Wifi at LAX! (Individuality and Identity!!!)

January 8, 2007

Found: nwaworldclubs
unsecure wireless access point.

It always amazes me the number of unsecure access points in the world. You can pretty much drive around the neighborhood and pick-up multiple houses. It was be pretty easy for a hacker to run around a small city compremising small networks.  An as any battle, the ability to confuse is a very vital ability. Any one could take over unknowing individual’s house and launch some internet drivin attacks through that location as a starting point. One thing I’ve always thought about in the hacking realm was about how to initiate an attack when each attack is tracked at the TCP/IP connection level through each ISP, information is logged by the Terabyte and it’s very difficult to remove that data once it has been established. It’s actually quite similar to fingerprints. When your person performs an action, you leave a residue of your person. Your presense in that location and the relative local of your print gives a notion for your action or origination in that physical location. It works quite similarly in the computer science realm. When your system does anything that information is logged and tracked, the source of that action is tracked, it’s destination exists, every point-to-point communications passage makes their own independent tracking note for that action such that there are duplicated copies of it everywhere. The one thing that you can not run away from is the fact that they can track an attack back to the source physical address of which it was initiated. The one thing that is hard to do now is to ensure that physical computer that initiated the attack is still there in one piece. With today’s technology and reprogrammable hardware, the residue of what is considered a computer’s identity is quite easily changed. This is known as a MAC address. There are also other methods to identify a computer of course, but for the most part the MAC is suppose to be a univerisal identifier for each computer’s network connection card. Due to advancement and ease of deployment, many manufacturers have now made their ethernet card network connections reprogrammable. They need only manufacture one chip and reprogram it to be a different identity. This is also quite similar if a human performs identity theft. The world is quite unsecure.

This now brings into question a few notions of how people are considered persons and how they obtain their identity. If an identity is easily stolen then how can we protect ourselves? One idea that comes to mind is the idea of social replacement. In this society there is a notion of “I am Sam” but what really makes up for who we consider Sam? In most nations they will have some unique identifier, and ID, a pass, a method of instantianting a person’s existance on paper for tracking purposes. “Sam” has a local identity within a nation; he has his friends, his family, his work, his history, and his personality. The person “Sam” in America means absolutely nothing in Russia or in Germany. In those countries, he does not exist. 

Two ideas: local relational identity and identification tracking.

Local relational identity: You are only who you say you are and who others can vouch for them. “I am Sam, because my friend which is Dan says so.” In this case there are two entities, someone named “Sam” and someone named “Dan”. Both of which, take claim that they are their own respective identities. Neither of them are creditiable individually, but together they hold a relational existance to each other. As we start traversing Sam’s “existance” we start to find that his is marred to “Pam” born in some town named “Damn” and has two children “Can” and “Ban”. Now I’m just having fun with names, but one can see how relational existance starts to come into play. There are two directions to existence: parallel and linear. Sam exists because Dan which also exists says he does. Sam and Pam exist because there is a merrage certificate which says they do. Breaking down the two ideas there is the following two ideas: “Someone else is the accredication for said person’s existance” and “An history document is the accrediation for said person’s existance.” Taken in the fact that we humans have no perfect ability to distingish the spoken or implied truth of our fellow humans, then truly the identity of plausable individuals is really only linked to as much local relational identity that is presented and given at the time of evaluation. Taking this into account, with enough local relational identify, one can instantiate them selves as anyone to a point it is plausable. Taking this futher, with enough histortical documentation and relational local vouchers for existance of human interaction and also histortical documentation for those individuals as well, one can create a truly encapulated individual identity that can not be distinglished between real and manifestation.

As in all security measures it is always a matter of raising the bar. Anyone is capable of manifesting a new identity, it is only a matter of how deep rooted that identity has been built. Only those that doubt the existance and validity of an individual would begin to dig into that heap of local relational data. Then only a well versed and well knowledged individual can every dig deep enough to uncover someone that is truly impressive at manifesting themselves as an “individual” using an identity that is not really their own.

A little oddity in the world perhaps, maybe all of us are just spies trying to pass ourselves off as “individuals” we really are not. What instantiates our true existance? What accredidation is there that state we truly are who we say we are? When does an identity which is manifested actually change from a manifestation into truth of reality? Is there even a difference between the two?

James Liu – Computer Scientist 

=P

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