Nuclear attack scenario vs. Dirty compuyer tricks

Last week I started a thread about ways your computer can be attacked and how it can be defended. It was hidden, with an admonishment from a mod, who said regardless of intent, do mot post methods of attacking computers.

A week later, a thread is started by a charter member soliciting opinions on how best to go about nuking Washington, with some very technical responses that any terrorist would love to be apprised of, thank you.

Aside from the reputation of the OP, what is the forum rule that governs the suitability of these two topics?

A link would be helpful, but did you report the thread in question? The mods can’t read every post in every thread. If something breaks the rules, and you feel it deserves mod attention, it’s best to report it rather than assuming they’ll just happen to see it.

Consider it reported. Let’s see who gets admonished further. I can’t link to mine, of course – it’s gone.

Attacking someone else’s computer is something a motivated person can do from the study in the basement. Right now, they can do it right now. Nuking a city calls for considerably more planning, effort and access to restricted materials, which involves supply chain issues that leave the person vulnerable to discovery/capture. Realistically, the first thing could be much more of a genuine problem for more people than the second thing.

But you could link to the one you’re having the issue with.

I’m assuming that’s going to be the reasoning. I can hack another computer (if I knew how) without getting up from my chair. Even the most terroristy terrorist needs considerable skills in multiple fields to build anything outside of a dirty bomb when it comes to nukes. You can, literally, build a radioactive dirty bomb with items from Walmart (parts for a pipe bomb and the americium from smoke detectors. But if you’re looking to level a decent sized area, it’s going to take a good working knowledge of nuclear physics, engineering, the ability to source parts the general public has zero access to and so on.
In fact, it seems most terrorists get caught before they can even build a bomb because intelligence agencies get wind of them trying to get training on how to build them or source the materials.

Yeah, I think the reason for the mod double standard was because one of these things is far more doable than the other.

I could start a thread asking how someone could commandeer an asteroid and crash it into Earth, which would be a far bigger atrocity than anything related to hacking or nukes. But such a thread would probably be allowed to stand.

The nuclear attack thread contained lots and lots of technical details, and there are serious people who have both the opportunity and the motivation to do so’. For them, this thread is a potentially valuable primer.

My thread described how a person in his living room can defend against an attack.

I don’t have all the facts in front of me, I can only speculate. It sounds like, in the moderator’s judgement, your late topic “fosters or promotes activity that is illegal in the U.S.”, a violation of this rule:

It is also possible that you ran afoul of this rule:

Specifically the last part:

I have no particular comment or opinion on the tu quoue.


So does directions on how to launch a missile or hotwire a commercial airplane. But the chance of someone reading it here and putting it into practice is pretty unlikely.
Also, could you link to the thread?

No, VPN is seen by the Boart as a specific attack on the interest sof the Board itself, rather than a general attack on public interests. Very different. Neither of the two threads in question are direct attacks on the Board in any way.

No, you didn’t.

You started a thread with specific “how to” information about how to cause harm to someone’s computer. There was absolutely nothing in it about how it could be defended.

There were two things listed in your post. The first was explicit instructions on how to make someone’s toolbars disappear so that “They’ll spend a day trying to get their tool-bars back.” The second was how to screw up someone’s email while they were traveling overseas so that they would not be able to access their email at all until they returned to the US.

Your post was purely malicious in its intent, and contained exact step by step instructions that anyone regardless of technical skill could follow. While we do allow some discussions of illegal acts, we generally draw the line at providing detailed “how-to” type information.

By comparison, while the nuclear attack scenario does contain a general outline for an attack, it does not contain complete step-by-step instructions on how to commit an act of terrorism, and also has the intent of asking how to prevent this type of attack, where your post was just sharing how to do something harmful with absolutely no intent about how to defend against it.

Max_S linked to the appropriate rule (illegal activities). The bit about VPNs in Max’s post do not apply. There was nothing about VPNs in your post.

You have hidden any evidence that might exonerate me, and then substituted a version, which is inaccurate in several respects.

Furthermore, nothing I described “damages” any computer or system. One is easily remedied, the other easily avoided if some one (like me) has “maliciously” warned you about it.

I stand by the text of my post — show it to us.

Rendering something unusable, even though you have not caused any physical damage, is still damage.

No. There is nothing in your post except two examples of how to cause someone a lot of grief. Since there is nothing to your post other than this malicious “how to” information, it will remain hidden.

I honestly don’t know what you could possibly think is in that post that could somehow exonerate you. The post is literally just two examples of how to be malicious. That’s it.

If you still do not understand why your post is unacceptable here, then you should refrain from making any post that is even remotely similar.

That key does exactly what the system designer intended to do. It doesn’t “destabilize” antithing, it just offers an alternate screen view.

I stand by what I wrote. That evidence has been conveniently removed from view.

Your post was reported as malicious. @engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek read it as malicious. No mod read the report and said, “no, I disagree, that post should stand”. It unambiguously gave instructions for damaging someone else’s computer (yes, damaging the functionality, not the hardware.)

Whatever your motivation in your heart of hearts, the post was easy to interpret as malicious. It has been deleted. The reason for deleting it has been clearly stated. Move on.

(closing thread.)