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Comment Re:My Back door to the Internet (Score 1) 136

Hahah, I was dialed into a local number to the University's free Gopher-based card catalog, but I was telnetting to cyberspace.??? from there for my free 30-day trial shell account(s). Pretty sure it was .com. I don't even know where it was physically located. The domain's changed hands many times since then.

IO was a fun, sometimes strange place to work. When were you a customer? I worked there 2000-2001. Did you see the archival copy I linked to? Lots of interesting pictures, and you can even see the employee-only intranet pages with procedure, schedules and web tools.

Comment My Back door to the Internet (Score 4, Interesting) 136

In 1994, BBSs were still the dominant experience for the common man. However, the University had a dial-up line that was configured to use a Gopher client as shell, for purposes of searching an online card catalog for one of the libraries. I found I could use the search engines of the day, Archie and Jughead (and Veronica?) to find hosts offering free access to Lynx (the text-only browser) and even Telnet "gateways". was offering free trial Unix accounts, literally with no verification. They offered Pine, storage space and plenty of other things. I could now surf the whole existing web, Gopherspace, read Usenet and download files and warez from there. Since Zmodem was borked by the Gopher client I was connected through, I couldn't download directly. So, I used Pine to re-mail them to myself at a local BBS which had a nightly UUCP connection where it exchanged email (with bangs as well as @) and updated it's select Usenet posts.

At one point, I struggled to run DOSSLIP and DOSLYNX directly on my PC, but this never compared to just using a BBS dialup program and doing things on the terminal. I still use Lynx and (Al)Pine several times a week!

Another Lynx trick came in handy 5 years later: You could telnet to from anywhere in the world, and log on as guest. Lynx was configured as the shell, and you would then be presented with the minimalist web-based customer tools found at to reset your password, update your address, etc. IO forgot to disable browsing the filesystem (press g, period, enter). Also, IO never enforced uniform /home/user/ directory permissions or audited active accounts. As a result, through 2004, when IO was taken over by Prismnet (or later), you could roam around and directly view many customer's private files, email, and IO's sensitive system areas. This was a direct back-door into everything! That was a full two years after IOCOM "hardened" their network to sell network security services.

The Illuminati Online website is archived by an old employee here:

Comment Re:Underwater cables (Score 4, Interesting) 177

As khallow said, they add the taps during scheduled downtime. They also add the taps during an outage. And you can imagine how easy it is to arrange for a trawler to "accidentally" drag it's anchor across the ocean floor. There is some risk of being detected by diagnostic equipment at either end of the cable, since they can determine the distance to the break, but if the trawler break and submarine tap are 10 miles apart, the sub should go unnoticed, and the difference in distance is within a margin of error.

Comment Re:technicality (Score 2, Insightful) 101

And there's evidence that Omar Mateem, the Pulse mass-murderer, was being cultivated for a similar operation. He was reported repeatedly for his violent and radical views, and the FBI let him off after a little chat. He just surprised them by going queer hunting instead of waiting for the target and timetable they were preparing for him.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 983

That's the key issue in my mind. The cops found out where he was, and set about finding a way to kill him. It's not that the cops had No Other Options, it's that they weren't even slightly interested in them. This was an execution, not a police action. There should be murder charges for all officers involved.

Also, wtf don't they have anesthetic gas? WTF don't police have a bevy of 21st century non-lethal options? The only nonlethal tools PD seem keen on are those which double nicely as torture devices.

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