE LAW. Just because it's another country doesn't whitewash it!

Re:Double Standard (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 13 years ago | (#267965)

Whats interesting here...

Ok... You could argue that what happened (the cracking) was on russian machines owned by a russion, and the FBI has no jurisdiction there, so no warrent.

They may have thus broken Russian law, but until they go to russia (or russia petitions for extradition (assuming there is a treaty allowing it)) there is no problem.

SO.,.. what the FBI is saying is, what happens on a server in another country, happens in that country according to that countries law :)

I would be happy to see that argument set a precident in court. Pleased as punch I would be.

So what _I_ as a US citizen put up on a web page hosted in another countru, should be governed by THAT countries law...not US law. I am down with that.

-Steve

Re:being clueless (1)

bonoboy (98001) | more than 13 years ago | (#267969)

They didn't *read* the files until they were in the US. But they hacked machines that were in Russia to get that data. Are you saying my stereo isn't stolen until you get it back to your house, simply because you didn't use it?

Re:This quote says it all... (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 13 years ago | (#267971)

The biggest problem with NT isn't necessarily the security holes. It's the idiocy of the admins.
Is that really a problem of NT? All OS's have some stupid people running them. Let me pull some number out of by butt for a moment for the sake of argument. Say 10% of the people administering a network are idiots, no matter what the OS. It may seem like there are more bad NT admins, but that's just because there are more NT networks. It isn't a flaw with the OS, it's just human nature.
=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\= \=\=\=\=\

Re:Great line (1)

SmokeSerpent (106200) | more than 13 years ago | (#267972)

I know, I'm waiting for the story where Russian authorities trick the FBI agents into cracking fake "hacker" computers so that they can get info to hack the FBIs computers, gathering proof to indict the FBI agents.

And then the FBI will trick Russian authorities into hacking "FBI" computers...

Re:Invicta? (2)

Richy_T (111409) | more than 13 years ago | (#267977)

It's a real word.

Rich

My personal favorite (1)

NumberSyx (130129) | more than 13 years ago | (#267988)

He also maintains that no search warrant was needed because the FBI lacks jurisdiction in Russia.

By this logic, all the government has to do is setup a law enforcment agency which has no jursidiction in the US and they can gather evidence on its own citizens without regard to the constitution.


Jesus died for sombodies sins, but not mine.

Local Police searches neighboring town... (1)

James T Ensor (132482) | more than 13 years ago | (#267989)

I like this bit: "He also maintains that no search warrant was needed because the FBI lacks jurisdiction in Russia. " Apparently the FBI believes their lack of jurisdiction in Russia allows them to ignore rules they are normally subject to. Does this mean the police dept in the neighboring town is allowed to break into my house and search around because they lack jurisdiction?

---

"What is that sound its making?"

Devil's Advocate (1)

Wintermancer (134128) | more than 13 years ago | (#267991)

Interesting. The FBI breaks into a remote computer and uses the evidence found on them to arrest them.

Nice trick, guys!

Now, all the defence attorneys need to do is say: "Our clients are the victims here. Their computers were compromised/trojaned without their knowledge. Look, the FBI showed how easy it is to do. What prevented criminals from having done it as well? NOTHING!"

Really, now. In this day and age of one-click trojans (ie: SubSeven), it is far too easy to compromise computers and use them as staging areas for further criminal activity. To make a criminal case watertight, you need:

1) Wiretaps
2) Wiretaps
3) Wiretaps
4) Seizing the hardware invovled doesn't hurt, either.

Remember, the FBI has to prove they are guilty. Kinda hard to do without physical evidence or electronic evidence, don't you think? Reasonable doubt, y'know.

Food for thought....

Re:What hack? (2)

locutus074 (137331) | more than 13 years ago | (#267993)

One would think that the method used here would be considered by the /. community to be a "hack" by merit of its elegance and wit. But I guess since it's "the man", people like you will continue to look for ways to rag on them.

Well, I originally thought, after reading the article, that referring to it as hacking or cracking was going a bit far. But after reading your thoughts, I have to agree with you to a point. I think that it was a clever bit of social hacking (or social engineering, whatever you want to call it).

I still haven't figured out whether I agree with what the agents did, but I have to admit that I admire the way in which they did it.

--

Re:This quote says it all... (4)

Kingfox (149377) | more than 13 years ago | (#267998)

They'll only have to pay $50 + court costs, $75... but if you get a lawyer to do a class action suit, then you can actually hit them up for the whole $2.7 million with ONE court case.

As evil as class action suits are in the eyes of many, they're great for just that sort of thing. $75 is a thorn in the side, but a class action suit is a huge lamb-feces encrusted iron spike.

Re:Double Standard (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 13 years ago | (#268005)

And this would be different from normal FBI policy how? Seems to me that the FBI always wants to be the ones with the power to do nasty things while preventing civilians from these rights - for example, Carnivore.

I'm pretty sure that civilians sniffing e-mail would be considered cyber-terrorism, but the gov't doing it isn't, since they have our best interests in mind, of course (sarcasm). This isn't the first time that law enforcement is doing dubiously ethical things in the name of protecting the people that they would prosecute private civilians for - just try wire tapping or bugging private property. You'll wind up in jail why the FBI is simply "doing their job."

In another way, though, this isn't necessarily a bad thing - if I knew I could trust every FBI member to use the authority in a way to ensure justice, I wouldn't mind knowing that law enforcement could randomly check up on various suspects. There are many powers the government has which they in theory have because they won't abuse them - why else do we allow the government to have a military in peace time? As long as this trust is never abused, these extra powers are generally a good thing - but I get the feeling that trust in the government is getting heavily abused these days. I guess I'm just cynical.

Re:Double Standard (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 13 years ago | (#268006)

I can only think of one way that doing that becomes legal under US law - the FBI was attacking a non-US citizen. Since the Russian was not a US citizen, he has no US rights under US law.

That explanation nicely ignores the fact that this happened in Russia and would therefore fall under Russian law. Which means that if Russian law allows the FBI to snoop on crackers, the FBI is in the clear, I guess... except I thought that US law said the FBI only had athority inside the US...

I kind of hope this becomes an incident simply because I can't think of any way that this is legal.

FBI's jurisdiction arguement (1)

maastrictian (157848) | more than 13 years ago | (#268007)

Quoted from the cnn article:
"Schroeder [FBI] says Gorshkov [crook] was using someone else's computer and had no reasonable expectation of privacy. He also maintains that no search warrant was needed because the FBI lacks jurisdiction in Russia."

Does this arguement make sence to anyone else?

Move along ... (1)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 13 years ago | (#268009)

... nothing to see here ... just another bad troll.

A Stiff Sentence ... (1)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 13 years ago | (#268010)

5 yrs of AOL only internet, on a 486/25 runing Windows 3.0 ... with a flickering monitor.

Cracker-Jack Job?? (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 13 years ago | (#268014)

We here at the Society for the Conservation and Reinstitution of the Wholesome Snack Cracker-Jack (c) (SCRWSCJ) are appalled that you have used the Cracker-Jack (c) name without its wholesome carmel, nut and corn goodness.
SCRWSCJ insists that all future references to the wholesome Cracker-Jacks (c) are used with utmost respect, referred to with its greatest goodness.
We at SCRWSCJ anticipate that all future references to Cracker-Jack (c) will be used correctly, and to our standards. May the long life of Cracker-Jack (c) and the SCRWSCJ live on long into our children's lives. Remember kids, its carmel-popcorn-nut-crunchy-wholesome-goodness!

Thank you.

Not really an act of war (1)

Ratteau (183242) | more than 13 years ago | (#268019)


Even if they were cracking .gov sites, their actions would not consititute an act of war, unless, of course, their actions were sanctioned by a recognized world government. I think the question of politics here has to come in on what will be the Russian reaction to this tactic? Will they demand the return of the men even though duped, they came here of their own volition? What will happen in future attempts at a similar ploy? Since this arrest occurred in early November, and we havnet heard anything about it until now, I dont think Russia will do anything. In fact, with the state of the criminal world over there right now, they are probably glad to have a couple less to worry about.

Hackers should have never been fooled (1)

AintTooProudToBeg (187954) | more than 13 years ago | (#268022)

$ whois invita.com

Registrant:
Federal Bureau of Investigation (INVITA-DOM)
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 7972
Washington, DC 20535
US

Domain Name: INVITA.COM

Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Billing Contact:
Louis J. Freeh (LF10359-IN) louis@fbi.gov
Federal Bureau of Investigation (INVITA-DOM)
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 7972
Washington, DC 20535
USA
2023243000

Record last updated on 06-Apr-2001.
Record expires on 24-Apr-2003.
Record created on 24-Apr-1998.
Database last updated on 24-Apr-2001 02:37:00 EDT.

Domain servers in listed order:

NS1.FBI.GOV 165.87.201.243
NS2.FBI.GOV 165.87.201.244

Crack onto others... (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 13 years ago | (#268023)


So the message I get is that breaking into computers is BAD BAD BAD when a couple evil Russians do it to hardworking Americans, but it's okay when the good ol' US government does it right back to 'em.

Maybe I'm just yet another paranoid government-hating Slashdotting Big-Brother-phobe, but why should I believe that law enforcement agencies will only wear white hats when they perform these kinds of actions?

Re:The Interesting Ending (2)

ichimunki (194887) | more than 13 years ago | (#268025)

What I find interesting is that this is the FBI doing this, which I've always thought was a domestic agency. Am I wrong when I suppose that international matters of this sort should be in the hands of the CIA or the military? Of course, I'm also willing to believe the whole thing was orchestrated by Microsoft to get their source code back.

Re:What are the politics of this? (1)

NixterAg (198468) | more than 13 years ago | (#268027)

A situation similar to this could easily be considered an act of war- particularly if the hackers or script-kiddies were targeting .gov sites as opposed to corps [who, given the technology and $ at their disposal, are asking for it if they leave their systems open].

Stealing is still stealing whether or not you lock your front door. Boy I hope you don't vote.

Re:being clueless (1)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 13 years ago | (#268029)

why should they make an international incident out of it? If they approached us for help on getting somebody in our country, and if it was all according to extradition treaties, we'd help them out. The FBI has the resources and wherewithall to do so. Their counterpart in russia apparently does not, and hence no right to bitch when we take care or it ourselves.

Re:Double Standard (1)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 13 years ago | (#268030)

An even better question is:

Would the FBI help out Russian officials, if they made a request that was within applicable treaties?

The answer is yes, becuase the FBI has the resources and will to do so. The FBI recieved no help from Russian officials on this, so they have no right to complain

DMCA, UTICA (1)

VivianC (206472) | more than 13 years ago | (#268031)

The statements and actions of the FBI really raise some questions:
  • Are these agents now criminals in Russia?
  • If you have no jurisdiction to get a warrant, does it really mean you can do whatever you want?
  • Can you use the same logic in domestic crimes (a rape in Chicago isn't in the FBI's jurisdiction, so they can search houses without a warrant)?
  • Does this violate the DCMA by breaking the hackers encryption?
  • If this was done from the FBI Academy at Quantaco, VA, does it violate provisions of UTICA?
  • Are government agents immune for US and International law?


This could be a huge can of worms. It will be interesting to see if Russia views these searches the same way.


Viv
-----------

fbi hackers (1)

pcidevel (207951) | more than 13 years ago | (#268033)

Man, and here I was thinking that all of these port scans were coming from script kiddies.. little did I know that the fbi was trying out their 1337 h4X0ring $k|11z on my pc. Okay.. I admit it.. I suck at l337 speak!

Re:Reverse hacking? (1)

vinnythenose (214595) | more than 13 years ago | (#268043)

Wouldn't reverse hacking be when you leave the system clean up after your hack and put all their security holes back in place? :)

Re:Double Standard (1)

NecroPuppy (222648) | more than 13 years ago | (#268046)

Actually, since at least some of the alleged crimes took place inside the boundries of the US, it's the FBI's job to handle.

Re:Indymedia raided by FBI (1)

teatime (225707) | more than 13 years ago | (#268050)

WTF? I am just stating the facts. If I can't say 2+2 is 4 I am not free. Sorry to see someone with such an extensive vocab doesn't like the truth being shared.

Indymedia raided by FBI (3)

teatime (225707) | more than 13 years ago | (#268054)

The Indymedia center in Seattle was raided [indymedia.org] by the FBI. Not only that but the federal government has required that all phones have a tracking device by 2005 [foxnews.com] We should not support a government that hacks into the citizens of other countries computers. It is only matter of time before they do it to us. If they haven't already started. Welcome to the corporate police state.

Re:Ah.. (2)

bmongar (230600) | more than 13 years ago | (#268060)

ut what are they doing against US crackers hacking Chinese computers? Hire them.

Re:Entrapment (was Re: ...ramifications) (2)

bmongar (230600) | more than 13 years ago | (#268061)

It may be illegally gathered evidence, but it is nowhere near entrapment. Entrapment is enticing someone to do something they may not have done without your influence.

Re:Entrapment (was Re: ...ramifications) (2)

bmongar (230600) | more than 13 years ago | (#268062)

I should be more clear enticing someone to commit a crime they may not have done without your influence.

Re:Double Standard (2)

Lawbeefaroni (246892) | more than 13 years ago | (#268070)

The CNN article mentions that the prosecution's argument was that the FBI didn't require a warrant because Russia isn't under their jurisdiction. Can someone explain? Does this mean that a Dade County Sherrif (Florida) can break into my Ann Arbor (Michigan) apartment sans warrant to legally gather evidence?
Of couse this was only their argument and not necessarily the law, but it's fairly brash. As was the "expectation of privacy" argument.

I bet they used scripts.

This quote says it all... (1)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 13 years ago | (#268071)

Ivanov, Gorshkov and other unnamed associates used the Internet to gain illegal access to the computers of more than 40 banks and e-commerce sites in 10 states, often by exploiting a known security vulnerability in Windows NT, prosecutors say. A "patch" for the vulnerability has been posted on the Microsoft Web site for almost two years, but the companies hit by the cyberbandits hadn't updated their software. [Emphasis mine]

The biggest problem with NT isn't necessarily the security holes. It's the idiocy of the admins. The only way to stop this: make it expensive to hire retarded sysadmins. Do this by suing these outfits (not necessarily Microsoft) for gross negligence and lack of due diligence in protecting your credit card information. Yeah, you'll probably only get $50 plus court costs, but that'll be $75 they have to pay. These Russian hackers stole 38,000 numbers from an undisclosed site; That's almost $2.7 million for hiring an incompetent admin!

Re:My personal favorite (1)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 13 years ago | (#268072)

There's nothing stopping MI5/MI6, DGSE, the Russians, the Chinese, et al. from violating your rights. As a matter of fact, Echelon essentially does just that: the US spies on the British citizens for the Brits; British spy on US citizens for the 'mericans.

Re:This quote says it all... (1)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 13 years ago | (#268073)

But at the same time but having 38000 suits, in all 50 states, in small claims court is good... it's the legal equivalent of a DDOS...

hm.... (1)

guest12 (248543) | more than 13 years ago | (#268075)


Registrant:
Invita Koekkener A/S (INVITA-DOM)
Fabriksvej 20
DK-7441 Bording,
DK

Domain Name: INVITA.COM

Administrative Contact, Billing Contact:
Krogsgaard, Johannes (JK10757) invitajk@POST1.TELE.DK
Invita Koekkener A/S
Fabriksvej 20
Bording, 7441
DK
86861677 (FAX) 86861677
Technical Contact:
UNI2 / Henrik Bo Hansen (UNI2-DK) domain@UNI2.DK
UNI2
Gl. Koege Landevej 55
Valby
DENMARK
+45 77 30 10 01
Fax- +45 77 30 10 00

Record last updated on 09-Feb-2001.
Record expires on 12-Oct-2001.
Record created on 11-Oct-1996.
Database last updated on 24-Apr-2001 02:37:00 EDT.

Domain servers in listed order:

NS.UNI2.NET 129.142.7.99
NS2.UNI2.NET 195.82.195.99

did you make that up or did they change it already (1)

dirtyhippie (259852) | more than 13 years ago | (#268082)

did you make that up or did they change it already? $ whois invita.com Registrant: Invita Koekkener A/S (INVITA-DOM) Fabriksvej 20 DK-7441 Bording, DK Domain Name: INVITA.COM Administrative Contact, Billing Contact: Krogsgaard, Johannes (JK10757) invitajk@POST1.TELE.DK Invita Koekkener A/S Fabriksvej 20 DK-7441 Bording, DK Domain Name: INVITA.COM Administrative Contact, Billing Contact: Krogsgaard, Johannes (JK10757) invitajk@POST1.TELE.DK Invita Koekkener A/S Fabriksvej 20 Bording, 7441 DK 86861677 (FAX) 86861677 Technical Contact: UNI2 / Henrik Bo Hansen (UNI2-DK) domain@UNI2.DK UNI2 Gl. Koege Landevej 55 Valby DENMARK +45 77 30 10 01 Fax- +45 77 30 10 00 Record last updated on 09-Feb-2001. Record expires on 12-Oct-2001. Record created on 11-Oct-1996. Database last updated on 24-Apr-2001 02:37:00 EDT. Domain servers in listed order: NS.UNI2.NET 129.142.7.99 NS2.UNI2.NET 195.82.195.99

So then.... (1)

Husaria (262766) | more than 13 years ago | (#268083)

Won't the FBI now be violating any possible Russian laws then, and knowing the Russians, they'll come up with some elaborate scheme to make us look like a horse's ass.
Since the FBI are indeed hacking those crackers...this is shaping up to be an international incident.

No cracking at all! (1)

pbemfun (265334) | more than 13 years ago | (#268084)

Um, sorry, but there wasn't any 'hacking' involved here. The FBI sniffed their id's and passwords on a machine they gave to the Russian crackers and used the information to log into their own computers. I never knew that network sniffing was hacking...guess I better watch our networking people more closely!

Tyler

Re:Indymedia raided by FBI (1)

Dolly_Llama (267016) | more than 13 years ago | (#268086)

It's the suede-denim secret police....

Re:Amazing (2)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 13 years ago | (#268091)

The rules are always different for government workers in positions of power. In fact, lots of rules don't even apply to them. Like Bill Clinton, for example. He was the Commander in Chief of all of the armed services at the time that he lied about the Monica Lewinski scandal. I know the creed of the Air Force Academy is: "We will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate among us anyone who does." Uhhh, don't you think the 'high commander' would be subject to this rule? Apparently not, because he's got good lawyers and all the power.

So don't think this will set a precedence in your favor of copying digital media. If anything, it will give the government more power to do whatever they want, and you less. Sorry man.

As with all power (1)

CrackElf (318113) | more than 13 years ago | (#268113)

The power of government must be held in check, unless the government is to be trusted. And that means trusting every money grubbing power hungry politician that seeks out a place in the structure. Now, I am not saying that every person that works for the government is evil, or even that every politician is. I am just saying that those who are most likely to abuse power are the same ones who will most diligently seek it out. Those that seek it out are the most likely to aquire such power. And that means that a signifigant number of the people in power are willing to abuse it. And even if that were not the case, I do not think that we should condone the government committing the electronic equivalent of unlawful search and seizure.
-CrackElf

One word (1)

CrackElf (318113) | more than 13 years ago | (#268114)

Backup. It should not take 72 hours to recover the data. And, with a daily backup, you should loose at the absolute most 24 hours. Security and data integrity includes regular backups. Every IT department should be ready for data loss and data leakage scenarios. Because even if you catch the cracker, most of the time it is after the damage is done.

Double Standard (1)

diatonic (318560) | more than 13 years ago | (#268119)

It is interesting to see the double-standard with which the U.S. Government operates. I'm sure I would be prosecuted to high heaven if I tried to hack into Bill Clinton's computer to get the skinny on what went on between him and Monica. All your evidence is belong to US!

Re:The Interesting Ending (2)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 13 years ago | (#268127)

Would you rather the FBI try to argue that it can arrest people in Russia? The still have their nukes, ya know...

Re:Double Standard (2)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 13 years ago | (#268128)

Yeah, double standard. They were supposed to get a search warrant from a judge in the local oblast before they... hey, wait a second... Oblast? Oblast! This is a FOREIGN COUNTRY! These were not US citizens, they were not living on US soil, and until they enter the US, the US Constitution doesn't apply to them. Why do you think they had to be lured here before they could be arrested?

The only odd thing I see here is that I think this might have been the CIA's jurisdiction, since they're the ones usually in charge of information-gathering outside US borders.

If you want to argue that the US Constitution protects the rights of those nowhere near our borders, then I hope you're one of the first to volunteer for the military as they're deployed to China to enforce our Constitution on them.

The US Constitution doesn't apply (2)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 13 years ago | (#268129)

I've said it twice already here, but nobody seems to understand it, so I'll say it again: The US Constitution (and it's protection against unreasonable search and siesure) does not apply here. They weren't US citizens. They weren't even resident aliens, illegal or otherwise. No Russian oblastey, respublik, okrugov, or krayev have ratified the US Constitution and become a US state. It hasn't even been put to a vote. The only time our Constitution applied to Russian territory and Russian people is when Seward helped buy Alaska.

This is wholly outside the jurisdiction of any US state or federal laws. The only "laws" that do apply are international treaties, and I have yet to hear of any that forbids a nation-state from taking nessecary action to protect itself from outside threat.

If the US were trying to enforce Constitutional law outside its borders, then the Chinese and others are right: We really ARE hegemonic. And I'd hate to be part of the military that tries to enforce those laws on the rest of the world.

Ah.. (1)

glenkim (412499) | more than 13 years ago | (#268134)

But what are they doing against US crackers hacking Chinese computers? ... That's what I thought.

Re:hm.... (1)

glenkim (412499) | more than 13 years ago | (#268135)

The record was last updated in February. They were arrested in November. It is possible that the records were earlier more believable. However, it is possible that they were just careless.

Interesting question on legality (1)

Jonny Ringo (444580) | more than 13 years ago | (#268150)

This goes under old rules applying to new technology. The fbi used a sniffer to capture the crooks information, but did not look at it untill they got a search warrant. - What the hell? They think that this is legal? They are "searching" their computer, therefore they should be required to have a SEARCHwarrant.'

That's like the fbi breaking into your house with blind folds on, and taking everything, then looking at your stuff once they got the search warrant (course that would never happen).

Re:I can just see the next X-Files... (1)

benevolent_spork (446160) | more than 13 years ago | (#268164)

You must be patient, my evil brother. All will be revealed in the fullness of time. The plans of some will reach fruition, while the fruits for others will be perdition.

Re:hrm (1)

benevolent_spork (446160) | more than 13 years ago | (#268165)

Bah!

You impugn my honor, Sir, as well as the honor of evil_spork.

I have not seen the inside of a college dorm for years, having left the hallowed ivory halls for the greener but far more dull pastures of employment.

I will not demand an apology from a lowly AC, but would consider it apropos (mind you I mean not "man -k", but rather "fitting the circumstance").

Re:My personal favorite (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 13 years ago | (#268166)

"By this logic, all the government has to do is setup a law enforcment agency which has no jursidiction in the US and they can gather evidence on its own citizens without regard to the constitution." As already stated this was the goal of Echelon. Give the UK and land of OZ access to our intelligence information in exchange for spying on US citzens at the behest of our intelligence agencies. Perfectly constitutional and morally reprehensible.
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