National Park System break in

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

No rain for at least five days. Five Whole Days! It must be MacWorld — Apple brought us a break in the rain. (Well, they sure didn’t bring us anything exciting technologically).

Tomorrow I hit one of my favorite walks — Golden Gate to Presidio to Crissy to Embarcadero.

Speaking of walks and the great outdoors, this one was sure missed. The National Park Service web site is offline because of a court order. Why? Because a hacker was able to break into the system.

Now, breaking into the National Park System isn’t that big a deal; after all the FBI, the CIA, the White House and several other sites have been broken into. Many times. However, the same agency that controls the NPS — The US Department of the Interior — also controls a multi-billion dollar Native American Trust Fund. And the US Department of the Interior is currently involved in a lawsuit brought by several Native American Tribes over said handling of the trust fund. And the court reviewing this case was the one who sanctioned the hacker to break into the system (and into the trust fund itself) to show that it’s vulnerable, and therefore could be a security risk to said trust fund. So because the NPS web site was cracked, it was ordered pulled indefinitely until security can be assured for the site. And we all know how we can guarantee web server security, don’t we?

End result: yours truly — in an effort to achieve peace, calm, and enlightment through a lovely walk — goes out to my favorite NPS web site to get a map of the paths of the Presidio and finds that the site is down, thereby leading to a search to find the reason, thereby finding the only reference to this event at SF Gate, thereby beginning to burn yet again.

If this continues, your favorite bird that burns is going to be extra crispy.

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Updated: 1/12/02 You can find several articles on this story by doing a Google with Alan+Balaran+hacker as the search term.

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