Column for October 14 - November 14 by Dreamwalker

Skull Tattoo
Image from the Gallery of Soviet Prison Tatoos

Some notes

Russian Criminal
Laws for the 21st Century

[neat image about the topic]
Image from the Gallery of Soviet Prison Tatoos

Think you're a cool assembler coder and going to write a virus? Wanna hack some computer on the Internet? Already hacked some UNIX box and put up a neat graffiti web page there, or rm -rf / is tempting? OK, go ahead - until they'll catch ya....

In short, these statements describe the three new additions to Russian criminal code. They'll be formally activated on January 1, 1997. New articles define criminal penalties for three basic actions:

(1) Unlawful access [read: unauthorized access or software piracy] to information on a computer/network (including modification, copying, various kinds of damage) is subject to major fines or up to two years in jail. Hacker groups get more - up to five years.
(2) Creating, using, and distributing harmful programs - this includes the virus zoo, worms, malicious software re-engineering - up to three years. If a proggy causes heavy damage - the term is from three to seven years.
(3) Misuse of computers/networks by responsible personnel. Up to two years. Ban to work in the certain field for five years. In case of serious consequences - up to four years.

So here we go - Russia becomes a more (?) civilized country... And hackers are officially outlawed in this country.... For good? Really? And what are penalties for those who provide commercial hacker training? Here we go...

First candidates
[neat image about the topic]
Image from the Gallery of Soviet Prison Tatoos

A lot of people experienced their first-time spamming in Russia this autumn. Among massive spammers we noted a company that created a game called Internet War (they even sent email to - imagine ill Yeltsin reading it!). Unfortunately, their web page is in Russian, so we'll give a brief description. The intro to the game is written in poor-style language, with spelling errors, and tells a crappy skynet-type story. Their idea of the Net future is expressed total domination of the Internet and in company names like "MicroNetscapesoft." Er, could they make up a better title?... The storyline is easy - encryption error, and thousands of hackers rush to grab the control of the world. The company also claims to have to have a lot of pages for hackers and crackers. Imagine this? Don't worry, there's nothing actually. And they believe that the best movie of 1995 was "Hackers" - OH YEAH?- remember how "Hackers" web site was hacked last year and visitors were redirected to "The Net" pages?

Now down to Earth. The game is a vivid reminder of the good ol' core war game, of Dewdney's Scientific American articles... (Kids, you don't have to remember this - this was some 12 or 13 years ago.) The only difference is that the program is SOLD! So simple. Ever heard of commercial products based on the "core war" concept? Now you know at least one. Uh! Microsoft couldn't even dream of releasing the first professional redcode compiler. Hey, Bill - you've lost a lot of money back then. Overall rating - the "make money fast" Internet reached Russia. And this was just one sad example.

See you again sometime in November. Maybe Jack will write something about Halloween. He was quite enthusiastic about it....

And don't forget to send us fan mail.

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