ARCHIVE: Rutgers 'Security List' (incl. misc.security) - Archives (1988)
DOCUMENT: Rutgers 'Security List' for July 1988 (2 messages, 8899 bytes)
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-----------[next][prev][last][first]---------------------------------------------------- From: _*Hobbit* <HOBBIT@aim.rutgers.edu> 11-JUL-1988 20:58 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
For the second time in six months, I'm being forced to flee yet another doomed machine. We're selling the Vax 785 called aim.rutgers.edu, and moving to a sun 4. The boss-man wanted a faster machine, liked the other sun 4's we already have, and decided to get one; in addition, the resale value of the 785 drops daily, so all of this comes at somewhat short notice. Needless to say the Security list has to move somewhere too, and since the rest of the world seems to be going to Unix, I might as well sit down and learn how to make sendmail stand on its head and handle the list. This transition in theory will be transparent -- I'll move the list's mechanism and messages to the new machine at some point and start sending from there. That machine will probably answer as aim.rutgers.edu when we get everything going right. I don't want to announce an official change until I know how to handle things over there and write a zillion emacs macros, but things may fall fairly silent with regard to remailing while I'm teaching myself and the new machine how to deal with it. Your harried moderator... *Hobbit*
-----------[next][prev][last][first]---------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 28 Jul 88 11:10:37 PST From: email@example.com (the tty of Geoff Goodfellow) Subject: NYT/Markoff Hacker Article & Memo.
A2434 21-Jul-88 15:54 BC-HACKERS-EXCLUSIVE-NYT PERSONAL COMPUTER USERS PENETRATING NATION`S TELEPHONE SYSTEM< (10 PM, EDT EMBARGO)< sw< By JOHN MARKOFF with ANDREW POLLACK= c.1988 N.Y. Times News Service= NEW YORK _ Sophisticated personal computer users are becoming increasingly adept at penetrating the nation's telephone system, raising questions about the security and privacy of the phone system, industry experts and law enforcement offiials say. The vulnerability of the phone system to such tampering has grown significantly in the past decade or so as telephone companies have largely replaced electro-mechanical call-routing equipment with computer-controlled switches. As a result, people with the expertise can illegally connect their personal computers to the phone network. With the proper commands, these intruders can do such things as eavesdrop, add calls to someone's bill, alter or destroy data, have all calls to a particular number automatically forwarded to another number or keep someone's line permanently busy, it was disclosed in an internal memorandum written by a manager of electronic security operations at the San Francisco-based Pacific Bell Telephone Co. and in interviews with company officials. Peter Neumann, a computer security consultant at SRI International Inc. in Menlo Park, Calif., said telephone companies are only beginning to awaken to the security problems created by the increasing computerization of the telephone network. ``As far as our vulnerability, we all have our heads in the sand,'' he said. ``We have to redefine our notions of what we entrust to computers and to communication networks.'' Some personal computer enthusiasts, often called ``hackers,'' view the task of breaking into the telephone system as a test of their skills and only infrequently inflict damage, industry officials and consultants say. But others act with criminal intent. In his memo, the Pacific Bell security manager also warned that an electronic intruder could essentially disable an entire central switching office for routing calls, disrupting telephone service to entire neighborhoods. Furthermore, he said, organized-crime groups or terrorists might use such technology to their own advantage. The integrity of customer bills could also be compromised, he said. Customers might rightfully or wrongfully dispute expensive calls, claiming the calls were placed on their bills by computer hackers. Earlier this month, a teen-age computer enthusiast who requested anonymity provided The New York Times with the Pacific Bell memo, which was written a year ago. He said it had been obtained by a fellow hacker who illicitly eavesdropped on a facsimile transmission between Pacific Bell offices in San Francisco. The memo, which Pacific Bell verified as authentic, concluded that ``the number of individuals capable of entering Pacific Bell operating systems is growing'' and that ``computer hackers are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks.'' In one of two cases cited in the memo, a group of teen-age computer hobbyists were able to do such things as ``monitor each other's lines for fun'' and ``seize another person's dial tone and make calls appear on their bill,'' the memo said. One of the hackers used his knowledge to disconnect and tie up the telephone services of people he did not like. In addition, ``he would add several custom-calling features to their lines to create larger bills,'' the memo said. In the second case, police searched the Southern California home of a man thought to be breaking into the computers of a Santa Cruz, Calif., software company. They discovered the man could also gain access to all of Pacific Bell's Southern California switching computers. Files were found containing codes and employee passwords for connecting with _ or ``logging on to'' _ the Pacific Bell switching systems and related computers. The man also had commands for controlling the equipment. In another case involving tampering with telephone company switching equipment, local police and the FBI in the San Francisco area are investigating Kevin Poulsen, a former programmer at Sun Microsystems, said Joseph Burton, an assistant U.S. attorney in San Jose, and John Glang, a deputy district attorney for San Mateo County. Authorities searched Poulsen's apartment in Menlo Park in February as well as the residence of a suspected accomplice in San Francisco, the officials said. Poulsen was said to be in Southern California and was unavailable for comment. Burton said he could not discuss a current investigation. Glang would say only that the case had been taken over by the federal government because ``there are some potential national security overtones.'' But a security expert familiar with the case, who requested anonymity, said that Poulsen ``pretty clearly demonstrated you can get in and romp around inside a Bell operating system.'' ``What it pointed out,'' he said, ``was the serious vulnerability.'' Security consultants said other phone companies are equally vulnerable to such breaches. They noted that most phone service in the nation is provided by companies that were part of the Bell System until it was broken up in 1984 and still use similar equipment and procedures. Michigan Bell officials said they had caught an intruder who tampered with the company's switching equipment last year. A spokesman declined to give details of the incident but said no arrest was made. ``We have been able to tighten our security arrangements,'' said Phil Jones, a company spokesman. ``There were lessons to be learned here.'' Jack Hancock, vice president for information systems at Pacific Bell, said his company had also taken steps to make it tougher to penetrate its systems. He said, however, that the company had to strike a balance between security and cost considerations so the phone system would still be widely affordable and easy to maintain. ``We could secure the telephone system totally, but the cost would be enormous,'' he said. ``A public service will probably always have certain insecurities in it.'' (STORY CAN END HERE. OPTIONAL ADD FOLLOWS.) Though Pacific Bell refused to disclose the security measures it had taken, the company said it had restricted the ability to dial into its computers from remote points. As computerized communications become more sophisticated, companies will be able to improve security at a reasonable cost, said Barry K. Schwartz, a systems planning manager at Bell Communications Research, which does research for the seven Bell operating companies. It will be increasingly possible to program a computer so it will only answer a call from an authorized phone, he said. Another new technology on the horizon, he said, is electronic voice verification. A security system using this technology would be able to recognize those authorized to gain access to a computer by their voice patterns. Telephone companies have long had to worry about electronic abuse of their networks. For several decades individuals have used electronic equipment to make long-distance phone calls for free. Some have used devices that generate a series of tones that provides access to long-distance lines. Telephone companies have installed equipment on their lines to detect and thwart such abuse. In other instances, people have used personal computers to find long-distance access codes belonging to other users. They do this by programming computers to keep trying various numbers until they hit upon one that works. But while costly, these kinds of abuse are not much of a threat to the integrity of the system because they do not affect the system itself. The new problems involving network tampering are arising, experts say, because the switches that route calls are now mostly electronic, meaning they are essentially big computers. If a customer wants an option like call forwarding or call waiting added to his or her telephone service, that is done by typing commands into a computer, not by moving wires and switches. Pacific Bell said 79 percent of its customers are now served by computerized switching systems. Experts say these electronic networks are especially vulnerable to tampering because it is possible to dial up the computers controlling the switches from the outside. Phone companies designed their systems this way to make it easier for them to change the system and diagnose problems. For example, a technician in the field trying to diagnose problems on a line needs to be able to dial certain test circuits in the central office. But such a dial-up capability can also be used by outsiders with personal computers and modems who know the proper numbers to call and the proper procedures to get on the system. The ability to eavesdrop on telephone calls is included in the system to allow an operator to check to see whether a line that is busy for a long time is being used or whether the phone is off the hook or the line is broken. One security consultant who requested anonymity said this capability had also made it much easier for law enforcement officials to wiretap a line. When the police receive court permission to conduct a wiretap, they can have the phone company dial up the switch serving the line so conversations can be monitored from a remote location. Obtaining the information needed to break into the phone system can be difficult, but intruders often do it by impersonating phone company employees _ a practice that hackers call ``social engineering.'' A teen-ager interviewed by Pacific Bell officials after his arrest told investigators that he had entered a number of Pacific Bell facilities in the San Francisco area disguised as a Federal Express delivery man in order to search for manuals and other documents, according to the company memo. The youth also said he had impersonated telephone security officials to obtain passwords and other information. ^CNYT-07-21-88 1855EDT< *************** Date: Thu Jul 28, 1988 10:27 am PDT From: John Markoff / MCI ID: 108-5848 TO: * Geoffrey S. Goodfellow / MCI ID: 103-7391 Subject: Pac Bell I gave up trying to send you the memo via usenet. could you pass a copy along to the risks folks? thanks. Best, John Markoff August 3, 1987 I've attached a summary of some recent events that are alarming. I believe this information should be shared with XX XXXXXX? I've sent a copy to XXXXX. (signature) XXXXXXXXXX COPY FOR: XXXXXX XXXXXXXXX UNAUTHORIZED REMOTE COMPUTER ACCESS San Francisco, July 29, 1987 Case Nos.: 86-883, 87-497 XXXXXXXXXXXXX, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX: Electronic Operations recently investigated two cases involving a number of sophisticated hackers who were adept at illegally compromising public and private sector computers. Included among the victims of these hackers was Pacific Bell, as well as other local exchange carriers and long distance providers. Below is a synopsis of the two cases (87-497 and 86-883), each of which demonstrate weaknesses in Pacific Bell's remote access dial-up systems. Case No. 87-497 On May 14, 1987, Electronic Operations received a court order directing Pacific Bell to place traps on the telephone numbers assigned to a company known as "Santa Cruz Operations". The court order was issued in order to identify the telephone number being used by an individual who was illegally entering Santa Cruz Operations' computer and stealing information. On May 28, 1987, a telephone number was identified five separate times making illegal entry into Santa Cruz Operations' computer. The originating telephone number was XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, which is listed to XXXXXXXXXXX xXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, Thousand Oaks, California. On June 3, 1987, a search warrant was served at XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX xxxxxxXXXXXXXX Thousand Oaks, California. The residents of the apartment, who were not at home, were identified as XXXXXXX XXXXXX, a programmer for General Telephone, and XXXXXXXX XXXXXX, a known computer hacker. Found inside the apartment were three computers, numerous floppy disks and a number of General Telephone computer manuals. XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX was arrested several years ago for hacking Pacific Bell, UCLA and Hughes Aircraft Company computers. XXXXXX was a minor at the time of his arrest. XXXXXX XXXXXXXX was recently arrested for compromising the data base of Santa Cruz Operations. The floppy disks that were seized pursuant to the search warrant revealed XXXXXXXX involvment in compromising the Pacific Bell UNIX operation systems and other data bases. The disks documented the following: o XXXXXXXX compromise of all Southern California SCC/ESAC computers. On file were the names, log-ins, passwords, and home telephone numbers for Northern and Southern ESAC employees. o The dial-up numbers and circuit identification documents for SCC computers and Data Kits. o The commands for testing and seizing trunk testing lines and channels. o The commands and log-ins for COSMOS wire centers for Northern and Southern California. o The commands for line monitoring and the seizure of dial tone. o References to the impersonation of Southern California Security Agents and ESAC employees to obtain information. o The commands for placing terminating and originating traps. o The addresses of Pacific Bell locations and the Electronic Door Lock access codes for the following Southern California central offices ELSG12, LSAN06, LSAN12, LSAN15, LSAN23, LSAN56, AVLN11, HLWD01, HWTH01, IGWD01, LOMT11, AND SNPD01. o Inter-company Electronic Mail detailing new login/password procedures and safeguards. o The work sheet of an UNIX encryption reader hacker file. If successful, this program could break into any UNIX system at will. Case No. 86-883 On November 14, 1986, Electronic Operations received a search warrant directing Pacific Bell to trap calls being made to the Stanford University computer. The Stanford Computer was being illegally accessed and was then being used to access other large computer systems throughout the country. The calls to the Stanford Computer were routed through several different common carriers and through numerous states. Through a combination of traps, traces and sifting through information posted on the Stanford computer, several suspects were identified throughout the United States. The group of computer hackers who illegally accessed the Stanford computer system were known as "The Legion of Doom". Subsequent investigation indicated that the Legion of Doom was responsible for: o The use of Stanford University high-speed mainframes to attack and hack ESAC/SCC mini compuuters with an UNIX password hacker file. Password files were then stored on the Stanford systems for other members of the Legion of Doom to use. Login and passwords for every local exchange carrier as well as AT&T SCC/ESAC mini computers were on file. o The Legion of Doom used the Stanford computers to enter and attack other institutions and private contractors' computers. Some of the contractors' computers were used for national defense research. On July 21, 1987, eight search warrants were served in three states at homes where members of the Legion of Doom reside. Three of the searches were conducted in California. XXXXXX XXXXXXXXX, Senior Investigator-Electronic Operations, accompanied Secret Service agents at the service of a search warrant at XXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX xXXXXXXXXXXX which was the residence of XXXXX XXXXXXXX, a sixteen-year-old member of the Legion of Doom. XXXXXXXXXX interviewed XXXXXXXX, who had used the pseudonym "O'Ryan Quest", when accessing computers. During the interview, XXXXXXXX admitted the following: o The entering of central offices, (Burlingame, San Mateo, San Bruno, Millbrae) disguised as a Federal Express deliveryman. The entries were done to case out the CO's for the purpose of finding computer terminals with telephones, the locations of switches and bays, the names of Comtechs, and materials related to the operations of the central office. XXXXXXXX also claimed to have been in the AT&T Administration office on Folsom Street, San Francisco. o XXXXXXXX telephone service had been disconnected twice for nonpayment, and twice he had his service restored by impersonating a service representative. o Learning to test circuits and trunks with his computer by using ROTL and CAROT test procedures. o Members of the Legion of Doom often accessed test trunks to monitor each other's lines for fun. o On several occasions XXXXXXX would post the telephone number of a public coin phone for access to his BBS, Digital IDS. He would then access the Millbrae COSMOS wire center and add call forwarding to the coin phone. He would activate the call forwarding to his home telephone number, securing the identity of his location. o XXXXX would impersonate an employee who had authorization to use a Data Kit and have it turned on for him. When he was done, he would call back and have the Data Kit turned off. o XXXXXXXX also would use his knowledge to disconnect and busyout the telephone services of individuals he did not like. Further, he would add several custom calling features to their lines to create larger bills. o It was very easy to use the test trunks with his computer to seize another person's dial tone and make calls appear on their bills. XXXXXXXX did not admit charging 976 calls to anyone, but he knew of others who did. o When the Legion of Doom attacked a computer system, they gave themselves five minutes to complete the hacking. If they were not successful in five minutes, they would attempt another system. The Legion of Doom was able to crack a computer in under five minutes approximately 90% of the time. o XXXXXXXXX would impersonate employees to get non-published telephone listings. XXXXXXX received the non-published listing for Apple Computer Founder, Steve Wozniak, and members of The Beastie Boys rock group. o XXXXXXXX told Dougherty of one New York member of the Legion of Doom, "Bill from Arnoc", who has been placing his own traps in New York. Bill from Arnoc helped XXXXXXX place traps in Pacific Bell. The review of the evidence seized at XXXXXXX residence tends to corroborate all XXXXXXXX statements. CONCLUSIONS There are some important conclusions that can be drawn from the above two cases regarding future computer system concerns. o The number of individuals capable of entering Pacific Bell operating systems is growing. o Computer Hackers are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks. o Dial-up ports will always be a target for computer entry by a hacker. o Even dial-up ports with remote callbacks and manually controlled modems can be compromised. o A hacker can place a central office off-line by overloading a SCC mini computer by improperly placing traps or by putting traps on several DID multi-trunk groups such as MCI or Sprint groups. o Terrorist or Organized Crime organizations could use this underground computer technology against Pacific Bell or to their own advantage. o Pacific Bell proprietary data bases such as PTT ESAC or PB2 ESAC could be compromised. o The integrity of accurate customer billing statements have been compromised through access to the CEBS (Computerized Electronic Billing System) and will remain questionable. A customer can dispute large direct-dialed calls and claim his telephone was accessed by a computer hacker. RECOMMENDATIONS The information gained as a result of the above investigations should be shared with those individuals responsible for the integrity of our computer systems. Further, an ongoing business partnership between security and the individuals responsible for the integrity of our computer systems should be initiated and maintained to ensure prompt, effective resolution of future computer related security issues. (signature)
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