scrambled messages

Tue, 14 Feb 89 20:19:19 EST

Humanist Mailing List, Vol. 2, No. 602. Tuesday, 14 Feb 1989.

Date: Tue, 14 Feb 89 17:49:54 EST
From: Scott Earley <SCOTT@BITNIC>
Subject: HUMANIST garbling closed

[Humanists in the North Eastern U.S. were plagued by scrambled messages
late last year. The problem was taken seriously by the Bitnet staff,
who investigated even the possibility of intentional tampering. Here is
a report from the chief investigator, which at least some of you will
find interesting. --W.M.]

After getting notice of unexplained "message garbling" on both the
HUMANIST and NOTIS-L LISTSERV discussion groups I began tracking it
down with expert assistance from others. The consensus of opinions
is that this was more than likely an occurrence of random, non-human
intevention, possibly caused by failure of a data compression algorithm
in an intervening machine or mail subsystem. Furthermore, it was
isolated and apparently confined to a small set of BITNET sites.

In the wake of other, more serious worm-related events it was wise to
be safe and investigate this event. Since Dr. McCarty, owner and editor
of HUMANIST@UTORONTO, has seen no similar transmissions since this
condition was first noted I'm quite confident in closing it.

Many thanks to those of you who alerted the BITNIC staff and to the
skilled volunteers....

Scott Earley
Network Services Consultant BITNET: Scott@BITNIC
BITNET Network Information Center Phone: 609-520-3377