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Thursday, July 27th, 2006, 3:27 pm

Identity Theft and Character Assassination

Cowboy hat
Black hat forgery had me victimised

A few weeks ago I was reminded why signing (or even encryption) one’s mail is very important. I mentioned this issue twice in the past. Having warned someone about an imposter, I recently found myself waring the same shoe. I have identified an imposter/forger… of my own.

In this case, the forger ridiculed Linux while using my full name. Needless to say, I did not write this. Describing Ubuntu as “Bison” dung while using my full name? I think not, but it remains archived on the Web, which can rarely be trusted nowadays (think Wikipedia). This was part of character assassination attempts, which appear to have escaped UseNet and spread to the World Wide Web.

2 Responses to “Identity Theft and Character Assassination”

  1. Justin Says:

    Hi roy,
    Its a very sorry situation that not much has been done to prevent such attacks from happening in the future. The implications of such types of attack range from abuse of one’s reputation to even financial loss.
    Now i have a question, in your post Roy had mentioned about signing one’s mail/post before sending them.Now my question is this – isn’t it possible to forge signatures also ? If yes , what are the ways to prevent others from forging our signatures. I dont feel using signatures generated by our ISP could also be a good idea. Are there any good softwares that does this job well ?

    with regards

    (note : -All your post in C.O.L.A is really superb. But very sorry to see some dumbos trying to tarnish your name by some really uncool post. But that okay , i mean dont bother about them, just ignore them , coz i too sometimes i had to face the music for being an ‘ Open source / Linux supporter’)

  2. Roy Schestowitz Says:

    Hi Justin!

    Signatures are based on the principle/premise that one end makes its key publicly available (both ends must do so in order for encryption to be viable). The signature cannot be replicated or forged. Given the key and the body of the message, there is a one-to-one correspondence that can be verified. This means that nobody else will be able to sign a message on your behalf and have it validated at the receiving hand. In forums, on the other hand, it’s rather different. Usernames in forum software, for example, should be unique, but this leaves place for subtle differences, e.g. “username” versus “u5ername”.

    Thanks for the encouraging words regarding my posts. Being adverse to the majority is something that comes with a cost (e.g. alienation). It’s best to summon some mental endurance and carry on with a likeminded community. Thanks for being there.

    Best wishes,


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