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Cyber crime fighters September 26, 2008

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Concordia Journal, 25 September 2008

In the spring of 2007, the government of Estonia, a small independent Baltic state and former Soviet republic, made the decision to remove a Soviet war memorial from the city of Tallinn. The Russian government expressed its disapproval of the action.

Shortly thereafter, Estonia’s national IT network was subject to a cyber attack so intense and prolonged that it impacted the government’s ability to function. Web sites and servers of banks, broadcasters, newspapers and telecoms were also assaulted. The situation was so dire, that – after three weeks – NATO experts were called in to help.

While this type of cyber warfare is the extreme of cyber crime, there is no doubt that as people, business and the public sector have increased their online presence, so have criminals.

Over a year ago, Mourad Debbabi (Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering and Concordia University Research Chair Tier I in Information Systems Security) was invited to a meeting that included Canadian law enforcement officials, as well representatives of the banking, telecommunications, financial and public sectors.

“I was the only academic present,” he said.

The purpose of the meeting was to develop a national organisation to fight cyber crime. One of the speakers, an agent from the FBI, described a relatively new organization in the US called the National Cyber Forensics Training Alliance (NCFTA).

The NCFTA is neutral collaborative venue where critical confidential information about cyber incidents can be shared discreetly among industry, academia and law enforcement. The Alliance facilitates advanced training, promotes security awareness to reduce cyber-vulnerability, and conducts research in cyber forensics.

At the end of the meeting, participants asked themselves if such an organization was required in Canada.

“The answer was a resounding, unanimous yes,” said Debbabi.

NCFTA Canada was formally launched in July 2008 with Concordia as its primary host. While the legalities of the collaborative effort are still in negotiation among the partners – which include Bell Canada, the Competition Bureau of Canada, Rogers Communications, and Microsoft Canada – technical operations are starting this fall.

Debbabi, whose research focuses on cyber forensics, explained that the mandate of the organization is quite broad.

“Cyber crime includes any criminal activity where computers or computer systems are either the tool or the target – child porn and exploitation, identity theft, hacking, fraud, and any kind illegal digital transaction.”

Partners will target reductions in and improved defense against activities such as SPAMming, phishing and denial of service attacks like those launched against organizations such as the Church of Scientology earlier this year.

Debbabi underlined that these types of attacks account for billions of lost dollars and uncountable hours of lost productivity each year.

He is currently serving as NCFTA Canada’s Vice-President and a member of the Board of Directors, where his role is to, “ oversee establishment of the organization, its operation and management, and student and research project supervision.”

He is pleased Concordia was chosen as the host institution because, “we have the largest concentration of researchers focused on IT Security and cyber forensics in Canada.”

CIISE offers a master’s degree in the area, which currently has more than 150 students.

Debbabi believes the partnership created through NCTFA will expand students’ access to real world training opportunities and industry’s access to emerging means of dealing with threats.

“As a researcher, I know when I give a forensic toolkit to cyber investigators for testing and evaluation, I will receive significant feedback which will help in the development of better tools. NCFTA Canada is really all about increasing our efficiency at fighting cyber crime. Alone, none of us can achieve much, together we are very much better.”

Tennessee: Grand jury doesn’t indict student in Palin e-mail case September 25, 2008

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Chattanooga Times Free Press 24 September 2008

A federal grand jury in Chattanooga ended its session Tuesday without indicting a University of Tennessee student who authorities believe may have hacked into vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s personal e-mail account.

The FBI’s investigation into David Kernell’s activities, however, is ongoing, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Knoxville is overseeing the case, but U.S. Attorney Russ Dedrick declined to comment Tuesday on when, or if, another grand jury will resume hearing evidence from the FBI’s investigation.

“Grand juries can pursue investigations for many sessions,” Mr. Dedrick said.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Chattanooga confirmed Monday that the local federal grand jury would be evaluating the case Tuesday. Grand juries are responsible for hearing basic evidence in a case and then deciding whether to indict a suspect for a specific crime.

Grand jury proceedings are not open to the public, and it is not known what evidence the grand jury here might have heard Tuesday in relation to the case against Mr. Kernell.

Three students arrived at the federal courthouse on Georgia Avenue about 8:45 a.m. Tuesday to testify about Mr. Kernell, the son of state Rep. Michael Kernell, D-Memphis. The students did not provide their names and did not answer questions about the case. An attorney with them from Maryville, Tenn., declined comment, as well.

The students were allowed to leave the courthouse through the back door, where members of the public generally are not allowed.

FBI agents from Knoxville exited the front doors of the courthouse about 10 a.m., also declining to comment on any aspect of the case.

A hacker last week broke into one of the Yahoo Inc. e-mail accounts used by Alaska Gov. Palin, the running mate of presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. The McCain campaign acknowledged the act, calling it illegal and an invasion of her privacy.

The FBI began investigating Mr. Kernell over the weekend, according to the Justice Department. Investigators searched his apartment in Knoxville, but they did not file any criminal charges immediately.

Mr. Kernell, 20, is an economics major at UT. Kernell family attorney Wade V. Davies wrote in a letter Monday that “the Kernell family wants to do the right thing, and they want what is best for their son.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

MySpace hoaxer let friends know about plot against late teen September 24, 2008

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The Smoking Gun, 23 September 2008

The Missouri woman charged with orchestrating a cruel online hoax that led to the suicide of a teenage girl was once so pleased with her prank that she shared details of the ongoing scheme with her hairdresser and other acquaintances, according to prosecutors. During conversations with several individuals, Lori Drew explained how she and others were “playing a joke on” Megan Meier, a 13-year-girl who was a rival of Drew’s daughter. That joke involved Drew’s creation of a MySpace page for a “Josh Evans,” a nonexistent boy who took an online liking to Meier, but then abruptly turned on the girl, telling her on October 16, 2006 that the world would be a better place without her. A distraught Meier committed suicide later that day. In May, Drew was named in a four-count federal indictment charging her with conspiracy and computer fraud in connection with the MySpace scheme. In a court filing yesterday, prosecutors revealed how Drew spoke of the hoax as it was underway, and “denied any untoward purpose and dismissed concerns over her ‘prank.” An excerpt of the September 22 document can be found below. While Drew appeared proud of her MySpace gambit while it was active, after Meier’s suicide she sought to cover her tracks and mask her involvement in the plot. When questioned by FBI agents, Drew said that while she knew of the MySpace hoax, she was not involved in the creation of the phony “Josh Evans” account. Additionally, when agents surreptitiously recorded a conversation between Drew and Meier’s mother, Drew “again disclaimed involvement in the scheme.” Drew, pictured above, is scheduled for trial next month in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

Finland school shooting: Police questioned and released suspect over YouTube video September 23, 2008

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Telegraph, 23 September 2008

A gunman who shot dead ten people at a school in Finland before killing himself had been questioned by police earlier this week over YouTube videos showing him at a shooting range, the country’s interior minister said.

Police were alerted to a clip posted on the video sharing website showing a young man wielding a handgun at a shooting range, Anne Holmlund said.

“Police reached him on Monday, Sept 22, and asked him to be interviewed regarding the shooting video,” Ms Holmlund said. He was later released.

She said the man arrested, identified by the school’s headmaster as Matti Juhani Saari, had a temporary permit for a .22 calibre pistol and that the permit had not been withdrawn.

Link: Video report on massacre

At 11am (800 GMT) today, a man stormed the vocational school in the town of Kauhajoki, 120 miles from Helsinki, in northwest Finland, firing “many shots” that left ten people dead. He died later in hospital after turning the gun on himself.

“Within a short space of time I heard several dozen rounds of shots, in other words it was an automatic pistol,” school janitor Jukka Forsberg told Finnish broadcaster YLE.

“I saw some female students who were wailing and moaning and one managed to escape out of the back door.”

“He also shot towards me, did not say anything and once the bullets started to whizz by I started running for my life.”

Finnish media said YouTube clips of a man firing a gun appeared to be linked to the shooting. In one of them, a young man wearing a leather jacket fires several shots in rapid succession with a handgun at what appears to be a shooting range.

Link: Shooting Range video by suspect Matti Saari

The posting was made five days before the shooting and the location was given as Kauhajoki. The posting included a message saying: “Whole life is war and whole life is pain. And you will fight alone in your personal war.”

Link: “You will die next” video by suspect Matti Saari

The shooting raised the spectre of the massacre at a Finnish high school in Jokela, north of Helsinki, less than a year ago.

On November 7, 2007, 18-year-old student Pekka-Eric Auvinen shot six students, the school’s headmistress and a nurse before turning his gun on himself.

Auvinen, who had posted footage foreshadowing the November 2007 massacre on YouTube, was a student at the school.

In the video, Pekka-Eric Auvinen, 18, described himself as a “social Darwinist” who would “eliminate all who I see unfit”.

Link: Report about Pekka-Eric Auvinen

The 2007 attack triggered a fierce debate about gun laws in the Nordic nation with deep-rooted traditions of hunting in the sub-Arctic wilderness.

With 1.6 million firearms in private hands, Finland is an anomaly in Europe, lagging behind only the US and Yemen in civilian gun ownership.

Oprah Winfrey Found Dead: Another Week, Another Hoax September 21, 2008

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The Post Chronical, 20 September 2008

Oprah Winfrey is not dead. There is yet again another rumor floating out in the gossipsphere that Oprah Winfrey has died.

“Oprah Winfrey, age 54, was found dead in her home residing in Chicago, Illinois at 8:21 AM on September 20, 2008. Local Police and the FBI are trying to keep it on the down low for now until further notice. From what has been reported thus far, she appears to have a bloody area around her eye, a bullet wound in her stomach and some cuts and bruises”

The fake article goes on to explain that Oprah was targeted because she criticized a certain website.Once again we have a rumor spreading like wildfire without one single confirmation be a credible source.

A similar death report hoax about Miley Cyrus happened on Sep, 6.

I think it’s a safe bet to file this under the category of ‘4chan shenanigans.’

Today, according to this blogger, this message appeared on 4chan.

“Many may not realize this, but we just may be the strongest, yet most unorganized group of people in the world. Impossible to track us. Our positions in the world vary person to person, but together, we are legion.

Let us take control, create “Joker-Like” chaos, this week has been a cute start, but I believe we can do more, much more. We are the new world order. The Illuminati are like children compared to our stature.

To put it simply, my point is.

Kill the Oprah.”

Without making any calls, our collective guess would be that Oprah is safe and sound. She is probably on the phone with Gail somewhere in Chicago, alive and well and still refusing to interview Sarah Palin.

We’ll keep you updated if this hoax turns out to be anything more.

Oprah Dead: SICK HOAX September 20, 2008

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babble, 21 September 2008

Reports of Oprah Winfrey being found dead have swept the internet, although no reliable news organisations were being sourced. There’s a reason for that: SHE’S NOT DEAD.

According to wikinews.org, it’s part of an internet hoax that was either started by a group known as Anonymous or from a website 4chan.org. Either way, it’s sick.

O’Reilly Hacked for Comments about Palin Hack September 20, 2008

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Wired, 19 Sept 2008

A hacker claims to have cracked the web site of Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly and purloined a list of subscribers to the site, which includes their names, e-mail addresses, city and state, and the password they use for their registration to the site.

The attack was retaliation for comments that O’Reilly made on the air this week about web sites that published e-mails obtained from the Yahoo account of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, according to a press release distributed by WikiLeaks late Friday.

The hacker sent WikiLeaks a screenshot of O’Reilly’s subscriber list as proof of the deed, which WikiLeaks has posted online.

This week on his Fox show, O’Reilly slammed web sites, such as WikiLeaks and Gawker, for posting screenshots of e-mails, family photos and a list of contacts taken from Palin’s private e-mail account.

“They’re trafficking in stolen merchandise,” O’Reilly said during one of his shows, calling for their prosecution. He also referred to a site that published the screenshots as “despicable, slimy, scummy.”

In the video above, O’Reilly spoke with Amanda Carpenter, a reporter for Townhall.com who agreed with him and said that a web site that published such information was “complicit” in the hack of Palin’s e-mail account.

“They think it’s newsworthy, even though the information was absolutely, illegally obtained,” she said.

Neither O’Reilly nor Carpenter mentioned the First Amendment protection that media organizations, such as Fox News and Townhall.com, are generally afforded for publishing newsworthy information.

That segment was followed the next day by a segment with Fox News anchor, Megyn Kelly, a lawyer, who explained why the First Amendment would protect the sites. (See video below.)

O’Reilly, disagreed with her, however.

“If your grandma sends you 50 bucks for your birthday and somebody steals the letter and gives it to somebody else and they take the 50 bucks, they’re going to get charged as well as this person who stole the letter,” he said.

Kelly explained that taking stolen money and publishing news were not the same.

“That’s crazy,” he said.

“No it’s not crazy,” Kelly replied. “Because . . . what if somebody obtained a document illegally that proved some massive conspiracy among the presidential candidates and they leaked it to Fox News and we knew it was stolen. You don’t think we’d put it on the air? You’re darn right we would. And it’s not illegal.”

WikiLeaks said in its press release that it had confirmed the authenticity of the list, but didn’t mention how it did so.

Efforts by Threat Level to contact Fox News and some of the subscribers on the list to independently verify the authenticity of the list were unsuccessful.

Palin Hacker Group’s All-Time Greatest Hits September 20, 2008

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Wired, 19 Sept 2008

By Ryan Singel September 19, 2008 | 3:04:51 PMCategories: Hacks and Cracks

Anonymous isn’t so anonymous anymore.

At least not after one “member” of Anonymous, the loose confederation of online troublemakers, broke into the personal e-mail account of Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin and then posted the new password to Anonymous’ online message board.

From there, others slipped screenshots and family photos to the leak-releasing website Wikileaks, launching a maelstrom of media coverage and widespread speculation as to the e-mail hacker’s real name.

For those unfamiliar, Anonymous is a group you can’t join, except by hanging out for a long time in the internet’s most juvenile corners — usually one of the image boards where everyone posts anonymously. 4chan’s /b/ board — or random — seems to be the main hangout, though other chans and IR channels seem to serve as adjunct clubhouses as well. The hangouts have almost no rules —  though using some variation of the terms fag, nigger and jew seems mandatory in every post.

The self-identified Palin-email burglar who uses the online handle Rubico said he got the idea while hanging out at 4chan — specifically its random or /b/ board (NSFW).

After watching others on the board temporarily lock up the e-mail account by trying primitive ways to break in, Rubico decided to call on the power of Google. With a combination of answers found through searches and an educated guess, Rubico was able to reset the account’s password.

Though Fox News famously and hilariously called Anonymous “hackers on steriods,” in large part they have little skill besides knowing how to use a web proxy to mask their IP addresses.

Instead, Anonymous keyboard miscreants combine online Fight Club-like bravado, inside jokes documented only on the world’s stupidest wiki, and harassment tactics that sound funny in theory but in practice are streaked with cruelty. The point? Fun at other people’s expense — otherwise known as Lulz.

The basic repertoire? Prank phone calls, ordering pizzas to someone’s house, flooding a message board with obscene ASCII art. Advanced techniques include finding a way into someone’s MySpace account in order to send messages to their friends saying they are gay.

What are Anonymous’ greatest or worst hits?

The Epilepsy Attack — In March, a group of internet griefers flooded an epilepsy message board with flashing images that caused migraine headaches and seizures in some users. While it’s not certain whether it was properly the work of Anonymous, the assault was rumored to have started on a thread at 7chan.org — another Anonymous hang out — and much was blamed on eBaumsworld, an online site often derided by Anonymous.

The FBI is reportedly investigating what may be the first computer attack that physically harmed people.

The Scientology War — In January, Anonymous decided to take on a real target — the Church of Scientology — which its members considered to be an overly litigious cult. Soon, anonymous pranksters were ordering pizzas to Scientology offices, using denial-of-service attacks to scuttle its web servers and posting previously unseen secret Scientology documents.

They also briefly pointed denial-of-service attack tools at the wrong IP address — which happened to be a Dutch school.

The publicity drew hordes who wanted to participate, and soon many longtime Anonymous users found themselves annoyed with the new converts who thought Anonymous was a crusading organization.

The Habbo Hotel Raid – Anonymous has staged many minor incursions into other people’s online playgrounds, but one of the most storied involved a virtual world known as Habbo — a frequent target for bored Anonymous lurkers interested in ruining other people’s fun.

In 2006, hundreds of Anonymous users showed up using identically dressed avatars: a black man with an Afro in a grey suit. They blocked off the pool to other users, claiming it was infected with AIDS. They also formed swastika-like formations and flooded the site with stupid internet sayings. When users were banned, they claimed it was racist.

The Mitchell Henderson Harassment — The suicide of Mitchell Henderson, a seventh grader, stirred Anonymous, who gleefully decided that Henderson shot himself because he had lost his iPod, a fact he’d noted on his MySpace page. Anonymous grabbed onto a badly written message on an online memorial page for him, and turned the phrase “an hero” into an internet meme.

For more than a year, Anonymous kept up the fun, calling Henderson’s parents, pretending to be his ghost.

The Hal Turner Campaign – In late 2006 and early 2007, Anonymous had much fun with Hal Turner, a small-time white supremacist who ran an online radio show. Anonymous flooded one of his shows with prank calls, which then escalated in mutual internet stupidity.

Anonymous eventually flooded his site with too much traffic for his web host to handle. Turner tried suing the image boards — unsuccessfully — and finally he closed down his show after a hacker managed to unearth correspondence suggesting Turner was an FBI informant.

Web proxy firm working with FBI to trace Palin e-mail hacker September 18, 2008

Posted by cyberpatrol in 4chan.org, Anonymous, cyberbullying, cybercrime, Cybercrime groups, cyberterrorism, Hacking, stalking.
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IDG, 18 Sept, 2008

The Webmaster of a proxy service called Ctunnel.com, which may have been used by a hacker to illegally access the e-mail account of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, is working with law enforcement authorities to track down the person behind the break-in.

Gabriel Ramuglia, the Athens, Ga.-based Webmaster of Ctunnel, said Thursday that URLs in screenshots of Palin’s e-mail — photos were posted online Wednesday on 4chan.org and other sites — suggested that whoever accessed her Yahoo! account had used his proxy service.

Ramuglia said in an interview that he was contacted by FBI officials last night and asked to retain computer logs of the last few days’ activity on his service and make sure nothing is deleted. Ramuglia, who normally stores only a week’s worth of log data, said he would not have deleted anything anyway because of the illegal nature of what had happened.

Ramuglia is now in the process of importing more than 80GB worth of log data into a database for analysis. He said he’s reasonably confident he can help authorities sift through the logs and trace access back to the originating IP address — especially because the self-professed hacker has admitted using just one proxy service to access Palin’s account.

Notorious board user

The alleged hacker said in an online posting that he gained access by simply resetting the password to Palin’s Yahoo! e-mail account using its password recovery service. That’s according to a description of events posted on a blog site run by conservative syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin.

The first-person account was originally posted on a Web site called 4chan.org by a poster identified only as “Rubico.” That post, along with a related thread, was later deleted from that site — but not before a reader of Malkin’s blog apparently snagged a copy of it and sent it along to Malkin. Rubico’s claims could not be verified and security analysts have been skeptical of the claims.

According to the Malkin blog reader, 4chan.org hosts multiple boards, each of which is dedicated to specific subjects. The individual who first broke into Palin’s e-mail account apparently belonged to a group called /b/, which the reader described as the “most notorious” of the boards on 4chan.org.. /b/tards, as its denizens are called, are interested only in their own amusement,” the reader claimed.

Reset the password

Rubico allegedly became interested in Palin’s e-mail after reading media reports of her using a Yahoo! e-mail account and decided to try and access it by resetting her password. “It took seriously 45 mins on wikipedia and google to find the info” needed, Rubico claimed. “Birthday? 15 seconds on wikipedia, zip code? well she had always been from wasilla, and it only has 2 zip codes (thanks online postal service!)”

Rubico said it was harder to find the answer to one of the other questions needed for a password recovery: Where had Palin met her husband? After some digging, Rubico determined that the couple first met at Wasilla High School.

He said he used the information to reset Palin’s password and go through her e-mail to see for anything incriminating that might “derail her campaign.”

It was only after finding nothing that the hacker realized how easily he could be caught, since he had used only one proxy to access the account. So he decided to make access to it available to others on the /b/ board by posting Palin’s recently reset password. Rubico claimed he “then promptly deleted everything, and unplugged my Internet and just sat there in a comatose state.”

However, one of the other members of the bulletin board who Rubico described as a “White knight f..,” saw the thread and used the new password to go back into Palin’s account and reset it. That person then sent an e-mail to a “friend of Palin’s” informing her of the new password and what had happened, Rubico claimed.

Alaska Governor Palin’s email account hacked via social engineering September 18, 2008

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ZDNet, 19 September 2008

Details describing how someone hacked into the Yahoo Mail account of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin (pictured) emerged on Thursday.

The hack appears to have been accomplished through little more than social engineering, the process of acquiring personal information through social manipulation. The hackers exploited known weaknesses in Yahoo Mail’s password-recovery feature.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that a 20-year-old University of Tennessee student has been contacted in connection to the federal investigation of the break-in.

Since Tuesday, anonymous posters using a forum on the 4chan.org website have been circulating password-protected zip files containing the contents of the now-deleted email account once belonging to Palin. Various posts to the /b/ board have also provided insight into how the hack was carried out.

Like most web account services, Yahoo Mail provides an option to reset or recover one’s user name and password. What is unclear is how the account recovery was rerouted from the alternative email address chosen by Palin to a secondary email address.

One poster said it took only 15 seconds on Wikipedia to answer Yahoo Mail’s prompt for Palin’s birthday.

As regards the prompt for a ZIP code, Wasilla, Alaska, has only two ZIP codes.

However, Palin’s personal security question — ‘Where did you meet your spouse?’ — did slow the process down. The poster claimed it took several tries before they eventually hit upon the correct answer: Wasilla High School.

Webmail accounts are not alone in using online security questions.

In May, Acxiom, a Little Rock, Arkansas-based data-warehouse company, announced it was introducing a biographical authentication service that asks users of online banking and e-commerce sites random questions based on their personal lives, such as “How many fireplaces are in your current residence?”. The answer can be obtained from any US real-estate website.

Palin’s e-mail account plundered September 18, 2008

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BBC, 18 Sept 2008

Anonymous hackers have gained access to the personal e-mail account of US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Those behind the hack put screenshots of messages in Ms Palin’s Yahoo inbox on the whistle-blowing site Wikileaks.

In a statement the McCain campaign said: “This is a shocking invasion of the governor’s privacy and a violation of law.”

It said it had handed investigation of the matter over to US law enforcement authorities.

Deleted messages

The documents posted to Wikileaks were from Ms Palin’s gov.palin@yahoo.com e-mail account and included five screenshots, two digital photos of her family and an address book.

The McCain campaign urged those in possession of the documents to destroy them.

The attack was carried out by a loose coalition of hackers which calls itself “Anonymous”.

The attack comes as Ms Palin falls under scrutiny for the way that she used personal e-mail accounts to conduct state business as governor of Alaska. US law dictates that all messages connected to official business as state governor must be preserved.

By contrast, personal messages can be deleted.

Ms Palin is being investigated for abuse of power by attempting to sack a state trooper who had recently been divorced from Ms Palin’s sister.

Subsequent investigation has shown that the gov.palin@yahoo.com account has been shut down along with another, gov.sarah@yahoo.com, also owned by Ms Palin.

It is not clear yet what methods the hacking group used to access to the e-mail account. The screenshots posted by the hackers reveal that they carried out the attack via a so-called proxy service to hide their tracks and limit the chance that they would be traced.

Earlier in 2008 the Anonymous group launched several online assaults against the Church of Scientology.

Six Things Parents Need to Know About Cyberbullying September 16, 2008

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Epoch Times, 15 September 2008

The Internet has changed the playground bully into the in-my-bedroom-bully.

The Internet has changed the playground bully into the in-my-bedroom-bully. It’s true; the line between school life and home life is gone. Kids can no longer leave the social pressures, cliques, bullies, snootiness and the other highlights of adolescence at school.

Today, bullying/cyberbullying is:
Creative

Options for a bully circa 1980 were to steal some lunch money, call someone a name and maybe shove them into a locker. Today, kids can poke, message, email, text, post on their wall, send them a mean virtual present … the list goes on and on and changes by the day.  The Internet has brought thousands of ways to bully someone without ever being caught.
Instant

Before, if you got in a fight at school, or found out you were not invited to a party, you were able to come home and vent about it to your family, get a snack and cool off. Now, if you are mad at someone, you can instantly send a text message to your social networking profile to post a mean comment. Now there is no ‘off’ time and the second something happens, everyone knows about it because they all get alerts or texts from automated news feeds or plugged-in friends. Teens are checking these services constantly, so before what took a few days to spread, now can take a few minutes.
Permanent

Some things, like postings on your wall, video, a text message or email, you can delete. Other things, such as photos or social network announcements can be up there forever or until the writer removes them. A black eye can disappear, posted messages may not.
Buffered

It is really hard to walk up to someone and say to them: “You are a fat pig.” It is much easier to write that on someone’s Facebook wall. Technology provides a way for students to be mean even more ‘behind the back.’ Many times, you can even post pictures, videos or send messages anonymously! This has changed the face of bullying because it allows people to be mean and not face the consequences—they can’t get punched back and they can hide it from parents and teachers.

It is really important to talk about these new aspects of bullying. Make sure to discuss the ramifications of letting a friend take a sexy picture, disabling the Facebook wall or what would happen if they got in a fight with a friend.

Parents, let your kids know they can always come to you or to a teacher if they see or feel something uncomfortable online.

Vanessa Van Petten is the author of the book You’re Grounded! Her parenting tips as a family peacemaker have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Fox 5 New York, and CBS. Please check out her site: http://www.OnTeensToday.com and email your questions for future columns to vvanpetten@rrules.com

What is Anonymous? September 5, 2008

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Anonymous traces back to 2004 as a group of computer gamers and aspiring hackers, harassing other computer users. Message and image boards [Internet forums that permit users to post images and messages together] such as “enturbulation.org,” “4chan,” “7chan,” “420chan,” “711chan” and other *chans continue to form the core online haunts for the group. The London Guardian described 4chan as “lunatic, juvenile …” Anonymous derives its inspiration from forbidden fascist literature, such as their reference to Mein Kampf and liberally uses symbols of hate to instill fear into people.


Anonymous traces back to 2004 as a group of computer gamers and aspiring hackers, harassing other computer users. Message and image boards [Internet forums that permit users to post images and messages together] such as “enturbulation.org,” “4chan,” “7chan,” “420chan,” “711chan” and other *chans continue to form the core online haunts for the group. The London Guardian described 4chan as “lunatic, juvenile …” Anonymous derives its inspiration from forbidden fascist literature, such as their reference to Mein Kampf and liberally uses symbols of hate to instill fear into people.

One of Anonymous’s resources is Encyclopedia Dramatic (ED), a sick parody of Wikipedia written in an abusive style. Its “humor” is thin veneer covering deeply-rooted hate speech. There is no justification for pages such as the pages “Ni***r Manual” that advocates regular beatings of African Americans, or their page describing the Holocaust as “good times” with graphic images of the death and destruction perpetrated during the Holocaust.

Coordinating their actions through these forums and image boards, particularly 4chan and enturbulation.org, Anonymous has flooded computers of MySpace users with viruses and pornographic pictures and has raided online gaming sites. Their actions are anti-Semitic or racist or some other manifestation of bigotry; when people object, members respond with telephone threats uttered by computer-generated voices or with malicious computer attacks.

Anonymous is a convenient facade for criminal activity on the Internet and in the real world. Behind that facade are people, some of whom literally, not just figuratively, hide behind masks as they vent their basest impulses while rationalizing that their anonymity frees them from responsibility for their acts.

In July 2007, Fox News aired a special report exposing the actions of Anonymous. The report covered an attack on a MySpace user, whose account had been “hacked” into by Anonymous, and plastered with images of gay pornography. The MySpace user also claimed a virus written by Anonymous hackers was sent to him and to ninety friends on his MySpace contact list, crashing thirty-two of his friends’ computers. The report also included “raids” on other Internet communities.

In response, Fox News computers were assaulted with massive attacks from multiple computer systems designed to overload Fox’s computers (i.e a DDoS attack – Distributed Denial of Service attack) and Anonymous issued an even bolder statement of their purpose than it had previously ever articulated.

“We are the face of chaos and the harborings [sic] of judgment. We’ll laugh in the face of tragedy. We’ll mock those who are in pain. We ruin the lives of other people simply because we can. A man takes out his aggression on the cat. We laugh. Hundreds die in a plane crash. We laugh. The nation mourns over a school shooting, we laugh. We’re the embodiment of humanity with no remorse, no caring, no love, or no sense of morality.”

In keeping with this “mission statement,” the Anonymous hit list has included MySpace, Fox News, the Epilepsy Foundation website, prominent hip-hop websites and many others. Their attack against the Church of Scientology is for the same purpose.

On January 17, 2008, “Anonymous” declared its intention to destroy the Church of Scientology.

Immediately following that declaration, Scientology churches, leaders, staff members, and parishioners were deluged by bomb threats, death threats, vandalism, harassment, attempts at intimidation, and systematic interference with their telephones, fax machines, and websites. Individual Scientologists were harassed and prevented from attending services at their churches. Hate speech and hate crimes became a coordinated activity, and the perpetrators hid their identities behind masks like common criminals and terrorists.

Anonymous has fueled religious hatred and intolerance by denigrating the Scientology religion and its founder.

Hate crimes of Anonymous against the Church of Scientology per the Church of Scientology in Los Angeles:

– Death threats against Scientologists and its ecclesiastical leaders

– Threats to destroy churches of Scientology by detonating bombs in churches in the United States

– Mailing of envelopes containing fake anthrax to 25 churches

– 41 death threats

– 56 bomb and arson threats

– 103 threats of other violence

– 40 incidents of vandalism, including an attempt to set fire to one of our churches in Los Angeles

– 3.6 million harassing emails and 141 million malicious hits against Church websites, in an attempt to bring down those sites.

Anonymous attacks against the Church of Scientology have resulted in multiple local law enforcement investigations and two federal investigations into the individuals behind the crimes, putting the matter rightfully in the hands of law enforcement for prosecution of their hate crimes.

Posted with approval of the author.

Soulja goes to war over MySpace hack attack September 3, 2008

Posted by cyberpatrol in Anonymous, cybercrime, Hacking, myspace.
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Sydney Morning Herald, 2 September 2008

US rapper Soulja Boy has been targeted by cyber vandals who defaced his MySpace profile and published his email and YouTube passwords on the internet.

The hackers, reportedly part of the popular online community 4chan, contacted Soulja Boy demanding he hand over $US2500 in order to regain control over his account.

The rapper, who published tracks on the internet before becoming a mainstream star in September last year with the number one hit Crank That (Soulja Boy), refused.

His MySpace page was then wiped out and replaced with obscenity-laden messages where Soulja Boy purportedly declared his homosexuality and told fans to “go f— yourselves”.

The miscreants also published the rapper’s passwords – including to his email, souljaboytellem@mac.com – on the internet, and flooded his website’s online chatroom.

The saga ended when Soulja Boy’s record label, Interscope, contacted MySpace and demanded the account be returned.

His YouTube and email accounts have also been returned, Soulja Boy said in a recent YouTube video.

“Niggas sent me a message on MySpace saying I got your shit, send me $2500 if you want it back,” he says in the video.

“I texted back saying f— you, bitch, do what you do, the mother f—er got to be f—ed up. And then after that he deleted all my shit and I was like well darn the nigga wasn’t bluffin.”

Soulja Boy says in the video that he was going to offer a $US10,000 reward to anyone who revealed the hacker’s identity but this was unnecessary as he had already caught them.

“On the next video y’all stay tuned to see what we did with this hacker – we gotta make an example out of this shit.”

The video was published last week and since then Soulja Boy has published a number of other clips on YouTube, none of which mention the hacking saga.

The hack appears to be unrelated to a recent online feud with gangsta rap veteran Ice-T, who labelled Soulja Boy’s music garbage that was killing hip-hop. The comments started a war on YouTube and Souljah Boy responded with a cartoon that mocked Ice-T and his dancing.

Celebrities’ MySpace pages are regular targets for hackers looking to increase their notoriety or expose private photos and messages.

In 2007, a person wanting to impress a hacker group broke into the MySpace profiles of Justin Timberlake, Hilary Duff and MTV personality Tila Tequila. Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Miley Cyrus Alicia Keys and Nas have also had their profiles compromised in the past.

Interesting background data on Dalin cyberterror conviction September 3, 2008

Posted by cyberpatrol in 4chan.org, Anonymous, cyberterrorism.
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Source: Buffalo Grove

Teen gets probation for school threat

By Tony Gordon | Daily Herald Staff

Published: 8/16/2008 12:05 AM

A few minutes of Internet fantasy crashed hard into Jeremie Dalin’s life Friday.

The 18-year-old from Fox River Grove left the Lake County courthouse in Waukegan with a heavy heart and a long list of obligations to meet for his crime of making a threat against Stevenson High School.

Dalin was convicted in June of falsely making a terrorist threat for a posting he placed on an Internet message board that said, in part, “many will die at Adlai E. Stevenson High School on 10/31.”

And although the message was on the Internet for only five to 11 minutes on Oct. 29, it touched off a panic and other events that have left Dalin a felon.

Dennis Oh, 18, a Stevenson student, saw the message, made a copy of it and posted it at other sites, and e-mailed copies to some friends after being told by police not to discuss it.

Lincolnshire police detective Adam Hyde testified Friday that what Oh did sparked a fear so great in the community that the school received more than 500 phone calls the next day from parents concerned about the threat.

Oh, of 1245 Deerfield Parkway, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor obstruction of justice in March and was placed on court supervision.

By 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 30, anti-terrorism experts from the FBI were standing in Dalin’s driveway at 209 Bridle Path to begin sending him on the journey that ended with his conviction.

In his statement to the court, Dalin said he has sought consolation through the Internet since moving here from Switzerland three years ago.

He said he found solace there as he struggled to deal with isolation, the difficulty of learning a new language and troubles within his family.

“The only real person that wouldn’t judge me, talk back, be angry or mistreat me was the computer,” Dalin read from a letter to Associate Judge Christopher Stride. “To me, the Internet was a place where I could vent, cry and swear without anyone judging me.”

Both Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Stanton and defense attorney Michael Levinsohn asked Stride to spare Dalin any jail time, and the judge quickly agreed.

Stanton did request a sentence that would impress upon Dalin and others who may be tempted to act in a similar fashion that such an activity was not a joke.

“People have to understand what is going on in this country since Columbine and other scenes where armed people have descended on schools,” she said. “We live in a different world now.”

Stride said he recognized Dalin’s remorse and lack of prior criminal record, but also said Dalin needed to look into the face of what he had done.

“Imagine how those parents felt that day who did not know if their children were safe,” he told Dalin. “Parents whose hearts must have been in their throats thinking they had kissed their children goodbye that morning and now might never see them again.”

Stride sentenced Dalin to two years on probation and warned him he could face up to 15 years in prison if he violates any conditions.

He also ordered Dalin to write a letter of apology to Stevenson High School, which after it is approved by Dalin’s probation officer and the judge, will have to be personally delivered to school officials by Dalin.

Dalin also must complete 300 hours of community service, which Stride said he wants to be concentrated on Dalin sharing his experiences with other students.

Lastly, he ordered Dalin’s Internet use be strictly monitored and restricted to web sites approved for education and employment purposes.