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ARCHIVE: 'Phage List' - Archives (1988 - 1989)
DOCUMENT: phage #083 [Re: Security Mailing List] (1 message, 1569 bytes)
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From: Pete Cottrell <>
To: phage
Date: Sun 22:43:32 06/11/1988 EST
Subject: Re: Security Mailing List
References: [Thread Prev: 396] [Thread Next: 044] [Message Prev: 402] [Message Next: 161]

	Hmmm, I was wondering what had happened to the security list;
while I was on it, there seemed to be regular postings, no indications
of it dying....but then, it just stopped coming.
	I agree that it is time to bring it back, despite whatever
problems might be encountered in logistics and legalities. I think that
some work will have to be done, such as making it a new list as opposed
to just using the current 'phage' list (I am currently getting 3 or 4
copies of every message sent). I must admit that the worm event took me a
bit by surprise; I guess I knew it could happen to the Internet, but the
fear of viruses was something I sort of dismissed as something that users
of PCs and MACs had to worry about. I think a lot of us were surprised
and we should start thinking about and discussing more seriously such things.
	It would seem as though there should be plenty to discuss. Since
nothing like this has happened on such a scale before, we are unprepared
for LAW (Life After Worm). Configurations will be changed, new software
(and thus new bugs and holes) will be needed. Interconnectivity could
become a 'bad thing'. Look at how the Internet was fragmented as gateways
were shut down (rightly so in this case); it might take a while before
folks are convinced that it is safe to reconnect.
	While this may not be a topic for the list, one issue I think most
of us will have to face is how to deal with the public perception of what
happened. We all know that the word 'hacker' drums up negative connotations
for the average joe out there, partially because of their ignorance of the
subject and because of what they've been fed by the media. While I think the
media was generally kind in this incident, it was made evident that the
potential for net-nastiness is very real and that despite people's herculean
efforts, relief still took a while. Also remember that some of those average
joes are in positions of power (say, high-up non-tech administrators at
Universities or companies) and will undoubtably have something to say that
can affect our world.
	Well, one last thing as I climb down off of the soapbox. It was
truly gratifying to see the cooperation, sharing and effort put forth by
members of the net. "Good job!" to all who stayed up and worked on diagnosing,
trapping and decoding this worm. Your efforts helped out lots of people and
re-confirm to us that 'hacker' is a badge of honor.