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Archive for the ‘Hacking’ Category

Tweets deny that Anonymous will try to hack into Facebook

posted by Technology @ 2:45 PM
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Anonymous has lobbed many online attacks against high-profile websites, but so far the hacktivist group has never hacked into the world's largest social network, Facebook.

And, if you believe most Anonymous connected Twitter accounts, that won't be changing anytime soon — despite ongoing rumors and a YouTube video stating an Anonymous-backed Facebook strike is planned for Saturday.

The question of whether Anonymous will attack Facebook got started with that YouTube video, published Monday. The video, which can be seen above, states that the group is targeting the social network as a part of an online war in reaction to two controversial online anti-piracy bills known as SOPA and PIPA that were abandoned by several Washington politicians last week.

"Hello. People of the world. We are Anonymous," a computer generated voice-over says in the video. "The time has come. An online war has begun between Anonymous, the people, and the government of the United States. While SOPA and PIPA may be postponed from Congress, this does not guarantee that our internet rights will be upheld."

Later, the video states that "while it is true that Facebook has at least 60,000 servers, it is still possible to bring it down. Anonymous needs the help of the people, the people who want to take a stand against the government. The people who want to make a difference. This is what we must do."

@AnonOps tweet

On Monday, just a few hours after the video was published on YouTube, the @AnonOps Twitter account — which many believe to be an authentic Anonymous account — said there were no plans to hit Facebook.

"Again we must say that we will not attack #Facebook! Again the mass media lie," one tweet said.

Another tweet repeated the denial of the YouTube video, stating "AGAIN: 'Anonymous Threatens Facebook Shutdown Jan' IS A FAKE. RT PLEASE."

But while the attack may not be a legitimate Anonymous operation, and while it may never even take place, the group's lack of hacks against Facebook isn't for a lack of threats.

Rogue members of the collective, which has no publicly clear leadership structure, and possibly even impostors have threatened attacks against Facebook multiple times in the past. Notably, one such threat last August planned for Guy Fawkes Day on Nov. 5 never panned out.

RELATED:

SOPA blackouts inspired protest around the world

Wikipedia: SOPA protest led 8 million to look up reps in Congress

Justice Department shuts down MegaUpload, Anonymous responds with Web attacks

– Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Image: A screenshot of a tweet from the @AnonOps account that denies the hacker group Anonymous will attack Facebook. Credit: Twitter

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MegaUpload, one of the world's largest file-sharing websites, was shut down Thursday by the U.S. Department of Justice, which accused it of violating piracy and copyright laws.

  In an indictment, the Justice Department alleged that MegaUpload was a "mega conspiracy" and a global criminal organization "whose members engaged in criminal copyright infringement and money laundering on a massive scale."

The Justice Department said MegaUpload, which had about 150 million users, tallied up harm to copyright holders in excess of $500 million by allowing users to illegally share movies, music and other files. Prosecutors said in the indictment that the site's operators raked in an income from it that topped $175 million.

Justice Department indictment of MegaUpload DOCUMENT: Read the indictment against MegaUpload

MegaUpload was just one of the many services that allow for the easy sharing of large files online. Others include sites such as Mediafire and Rapidshare and cloud storage services that allow for shared folders such as Box.net and Dropbox.

One way MegaUpload differentiated itself was with its online marketing campaign that featured celebrities such as rapper/producers Kanye West, Lil' Jon, Sean "Diddy" Combs and Swizz Beats stating in YouTube videos why they loved using the site. Other videos feature tennis star Serena Williams, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., Def Jam Records founder Russell Simmons and director Brett Ratner testifying to their use of MegaUpload.

The release of the Justice Department indictment came after dozens of websites, led by tech heavyweights Wikipedia, Craigslist, Mozilla and Google, altered their websites to protest two anti-piracy bills under consideration on Capitol Hill: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).

Critics of the bills say the proposed laws would give the Justice Department the ability to censor the Internet by giving the agency clearance to shut down a site without having to get court approval of an indictment, as it did with MegaUpload. Although the indictment was unsealed Thursday, it was issued by a federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia on Jan. 5, the agency said.

In a statement issued with the indictment,the Justice Department said "this action is among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States and directly targets the misuse of a public content storage and distribution site to commit and facilitate intellectual property crime."

The Justice Department said that at its request, authorities arrested three MegaUpload executives — officially employed by two companies, Megaupload Ltd. and Vestor Ltd. — in New Zealand, including the site's founder, Kim Dotcom, who was born Kim Schmitz. The agency is also looking to arrest two additional executives.

The indictment charges the two companies with running a "racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement."

According to the Associated Press, before the MegaUpload site was shut down Thursday, a statement was posted on the site saying the allegations made against it were "grotesquely overblown" and that "the vast majority of Mega's Internet traffic is legitimate, and we are here to stay. If the content industry would like to take advantage of our popularity, we are happy to enter into a dialogue. We have some good ideas. Please get in touch."

Visits to Megaupload.com on Thursday showed the website as unable to load. The Justice Department had ordered the seizure of 18 domain names it linked to the alleged wrongdoing.

[Updated at 3:42 p.m.: As noted by Times reporter Ben Fritz on our sister blog Company Town, the hacker group Anonymous has allegedly lobbed a denial-of-service attack that has temporarily taken down the websites for the Department of Justice and Universal Music as a move in retaliation for the shutdown of MegaUpload. Forbes is reporting that the same attack has struck the sites for the Recording Industry of America and the Motion Picture Assn. of America.]

[Updated at 3:50 p.m.: The Twitter accounts @YourAnonNews and @AnonOps are taking credit on behalf of Anonymous for the web attacks on the websites of the Justice Department, Recording Industry of America, Motion Picture Assn. of America and Universal Music.]

ALSO:

SOPA blackouts inspired protest around the world

Apple's iBooks 2, iBooks Author: Bids to own publishing's future

Wikipedia: SOPA protest led 8 million to look up reps in Congress

– Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

twitter.com/nateog

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China-based hackers reportedly targeted U.S. Chamber of Commerce

posted by Technology @ 10:05 AM
Wednesday, December 21, 2011

US Chamber of Commerce website

Hackers based in China reportedly pulled off a massive Web attack against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbying group, which resulted in access to a significant number of confidential emails and documents.

Unnamed sources told both Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal that the security breach took place in 2010 and gave the hackers access to information belonging to the Chamber's 3-million members.

The chamber, the U.S.' largest business lobbying group, is still investigating the attack, both reports said.

The strike is believed to be one in a wave of Web attacks from hackers based in China, along with previous reported hackings against "U.S. companies, business associations, and lobbying groups involved in trade policy associated with China," Bloomberg said.

Officials at the Chamber of Commerce were unavailable for comment on Wednesday.

According to the Journal's report, the chamber hasn't yet determined how much of its data was viewed or taken by the hackers, though evidence has been found that "hackers had focused on four chamber employees who worked on Asia policy, and that six weeks of their email had been stolen."

It is also possible that the hackers, who investigators suspect may have ties to the Chinese government, "had access to the network for more than a year before the breach was uncovered, according to two people familiar with the chamber's internal investigation," the Journal said.

RELATED:

China cracks down on Internet rumors

Chinese hackers pose a growing threat to U.S. firms

China-based hackers targeted oil, energy companies in 'Night Dragon' cyber attacks, McAfee says

— Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Image: A screenshot of www.uschamber.com, the website of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbying group. Credit: U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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