Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky. (slithytove) wrote,
Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.

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Steven Gibson vs. the script kiddies

THIS IS utterly fascinating. It reads almost like a cyberpunk novel, with lots of fast transitions and violent changes in POV.

Steve Gibson is a very bright hacker/entrepreneur, probably most famous for a program called 'SpinRite', a well-regarded hard disk maintenance program for PC's that originated in the pre-Windows era. In late May of this year his company's site, Gibson Research, was DDos attacked. The page link above details Gibson's efforts to fix the problem, and to find out why his site was being attacked, and by whom. It's a tale of 13-year-old script kiddies, a Neuromancer-like world of armies of roaming IRC bots, the SubSeven trojan, and much more. The IRC conversation between Gibson and a cracker calling himself ^b0ss^ is worth the price of admission.

There's some disturbing stuff here. Gibson claims that the Back Ice firewall/intrusion detection software doesn't work as advertised, and lets malicious packets through, and that Black Ice's parent company, Network Ice is in denial. That's bad. Black Ice has gotten excellent press, and I, um, happen to own it... He does like ZoneAlarm, which I've read good things about, but haven't used. Even the free version of ZoneAlarm works better than Black Ice, according to Gibson.

Gibson is clearly a bit of a self-promoter, and although I don't think he says so anywhere directly, he appears to be working on commercial software to deal with DDos attacks or track down their source, so his remarks should be read in this light. But even with that caveat, he tells a great story.

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