The hacker group Lulz Security has claimed it has brought down the public-facing website of the US Central Intelligence Agency. The alleged attack on CIA.gov occurred on the same day the group opened a telephone request line so its fans could suggest potential targets. On its Twitter feed, the group wrote: "Tango down - cia.gov - for the lulz". The CIA website was inaccessible at times on Wednesday but appeared to be back up on Thursday. It was unclear if the outage was due to the group's efforts or to the large number of internet users trying to check the site. The CIA would not confirm if it had been the victim of an attack. In a statement, a spokesperson told BBC News: "The CIA's public web site experienced technical issues that caused it to respond slowly for a short time yesterday evening. Those issues are now resolved."
Tag Archives | hackers
Anonymous is bombing Iran — with code — in a May Day attack started today at 0500 GMT.
The Internet hackers group Anonymous plans to hack Iran on Sunday, according to a press release published on their website. The group wants to use International Workers’ Day, which commemorates the first national general strike in the United States, as an opportunity to reignite last year’s protests in Iran.
Exactly how they intend to “attack” Iran remains to be seen. The sophistication of their previous attacks ranges from the denial-of-service overloading of web servers (this simply knocks a website out) to the exploitation of code and accessing of private data (more like the hacking seen in the movies).
The announcement follows news from the Bahrain News Agency that Iranian hackers had tried to access the Housing Ministry’s database regarding those who benefit from the housing services…
[continues at CNN]
MOSCOW (AFP) – A Moscow court jailed a Russian hacker for 18 months after he altered an electronic advertising billboard so that it screened a pornographic video, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Thursday. Hacker Igor Blinnikov stopped traffic in January last year by breaking into a computer system and screening a graphic sex video for around 10 minutes on a video billboard beside a busy highway in central Moscow in the late evening. Blinnikov, who comes from the southern Russian city of Novorossiisk, was found guilty late Wednesday of illegally gaining access to information on a computer and distributing pornographic materials. He called the video prank on Moscow's Garden Ring highway a "joke that went wrong"...
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Sony came down hard on PlayStation 3 hackers today, saying they will be permanently banned from the company’s online services.
“Violation of the system software license agreement for the PlayStation 3 System invalidates the consumer guarantee for that system,” reads a notice posted to Sony’s official PlayStation blog. “In addition, copying or playing pirated software is a violation of international copyright laws. Consumers using circumvention devices or running unauthorized or pirated software will have access to the PlayStation Network and access to Qriocity services through PlayStation 3 system terminated permanently.”
To avoid the lifetime shutout, Sony said, consumers must “immediately cease use and remove all circumvention devices and delete all unauthorized or pirated software from their PlayStation 3 systems.”
In the post, Social Media Manager Jeff Rubenstein said the policy represents an initial response to questions from PlayStation.Blog readers about how Sony plans to deal with breaches of its policy.
BBC News reports:
Online activist group Anonymous has targeted an American security firm that claimed to know the identities of its leaders.
The secretive organisation is being investigated in several countries over strikes on Visa, PayPal and others.
Over the weekend Aaron Barr, head of HBGary Federal, said he had discovered the names of its most senior figures.
The group retaliated overnight by breaking into the company’s website and hijacking his Twitter account.
Anonymous, known for being a loosely-knit group, has been involved in a number of high profile online protests and attacks in recent months.
In December, the group launched a campaign in support of Wikileaks that disrupted services at MasterCard, Visa and other companies that had withdrawn support the whistle-blowing website.
The strike led to police investigations around the world, and a number of arrests in Britain and the Netherlands.
Although the individuals who make up the collective claim they do not have a traditional hierarchy, Mr Barr told the Financial Times that he had infiltrated the organisation and uncovered the names and addresses of several senior figures…
The New York Times Magazine devotes its cover and many, many column inches to a profile of the man Times’ writer James Verini describes as “America’s most notorious computer hacker”:
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One night in July 2003, a little before midnight, a plainclothes N.Y.P.D. detective, investigating a series of car thefts in upper Manhattan, followed a suspicious-looking young man with long, stringy hair and a nose ring into the A.T.M. lobby of a bank. Pretending to use one of the machines, the detective watched as the man pulled a debit card from his pocket and withdrew hundreds of dollars in cash. Then he pulled out another card and did the same thing. Then another, and another. The guy wasn’t stealing cars, but the detective figured he was stealing something.
Indeed, the young man was in the act of “cashing out,” as he would later admit. He had programmed a stack of blank debit cards with stolen card numbers and was withdrawing as much cash as he could from each account.
JJ Sutherland discovers that his precious credit card info isn’t so precious after all, writing for NPR:
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If you’re like me, you’re slightly paranoid about your credit card data. You’ve taken all the precautions, checked your statements frequently for fraudulent spending, carefully hidden them in a ‘top-secret’ shoe compartment. What, wait, you don’t do that?
Well, your precious data that you protect so diligently is worth, wait for it, $1.50. That’s because, well, all those security precautions you take don’t really do that much, especially against trojans and hackers who you probably don’t do enough to defend against. There are so many stolen credit cards that they come cheap.
The trouble is, the minute you seek to narrow your search using the built-in tools, the site starts adding all these extra convenience fees (sound familiar?).
Ian Traynor profiles Julian Assange for the Guardian:
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The elusive founder of WikiLeaks, who is at the centre of a potential US national security sensation, has surfaced from almost a month in hiding to tell the Guardian he does not fear for his safety but is on permanent alert.
Julian Assange, a renowned Australian hacker who founded the electronic whistleblowers’ platform WikiLeaks, vanished when a young US intelligence analyst in Baghdad was arrested.
The analyst, Bradley Manning, had bragged he had sent 260,000 incendiary US state department cables on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to WikiLeaks.
The prospect of the cache of classified intelligence on the US conduct of the two wars being put online is a nightmare for Washington. The sensitivity of the information has generated media reports that Assange is the target of a US manhunt.
“[US] public statements have all been reasonable. But some statements made in private are a bit more questionable,” Assange told the Guardian in Brussels.
… Read the rest
U.S. government analysts believe a Chinese man with government links wrote the key part of a spyware program used in hacker attacks on Google last year, the Financial Times reported on Monday.The man, a security consultant in his 30s, posted sections of the program to a hacking forum where he described it as something he was “working on,” the paper said, quoting an unidentified researcher working for the U.S. government.
The spyware creator works as a freelancer and did not launch the attack, but Chinese officials had “special access” to his programing, the report said.
“If he wants to do the research he’s good at, he has to toe the line now and again,” the paper quoted the unnamed U.S. government researcher saying.
“He would rather not have uniformed guys looking over his shoulder, but there is no way anyone of his skill level can get away from that kind of thing.
From BBC News:
An activist group that temporarily blocked access to key Australian government websites plans to continue its cyber attacks, the BBC has learned.
The group, known as Anonymous, was protesting against the Australian government’s proposals to apply filters to the internet in the country.
A man claiming to be a representative of the group said that around 500 people were involved in the attack.
The method they are using is known as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS).
DDoS is illegal in many countries including the United Kingdom. There is no indication that the attack was carried out from within Britain. DDoS attacks typically call on machines in many different nations, making them hard to trace.
The sites were intermittently blocked on 10 and 11 February. The action has been condemned by various bodies including the Systems Administrators Guild of Australia (SAGE-AU) and Electronic Frontiers Australia.
[Read more BBC News]