Some Hackers Boldly Plan To Launch Their Own Satellites Into Space To Combat Future Internet Censorships

Internets = Parody motivator.

Image via Wikipedia

HowStuffWorks pointed out that the Internet became a reality was due to space race.  It was the Russians who launched Sputnik into space which prompted the Americans to form Advanced Research Projects Agency in 1958. ARPA was then formed ARPANET.  HowStuffWorks claimed without ARPANET, the Internet wouldn’t look and behave as how it’s today.  If the facts are true as how HowStuffWorks described in its article How did the Internet start? — we can somewhat come to a conclusion that the Internet was intentionally wired the way it had been wired.  This knowledge gives rise to some of us today that we could have also wired the Internet differently if we wanted to, right?  Perhaps, we might never know if the wiring of the Internet was different would be a bad thing, or it might be something even better than what we have now (i.e., today Internet).

Recently, SOPA creates worries for geeks and technical folks out there.  They fear the current Internet might become something much worse if SOPA gets pass soon.  SOPA was a reason why I’d mentioned in my other SOPA articles that smart and technical knowhow folks might create their own Internets if they so wish to not be affected by a post SOPA Internet era.  Today, I stumbled onto the article Hackers Said to be Planning to Launch Own Satellites to Combat Censorship, and I wasn’t surprised to see somebody else was already had a plan for the idea of creating a new Internet.  Since we know Internet was started by a satellite, therefore these hackers might be on the right track.  Perhaps, these hackers might even come up with new ways to create newer version of Internets without requiring of satellites.  You never know!  It does feel like once a hornet nest is poked, there isn’t a going back.

I sure hope the folks who support SOPA by now know that besides the integrity of the Internet structures, there is also the belief in the spirit of the Internet.  The spirit of the Internet is embodied by countless Internet users, and the majority of them believe the Internet should not be a draconian reality (relatively speaking a reality of a digital world of course).  Of course, it’s understandable stealing is bad.  So, I’m not arguing that downloading contents without permissions is bad, but I’m arguing that the approach to stomp out piracy should not be draconic and vague.  When a blanket approach such as SOPA is to be passed as a way to stop online piracy, it isn’t requiring a rocket scientist to figure out that any party with more money, influences, and power might be able to force another party to go out of business even though such a party might not violate the rules and regulations that govern by SOPA.

I think if the governments of the world are naively rolling out more vague/blanket rules and regulations to regulate the current Internet, they might find themselves not only have to regulate one Internet but many more Internets.  Also, they might have to find new rules and regulations to explain to their dear citizens why they have to even create new rules and regulations to regulate the particular Internets.  Will they come out a law that ban people from forming their own Internets?  I wonder how people will react to such a law.  I’m also curious, if there are more than one Internets, would it be a bad thing or a good thing for e-commerce?



Ghost in the Wires Describes Riveting Details Of A Legendary Hacker Kevin Mitnick

Kevin Mitnick

Image by Vítor Baptista via Flickr

Kevin Mitnick was a man who had witnessed his reputation preceded him in ways that he could not have ever imagined.  His past reputation was so prolific in unbelievable manner which had myths built higher in stack, and the myths were about how he had stolen software worth more than $300 million, secrets from covert agencies, and much more.  In fact, he was more of a hacker who had taken the challenges to hack into various phone companies and big tech companies, and the successful penetrations of their servers and networks would most likely be his greatest trophies.  Instead of selling his trophies of source codes of various software he had siphoned away from various well known corporations, he kept them as proofs for how he had hacked into what thought to be digital fortresses.

Even after Kevin Mitnick was able to walk out of the prison, he was forbidden by law not to use any communication technology.  According to Wikipedia and I quote, “Mitnick fought this decision in court, eventually winning a ruling in his favor, allowing him to access the Internet.”  — source:  Now Kevin Mitnick is living a lifestyle which in a way is way better than how he had lived before, but he can go on hacking without getting into troubles with the law and getting jailed for.  How?  He is making more money by consulting various companies on computer security and ethically hacking into the companies that hire him for his knowledge.  He is currently running Mitnick Security Consulting LLC as a computer security consultancy company.

Kevin Mitnick has a book out which he tells all about his past experiences of avoiding the law and on the run while he was deeply into hacking phone companies and various other tech giants.  Ghost in the Wires was written by two men team.  Kevin Mitnick had teamed up with bestselling author William L. Simon for the writing of Ghost in the Wires.  In the acknowledgements section, Kevin Mitnick called William L. Simon as Bill Simon if I’m not mistaken.  Within this book, Kevin Mitnick described how he was able to social engineer just about anybody on the other end of the phone so he could gain valuable information to further his hacking activities.  With quick thinking and was able to be uncanny in remembering long phone numbers, Kevin Mitnick had no trouble in combining his social engineering and computing skills together to successfully hack into well known phone companies and tech giants.  In fact, Kevin Mitnick was so successful at social engineering and computer hacking, he was able to manufacture his own fake identities.  The book goes on describing how Kevin Mitnick had to hack social security administration, department of motor vehicles, and others so he could manufacture his own fake identities.  Even fake birth certificates were within Kevin Mitnick’s reach.

Ghost in the Wires has some funny moments that describe how naughty Kevin could be with his hacking skill.  I don’t want to spoil such funny moments for you, and so it’s best that you read his whole book on your own and laugh at how naughty Kevin Mitnick was with his social engineering and hacking skills.  Besides the few hilarious moments, I have to admit Ghost in the Wires shows us that determined hackers can accomplish digital magics which we like to think such tricks cannot be done.  Fortunately for those entities which Kevin Mitnick had hacked into while he was living the life of a fugitive, Kevin Mitnick wasn’t out to sell their secrets and made big profits for himself.  Nonetheless, can we say the same for some hackers of today?  Of course, there might be few hackers who have the same spirit as the old and the new Kevin Mitnick, but I think there might be more crackers than hackers.

In summary, Ghost in the Wires was a great read for me.  The writing style was down to earth.  I’d moments of laughter as how Kevin Mitnick had coyly tricked the adversaries through his social engineering and computer hacking skills.  The book was written with everyday people in mind, and so even the readers who could not understand the technical details might not have to miss much.  In fact, reading Ghost in the Wires, I thought I was reading a thriller novel or watching a thriller film.  Honestly, it was great to finally read what Kevin Mitnick had to say for himself in his very own book.  I found his details were riveting.  Especially how he had described his encounters with law enforcement.  Hard to forget moments were how law enforcement officials convinced the judge that Kevin Mitnick could start a nuclear war by whistling into a pay phone and how Kevin Mitnick himself would think the judge at one point thought he could connect to the Internet in prison through a laptop which had not a connection to the Internet (she did not allow Kevin Mitnick the use of a laptop to review the evidences that pertained to his case with a lawyer).