Saturday, December 13, 2014

My theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker #10: Summary (3)

Copyright ©, Stephen E. Jones[1]

Introduction This is part #10, Summary (3), of my theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker. See the previous parts #10(1) and #10(2). Other previous posts in this series were part #1, part #2, part #3, part #4, part #5, part #6, part #7, part #8 and part #9, which posts this part #10 will summarise. To keep this summary from becoming even longer, I will not usually post full quotes supporting my points but will provide a reference and link back to the original post in this series where that particular quote appears. It is my emphasis below in quotes unless otherwise indicated. See the update of this post in my "The 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Turin Shroud was the result of a computer hacking #2".

3. COMPUTER HACKING WAS RIFE IN THE 1980S. [#3] As can be seen below, 1988, the year the Shroud of Turin was radiocarbon dated as

[Above: Extract of the year 1988 from Wikipedia's "Timeline of computer security hacker history"[2]. ]

"mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390"[3], was also a peak year for early computer hacking against poorly secured, online computer systems.

Computer and physical security was poor at universities in the 1980s. In his book,"The Cuckoo's Egg" (1989), Clifford Stoll, an astronomer redeployed in 1986 to a position as a Computer Systems Manager at

[Right: Clifford Stoll[4].]

Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL), documented that both computer and physical security was poor at universities in the 1980s[5]. In his book Stoll, who earned his PhD at Arizona University (at which was one of the three radiocarbon dating laboratories that dated the Shroud)[6], explained from personal experience (which must include Arizona University) how lax was the computer security 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 computers, and then connect to a distant computer ... the only thing protecting the networked computer is the password, since account names are easy to figure out ... most people use their names..."[7].

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

" ... 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"[8].

The German hacker ring. Stoll detected and helped catch a German hacker Markus Hess (alias Urmel) [9]. Hess was in dialing in through a pre-Internet network called Tymnet to the USA[10], from where

[Left: Markus Hess in 2013[11]. ]

he could hop from universities to military networks[12], due to their lax security in the 1980s [13]. Hess hacked into about "400 U.S. military computers"[14]. He had for several years been "selling the results of his hacking to the Soviet KGB"[15]. Hess was an associate of Karl Koch (alias Hagbard

[Right: Karl Koch. "He was involved with the KGB scandal that involved hackers being bought by drugs in exchange for breaking into key NATO and corporate installations ... Koch, of Hanover, West Germany, died Friday, June 3 [1989]"[16].]

Celine), who was also "involved in selling hacked information from United States military computers to the KGB"[17]. Hess, Koch and another hacker, Hans Heinrich Hübner (alias Pengo), were key members of a hacker ring loosely affiliated with the Chaos Computer Club[18]. Hübner

[Left: Hans Heinrich Hübner (Pengo) in 2011[19].]

and Koch later came forward in mid-1988 and confessed their hacking for the KGB to the West German authorities [20] under an espionage amnesty, which protected them from being prosecuted if they cooperated fully[21].

Karl Koch's `suicide'. Koch, however a year later, "was found burned to death" in a simulated suicide, presumably by the KGB (or the East German Stasi[22] 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 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."[23]

But there was nothing more for Koch to confess regarding the ring's hacking of computers for the KGB[24], and both Hess[25] and Hübner's[26] hacked information was regarded by the Soviets as more valuable than Koch's[27]. Moreover, the KGB had no reason to care if the secrets of others were revealed by its sponsored hacking. Only if its own secrets were about to be revealed (e.g. its hacking of the Shroud's radiocarbon dating) would the KGB have a motive to silence Koch and Linick. Chaos Computer Club member Steffen Wernery who was wrongly imprisoned in France for one of Koch's hackings, regards it as "unbelievable" that Koch committed suicide:

"Steffen Wernery ... is calm about the man whose activities caused him to spend sixty-six days in a French prison. His ire is reserved for the French authorities .... he doesn't blame Koch, he says. And he doesn't believe he committed suicide either: Suicide did not make sense. It was unbelievable. Karl Koch had disclosed himself to the authorities and had co-operated fully. He had provided them with some good information and they had found him accommodation and a job with the Christian Democratic Party. He was also getting help with his drug dependency and seemed on his way to rehabilitation. Murder seemed much more likely than suicide. ... There is the evidence the missing shoes, the controlled fire - that suggests another party was involved in Koch's death. Then there is motive. Koch had little reason to kill himself. He had a job; he was getting treatment for his drug problem. He was in no danger of being prosecuted for his part in the 'Soviet hacker' affair: like Pengo, Koch would have been a witness for the prosecution, protected from punishment by the terms of the amnesty provision. After the trial he would have resumed his life (like Pengo, now married and living in Vienna)"[28].

Neither Koch nor the KGB are essential to my theory. As previously stated in part #1, my theory is that:

"...Linick was allegedly the primary hacker and Koch's role was only secondary, to allegedly physically access the Zurich and Oxford radiocarbon dating laboratories' AMS control console computers and run a program supplied by Linick. And also, Koch's role is not essential to my theory. If it turned out that Koch could not possibly have personally travelled to Zurich and Oxford to access their radiocarbon laboratories computers, it would not falsify my theory. My theory includes Koch because of the striking coincidence that they were both allegedly hackers working for the KGB and both allegedly committed suicide within days of each other ...."
See also #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8 and #9 where I repeated this in various ways. My theory has always been that Arizona Laboratory physicist Timothy W. Linick was allegedly the primary hacker, and Koch's role was only secondary, to install Linick's program on Zurich and Oxford Laboratories' AMS computers. Which is why I have always called it, "My theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker" (singular). I don't claim that Koch knew what program he was installing, and even that it was Zurich and Oxford's radiocarbon dating laboratories he was installing it in. Therefore I reiterate that KOCH IS NOT ESSENTIAL TO MY THEORY, as it is conceivable that Linick could have installed his program on Zurich and Oxford's AMS computers himself, or had it installed some other way (e.g. as a "software update" sent by him to those two laboratories for them to install). And therefore, although I may not previously have stated it, THE KGB IS NOT ESSENTIAL TO MY THEORY either. As we saw in #6, Linick was an extreme anti-authenticist and it is conceivable that he acted alone, without the KGB's involvement, for no other reason than to ensure the Shroud was discredited, and his `suicide' only days after Koch's `suicide' may have been just a coincidence.

What IS essential to my theory is that a hacker, whom I allege to be Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory physicist Timothy W. Linick, wrote an unauthorised program and installed it on Arizona laboratory's AMS system computer, that substituted the Shroud's radiocarbon dates with random number dates, within limits, which when calibrated and averaged across all three laboratories, would cluster around 1325, which was shortly before the Shroud appeared in undisputed history at Lirey, France in about 1355. Linick then also had his program installed (or installed it himself) on Zurich and Oxford laboratories' AMS computers, with similar results to Arizona's. Again, I have included Koch and the KGB in my theory because of the striking coincidence of both Koch and Linick having died of suspicious `suicides' only a few days apart, and because Koch did have expertise that Linick may have lacked in getting past the login ID and password security systems on the DEC computer systems running the VMS operating system that the Zurich and Oxford AMS laboratories had (as we shall see).

It is therefore incorrect (and indeed dishonest and/or self-deceived), to dismiss my theory as merely a `KGB conspiracy theory,' without dealing with its ESSENTIAL elements. Anyone who has a criticism of my theory is welcome to post it as a comment under the relevant post on my blog, provided it is not "off-topic, offensive or sub-standard," as per my stated policies, and I will respond to that criticism. I will not respond to criticisms of my theory on other blogs, and indeed I don't even read them anymore, because in my experience they are largely a waste of time, due to their predominance of ill-informed comments and personal attacks.

Continued in part #10 Summary (4).

1. This post is copyright. No one may copy from this post or any of my posts on this my The Shroud of Turin blog without them first asking and receiving my written permission. Except that I grant permission, without having to ask me, for anyone to copy the title and one paragraph only (including one associated graphic) of any of my posts, provided that if they repost it on the Internet a link to my post from which it came is included. See my post of May 8, 2014. [return]
2. "Timeline of computer security hacker history: 1980s," Wikipedia, 13 December 2014 . [return]
3. Damon, P. E., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16th February, pp. 611-615, p. 611. [return]
4. "Clifford Stoll and The Cuckoo's Egg," David Bolton Strikes Again, 6 July 2007. [return]
5. Stoll, C., 1989, "The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy through the Maze of Computer Espionage," Pan: London, reprinted, 1991. [return]
6. Stoll, 1989, p.ii. [return]
7. Stoll, 1989, p.8. [return]
8. Stoll, 1989, p.12. [return]
9. "Markus Hess," Wikipedia, 4 November 2014. [return]
10. Stoll, 1989, pp.27-28. [return]
11. Jangra, A., 2013, "Famous Hacks that made Headlines," 20 August. [return]
12. Hafner, K. & Markoff, J., 1991, "Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier," Corgi: London, reprinted, 1993, p.221. [return]
13. Stoll, 1989, pp.50-51. [return]
14. "Markus Hess," Wikipedia, 2013. [return]
15. "The Cuckoo's Egg," Wikipedia, 19 November 2014. [return]
16. "WikiFreaks, Pt. 4 `The Nerds Who Played With Fire'," The Psychedelic Dungeon, 15 September 2010. [return]
17. "Karl Koch (hacker)," Wikipedia, 11 October 2014. [return]
18. Ibid. [return]
19. Guasch, J.A., 2011, "Interview with Hans Hübner (Pengo)," February 18. (See English translation following the Spanish original). [return]
20. Clough, B. & Mungo, P., 1992, "Approaching Zero: Data Crime and the Computer," Faber & Faber: London & Boston, p.183. [return]
21. "Karl Koch," Wikipedia, 2014. [return]
22. Clough & Mungo, 1992, p.185. [return]
23. "Karl Koch," Wikipedia, 2014. [return]
24. Clough & Mungo, 1992, pp.184-185. [return]
25. Clough & Mungo, 1992, p.175. [return]
26. Hafner & Markoff, 1991, pp.239-240. [return]
27. Hafner & Markoff, 1991, p.254. [return]
28. Clough & Mungo, 1992, pp.184-186. [return]

Posted: 13 December 2014. Updated: 7 February 2021.

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