Tag Archives | Hacking

The Hackers Strike Back (Against Corporations)

somehwat-mad-completely-mad-u-mad-MADAD_reasonably_smallWhatever your view of the ethics of hacking, it’s hard to find much sympathy for the large corporations that have recently been the victims of successful hacks. The International Business Times reports on how corporations are now running scared.

Hacker attacks, real and fake claims on who hacked and who didn’t, and to top it all, speculation regarding who is going to be the next target. While distressed corporations that have been victims of these virtual hooligans in recent days struggle to restore order and gain back control over the dwindling shares, people across the world debate on the next likely target.

Hours after PlayStation Network was made available after a shutdown which lasted more than a month, Sony’s security system was reported to be breached by the hacker group LulzSec. The group claimed to have accessed over a million user accounts along with passwords stored in servers. The group, in their supposed attempt to reveal the loopholes in Sony’s security system, has made available the data they dug up online from Sonypictures.com.

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U.S. Government: ‘Hack Us And We’ll Bomb You’

Strategy for CyberspaceI’m not sure that they’ll really bomb China, which seems to be where most hacks on American corporations and government originate, but it could be a good excuse for another Middle East intervention. Nate Anderson reports for ArsTechnica:

The US revealed its “International Strategy for Cyberspace” (PDF) yesterday. It’s mostly blather about how terrific “cyberspace” is, but it gets more specific on a few key issues like national defense. Could our next war start because of a hack? The government says it’s possible.

“States have an inherent right to self-defense that may be triggered by certain aggressive acts in cyberspace,” says the policy. Indeed, such aggressive acts might compel a country like the US to act even when the hacking is targeted at an allied country.

“Certain hostile acts conducted through cyberspace could compel actions under the commitments we have with our military treaty partners,” says the document.

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Anonymous May Day Attack On Iran

Anonymous is bombing Iran — with code — in a May Day attack started today at 0500 GMT.

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From CNN:

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…

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The Saga of Captain Midnight: ‘No Regrets’ About Jamming HBO 25 Years Ago (Video)

CaptainMidnightPaul McNamara writes in Network World’s BuzzBlog:

John MacDougall, then 25, was the lonely pamphleteer of lore, only instead of paper and ink he was armed with a 30-foot transmission dish, an electronic keyboard, and a burning objection to HBO’s decision in 1986 to begin scrambling its satellite signal and charging viewers $12.95 a month.

That move and price had offended MacDougall’s sense of fair play — and all but halted the sales being generated by his fledgling satellite dish business in Ocala, Fla. So at 12:32 a.m. on Sunday, April 27, he transformed himself into Captain Midnight by commandeering HBO’s satellite transmission signal – interrupting a showing of The Falcon and the Snowman — and putting in its place the above protest message that aired for four-and-a-half minutes.

The stunt touched off a nationwide manhunt by law enforcement to unmask Captain Midnight and a media circus that has MacDougall’s head spinning to this day. He would be caught, plead guilty to a misdemeanor, and receive a wrist slap of probation and a $5,000 fine.

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Russian Jailed For Hacking Highway Sign With Porn

porn-in-moscowYahoo News reports:

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 Banning PlayStation 3 Hackers For Life

250px-PS3VersionsCNET reports:

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.

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Anonymous: It’s A Trap! (From the Westboro Baptist Church)

Anonymous: It's A Trap!Ms. Smith writes on Network World:

According to Anonymous, Westboro Baptist Church was behind the Open Letter allegedly from Anonymous, and then added fuel to the flames with WBC’s “Bring it” reply. Anonymous warns don’t DDoS, it’s a trap to collect IPs for suing.

Twitter is on fire with the news of an upcoming troll-on-troll feud of Anonymous vs. Westboro Baptist Church. In case you missed it — in an Open Letter, Anonymous allegedly told the anti-gay, fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church to stop the hate now or else “the damage incurred will be irreversible” and “neither your institution nor your congregation will ever be able to fully recover.” The Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church struck back, telling Anonymous to “bring it!” and that God hates “lousy hackers.”

In-between the two, this other Open Letter from Anonymous gained less attention, but told WBC that Anonymous knew it was a trap, and the short-on-money, thrive-on-attention WBC was in fact behind the first Open Letter supposedly from Anonymous.

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South African Thieves Steal Traffic Light SIM Cards To Make Free, Untraceable Calls

traffic_1An impressive slice of outlaw ingenuity: criminals have discovered that SIM cards used in high-tech traffic lights can be harvested and used in mobile phones to make free, untraceable, unlimited calls. Via the Guardian:

Hundreds of lights have been damaged by thieves targeting the machines’ SIM cards, which are then used to make mobile phone calls worth millions of South African rand.

More than two-thirds of 600 hi-tech lights have been affected over the past two months, according to the Johannesburg Roads Agency, causing traffic jams, accidents and frustration for motorists.

The traffic lights use sim cards, modem and use GPRS to send and receive information, a system intended to save time and manpower by alerting the road agency’s head office when any lights malfunction. According to Thulani Makhubela, a spokesman for the agency, the robberies have been “systematic and co-ordinated”, possibly by a syndicate. An internal investigation has now been launched.

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