After months of watching helplessly while Anonymous and LulzSec pulled down our virtual pants and stuck their tongue out at Internet users worldwide, several members of the two groups are now being taught a crucial lesson: nobody likes a smartass. We reported yesterday that the FBI raided the homes of 3 suspected Anons in New York, but it turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg. Authorities in the US and UK say they've slapped the cuffs of 15 alleged Anon affiliates and one person possibly associated with LulzSec. Oh, and one more guy.
Another day, another hacking story. If you thought the recent disbanding of LulzSec meant an end to the daily exploit updates, you thought wrong; plenty of other groups are wrangling for Lulzsec's crown as king of the headache-causing chuckleheads. Today's facepalm-inducing report involves a group called Inj3ct0r Team, who claim to have sneaked into a backup NATO server while waving the flag of Operation AntiSec, an anti-security movement popularized by LulzSec and Anonymous.
Supply and demand. It's a simple and fundamental economic model of price determination in a market. We're not going to cover all the particulars and instead will assume you have at least a basic understanding of how it works (if not, Investopedia breaks it down in plain English). The reason we bring it up is because your credit card -- that Platinum one jammed in your wallet -- is worth a mere $35 in the black market. Your Corporate card fetches $45. In other words, it costs more to take the family to Green Lantern at the local cinema than it does to purchase a stolen credit card.
Current headlines would have you believe that the hacking community is a seedy world full of anonymous, government-hating hooligans and lulz-seeking havoc-wreaking chuckleheads. That is a part of it, but for every jerk who steals credit card numbers, there's a hard-working hacker helping to identify weaknesses in networks and shore up corporate defenses. Hoping to inspire a new generation of white-hat hackers, DEFCON's hosting their first ever event targeting techie children, the aptly named DEFCON Kids.
If you're the kind of person who authorizes ActiveX scripts willy-nilly or opens attachments emailed to you by strangers, the world is a much safer place now than it was two months ago. Don't get us wrong – if you're that kind of person, your computer is still going to end up overrun with malware, but at least it won't be made into a Coreflood zombie. The FBI's "Operation ADEONA" took the botnet on head first, and while botnet operators can be a hardheaded bunch, the FBI's head is apparently even harder.
Another day, another hacking story full of lulz. This one's a little bit different though; the laughs don't come courtesy of Lulz Security or Anonymous, for the first time in what seems like ages. What's amusing about this story is the target! Hit videogame maker BioWare announced late yesterday that user account data may have been stolen in a recent server breach. That's not funny. What is funny: the server was a 10 year old community server that handled the "Neverwinter Nights" forums. While LulzSec recently ravaged Bethesda in search of Skyrim screenshots, the BioWare hacker apparently prefers his RPGs well-aged.
We'd say “this is getting ridiculous,” but it passed ridiculous and rounded the corner into DownrightLoonyVille (copyright Zynga, all rights reserved) a long time ago. After Sony so kindly lowered its gates to kick off the trend, hackers stormed their way into SOE, Deus Ex, Nintendo of America, and Codemasters – to name a few. And now they've struck Skyrim and Fallout developer Bethesda, too – primarly, well, because they can.
With each cyber attack, authorities around the world are coming under increasing pressure to crack down on hackers and "hacktivist" groups. Last week, the global crackdown against the nebulous hacktivist group Anonymous saw the arrest of nearly three dozen alleged Anonymous members in Spain and Turkey.
"Do not make the mistake of challenging Anonymous," the hacker collective declared in a stark message on its website yesterday. The message was a direct response to a NATO report that said Anonymous should be infiltrated and its members jailed. Spain responded to the verbal backhand by delivering Anonymous a not-so-subtle slap in return; today, Spanish police announced that they've arrested three "senior" members of the legion and seized a server that played a crucial role in many recent Anonymous attacks, including the PlayStation Network take-down.
One surefire way to thwart hackers is to turn out the lights and take your website completely offline. That was Codemaster's strategy, which was hit by hackers and promptly pulled the plug on its website "as soon as the intrusion was detected." Unfortunately for Codemasters and its customers, by the time the site and associated web services were taken down, hackers had already made off with the personal information of potentially thousands of customers.