To mirror or not to mirror?

05/03/2008 Written by Roberto Preatoni

hamletSix years have passed since Zone​-​H​.org appeared first on the Inter­net. It’s a long time, espe­cially when talk­ing about Inter­net based enti­ties.
The rea­son why we decided to open up Zone-​H was that we under­stood at that time the impor­tance of hav­ing a mir­ror archive look­ing up for what was going on on the Inter­net and the other famous mir­ror archives were slowly dying (Safemode, Attri­tion, All­das).

At that time, the best mir­ror archive was All­das which had 12,500 mir­rors archived in its data­base. Today, Zone-​H has nearly 2,600,000 deface­ments archived in its own data­base.

Some­thing to be proud of? Yes and no.
What are we proud of, and what aren’t we proud of? The ques­tion is itchy…

By run­ning such a large deface­ment archive we were able over the time to under­stand and antic­i­pate trends in com­puter secu­rity. For exam­ple, we were the first in the world to fore­cast (and to demon­strate):

– the fact that the world of hack­ing was mov­ing toward web appli­ca­tion tech­niques
– the fact that the ancient Win­dows vs. Linux war was absolutely a waste of time and words
– the fact that polit­i­cally moti­vated inci­dents would have become very com­mon
– the raise of the Mus­lim hack­ing world.
– the dis­ap­pear­ance of the Brazil­ians from the deface scene and their trans­for­ma­tion in more dan­ger­ous cyber-​criminals (spam­mers, scam­mers, carders)
– the use of the Inter­net for PsyOp scopes
– the fact that 3rd gen­er­a­tions mobile phones worst threats were not com­ing from viruses, but at appli­ca­tion level.
– the exten­sive cyber-​espionnage activ­i­ties of China
– the arrival of cyber-​wars big enough to par­a­lyze a coun­try
– the antic­i­pa­tion of embed­ded spy­ware at hard­ware level

Bogus claims? Not really, just dig into the world’s most famous secu­rity con­fer­ences’ archives or in our own news archive and you always will find Zone-​H pre­sent­ing a topic which might be hot today, but it was unknown at the time we talked about it first.

With so many advan­tages com­ing from the pos­ses­sion of an archive such ours, that allows in a direct or in a indi­rect way to some­what fore­cast the future hap­pen­ings, what’s on the neg­a­tive side?
The most com­mon critic moved to us from Zone-​H haters is “Zone-​H is at the base of the prob­lem. No more Zone-​H, no more deface­ments”.
Our usual answer to this claim is that Zone-​H is not the first mir­ror archive web­site, oth­ers appeared before it, oth­ers will be after it. And the first deface­ment mir­ror web­site, appeared AFTER deface­ments became very pop­u­lar.
But sure, a lot of defac­ers are using Zone-​H archive capa­bil­ity just to sat­isfy their ego-​driven needs, using Zone-​H as a stage for their own lack of per­son­al­ity or social skills.

And this is why we would like to hear from YOU whether Zone-​H should con­tinue to mir­ror deface­ments or not. We opened a poll on the left bar on our home­page. This poll will keep going on for a period of time long enough to give us the cor­rect rep­re­sen­ta­tion of your idea. But what we actu­ally want from you is that you will add a com­ment to this news in which you will caste your vote and will describe WHY we should or we should not keep mir­ror­ing defacements.

Only com­ments with the expla­na­tion will be con­sid­ered as valid there­fore pub­lished. At the end, after we eval­u­ated a big enough num­ber of comments/​casted polls, we’ll post another arti­cle with our own con­sid­er­a­tions and final decisions.

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