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Mixter is a security professional and grey hat hacker based in Germany. He first gained worldwide attention and notoriety as being responsible for publishing an entire series of anti-security toolkits, and some of the most destructive and effective Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) tools that have ever been written. In recent years, he has drifted into the white hat category. Mixter is a member of Cult of the Dead Cow.[1]

DDoS Incident Edit

Mixter first made the transition out of the computer underground into large-scale public awareness, in 2000, at which time newspapers and magazines worldwide revealed that one of the main targets of an FBI investigation into uncovering who was responsible for the massively destructive and effective, DDOS attacks which crippled and shut down major websites (including Yahoo!, Buy.com, eBay, Amazon, E-Trade, MSN.com, Dell, ZDNet and CNN) was a then-unknown 20 year old named Mixter, based in Germany.[2]

Early reports stated that the FBI-led National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) was investigating Mixter regarding a tool called Stacheldraht (Barbed Wire).[2] Although Mixter himself was not a suspect, his tool, the "Tribal Flood Network" (TFN) and an update called TFN2K were ultimately discovered as being the ones used in the attacks; causing an estimated $1.7 billion USD in damages.[3][4][5][6]

The crux of the issue was Mixter's perceived irresponsibility in releasing extremely dangerous tools into the wild, where people such as Mafiaboy (who was charged and successfully prosecuted for some of the attacks) can be placed in the position of downloading a program that essentially opens a dialogue and asks something like, "Destroy Microsoft?" and are empowered to accomplish this by simply clicking the OK button.[7][8]

The overall slant of the stories was expressing fear for attackers using "constellations" of compromised computers to launch massive attacks. As Gia Threatte wrote:

The evolution of these tools far outpaces anything that the security community is coming up with to protect against it.

Sentencing Edit

In April 2000, a Hanover regional court sentenced Mixter to a 6-month youth prison sentence. The sentencing was unrelated to the DDoS attacks that occurred in February of the same year, and focused on 1998 intrusions into German businesses, including the offenses of "computer sabotage" and "spying for data." [9]

Mixter was sentenced just weeks after winning a $10,000 award from Kroll O'Gara for his essay on preventing Distributed Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.

He (Mixter) wrote the "Tribe Flood Network" Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) program, and is the author of 54 DoS exploits offered for download at that site (Packetstorm). It's painful to see a talented young person throw away his career over computer crime.[10]

Mixter's sentence was suspended and he received a two-year period of parole instead.

White Hat and Hacktivist Edit

In 2002 Mixter returned to the public eye, as the author of Hacktivismo's The Six/Four System. The Six/Four System is a censorship resistant network proxy. It works by using "trusted peers" to relay network connections over SSL encrypted links.[11][12][13][14] As an example, the distribution includes a program which will act as a web proxy, but all of the connections will be hidden until they reach the far end trusted peer.[15]

In February 2006, the hacker group Cult of the Dead Cow announced that it had officially inducted Mixter and Lord Digital as members.[1]

Transhumanism Edit

Recently, Mixter has appeared less often in conjunction with computer security and hacking, and started to appear in the transhumanist community, most notably as an advisor [16] of the Lifeboat Foundation, as a member of the boards for cybercrime, biotech, information sciences and robotics. He is also a full member of the Immortality Institute, and a founding member of the German Society for Cryonics [17].

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Grandmaster Ratte'. "Introducing two new members!" Cult of the Dead Cow blog post, February 19, 2006.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Hacker inquiry leads to Germany", BBC News Online, February 13, 2000.
  3. The "Tribe Flood Network" distributed denial of service attack tool, An Analysis David Dittrich, University of Washington, 1999
  4. Lemos, Robert. "Author of Web Attack Tool speaks", ZDNet news, February 9, 2000.
  5. Wallack, Todd. "Probe Focuses on Prime Hacking Suspects - Investigation hampered by bogus attack bragging," San Francisco Chronicle, February 15, 2000.
  6. "'Mafiaboy' hacker jailed", BBC news, September 13, 2001.
  7. Shankland, Stephen, Michael Kanellos, and Mike Yamamoto. "The Making of a Weapons Underground" CNET News, February 9, 2000.
  8. Hafner, Kattie. "Difference Between Good Hackers and Bad Ones Can Often Be a Blur," New York Times, February 12, 2000.
  9. "German Creator of Site Crashing Program Gets Heavier Sentence", internet.com, April 3, 2000.
  10. Stone, Martin. "Mixter sentenced for computer crime", Newsbytes, April 3, 2000.
  11. Schachtman, Noah. "A New Code for Anonymous Web Use," Wired online, July 12, 2000.
  12. "Hackers challenge Internet monitoring," ZDNet News/Reuters, July 15, 2002.
  13. "Hackers Take Aim" CBS News, July 15, 2002.
  14. Mixter. "Six/Four System Protocol Specs," 2003. mixter@hacktivismo.com.
  15. Mixter. "The Six/Four System; A Decentralized Anonymous Peer-To-Peer Network Infrastructure With Trust," README file in Six/Four distribution, 2003.
  16. "" Lifeboat Foundation profile for Mixter", "Lifeboat Foundation Website"
  17. "German Cryonics Society founding protocol"

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