Tag Archives: hackers

Operation Confused Blogger

Somewhat embarrassingly, I blogged on Thursday (December 9) that “Anonymous” had threatened the EFF, then had it pointed out to me that Anonymous is not a single group or a monolithic entity like, say, PostFinance, PayPal or the British government. The “Anon_Operations” Twitter account that rendered the now oft-reported, oft-re-reported, and oft-re-re-re-reported threat has, since that threat, only re-tweeted Wikileaks tweets.

There’s no indication that the Anon_Operations account has anything at all to do with any of the hackers who launched Operation Payback, which according to Wikipedia may have began in retribution for Bollywood studio torrent trackers back in September. (Confused yet? I apparently am.) There’s also not one “atom” of evidence that the account is associated with those who launched Operation Avenge Assange, attacked PostFinance, PayPal, or anyone else, reportedly on Julian Assange’s behalf.

My assumptions that “Anonymous” was anything like a “group” was complete boneheadednesss. I’m now told it’s an “internet gathering,” though whether any the “individual” telling me that is even remotely associated with Operations Payback or Avenge Assange, I haven’t the faintest whisper of a hint of a sniff of a distant memory of a clue.

My outrage about the threat delivered Thursday can remain intact — but it should have been directed solely at that individual who made it, who might not even be a hacker, could have been joking, and/or could be the badest-assest hacker around, and still be an asshole, and still have been joking.

The criticisms I made should have been pointed at that single person. That was major idiocy on my part; mea culpa.

The good news is that I’m in good company! (READ THE REST OF THIS POST ON TECHYUM)


Cyberwar! The Myth of Point/Counterpoint in the NYT and The Guardian

Skull icon by the author.

When a cyberwar shows up on page 1 of the New York Times, you know it’s really a cyberwar, right?

That’s where the article print-headlined Hackers Attack Sites Considered Wikileaks Foes (it has a slightly different headline in the online version) appeared this fine morning, naming as targets Julian Assange’s Swedish prosecutor and Mastercard (which stopped processing donations to Wikileaks), among others previously reported (Paypal and Amazon among them).

But the interesting thing is what passes for analysis on the front page of the Times (or anywhere) nowadays:

The Internet assaults underlined the growing reach of self-described “cyber anarchists,” antigovernment and anticorporate activists who have made an icon of Mr. Assange, whom they consider one of their own.


…which sounds just a little too much like a fictional news story in a unfinished, unpublished and very bad cyberpunk novel I myself might have written, circa 1993, if you replace “Mr. Assange” with “Lucrezia LeHack” or something.

And I’m not the only science fiction old-timer who thinks reality is running disturbingly close to fiction on this matter…(READ THE REST OF THIS POST ON TECHYUM)

Pro-Wikileaks Hackers Take Down Swiss Bank

Late Monday evening Swiss time, a distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack by hackers took down the website of PostFinance, the Swiss bank that froze the assets of the Julian Assange Defense Fund, according to a post by Executive Producer Mary Slosson on USC’s Anneberg School for Communications & Journalism.

The downing of the website, www.postfinance.ch, was announced on the anonymous hackers’ Twitter account about 1pm Pacific Time,which is 9pm in Switzerland. The tactics are similar to those use against Wikileaks, as reported on the Wikileaks’ Twitter account November 30th. (READ THE REST OF THIS POST ON TECHYUM)

Don’t Get Smished This Holiday Season

Creative Commons image by Adam Koford.

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has sent out a warning about an increase in “smishing.”

No, that’s not a kind of group grope by mobs of roving asexual, polyamorous and predatory cuddle-furries yiffing on your groovie fursona. It’s the text-message equivalent of phishing, which is called “smishing” not “tishing” because of “SMS text.” “SMS” stands, of course, for “short message service,” though only mobile phone ads and fine print and, apparently, the FBI, ever use the SMS part.

“Smishing” is when someone pulls a phishing scam by text…READ THE REST OF THIS POST ON TECHYUM