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The First Botnet, 25 Years Ago Today

How a grad student trying to build the first botnet brought the Internet to its knees. via
posted by nevercalm on Nov 3, 2013 - 7 comments

The threat won't be understood until a Cyberdisaster

The Frightening Things You Hear at a Black Hat Conference. (Previously-ish).
posted by MattMangels on Nov 23, 2012 - 49 comments

Whiz Kids

In the early 80’s, personal computers were a new innovation. Films like WarGames made it seem as if a kid with a keyboard could hack into anything: a school or corporate mainframe, NORAD, the US nuclear arsenal or your neighborhood bank. Hoping to capitalize on this, in 1983 CBS premiered a show which could have been considered WarGames’ intellectual successor. It featured a group of resourceful kids who solved crimes by hacking and cracking, led by Matthew Laborteaux, child star of Little House on the Prairie, and advised by a Gavilan SC-toting, mustachioed reporter played by Max Gail, formerly of the show Barney Miller. Whiz Kids lasted only a single season: 18 episodes, but all of them live on in cyberspace, on YouTube. Complete episode links contained within. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 8, 2012 - 41 comments

"We’re allowing a whole new level of intelligence in the networks...We can take a copy of everything coming through our switch and dump it off to the FBI."

The Surveillance Catalog: Where Governments Get Their Spying Tools The Wall Street Journal has obtained a "trove" of documents from the secretive retail market in surveillance technology sold to world governments, and has created a searchable database for your enjoyment. "Among the most controversial technologies on display at the conference were essentially computer-hacking tools to enable government agents to break into people's computers and cellphones, log their keystrokes and access their data..." E.g., FinFisher installs malware by sending fake software updates for Blackberry and other devices; VUPEN's Exploits for Law Enforcement Agencies "aim to deliver exclusive exploit codes for undisclosed vulnerabilities" in software from Microsoft, Apple and others. [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Nov 20, 2011 - 37 comments

Stux to be you

In-depth pieces in Vanity Fair and Wired detail the structure and impact of the Stuxnet worm, and what it means for the future of cybersecurity. (Previously)
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jul 11, 2011 - 43 comments

Cracking voyeurism

Using honeypots and logging tools, some server admins have logged actual server break-in attempts by nincompoop crackers. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Mar 11, 2011 - 50 comments

Some people learn lessons the hard way.

Aaron Barr, of security company HBGary, claimed in the Financial Times to have infiltrated Anonymous and to be collecting information on members of the group. Predictably, Anonymous responded by hacking HBGary's website and replacing its front page, as well as by stealing Barr's research documents on Anonymous (and social networking accounts) and releasing them to the public, along with thousands of internal HBGary emails.
posted by Pope Guilty on Feb 7, 2011 - 199 comments

Q. Would you like tea OR coffee? A: Yes.

What real-life bad habits has programming given you? "This has actually really happened to me. I was trying to hang a glass picture frame on the wall and accidentally dropped it. And in the shock of the moment, I loudly yelled 'Control Z!' Then the glass hit the floor and smashed."
posted by grumblebee on Jan 30, 2009 - 170 comments

Great Cyber Crimes and Hacks

The best criminal hacker is the one that isn't caught — or even identified. These are 10 of the most infamous unsolved computer crimes as selected by PC Magazine. However, some do get caught. Here are nine of the most infamous criminal hackers to ever see the inside of a jail cell. PCMag also reached back into the early days of computing and dredged up the most inspiring examples of hacker brilliance they could find. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Sep 30, 2008 - 43 comments

Cyber Command Über Alles

Attention Geeks and Hackers: Uncle Sam's Cyber Force Wants You! [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Jun 5, 2008 - 29 comments

Christopher Andrew Phillips, hacker?

Christopher Andrew Phillips, the University of Texas at Austin student accused of "hacking" the school's computer system, has turned himself in. But reading about his method makes me wonder if this really is hacking and/or illegal...
posted by Big_B on Mar 14, 2003 - 13 comments

Competition to "reverse engineer" mystery program.

Competition to "reverse engineer" mystery program.
Another cool thingy from the HoneyNet Project; they're inviting people to convert a binary file into its original source. So, who's participating?
posted by arnab on May 3, 2002 - 2 comments

Hackers: Computer Outlaws

Hackers: Computer Outlaws A TLC show(that I'm 3/4 through) that seems to actually use reliable sources to discuss not just cracker behavior, but also the creative side of hackers, pointing out the developments attributed to some hackers. Now Markoff and Mitnick. Not a bad little show....
posted by dglynn on Jan 9, 2002 - 7 comments

Striking back at hackers

Striking back at hackers
"LaBrea" is a free, open-source tool that deters worms and other hack attacks by transforming unused network resources into decoy-computers that appear and act just like normal machines on a network. But when malicious hackers or mindless worms such as Nimda or Code Red attempt to connect with a LaBrea-equipped system, they get sucked into a virtual tarpit that grabs their computer's connection -- and doesn't release it.
Is this an ethical use of network resources, or just vigilante justice? What other methods have you used to strike back at hostile software?
posted by TheChump on Sep 20, 2001 - 9 comments

One million credit card numbers stolen! News at 11!

One million credit card numbers stolen! News at 11! The FBI has gone public with a rather dry account of a huge organized attack on ecommerce sites, exploiting security flaws in NT which Microsoft fixed and offered patches for nearly two years ago.
posted by Steven Den Beste on Mar 9, 2001 - 5 comments

Misguided Brazilian script kiddies defaces Netherlands AIDS Fonds (Foundation).

Misguided Brazilian script kiddies defaces Netherlands AIDS Fonds (Foundation). And what's even more bizzare is that it appears their "message" roughly translates as "Let us not forget World AIDS Day." Duh... go deface a denialist, idiots.
posted by bkdelong on Dec 1, 2000 - 1 comment

They bagged the kid who was responsible

They bagged the kid who was responsible for all those Denial-of-Service attacks a couple of months ago. He's Canadian.

Here's an interesting legal question: could the US extradite him? The crimes were committed in the US, but he was in Canada at the time he did it, since he worked through the Internet. Whose laws apply?

(By the way, I've seen no indication that the US is considering extradition; I was just curious whether they could extradite him.)
posted by Steven Den Beste on Apr 19, 2000 - 18 comments

Cyber Patrol hacker sells out for one dollar

Cyber Patrol hacker sells out for one dollar < I made my political point and just don't want further annoyance... ...Mattel initiated legal action in e-mail subpoenas in mid-March and Skala and Jansson removed cphack from their sites, but not before urging computer activists to copy and distribute it.... ...Nevertheless, some mirror site operators think open source software protections make the issue moot. The court cannot impose an Internet ban because cphack was released under the GNU General Public License... > perhaps you've seen this--the final decision will be interesting with repect to free speech and the GNU GPL. something to watch anyhow.
posted by greyscale on Mar 28, 2000 - 3 comments

Last night Kevin Mitnick was on 60 minutes (the gist of the interview is quoted here), and I have to say he came off as an utterly harmless geek. He was an information junkie that enjoyed the challenge of cracking firewalls. He never profited from his activities and the affected companies made up their monetary losses. It's a shame he was forced to waste away in prison instead of offer his security expertise to the affected companies.
posted by mathowie on Jan 24, 2000 - 1 comment

Kevin Mittnick is finally being released from prison today,

Kevin Mittnick is finally being released from prison today, but I wouldn't call what he's getting as being "free". Prohibiting Kevin from touching a computer for 3 years? This isn't like giving a toddler to a ex-con child molester, it's a computer. A person can do a lot of things besides hack into company servers. How does anyone expect Kevin to make the $125 restitution he owes each month, if he can't use a computer or get a job that requires a computer? Now that I think about it, what percentage of decent jobs are completely free of computers?
posted by mathowie on Jan 21, 2000 - 5 comments

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