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Forbes Offers a Sympathetic Portrayal of Hackers

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the we're-not-the-enemy-and-they-know-it dept.

Security 97

selain03 sends us to Forbes for a surprisingly tolerant article on the recent Defcon. The reporter spoke to several of the event organizers and faithfully conveyed their characterization of the community as motivated by curiosity about technology. The article quotes a Department of Defense cybercrime guy: "Run-of-the-mill individual hackers are just noise as we try to focus on the real problem. We have to investigate every threat, but we're often dealing with ankle biters." A refreshing perspective to read in the mainstream media.

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"Middle America, Meet The Hackers!" (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#20151993)

Because that doesn't sound like a sitcom or anything...

Re:"Middle America, Meet The Hackers!" (4, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152055)

Because that doesn't sound like a sitcom or anything...

You're forgetting pwn-ography never makes it to mainstream tele.

Who creates the scripts? (0)

Crito123 (1139891) | more than 7 years ago | (#20156591)

You people think the "security professionals" at the NSA/FBI/DoD write these "scripts"? The script kiddies themselves have created the vast majority of hacking tools. The reason white hats refer to them as script kiddies is because the average 14 year old hacker can program circles around the average security professional. What script kiddies aren't really good at is the "social engineering" part, which is essentially the spy craft. That's why they frequently get caught and the crimes the NSA/FBI/DoD commit go relatively unnoticed.

Re:Who creates the scripts? (1)

Crito123 (1139891) | more than 7 years ago | (#20156713)

And what's really ironic is it's much easier to learn social engineering by reading from a script than it is to program. Programming requires long nights of trial and error, banging you head against the wall. Any telemarketer could perform basic social engineering.

Re:Who creates the scripts? (2)

AgentSmith (69695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20157733)

Uh no.

Way back in the day, Hackers were and still are the folks creating the scripts.
"script kiddies" were little wanker wannabes that logged into an IRC chat or usenet session
and eavesdropped, glommed, or begged scripts out of real programmers. They then ran these
scripts thinking they were so 133t! This may have changed, but if you're actually writing or modifying
code call yourself anything other than a script kiddie.

Most of these so called script kiddies I've met couldn't code themselves out of a paper bag.
But they were so awesome when they stole someone else's script, broke into the local phone system, got caught and went to juvie.

It's not breaking into things, it's figuring how things work.

Mod me redundant, because this should be repeated 10 times down the list by the time I post.

"ankle biters"? (5, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152013)

As shown in the past, it's often the very very simple hacks like finding an unprotected machine and installing sub7 on it that brings down the giants. A high level of technical experience is NOT a prereq. for a serious hack

Re:"ankle biters"? (1, Troll)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152237)

whether it's basic hacks or super high level, new ones that seem godly doesn't really matter actually. It's a big convention that basically says all computer systems are insecure by nature and everything is hackable. Well duh! A bunch of guys get together and show off new ways to remind everyone that computers aren't safe. They might as well be holding a fire isn't safe convention and holding conferences at it where they light random things and fire to prove their point. Ooh, look at me, I can light an entire couch on fire in 3 seconds, I'm so cool! It's the exact same thing at hackers conventions. Lots of people get together and talk about stupid and simple and super complicated and hard ways to do something everyone knows is possible and they pretend like they're the coolest, most special person on earth for it.

Re:"ankle biters"? (5, Funny)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152611)

I understand your point, but c'mon, can you honestly tell me that if there were a fire convention, you wouldn't go? It sounds pretty awesome to me.

Re:"ankle biters"? (1)

genner (694963) | more than 7 years ago | (#20156375)

Umm fire convention... yeah it's today.
www.nefcon07.com [nefcon07.com]

Re:"ankle biters"? (1)

JonnyBnDC (461891) | more than 7 years ago | (#20162085)

can you honestly tell me that if there were a fire convention, you wouldn't go?

It's called Burning Man [burningman.com] .

Re:"ankle biters"? (-1, Troll)

Worthless_Comments (987427) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152879)

It's okay; it's normal to be jealous of people who can do things you can't.

Re:"ankle biters"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20152973)

Such as resisting the urge to be a snarky little troll?

(It's ok, I am still working on that one, too).

Re:"ankle biters"? (1)

stanleypane (729903) | more than 7 years ago | (#20155325)

I know it's flamebait, but I just gotta put this into perspective. Fire is a huge threat and can take lives in an instant. Though, the industries that deal with those risks are heavily regulated and actual metrics have been established that must be adhered to in order to insure that their products are up to par before making it to market. Think about any company that manufactures products that utilize natural gas. Stoves, furnaces, tanks to store natural gas, pipes to transport, etc. Many metric standards have been established, through rigorous testing, that insure these products don't fail under normal conditions and for good reason. You don't have to blindly trust company X when they claim their products are safe. Now think about the software industry. How many vendors can Slashdot name that constantly parade around claiming to have made there products secure and virtually hackproof? Oh yeah? Where's the metrics to prove that? Where is the regulatory industry that requires specific guidelines and standards be adhered to when dealing with information of a sensitive nature? Conventions like Defcon are needed to remind everyone exactly how fragile and insecure many of these products are.

Re:"ankle biters"? (4, Insightful)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152337)

True that, but is does take a great deal of restraint and expertise to go black hat and not leave a trace.

Black hats go by a different name: corporate espionage. In that, they are in a profession of spy with computers and data, and not of personal communications.

Re:"ankle biters"? (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20153527)

You make that sound like it's some cool spy movie. It isn't. It's just plain illegal. Well paid, granted, but illegal. It's neither flashy (you can't even brag about your smooth moves!) nor in any way exciting. Neither is being wanted by some three-letter-agencies. Do you happen to know why they ALL have three letters, no matter what country or nation they belong to?

The only movie related thing that is real for a black hat is the briefing closing line from Mission Impossible: If anything goes wrong, we don't know you anymore and have never known you even existed.

Re:"ankle biters"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20153785)

> Do you happen to know why they ALL have three letters, no matter what country or nation they belong to?

No. Why??

Re:"ankle biters"? (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 7 years ago | (#20153797)

Because clearly, spies operate entirely within the bounds of the law *rolls eyes*

Re:"ankle biters"? (1)

alx5000 (896642) | more than 7 years ago | (#20154135)

You make that sound like it's some cool spy movie. It is. It's just plain illegal. Well paid, granted, but illegal. It's neither flashy (you can't even brag about your smooth moves!) nor in any way exciting. Neither is being wanted by some three-letter-agencies. Do you happen to know why they ALL have three letters, no matter what country or nation they belong to?
There, fixed that for ya. Boy, that was easy, keep 'em coming!

Re:"ankle biters"? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20154215)

Well, ymmv.

If you have the skills and think it's something you're interested in, there are a few companies that are hiring in that area.

Re:"ankle biters"? (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 7 years ago | (#20156833)

Do you happen to know why they ALL have three letters, no matter what country or nation they belong to?
They don't, GCHQ [gchq.gov.uk] is our (the UK) equivalent of the NSA. As you can see, it has four letters.
/pedant

Re:"ankle biters"? (1)

boa13 (548222) | more than 7 years ago | (#20158853)

Same for the DGSE [wikipedia.org] in France.

Re:"ankle biters"? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20159637)

Maybe the politicians in England and France can remember one letter more when they ponder who they gotta phone today.

Re:"ankle biters"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20163785)

it must be all o them socialist taxes they stole from honest people payin fer that extree letter

Re:"ankle biters"? (1)

Merk (25521) | more than 7 years ago | (#20161343)

CSIS and RCMP in Canada.

Re:"ankle biters"? (3, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 7 years ago | (#20157067)

You make that sound like it's some cool spy movie. It isn't. It's just plain illegal. Well paid, granted, but illegal. It's neither flashy (you can't even brag about your smooth moves!) nor in any way exciting.
Imagine you have some custom malware which is only in use in a few places in the world. There will be no anti-virus signature for it because its custom. Now imagine it looks for certain words or phrases (such as "earnings") in Word or Excel documents and encodes the surrounding text in to some covert, background-noise packet, like NTP or DNS. You have also programmed your bug to only phone home while the computer is in use, so you don't trigger any off-hour activity alarms.

You now know whether these companies will beat earnings estimates or not. You can sell short or buy on margin with 100% confidence on the days these companies release their earnings reports.

So, no, you can't brag or tell chicks at bars that you are a spy doing espionage. But you CAN brag that you are a "trader" and are up 600% YTD.

Most companies barely fund and train their security departments well enough to stop mass worms--the kind that screw up large numbers of computers and suck up noticeable amounts of resources. There is NO WAY they would find a bug that does not replicate and lives on only a single PC in the finance department. Even if they did, they would likely just reformat the thing and be done with it. No reason starting in on forensics! Time is money!

Also, there is no huge chunk of money missing from any individual person, so who is going to hunt you down? You've only stolen a fraction of a penny per share from thousands of oblivious shareholders.

When the rewards are so high and the risks are so low, you can bet that there are many less-ethical people out there who are willing to do it, and would enjoy every minute of it. For some people, it wouldn't take much work convincing themselves that they are no more crooks than the people they are stealing from.

Re:"ankle biters"? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20159711)

You might be surprised. The case you described is far from fiction.

Though companies do actually put that PC up for forensics. A PC is cheap. Rip it out, throw it to forensics, put in a new machine for the accountant. What really matters is that this MUST NOT happen again. That would cost a fair lot of money (especially if someone leaks that information). That loss would make the cost of a PC including forensic examination look like pocket change.

Such things do happen. And yes, they get investigated. In short, don't do it unless you have a very good net of bots running to cover your tracks.

Re:"ankle biters"? (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 7 years ago | (#20160265)

Perhaps some companies pay for the people, tools, and training necessary to detect a custom bug. Fewer yet may even send computers generating suspicious activity off to forensics for in-depth analysis.

Most say "We have anti-virus and IDS, and we hired a few people at $60k to look over the systems. We have done our due diligence, so our ass is covered if something bad happens." Such places will also have the occasional meeting with the agenda: "How can we cut costs at our security department so senior exec bonuses will be larger?"

Such companies have about 0% chance of ever finding a custom bug.

Re:"ankle biters"? (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 7 years ago | (#20163803)

I know how I get information back from a bug.

Only have a bug report when traffic to internet is high. Then post a few hundred bytes to a popular blog (slashdot) and have it xored to a known key.

Retrieval is easy. Hit target dump-site (the blog) on a wifi network, probably with proxies to even mask that.

Congrats. You just smuggled data out.

Re:"ankle biters"? (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 7 years ago | (#20164913)

One communication channel which I think is interesting is Wikipedia. Even if your bug's stego is edited out, you can view it via the article's history.

If the target in question actually uses Wikipedia, this would be about as undetectable as it gets.

And yes, for retrieval, you use a power-boosted antenna to public wifi, bounce through a few countries, hit tor and check the wiki page. Though, if your bug uses good stego on a high-traffic page, such secrecy may not be needed.

Re:"ankle biters"? (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 7 years ago | (#20159831)

These people really don't understand. They think that hacking is some techno-porn orgy one sees on the "haqr" shows. It sadly is not.

Good luck trying to find evil-ware when it's custom and yet munged with packers. It'd be better yet if the export was a gpg encrypted to a public key that was packed within. Do you think techies working in IT at a big company have the expertise to properly unpack and dead-list it correctly (assuming that the reverse assembly removes impossible loops)? I think not. Some of the stuff I've seen, Spaf would have a hell of a time with it.

You know, a colo servers are rather cheap and can store a nice load of data. And one can use TOR or another anonymizer to contact the colo.

Re:"ankle biters"? (1)

alienmole (15522) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166137)

So, no, you can't brag or tell chicks at bars that you are a spy doing espionage.
Why not? It's always worked for me...

Re:"ankle biters"? (1)

Cumanes-alpha (1050258) | more than 7 years ago | (#20156179)

but with great power, comes great responsability

Re:"ankle biters"? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 7 years ago | (#20159659)

With great power, comes great responsibility. With absolute power comes no responsibility at all (cut to mad scientist's face illuminated by lightning bolts. Or Galadriel's test in LOTR).

Re:"ankle biters"? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20152433)

I work for a billion dollar privately owned health insurance company, and we recently had an incident where an internal development group connected an internal development machine to the DMZ without adequate password controls, violating several policies (password standards, development system standards, DMZ-house system standards, etc) to do some file transfer testing for an app they'd written. They even had a name setup in our external DNS! Someone ssh'ed in with a service account with the same password as the username and goofed around until it was finally discovered by chance. If it had been configured properly, the compromise would have never happened. If it had proper security measures in place, we'd have seen the attempt in real-time in our SEM. It was a comedy of errors, and sadly, the guilty parties in the company didn't even receive a slap on the wrist.

Re:"ankle biters"? (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152521)

A high level of technical experience is NOT a prereq. for a serious hack
No, but a high level of technical incompetence on the part of the hack-ee is.

- RG>

Re:"ankle biters"? (2, Insightful)

Garridan (597129) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152829)

Not really. People with extremely high technical competence still miss the little things once and a while. Only takes one little hole.

Re:"ankle biters"? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20152727)

The average guy walking down the street cringes at the prospect of being kicked in the balls, much less having his nuts surgically removed; but some testicle owners want nothing more than to become geldings.

"I feel very glad to have my balls cut off," says Rick, a 45-year-old Seattle, Washington, resident who fantasized about being castrated most of his adult life. "It feels good to have a huge empty area between my legs. I'll be happy if I never have another orgasm."

And then there are those extreme eunuchs for whom deballing is simply not enough. A nullo is a neuter who has also had the shaft of his penis removed, leaving only a urethral opening and scar tissue where a dingaling once hung. Nullos are also called smoothies, although purists insist that a true smoothie is a nullo who has also excised his nipples.

Steven is a Canadian who travels extensively in western Europe, visiting dungeons in search of the perfect dominatrix; for Steven, castration would be a dream come true.

"I'm looking for a dominant woman who would enjoy extreme forms of cock-and-ball torture--up to and including castration and removal of the penis," Steven says. "My penis is a nice size--a little more than eight inches long and five inches in circumference. If I could find a dom who would be into it, she would be welcome to keep [my cock and balls], of course."

***

History books remind us that eunuchs were trusted harem guards in Ottoman Turkey, and that they were slaves in ancient Rome. In the Assyrian empire, neuters sat at the highest levels of the court and were responsible for granting or withholding access to the emperor. Castration is still practiced by the Hijras, a religious sect in India that claims more than a million members.

At various points in its history, the Catholic church has also dabbled in castration, most famously by cutting off the balls of prepubescent choir boys. The resulting castrati were prized for their high singing voices. (Contrary to popular belief, an adult's voice does not become high-pitched upon castration--the procedure must occur before puberty sets in.)

Historical precedent stops well short of explaining why a sane man would want to have his balls removed. For transsexuals, castration is a crucial step on the journey to becoming women; but many eunuchs have no desire to be women, at least in the literal sense.

A substantial faction of nutless wonders are masochistic denizens of fetish dungeons who view their testicles as the ultimate sacrificial offering for their mistresses.

"I'm just a natural-born submissive," explains Derrick, a German eunuch who lives in Australia. "I was born to submit to beautiful women while they laugh and spit at me, because I'm an ugly, fat slut with a little dick and no balls. It drives me crazy when a dominant lady offers cruel, merciless verbal and physical humiliation--maybe she cuts my dick off and throws it in her glove compartment."

"Many of us like the humiliation and total frustration of being completely feminized and used to serve the female sex with a completely useless set of male genitalia," adds Boyjulie, a eunuch who frequents Internet chat rooms devoted to the topic. "To have a cock which does not function, but which is available for punishment and for torment by females, must lead to exquisite humiliation and mental torture."

Leonard, a nullo from the Midwest, believes that castration allows slaves to better worship their S&M (sadomasochism) mistresses.

"If a guy has his cock and balls removed, he's only good for about one thing," says Leonard. "And if it's for a mistress, let's just say he gets a lot better with his tongue."

The ultramasochist is one brand of castrato; Gianna E. Israel, a psychologist who specializes in gender counseling and is the principle author of Transgender Care, believes that the sex maniac is another.

"These individuals suffer an unremitting libido, which interrupts their day-to-day functioning and relationships," Israel explains. "Most commonly, a husband will be horny every day, all day, while his wife may be considerably less so, and his libido is a dissatisfaction to both. Many times, males prefer to undergo chemical or surgical castration to reduce these feelings of frustration."

Mistress Lena, a dominatrix in Los Angeles, California, who performs extreme cock-and-ball torture (such as suturing the scrotum over the penis with a needle and thread, stepping on the foreskin with her stiletto heel, and/or driving heavy-gauge needles through the head) has had clients beg to be castrated.

"A lot of these guys are sex addicts and compulsive masturbators; they're just overwhelmed and overpowered by their hormones," Lena postulates. "They feel bad about being male, because men are pigs."

C.M. is a 46-year-old writer living in Denver, Colorado, who injected himself for a year-and-a-half with Depo-Provera, a drug commonly used by women for birth control that reduces testosterone to negligible levels, because his sex drive was completely out of control. Ultimately, C.M. was castrated.

"My sexual fantasies revolved around violent sex, and that really bothered me," C.M. says. "I'd buy magazines and go to porno flicks, and it became an unhealthy thing for me. I was living kind of a double life--wanting something, getting it and being repulsed by it. I was tired of always having the urge and never being satiated; so I decided I would just do away with the urge."

Gerald, a legal secretary from Baltimore, Maryland, says that the presence of testicles in his scrotum almost cost him his career.

"I had a real problem with sexual urges before [castration], and would oftentimes masturbate three or four times a day," Gerald says. "It was very inconvenient and almost got me fired from my job. I still masturbate, but only a couple times a week, and most of the time I can't come; so that makes it more special.

"Another change is my erotic thoughts," Gerald adds. "Before I was castrated, I was more interested in shoving my dick in an orifice and screwing it. Now I realize that I might not be able to perform, and that my lips, teeth, tongue and fingers might be the only sexual tools I can use. I find that very erotic."

Without testicles, where semen is produced, a eunuch spits very little man milk when he comes; the meager spew resulting from a no-nut orgasm is mostly clear, and comes from the seminal vesicles and the prostate gland.

While ejaculation is a possibility, a castrated man's sex drive is normally so low that without taking shots of Depo-Testosterone (a synthetic form of the hormone), orgasms may be mightily difficult to achieve. Prolonged, vigorous wanking may produce a climactic payoff, but the excessive stimulation might also just leave a man's meat stick red and raw.

Why would a man remove his balls, and and then inject himself with male hormones to regain his testicle-driven urge to hump? According to Gianna Israel, such a case may be suffering from a psychological malady called genital dysphoria.

"Essentially these are individuals who do not like the look, feel or presence of their genitals," Israel says. "This can range from dislike of their testicles, to testicles and penis. The majority of [afflicted] individuals have this condition their entire life, and their unhappiness ebbs and flows."

Tom the Nullo, who paid a surgeon $10,000 to cut off his cock and balls and surgically relocate his urethra, knows several people who suffer from this esthetic displeasure with their nuts.

"Most of these people are saying variations of, 'I do not like my genitals; I have never taken ownership of them as a legitimate part of my body, and I don't like their look or feel. I'm not a female, but I don't like those dangly bits attached to me. They spoil the line of my swimsuit,' " says Tom.

Genital dysphoria may explain the many eunuchs who don't complain about hopped-up libidos, but instead cite lifelong castration fantasies when accounting for the motivation that drove them to seek removal surgery.

"I always thought of my body as castrated," says Randy, who had his testicles removed by a cutter, an unlicensed underground surgeon, in July of 1999 and is seriously considering excising his penis in an operation known as a penectomy. "I remember that when I was young, I would often tuck myself to give myself a smooth crotch. There was no sexual thing to that at age six or seven, but there was a feeling of familiarity and comfort to it. I don't know what it was that I was born differently with, but certainly there was something."

When asked to explain his bizarre longing to be rid of his family jewels, Gelding, a heavily tattooed, burly man who lives in Florida, points to a childhood experience.

"I bumped into a guy on the bus in high school," Gelding recalls. "He squeezed my balls and said, 'If you do that again, I'll crush them.' And I still remember that, because it was something that started me thinking about [castration]."

Like Gelding, a castrato who goes by the name No Nuts says that a childhood incident put him in touch with his inner eunuch.

"When I was about 13, my mother caught me playing stink finger with our neighbor's daughter," says No Nuts. "She said if she caught me again, she would have me 'altered.' Well, that stuck with me from then on, until I finally thought it was a good idea too."

According to Gelding, many of the emasculated males he knows are homosexuals who find the absence of balls to be a dude magnet.

"A lot of guys get turned on by the fact that I'm a eunuch," Gelding says. "Just the idea that I don't have any balls and I like to have sex.

"I'm very masculine and hairy, and I found it difficult before getting castrated to get [a partner] to play a dominant role because I look like a dominant," Gelding adds. "But I'm mostly bottom. I used to have a business card that said, CASTRATED GAY MALE."

Victor T. Cheney, an avid castration proponent and the author of a book on the subject, The Advantages of Castration, believes he understands men who have their balls cut off to satisfy a sexual kink.

"I just put them in kind of the weirdo category," says Cheney, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who resides in Florida. In 1993, Cheney was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and had his testicles surgically removed. The Advantages of Castration touts human neutering as a wonder procedure capable of curing everything from alcoholism to the AIDS epidemic. (Cheney would like to see every HIV-positive man undergo castration to stem the spread of the virus.)

Cheney asserts that widespread castration could prevent other sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes and chlamydia. He further posits that castration precludes baldness, acne, priapism, drug addiction, unwanted pregnancies, testicular cancer, and may even prevent strokes and heart attacks by thinning the blood. While all this is plausible, it's equally true that decapitation lessens migraines.

In the "minus" column, castration can spur various maladies. In addition to the loss of blood and infection that may occur during back alley surgeries, eunuchs often suffer from hot flashes similar to postmenopausal women. Men without balls also gain weight, develop rounded hips and even grow breasts. Osteoporosis is another risk.

***

Unfortunately for the wannabe eunuch, nut removal is easier envisioned than done. Few doctors are willing to perform this unusual operation, often because it appears to be in conflict with the oath that physicians make upon graduating from medical school to "do no harm." In some municipalities, consensual castration, even when performed by a licensed doctor, can result in a criminal indictment under laws proscribing mayhem. The rare physician who will agree to carry out the procedure usually feels justified in charging an exorbitant rate for the service.

Philadelphia physician Dr. Felix Spector is one surgeon who performs elective castrations. Spector did his first deballing procedure (known as orchiectomies in medical circles) in 1957 on a transsexual patient in Casa Blanca, Morocco, and estimates that he has performed thousands since.

"I keep pretty busy," says Spector, who has a virtual lock on the castration market. "There are about eight or ten doctors in the world who know what they are doing. I think the general pattern is such that it will be better accepted as time goes on, and probably others will enter the field."

Balls are removed from scrota in hospitals all the time, but mostly for pressing medical exigencies, such as testicular cancer. A few doctors are willing to castrate male-to-female transsexuals, but only in accordance with the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association Standards of Care, which require a potential eunuch to go through a psychiatric evaluation and live for an entire year as a woman.

"I think that's a little extreme," Spector says of the guidelines. "It's demeaning. When they come to me, I trust the individual to know what he wants."

Tom the Nullo believes that a man considering castration should discuss the decision with a professional first.

"I would strongly suggest some psychological evaluation to make certain that the desire is not an acting out of some fetishistic fantasy, and there are no major phychopathologies," Tom says. "But other than that, I have to say that the one thing each person owns is their own body, and decisions about it should be theirs and theirs alone."

Hiring a licensed physician to perform a castration is not cheap, even without psychotherapy. Dr. Spector charges $1,600 for a two-hour testicle-removal surgery. For an additional $1,200, Spector will slice away the eunuch's scrotum.

Dr. Spector is willing to perform controversial elective surgeries, but there are some lines even he isn't willing to cross--namely, penectomies (removal of the penis).

"I'm a little conservative in my attitude," Spector admits. "I will do the castration, but I don't go way out in ways that I'm sometimes asked."

Men who are seriously interested in being divorced from their testicles, but can't afford a surgeon, sometimes turn to underground castrators, known as cutters, who often work for free. However, aside from entailing far greater risk than in a modern hospital setting, these crude, amateur doctors don't advertise, since practicing medicine without a license is a criminal offense, and are consequently hard to find.

Edward Bodkin, a 56-year-old cutter from Huntington, Indiana, placed ads for his services in Ball Club Quarterly, a magazine that focuses exclusively on testicles, and Unique, which emphasizes genital modification and removal. Bodkin used everything from cattle-farm implements to manicure scissors to castrate five willing "patients" before his roommate turned him in to the authorities. Bodkin pleaded guilty to practicing medicine without a license, and was sentenced to four years in prison, with two-and-a-half years suspended. He was released in September of last year, and has since changed his name and moved out of state.

Although Bodkin didn't charge a fee for his services, he did ask for two (or, depending on who's counting, three) things from his clients: the right to videotape the operation, and the testicles themselves. When police searched Bodkin's apartment following his arrest, they found nine jars, each containing one teste, labeled either "R" for right or "L" for left. (Bodkin only removed nine balls because excessive bleeding forced him to abort one backroom procedure.)

Jim the Cutter is a fellow amateur surgeon who says he was in E-mail correspondence with Bodkin before the Indiana cutter ran afoul of the law. Jim is not surprised that Bodkin wound up in jail.

"He sent me his videos, and I was appalled by the lack of professionalism in his work," Jim blanches. "Shoving a paper towel in a seeping scrotum is not what I would consider good practice."

Another recently imprisoned castrator is Dr. John Ronald Brown. Although Brown performed many orchiectomies and sex-change operations in his career, an elective leg amputation finally landed him in prison. Seventy-five-year-old Philip Bondy paid Dr. Brown $10,000 to remove his leg. Bondy died in a hotel room from a massive infection, and Brown was convicted of second-degree murder.

Randy, a gelding who asked to be identified only by his first name, believes that cutters such as Bodkin and Brown give the eunuch community a bad name.

"I would imagine that 95% of the people out there wouldn't even believe that this subculture existed," says Randy, who has no complaints about the cutter who castrated him. "The 5% that maybe have heard something about it have only heard about the problems."

Contributing to the abysmal PR profile that plagues the eunuch community is the fact that men who can't find a cutter and can't afford a doctor sometimes take their balls into their own hands.

Gelding economized by cutting his own nuts off, and he nearly paid with his life. In 1991, Gelding tied off his testicles, took a pair of surgical scissors and cut off most of his scrotum. Gelding began bleeding profusely; he recognized the signs of clinical shock from his military training, which probably saved his life.

"I put what was left of my scrotum and balls in a plastic bag, dressed myself, called a taxi and took myself to the hospital emergency room," Gelding recalls. "The Catholic urologist who treated me was literally postal because he couldn't understand why somebody would castrate himself. He got very, very angry, as though I had committed a personal affront--if not to him, to God."

An outraged emergency-room doctor stitched Gelding's scrotum back together, thwarting his attempt to live up to his adopted name, but only temporarily. Gelding finally achieved eunuchism when a sadist chopped his balls off in an extreme fetish club. Gelding has a penis, but his urethra has been rerouted; he now urinates out of an opening near his anus that resembles a small vagina.

Men obsessed with heisting their own family jewels have been known to tape up their balls and shoot them off with a gun, or electrocute their nut sacs in the hopes of rendering their testicles useless, while traditionalists usually favor the classic butcher-knife method.

Self-castrators who shy away from scissors, knives, guns and razor blades, and can't stand the sight of blood, turn to constriction devices, such as an elastrator, which wraps around the base of the scrotum, preventing blood from reaching the testicles. This is the preferred method of castrating farm animals, since it shuts down hormone production but does not require expensive and potentially dangerous surgery. The balls wither away and die, and can easily be removed.

In spite of his brush with death, Gelding dismisses the dangers associated with do-it-yourself oyster removal.

"Even the guys who cut off their own cocks rarely die," Gelding insists. "The blood supply to the penis is a danger only if you have an erection. I have seen videos where rank amateurs do it with nonsurgical instruments--kitchen knives, Exacto knives. If a guy has a fixation, a true compulsion to be castrated, he's gonna be happy no matter what happens to him--complications, a stay in the hospital--you name it."

***

In an eerie dovetailing of the interests of ultramasochists and the criminal justice system, several state legislatures have jumped onto the castration bandwagon in the belief that a decrease of testicles in the sex-offender population will lead to a corresponding drop in the rates of sexual assault and rape.

In 1996, California passed a "chemical castration" law, by which repeat child molesters, as a condition of parole, must either submit to surgical castration or take weekly shots of Depo-Provera. Georgia, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Oregon and Wisconsin have all followed the Golden State's lead by enacting similar legislation.

Many sex offenders are enthusiastic proponents of castration treatments, but some are not satisfied with hormone shots--they want to join Gelding and No Nuts as eunuchs.

Texas resident Larry Don McQuay, a convicted child molester, begged to be castrated as his release date approached, pleading that he would continue to assault innocent children unless he was de-balled. The state refused to pay for the surgery, but the Texas legislature passed a law allowing repeat sex offenders to seek voluntary oyster shucking. At that point, Justice for All, an anticrime organization based in Houston, stepped in to help raise money for McQuay's eventual castration.

Elizabeth Schroeder, of the Texas branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, worries that convicts may be coerced in "volunteering" to be castrated.

"People are desperate to get out of prison, especially now that a sex offender whose prison term is finished may have a civil commitment where he could spend the rest of his life in a mental hospital," Schroeder says. "Convicts may request castration hoping to impress a parole board."

Despite concerns over the rights of convicted sex offenders to keep their cojones safe inside their ball sacs, the involvment of state legislatures in mandating castrations may be a blessing in disguise. Public awareness of chemical castrations and the existence of court-ordered orchiectomies may insper more licensed physicians to join Dr. Felix Spector in helping separate men from their testicles in a safe manner.

"I hear that Dr. Spector may be retiring soon," says castrato Gerald. "I just hope for the sake of othermen who want to [become castrated] that other doctors have the guts to open shop and fill the need."

Re:"ankle biters"? (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20153581)

It is a prerequisite, though, for hacks that aren't executable by clickmonkeys. Granted, pretty much every exploit there is today has been "tooled" to perfection, so that even the most clueless brick on earth can use them to do harm.

I'm honestly not afraid of hackers. I mean, the old school kind. The "real" ones. The ones that actually know that TCP/IP ain't the Chinese secret service and that a buffer overflow isn't something that requires a plumber to fix. In their growth years, they sooner or later stumbled upon the hacker's creed, and whether they heed it or not, the damage they do is usually minimal. Yes, they may steal your data (which is often enough a severe damage), but they don't destroy data intentionally.

What I'm afraid of is the scriptkid. The person without a clue, but with a tool. He doesn't know what he does, he doesn't know what he aims for, but he just clicks and hopes, trying to destroy and mess with other people's computers. He's the equivalent of the schoolyard bully. No clue, no skill, no perspective, but the need to once at least "prove" that he's "better" than someone else. If you're looking for wanton data destruction, that's the place to look for it.

Re:"ankle biters"? You mean Ankle Biting Zombies! (1)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 7 years ago | (#20154855)

OMG! WTF! Ruuuuuuu-un!

I can see it... (5, Insightful)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152015)

Who better to design safes than professional thieves?

Re:I can see it... (4, Insightful)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152449)

Mechanical Engineers.

Re:I can see it... (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152517)

Even engineers have been known to screw-up.

Re:I can see it... (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#20154943)

The only people that do not screw-up are those that do nothing.

OK, time for some coffee, that was far too Confuscious-like...

Re:I can see it... (2, Insightful)

smookumy (1121273) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152647)

Yes, exactly. After all, they're taught by the finest thieves: universities.

Re:I can see it... (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20154871)

Amen brother! *Dances in the aisle, loan papers in hand*

Re:I can see it... (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#20164529)

Who better to design safes than professional thieves?
Mechanical Engineers.

That feels right.

The "burglar proof" safe isn't necessarily the "fire proof" safe. The engineer has to find a workable solution for the problem as a whole.

Re:I can see it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20153395)

Me. I don't really have anything particularly insightful to add although I'm the person to add it. You were of course using it as a analogy, so an in depth walkthrough of why I'm more qualified than a professional theif would be over the top, but the reality is, I'm a better thief than a professional thief, and thievery of concentrated physical assets is beyond antiquated as digital assets are much less protected. Why would you go fishing in a puddle with the game warden breathing down your neck when there's a breeding ground right next door?

The reality is, the money in 0 days sploits for physical security is in salesmenship. The demand comes from having a product to sell. Not a pot of gold to steal. So who better to design a safe than a person who makes and sells safes is the reality. But that sounds stupid.

The truth behind this article... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20152017)

Some of the Defcon guys thought it would be hilarious to hack a major media outlet and place a sympathetic story about themselves on it. Mission accomplished!

Why forbes.com? (4, Funny)

Dr. Cody (554864) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152373)

But, of all the places, why Forbes? Couldn't they have picked some respectable outlet?

Maybe Forbes was the only site they had any luck with, since, having alienated techies so thoroughly, they couldn't hire a competent webadmin.

Re:Why forbes.com? (4, Funny)

Propagandhi (570791) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152681)

Nah, Forbes is just so single minded it's super easy to guess their passwords (it's money, by the by... always money).

same passwords (1)

Dr. Cody (554864) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152783)

Nah, Forbes is just so single minded it's super easy to guess their passwords (it's money, by the by... always money).

So, kind of like a flat tax?

Re:Why forbes.com? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20162903)

Badass nick, btw. Today's Empires, Tomorrow's Ashes is a fucking masterpiece.

Not Daniel Lyrons (5, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152047)

A Forbes article that isn't hyper-sensationalist and pro-status-quo?
What, was Daniel Lyons too busy impersonating Steve Jobs to do the piece?

Ofer? (1)

duck0 (1073338) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152095)

Maybe I'm just being foreign, but what' the heck is an Ofer?

Re:Ofer? (1)

DataBroker (964208) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152371)

Maybe I'm just being foreign, but what' the heck is an Ofer?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ofer [wikipedia.org]
Ofer (Hebrew: ) is a moshav located south of Haifa, Israel in the Carmel Mountains and is a part of the Hof HaCarmel Regional Council. The moshav was founded in 1950 by immigrants from India. Agricultural income is derived from raising cattle, sheep and chickens growing vegetables and flowers, and tourism.

Re:Ofer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20160321)

> sheep and chickens growing vegetables and flowers

They must do a nice job training the sheep and chickens.

Re:Ofer? (1)

matts-reign (824586) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152891)

Look at the title and then look at the word "ofers" again. Notice any similar ones?

The world is not fair... (4, Insightful)

Tatisimo (1061320) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152165)

Why didn't the more interesting story about the evil undercover reporter who got pwned made it to the mainstream media? There's no justice in this world for hackers... Won't somebody think of the hackers? ;_;

Re:The world is not fair... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20152309)

Well, if you read TFA you'd know that was the first thing mentioned.

Re:The world is not fair... (1)

oheso (898435) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152321)

Hmm. I read it on Slashdot and BoingBoing -- how mainstream do you want?

Re:The world is not fair... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20152525)

Well, if its any consolation, at least hackers get portrayed as digital gods who can do anything by typing rapidly for about 15 seconds in the movies (see Hackers, Swordfish) Some even go so far as to say hackers can dodge bullets.

Re:The world is not fair... (1)

Verence (145084) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152753)

That was one of the first things mentioned in the article.

Re:The world is not fair... (1)

glindsey (73730) | more than 7 years ago | (#20157507)

Considering she was a reporter for NBC's Dateline, I really expected the story to end up on CBS or ABC's evening news. Or possibly on Fox or CNN. I can't believe their competitors wouldn't jump at the chance to expose a sleazy shock tactic being used by an NBC employee... unless, of course, they feel it would expose their own sleazy shock tactics.

Still blaming "Eastern Europe or Asia" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20152229)

So much easier -- and apparently more villainous -- than "a bazillion Americans too stupid to run antivirus software".

That guy needs to wash his feet. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20152247)

I should change his screen saver to a naughty pic of Barbara Bush for that. And his mouse it gonna be those Dinosaurs Purple ones. Yeah yeah!

Self preservation? (1)

proudfoot (1096177) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152277)

Maybe they saw what happened to the other reporter. *shudders*

Sympathetic (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152411)

"They're so cute when they launch missles."

Hackers and Crackers (0)

lukesky321 (1092369) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152425)

When I mention a Cracker images of white men or literal crackers may be appearing in your head.
Now I am going to explain the difference between a hacker and a cracker.
A hacker is a person with no criminal intent breaking into a computer and just wants to do it to satisfy his curiosity, this however is not generally acceptable in our society. A Cracker is someone who does have criminal intent when breaking into a computer and does it for ulterior motives other then the attaining of knowledge. I believe the former should be allowed while the latter should be strictly discouraged.

Re:Hackers and Crackers (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152463)

This falls flat. Just wanting to break in without permission is criminal intent.

Re:Hackers and Crackers (3, Informative)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152635)

Hacker originally meant anyone who dabbles with ANY code. Not necessarily bypassing security, and not necessarily on someone elses computer, and not necessarily without consent.

Re:Hackers and Crackers (1)

woksta (895150) | more than 7 years ago | (#20153441)

Yes, we need to go into detail about the difference between hackers and crackers. This has neever been discussed before.

Re:Hackers and Crackers (1)

sssssss27 (1117705) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152683)

I think the word you are looking for is malicious intent not criminal intent.

Pervert vs concerned citizen (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152799)

Now I'm going to explain the difference between a pervert and an interested citizen.

Both peep into locker rooms and watch 12 year-olds undressing, but there's a big difference! The pervert is doing it because he is a criminal and the concerned citizen is just doing it to see how it is done so that they can know how perverts do it.

Please folks... just proving you can break into someone elses computer or their car or spy on their daughters is wrong. If you really want to do something for experimental reasons then set up your own car, computer or whatever.

All cracking/hacking someone elses equipment is back hat.

Re:Pervert vs concerned citizen (1)

oheso (898435) | more than 7 years ago | (#20153253)

When you're doing it for Homeland Security, you get the taxpayers to cover the cost of tissues!

Re:Pervert vs concerned citizen (1)

aguenter (1060008) | more than 7 years ago | (#20153265)

Now I'm going to explain the difference between a pervert and an interested citizen.

Both peep into locker rooms and watch 12 year-olds undressing, but there's a big difference! The pervert is doing it because he is a criminal and the concerned citizen is just doing it to see how it is done so that they can know how perverts do it.


Is this some sort of fabricated justification you've made for yourself to better sleep at night?

Just a thought, 'cause that's a really bad analogy that wouldn't have passed most peoples "WTF?" filter.

I'm hoping Freudian slip.

Re:Pervert vs concerned citizen (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20153599)

...and spy on your own daughter?

Re:Pervert vs concerned citizen (1)

razorh (853659) | more than 7 years ago | (#20155625)

All cracking/hacking someone elses equipment is back hat.

back hat bad,
front hat good!

Re:Hackers and Crackers (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20153181)

Umm, no. Being a hacker has absolutely nothing to do with wanting to break into somebody's computer, be it for fun, profit, or whatever else.

Being a hacker has everything to do with having talent at and taking delight in learning how large, complicated but internally consistent systems work and then using that knowledge to solve problems, overcome limitations and make improvements. A hacker is somebody who instinctively wants to take things - most often computer systems/programs - apart, tinker with them, put them back together again and in doing so learn something, so that they can do really clever things with that knowledge later: and who gets off on doing all of this.

Hackers existed before most computers were connected to any other computers to break into.

Alternate definitions (2, Interesting)

Almahtar (991773) | more than 7 years ago | (#20153311)

I've often heard what you call a 'hacker' called a 'white hat hacker' and what you call a 'cracker' called a 'black hat hacker'.

When I was just starting learning security stuff circa '95-'97 the term 'cracker' referred (in most stuff I read and by people I talked to at the time) to people who modified binaries on their own system to do things they weren't supposed to (such as a no cd crack or adding new features to a binary - it didn't have to be illegal), while hacking usually referred to gaining unauthorized access to anything, be it local or over network.

It all depends on what crowd you gained your definitions of hacking and cracking from. I prefer these definitions because they seem to have more precision. You can hack for multiple reasons (good or bad, white or black hat), you can crack for multiple reasons (good or bad, white or black hat).

A company I worked for had a lot of cracked copies of their software circulating the Internet and I spent some of my time for them reverse engineering and preventing one of their more mysterious and unsolved cracks - I'd call that white hat cracking.

Re:Hackers and Crackers (1)

alfs boner (963844) | more than 7 years ago | (#20153509)

zzzzzzzz...

Re:Hackers and Crackers (1)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 7 years ago | (#20154945)

so what if it's bad, or considered wrong. Wanting innocent hacking to not be seen as illegal is boring. Part of getting access to a system is the risk of getting caught! Risk is fun. If it wasn't we would only be content hacking sandboxes of our own creation. uhh, haven't heard this for a while... Hack the planet!

Re:Hackers and Crackers (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 7 years ago | (#20155827)

Be sure to remember that when that hacker breaking in without criminal intent gets you injured or killed because of any number of the following. The computer they broke into and subsequently crashed or fiddled with operates complex medical equipment, from MR machines to CT scanners to any of the new latest and greatest wizbang remote surgery technologies. How are you going to feel when the specialist cutting on you from thousands of miles away can't complete the surgery because some "innocent" "non criminal" hacker satisfied his curiosity on a critical piece of equipment. We can also talk about industry jobs...where the innocent hacker causes problems with a mfg machine controlled by the computer they are in. I had the pleasure of watching a laser cutter start to cut through itself due to an accidental oversight in simple software settings, the guy running it caught it really quick, but it still left a nice small cut in the frame.

Hackers can play with their own shit all they want, they can set up VMs and any number of other setups to play and tinker and test. I'm sure you will have a wonderful time explaining to the cops that you didn't want to steal anything when you get caught bumping locks that don't belong to you "out of curiousity".

Re:Hackers and Crackers (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#20164837)

Now I am going to explain the difference between a hacker and a cracker.
A hacker is a person with no criminal intent breaking into a computer and just wants to do it to satisfy his curiosity, this however is not generally acceptable in our society. A Cracker is someone who does have criminal intent when breaking into a computer and does it for ulterior motives other then the attaining of knowledge. I believe the former should be allowed while the latter should be strictly discouraged.

I think this is - looked at coldly and realistically - simply too fine a distinction for the public to make.

Part of the thrill of voyeurism may lie in almost being caught. For some, the closer the voyeur is to being discovered, the larger the thrill. Voyeurism [wikipedia.org]

That strikes a little too close to home if "curiosity" is your motive - and technical proficiency your means.

Nor is the "hack-ee" required to take you at your word. It's a bit like planting a camera in the girl's dorm room and claiming later that you never meant to view - or distribute - the video.

The only proof that your "hack" succeeded.

About Forbes (3, Insightful)

prakslash (681585) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152447)

May be it is just me but I find Forbes to be like women's "Cosmo" magazine for dumb guys and wannabes.

All it has is 3 things: (1) Articles that state the obvious (2) Shit load of Rolex and Lexus ads (3) Those top 10 lists like 'top 10 affordable vacation getaways' where their definition of affordable vacation is something that costs between $30k and $100k.

Sometimes it is almost like they are taunting the reader, saying "look, drool and weep".

Even in this article, their 'discovery' is that serious hackers are curious about technology, script-kiddies are just a nuisance.

Color me surpised...

Re:About Forbes (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152703)

May be it is just me but I find Forbes to be like women's "Cosmo" magazine for dumb guys and wannabes.

Forbes went downhill after Malcom Forbes Sr. died. Forbes Magazine used to do some hard-hitting investigative reporting. Malcom Forbes Sr's attitude was "Go ahead, sue me for libel. I'm a billionare". They've gone soft since the son took over.

Business Week, which used to be the cheering section for big business, has improved a bit.

It's not clear what will happen to the Wall Street Journal under Murdoch's ownership, but it's not looking good. The WSJ has gone downhill in the last few years, anyway. The fundamental problem is that its classic functions, stock charts and major stock-related events, are all on line now. Nobody on Wall Street needs to read the Wall Street Journal; anything that affects trading was on their Bloomberg long before.

Re:About Forbes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20152775)

They've gone soft since the son took over.

That's what she said.

American Heritage (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#20164891)

Forbes went downhill after Malcom Forbes Sr. died. Forbes Magazine used to do some hard-hitting investigative reporting.

I'd like to take a moment here to mourn American Heritage and its sister publication I & T, or as it was once known, The American Heritage [of] Invention and Technology. Literate, distinguished, gorgeously illustrated.

Re:About Forbes (1)

avatar4d (192234) | more than 7 years ago | (#20155643)

May be it is just me but I find Forbes to be like women's "Cosmo" magazine for dumb guys and wannabes.

All it has is 3 things: (1) Articles that state the obvious (2) Shit load of Rolex and Lexus ads (3) Those top 10 lists like 'top 10 affordable vacation getaways' where their definition of affordable vacation is something that costs between $30k and $100k.

Sometimes it is almost like they are taunting the reader, saying "look, drool and weep".


All it has is 3 things and Point 1 are baseless. All opinion and no fact or supporting evidence. Point 2 and 3 may make you drool and weep, but the magazine is not directed at you. Their demographic is people who can afford those things. This is why there are Rolex and Leer advertisements. Generally business owners and investors read the publication. Now while you may feel business owners are "dumb;" does it really matter? They can do what they want, when they want, buy anything they want, and they just seem a lot smarter than those who can't because of it.

Re:About Forbes (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 7 years ago | (#20164585)

Nah...prakslash, it's not just you....why would anyone who has ever done ANY serious hax give a flying f**k what Forbes thinks????

Ankle biters (1)

jsse (254124) | more than 7 years ago | (#20152935)

Run-of-the-mill individual hackers are just noise as we try to focus on the real problem. We have to investigate every threat, but we're often dealing with ankle biters.
Wait 'til Tiffany drives a bike into your premises, blowups everything in her path and then turns down your entire power grid with a ssh hack.

Don't underestimate the power of a desperate hacker in shiny leathers.

Own the Box (0, Troll)

eric76 (679787) | more than 7 years ago | (#20153615)

I've been curious about the results of the Own The Box competition.

Did any boxes not get owned? How many?

How did the various OS's on the box fare?

Does anyone have any link to the results?

Re:Own the Box (1)

neurovish (315867) | more than 7 years ago | (#20156743)

According to the awards ceremony, nobody fessed up to owning any of them. DT hypothesized that it was because once somebody got into the box, they saw that it was a PIII and felt it wasn't worth their time. He didn't give any more details though.

Re:Own the Box (1)

eric76 (679787) | more than 7 years ago | (#20163085)

Thanks. I've been curious about the results since I saw several requests for systems for the contest.

mod 0p (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20153869)

"noise" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20156547)

The feds are absolutely right on this one. The threat from some pony-tailed, bespectacled nerd poking around where he shouldn't(the stereotypical Defcon attendee) pales utterly in comparison to serious cyber-criminals and/or state sponsored infrastructure attacks.

If the feds and the geeks can learn something from each other that may help protect us all, it can be nothing but a Good Thing(tm).
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