The denial-of-service attackers took a breather yesterday, but the press didn't. Come along as Grok looks for some different perspectives on the attacks.
Writing for the San Jose Mercury News, David L. Wilson examined the flip side of the desire to make DoS attacks easier to track. Wilson quoted security expert Gene Spafford of Purdue: "There's no question that when this kind of event occurs it garners support for efforts to be more restrictive on access and more intrusive on privacy." Spafford noted the irony this unintended consequence holds for the perpetrators: "The people who do this... often claim they want a more open network, more anonymous access. Yet this behavior leads to pressure to restrict those very behaviors."
Bud Smith, a producer at AltaVista's technology channel, offered a distinctly offbeat perspective, describing the perpetrators as the hyenas and dung beetles of the Internet Economy. They are loathsome creatures, Smith opined, who nonetheless perform a valuable service for their society: They open its eyes to problems that must be rectified.
Richard L. Brandt's essay in Upside turned a flamethrower on the perps. Noting the scorn in which the underground hacker community holds these DoS script kiddies, Brandt concluded, "This is a perfect example of the difficulty of putting a powerful tool in the hands of the people: Some people are jerks."
MSNBC ran an analysis by security expert Russ Cooper, keeper of the NTBugTraq mailing list. Cooper concentrated his anger not on the script kiddies but on the administrators, managers and executives who have for years ignored the security community's warnings that the Internet, in its current form, cannot be secured. For those not already spooked by the implications the DoS attacks have for the Internet Economy, Cooper's piece should concentrate the mind. - Keith Dawson
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