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Janet Reno licks chops over Mafiaboy arrest

He has to be guilty; he's all they've got

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US Attorney General Janet Reno glowed with pleasure during a Wednesday press conference as she wagged her finger and called for the Canadian courts to punish Mafiaboy for causing DDoS mayhem on the Web back in February. "I think that it's important first of all that we look at what we've seen and let young people know that they are not going to be able to get away with something like this scot-free," Reno told reporters, as if Mafiaboy had already been tried and convicted. "There has got to be a remedy, there has got to be a penalty." Reno did stop just shy of telling the Canadian courts precisely what the penalty ought to be. But if Mafiaboy should be convicted, his punishment will undoubtedly be a good deal lighter than anything a malicious hacker might get in the USA, which, it was revealed today, has achieved the distinction of maintining the world's largest polulation of citizens locked up in cages. Reno also took the opportunity to boast about the profound technical savvy of her troops in the field. "I believe this recent breakthrough demonstrates our capacity to track down those who would abuse this remarkable new technology, and track them down wherever they may be," Reno said. Yeah, right. The Register recalls the very brief period of DoJ tirumphalism over Coolio's arrest and how quickly it evaporated, and thinks that this 'recent breakthrough' demonstrates nothing so much as the Feds' desperate need to pounce on any scapegoat they can find in hopes of concealing how hopeless they are in tracking cyber-criminals. The hacking underground remains wisely reluctant to believe that Mafiaboy is more than a scapegoat, at least until evidence is produced. The scene has been abuzz with sceptics, while the mainstream press, predictably, appears satisfied that the Mounties have got their boy. Meanwhile, 2600.com has posted a bogus IRC log between a staffer posing as Mafiaboy and one 'Icee' who the magazine claims is the person responsible for tipping the Feds to Mafiaboy's alleged DDoS attacks. We're not entirely sure what the point of this stunt is, except perhaps to demonstrate that anyone can pretend to be anyone else in IRC in hopes of casting doubt on the authenticity of the Mafiaboy logs which are expected to be produced in evidence against him at trial. Nice try, but of course the Feds can obtain both IRC and ISP logs, so it's not terribly hard for them to divine the true origins of IRC traffic. You can go on line as 'Icee' and fool, say, the editors of 2600; but if the Feds can persuade a judge to issue a trap and trace order, they will get all the evidence needed to pin the logs on the dummy....and probably figure out how to piece it together, or at least hire someone with a brain to do it for them. (Note to wannabe leet h4x0rz: IRC traffic is logged, Einstein, so always connect through a hacked ISP account or a freebie such as NetZero where you can register with fictional information; and always dial in from a phreaked telephone account [preferably in Tonga or Madagascar]. If you can't manage that much, then don't say anything in IRC that you wouldn't announce over a bull horn in the lobby of FBI Headquarters.) Speaking in conclusion, again as if Mafiaboy had been tried and convicted, Reno lectured the populace on morality. "We have got to renew our efforts to teach young people -- children -- cyber-ethics," she said. Renew them? We were blissfully unaware that any such efforts had been made in the first place. ® Related Coverage Canadian Feds charge Mafiaboy in DDoS attacks TFN author 'Mixter' sentenced FBI Web site hacked Feds charge Coolio while DDoS attackers remain at large Congressional study rejects Clinton's IT security Czar, FIDNET The Mother of all DDoS attacks looms Hacking hysteria invigorates insurance industry Law enforcers the 'absolute worst people' for Net security - former Fed Janet Reno proposes on-line police squad Dot-Com firms are hacking each other -- expert Reno, FBI feast on bad network security New hack attack is greater threat than imagined Hacking credit cards is preposterously easy

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