Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Turin Shroud was the result of a computer hacking #2

Copyright ©, Stephen E. Jones[1]

Introduction. Continuing from part #1 with this part #2 of my concluding summary of the evidence that the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390"[2] was the result of a computer hacking, allegedly by Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory physicist Timothy W. Linick (1946-89)[3], aided by Karl Koch (1965–89)[4], on behalf of the former Soviet Union, through its agency the KGB. I will list the main headings as bullet-points, linking them back to my previous, "My theory ..." posts on those topics. The next post in this series is part #3.

■ Computer hacking was rife in the 1980s [#10(3) & #3]. As can be seen from the extract [right (enlarge)] of Wikipedia's "Timeline of computer security hacker history" [5], the year the Shroud was radiocarbon dated, 1988, was a peak year for early computer hacking against poorly secured university, government and corporate computer systems.

■ Computer and physical security was poor at universities in the 1980s. [#10(3) & #3]. Clifford Stoll, an astronomer turned computer Systems Manager at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California[6], who had earned his PhD at Arizona University in 1980[7], documented from personal experience in his 1989 book, "The Cuckoo's Egg" [Left], that computer security was lax at universities in the 1980s:

"Our laboratory's computers connect to thousands of other systems over a dozen networks. Any of our scientists can log into our computer, and then connect to a distant computer. Once connected, they can log into the distant computer by entering an account name and password. ... the only thing protecting the networked computer is the password, since account names are easy to figure out ... most people use their names on computers)" (my emphasis)[8].

Stoll recounted that it was easy to hack into computers at "universities where no security was needed" (both computer and physical):

"Every few months, I'd hear a rumour about someone else's system being invaded; usually this was at universities ... Sure, it's easy to muck around computers at universities where no security was needed. After all, colleges seldom even lock the doors to their buildings" (my emphasis)[9].

■ The German hacker ring. [#10(3) & #3] Stoll detected and helped catch a German hacker Markus Hess [right [10]] (alias Urmel) [11], who had been dialing in from Germany through a pre-Internet network called Tymnet to universities in the USA[12]. From universities Hess could enter military networks[13], due to their also lax security in the 1980s [14]. Hess hacked into about "400 U.S. military computers"[15] and had for several years been "selling the results of his hacking to the Soviet KGB"[16]. Hess was an associate of Karl Koch (alias Hagbard Celine) [left [17]], who was also "involved in selling hacked information from United States military computers to the KGB"[18]. Hess, Koch and Hans Heinrich Hübner [below right [19]](alias Pengo)[20], were key members of a German hacker ring loosely affiliated with the Chaos Computer Club[21]. Hübner and Koch later came forward in mid-1988 and confessed their hacking for the KGB to the West German authorities [22] under an espionage amnesty, which protected them from being prosecuted if they cooperated fully[23].

■ Karl Koch's `suicide'. [#10(3) & #3] However, about a year later, on 1st June 1989 [#10(8)], Koch's burnt body was found, after what evidently was a murder made to look like suicide, presumably by the KGB (or the East German Stasi[24] on the KGB's behalf), "in order to keep him from confessing more to the authorities," while neither Hübner, who also had confessed, nor any of the others in the German KGB hacker ring, were harmed:

"Koch was found burned to death with gasoline in a forest near Celle, Germany. The death was officially claimed to be a suicide. However, some believe there is little evidence supporting suicide and many believe that Koch was killed in order to keep him from confessing more to the authorities. Why Koch would be targeted, and not Pengo [Hübner] and Urmel [Hess], is unknown. Koch left his workplace in his car to go for lunch; he had not returned by late afternoon and so his employer reported him as a missing person. Meanwhile, German police were alerted of an abandoned car in a forest near Celle. When they went to investigate, they found an abandoned car, that looked like it had been there for years, as it was covered in dust. Near to the car they found a burned corpse (Koch). His shoes were missing and have never been found. There was a patch of burned ground around him, which although it had not rained in some time and the grass was perfectly dry, was controlled in a small circle around the corpse. It is thought to be highly unlikely that this type of controlled burning could have been achieved by Koch himself which leads many to believe that his death was not suicide." (my emphasis)[25].

Continued in part #3.

1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this post. [return]
2. Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16th February, pp. 611-615, p. 611. [return]
3. Jull, A.J.T. & Suess, H.E., 1989, "Timothy W. Linick," Radiocarbon, Vol 31, No 2. [return]
4. "Karl Koch (hacker)," Wikipedia, 5 May 2015. [return]
5. "Timeline of computer security hacker history: 1980s," Wikipedia, 14 August 2015. [return]
6. "Clifford Stoll," Wikipedia, 28 June 2015. [return]
7. Stoll, C., 1989, "The Cuckoo's Egg Tracking a Spy through the Maze of Computer Espionage," Pan: London, reprinted, 1991, p.ii. [return]
8. Stoll, 1989, p.8. [return]
9. Stoll, 1989, p.12. [return]
10. Jangra, A., 2013, "Famous Hacks that made Headlines," 20 August. [return]
11. "Markus Hess," Wikipedia, 18 August 2015. [return]
12. Stoll, 1989, pp.27-28. [return]
13. Hafner, K. & Markoff, J., 1991, "Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier," Corgi: London, reprinted, 1993, p.221. [return]
14. Stoll, 1989, pp.50-51. [return]
15. "Markus Hess," Wikipedia, 2015. [return]
16. "The Cuckoo's Egg," Wikipedia, 19 November 2014. [return]
17. "WikiFreaks, Pt. 4 `The Nerds Who Played With Fire'," The Psychedelic Dungeon, 15 September 2010. [return]
18. "Karl Koch (hacker)," Wikipedia, 2015. [return]
19. Guasch, J.A., 2011, "Interview with Hans Hübner (Pengo)," February 18. (See English translation following the Spanish original). [return]
20. "Hans Heinrich Hübner," Wikipedia, 20 July 2015. [return]
21. "Karl Koch (hacker)," Wikipedia, 2015. [return]
22. Clough, B. & Mungo, P., 1992, "Approaching Zero: Data Crime and the Computer," Faber & Faber: London & Boston, p.183. [return]
23. "Karl Koch (hacker)," Wikipedia, 2015. [return]
24. Clough & Mungo, 1992, p.185. [return]
25. "Karl Koch," Wikipedia, 2015. Footnotes omitted. [return]

Posted: 19 August 2015. Updated: 4 February 2021.

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