Embarrassment for IT Security Magazine who publishes funny, fake security article without vetting contents first

// October 8th, 2012 // Hacking and Security

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Embarrassed Hakin9Hakin9 proclaims itself to be the “biggest IT security magazine in the world” and prides itself on its top-notch IT security reporting. IT security specialists on the other hand, claim that Hakin9 is run by immature, inexperienced “newbies” who regularly spam them with requests for article submissions (with no offers of payment in return for their contribution). Rather than ignore the requests, annoyed security specialists decided to concede to Hakin9’s request and provided them with a “classified” security article, albeit a bogus one, entitled DARPA Inference Checking Kludge Scanning (referred to as DICKS throughout the article) in order to demonstrate that Hakin9 did not review, nor understand, any of its submitted security articles. Apparently without doing any fact checking whatsoever, Warsaw based Hakin9 published the nonsensical article in full and even included it in chapter 1 of their upcoming Nmap book.

ASCII penis in Hakin9 security article

Security researcher Gordon Lyon wrote in a post to a popular mailing:

“Maybe they were sick of Hakin9’s constant please-write-an-unpaid-article-for-us spam and decided to submit some well-crafted gibberish in response. They clearly chose that title so just so they could refer to it as DICKS throughout the paper. There is even an ASCII penis in the ‘sample output’ section, but apparently none of this raised any flags from Hakin9’s ‘review board’. I guess they expected the security community to be impressed by their DICKS, but instead they faced scorn and ridicule. Now they’re so embarrassed by everyone mocking their DICKS that they had their lawyer send me a removal demand.”

The article, which appears to have been at least partially generated by the MIT SCIGen app (a Web application generating random computer science papers), features lines such as “Our Experiments soon proved that micokernelizing our PDP 11s was more effective than exokernelizing them” and references to “randomized kernels” and “our Xbox network”. Even the sources listed at the end of the article are hilarious (e.g. “the 10th-percentile latency of NMAP, as a function of popularity of IPv7”).

Our favorite snippets:

After years of confirmed research into spreadsheets, we argue the visualization of NMAP…

… based entirely on the assumption that extreme programming and digital-to-analog converters are not in conflict with the deployment of massive multiplayer online role-playing games…

… we present a permutable tool for synthesizing semaphores (NMAP), demonstrating that the well known self-learning algorithm for the evaluation of DTHs is in Co-NP…

A copy of the bogus article (chapter 1 of the book) can be viewed here (PDF).

Sources: Escapists Magazine, The Register UK
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