IT Employment

General discussion


Hacker Help?

By alex ·
Recently I had one of my webservers compromised with a fresh exploit that had been released. I was actually in the stage of testing the patch for it on my mock server. Guess he was just too fast for me. The thing is he didn't do anything, I mean didn't deface or touch anything. (Well I couldn't find any evidence and he said he didn't, the box was formatted regardless.)He simply emailed me and let me know of the opening. Well at first I was upset... my domain, my world had been violated. But then I realized... "Man I'm glad he wasn't a vicios web defacer punk!" I mean coming in to work and having my boss looking at a defaced website that I am in charge of securing... that would be awful. So now it was decision time. Of course I have always dealt with hacking as a 0% tolerance, but this was different. I actually felt a little appreciative. I decided not to persue after this individual. What would you do? Do you see "hackers ethics" as being useful or just bull? I see it as a double edged sword really.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

Hacker or Helper?

by teauteau In reply to Hacker Help?

You are right to be relieved that the "hacker" only notified you of the hole in your security. I wouldn't pursue the person responsible. I don't see him or her as much different from the software reviewers that examine software and internet sites for holes and errors, and then post the results on the internet in a news format.

Consulting with this person, who obviously has good security knowledge may even benefit you in your job and prevent any defacement from occuring in the future. Just don't give away any of your secrets.

Collapse -

Hacker Ethics

by TSQR1951 In reply to Hacker or Helper?

From reading 2600, the Hacker magazine, one article the author said, he just hacks for the challenge, as many of his friends do.

It seems to me that hacking is like any other persuit. The majority of hackers do it for the challenge, and a small minority do it out of jeoulsy or just to be malicous.

You were very lucky this time.



Collapse -

Where was he from?

by bryan.todd2 In reply to Hacker or Helper?

There are a wide number of groups who do nothing but hack and inform. One big group that was in the limelight a year or so ago was "L0pht". All they do is hack corporations and email thim with their vulnerabilities. All the true hackers want is the free-flow of data and freedom of information and it seems that thay passed the information on to you too.

Collapse -

Didn't say.....

by alex In reply to Where was he from?

He did not say he was part of any group. The mail was from a hotmail acct. You know that sounds good in theory to just email them and let them know and claim "no damage". But what do you expect the person to do? just patch that one hole and whistle dixie? Noone in their right mind would leave a server that has been exploited on their network. The only good thing about that is that taking it down yourself might be a little more convienent on you then having one cracked and burned unexpected.

Collapse -

Ever heard of Firewalls?

by rzan In reply to Hacker Help?

Dude, implement a firewall! The best firewall I have ever seen is Cisco System's PIX. Although you need to have a good solid understanding in TCP/IP, ports, and Cisco IOS commands, this little box kicks *** when it comes to security. Another device is the NetRanger, a device that monitors Denial of Service (DoS) attacks and will automatically shut down any port that is being actively scanned by port scanner software.

Roger Zan, CNE

Collapse -

by Al Macintyre In reply to Ever heard of Firewalls?

There's a news story on "European firms getting security wrong" that says in Europe

97 % of e-business companies use anti-virus software, which tells me 3% are very vulnerable or are on a virus proof computer - check out my discussions for where I have posted about that kind of computer

67 % of them use fire walls, which tells me 33% are vulnerable to hackers or are on a hacker proof computer, but even those that cannot be hacked because they have no physical vulnerabilities are still at risk from social engineering.

Collapse -

Always be thankfull

by eugenev In reply to Hacker Help?

Always be thankfull - at least now you know you need to better your skills. Go to the following URL. It might change some of your views.

I'll mail you the page as well.
Regards and good luck

Collapse -


by msamson In reply to Hacker Help?

And count your blessings... although I agree with the general tone of the discussion... My personnal experience with firewalls would point you to

Some awesome firewall solutions that don't break the bank and are still ICSA certified.

Good Lock... :)


Collapse -

Ethical or Evil

by FluxIt In reply to Hacker Help?

It seems that many of you think that this guys was doing alex a favor by notifying him of his vulnerabilities.

I think this guy was diabolical.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. What is this hacker's motives?
2. Does he desire to instill paranoia?
3. Is an hack only against the computer, what about the company?
4. What about the integrity of your information?
5. Did you turn your attention?

It is possible that the hack never occurred but the individual was looking to stir something up. Was he sucessful? Did you turn your attention away from something important to deal with the hack? It may have been the ole bomb scare tactic just before that big exam that perhaps someone was not ready for.

If the hack did occur - could it possibly be a competitor? Did he access/receive proprietary information? Was information altered?

Industrial espionage is big business. I know of a guy who flew over a mfg plant after the roof blew off and took photos of thier process. He was arrested and put in jail. I would not be surprised if the same is happening over the interent which is like inviting everyone into your home by swinging open the patio doors.

The PIX firewall is good since it works at line speed. Turing off ports such as in net ranger is another good tactic. But what if the attack is long and slow. these may never detect it unless you are running a history and trend but even at that over time the network noise could look like an attack.

You really need to think about your security and have a plan on how to respond. A hacker may want to deny you service but can achieve the same effect without slamming your ports. He can simply send you an email and you respond by turing off the router to protect yourself. Then no one has service to the internet and you did it to yourself.

You may have been a victim of Information Operations against your company.

Collapse -


by FluxIt In reply to Hacker Help?

You cannot operate at 100% readiness all the time - that will exhaust you. You need to establish a DMZ, channel the hacker, feed him BS, and be in his face about it all the time. Basic military linear warfare tactics.

In your DMZ trap the hackerby putting up a machine that looks good to him. The low hanging fruit. Stock it with porno pictures and fake documents labelled secret. When he bites it, have the system alert you. He'll be wearing the emperor's cloth's. You'll see all of him but hewon't know it. Tease him while monitoring his activities. Be in his face.

If you can, find out what IP he is coming from and validate his domain. You could use logs on your system to identify his IP. Then send him an email thanking him for entering your system. WOW that would be wild! I would not hack him or slam his ports as that is illegal for you to do.

It could be illegal for you to identify him but are you going to prosecute him? Chances are that nothing legal will come of either effort and the law is still being developed in this area. The FBI is overwhelmed with crimes like this and does not have time to deal with petty stuff. Take advantage of it.

Freak the hacker out. The I know what you did syndrome!

Related Discussions

Related Forums