Tag Archives | Hacking

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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‘Anonymous’ Hackers Hit U.S. Security Firm

anonymousBBC 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…

For more information, see original article.… Read the rest

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Activists Hijack North Korean Tweets

It seems North Korea’s internet borders are the only ones capable of being breached. Via BBC News:

Hackers have taken over social media sites associated with the North Korean regime, to make derogatory posts.

On 8 January, a Twitter account affiliated to the North’s regime began posting messages calling for an uprising.

Meanwhile a video appeared on the regime’s YouTube channel, depicting heir-apparent Kim Jong-un driving his sports car into women and children.

Users of a popular South Korean website have claimed responsibility.

The attacks coincided with Jong-un’s birthday.

[Continues at BBC News]

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Hackers Targeting Human Rights and Independent Media Groups

CNET News reported last week:

Hackers are increasingly hitting the Web sites of human rights and independent media groups in an attempt to silence them, says a new study released this week by Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.
ddos-attacks

Based on a survey of 45 groups, the report “Distributed Denial of Service Attacks Against Independent Media and Human Rights Sites” found that a large percentage said they’ve been targeted by distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks from those who disagree with their viewpoints. The Web sites typically have been knocked offline for short periods of time but in some cases have been down for days.

Overall, the survey uncovered reports of 329 attacks against more than 815 Web sites going back to 1998. But more recently, in the 12 months from September 2009 to August 2010, the center received reports of 140 attacks against more than 280 sites. That number likely represents only a small subset of all DDoS attacks, according to the center, since most attacks aren’t reported in the media.

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Cyberpunk on the Small Screen (Video)

CyberpunkGood day, Cybernauts. We've been enjoying this endearing flick for some time, but are just now getting around to posting about it. Cyberpunk is a 60-minute documentary from 1990 that serves as a charming bookend to the William Gibson documentary No Maps for These Territories. While Gibson is featured prominently in this doc, it also expands out to illuminate an entire slice of the late '80s/early '90s culture that used to be featured in the late, great Mondo 2000 magazine. Cyberpunk Review offers these insights:
Cyberpunk is a documentary that looks back at the 80s cyberpunk movement, and more specifically, how this has led to a trend in the “real” world where people were starting to refer to themselves as “cyberpunk.” The documentary sees “cyberpunks” as being synonymous with hackers. A number of writers, artists, musicians and scientists are interviewed to provide context to this movement. The guiding meme, as told by Gibson, is that information “wants” to be free. 60s counter-culture drug philosopher, Timothy Leary, provides a prediction that cyberpunks will “decentralize knowledge,” which will serve to remove power from those “in power” and bring it back to the masses. Many different potential technologies are discussed, including “smart drugs,” sentient machines, advanced prosthetics — all of which serve to give context to the idea of post-humanity and its imminent arrival on the world stage.
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4Chan, Anonymous Wreak Revenge On MasterCard, PayPal, Banks

The Faces of Anonymous. Photo: Vincent Diamante (CC)

The Faces of Anonymous. Photo: Vincent Diamante (CC)

I’ve not thought too highly of the hordes at 4Chan until now, but Julian Assange needs some help and they’re doing what they do best, making massive coordinated attacks on Assange’s various foes, as reported by ArsTechnica (since that report was posted MasterCard has also come under attack):

The forces of Anonymous have taken aim at several companies who are refusing to do business with WikiLeaks. 4chan’s hordes have launched distributed denial-of-service attacks against PayPal, Swiss bank PostFinance, and other sites that have hindered the whistleblowing site’s operations.

A self-styled spokesman for the group calling himself “Coldblood” has said that any website that’s “bowing down to government pressure” is a target. PayPal ceased processing donations to the site, and PostFinance froze WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s account. The attacks are being performed under the Operation: Payback banner; Operation: Payback is the name the group is using in its long-running attacks on the RIAA, MPAA, and other organizations involved with anti-piracy lawsuits.

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The Jester, A ‘Hacktivist For Good’, Claims WikiLeaks Takedown

A Jester?Sounds like a comic book villain. Richard Allen Greene & Nicola Hughes report for CNN:
A computer hacker who calls himself "The Jester" claimed responsibility for the cyber attack which took down the WikiLeaks site Sunday, shortly before it started posting hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. diplomatic cables. The Jester, who describes himself as a "hacktivist for good," said he took the controversial site down "for attempting to endanger the lives of our troops, 'other assets' & foreign relations." He normally attacks Islamist websites, announcing "TANGO DOWN" on his Twitter account when claiming to have attacked a site. "Tango Down" is Special Forces jargon for having eliminated a terrorist. The Jester describes himself as "an ex-soldier with a rather famous unit, country purposely not specified." "I was involved with supporting Special Forces, I have served in (and around) Afghanistan amongst other places," he told the website threatchaos.com early this year.
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Wikileaks ‘Hacked Ahead of Secret U.S. Document Release’

Via BBC News: Whistle-blowing website Wikileaks says it has come under attack from a computer-hacking operation, ahead of a release of secret US documents.
"We are currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack," it said on its Twitter feed earlier.
It added that several newspapers will go ahead and publish the documents released to them by Wikileaks even if the site goes down. The US state department has said the release will put many lives at risk. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has said the US authorities are afraid of being held to account. Wikileaks has said the release of classified messages sent by US embassies will be bigger than past releases on Afghanistan and Iraq. The newspapers set to publish details of the US embassy cables include Spain's El Pais, France's Le Monde, Germany's Spiegel, the UK's Guardian and the New York Times.
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Albert Gonzalez: America’s Top Hacker?

NYT MagThe 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”:

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.

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