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Meeting Notes

Categories: Meetings

Another fun meeting. During the initial gathering at EC4, it was really interesting to take a look at a copy of Steve Jackson Games' GURPS Cyberpunk. The historical significance of this manual is that Steve Jackson Games was raided by Secret Service during their investigation of Loyd Blankenship also known as The Mentor. During the raid Secret Service seized a manuscript of GURPS Cyberpunk which they called a "handbook for computer crime." Naturally, it was a huge stretch to call anything written in Cyberpunk remotely practical hacking; however, it does contain interesting descriptions of phreaking, encryption cracking, trashing, and in a typical 80s cyberpunk fashion - a howto on breaking ICE.

We have moved to Elephant and Castle later that evening. There was an interesting discussion on the Playstation Network Hack as well as the role that Anonymous Group may or may not have played in the attack. The discussion has progressed to "voluntary botnet" organized by Anonymous in order to launch the DDOS attack against Sony. The primary tool of choice used in this attack was LOIC which was voluntarily used by individuals to participate in the act equivalent to a classic civil disobedience tactic. Interestingly, the tool (intentionally or unintentionally) has very predictable attack patterns susceptible to detection and filtering.

Another memorable discussion during the meeting (before beer content reached critical levels) was the discussion on the use of computer science methods such as formally proving the correctness of a security system and problems you might encounter in dealing with today's complex systems. If you are interested in learning about current research in this area, be sure to check out Towards a formal theory of computer insecurity: a language-theoretic approach presentation.

Posted by iphelix on May 07, 2011
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