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  • "Telephone" Flashmob

    Here's a different kind of flashmob where someone tweets a phone number (in this case, a police number) and tells people to call it in order to jam the service. This is the phone equivalent of a hacker technique referred to as "DOS" - denial of service - which is accomplished by arranging for thousands of people (or zombie computers) to flood a website with page requests. This can effectively be the same thing as taking the website down.

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...THE_GAME_TWEET

    It really gets discouraging sometimes, when you realize how many twisted people there are out there, especially among the younger generation, just trying to think of ways to screw up society by harming or inconveniencing people they don't even know, and who never did a thing to them? With "citizens" like this, who the hell needs Chinese hackers? And what's worse is that by abusing some really wonderful technologies, they seriously degrade the value of those technologies to society.

    I can't say it enough. People who do this kind of thing deserve very long prison sentences because people who can harm total strangers, or who interfere with the legitimate institutions of society - well, they are totally broken, and there ain't no fixing them. Put them away where the only technology they can get their hands on is a pick or a shovel.

    (I wonder how the cops figured out what happened and then tracked this tweet to its source? I'm thinking that someone who called the number musta blabbed.)
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 08-13-2011, 11:24 PM.
    "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

    "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

    "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

    "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

  • #2
    Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
    Here's a different kind of flashmob where someone tweets a phone number (in this case, a police number) and tells people to call it in order to jam the service. This is the phone equivalent of a hacker technique referred to as "DOS" - denial of service - which is accomplished by arranging for thousands of people (or zombie computers) to flood a website with page requests. This can effectively be the same thing as taking the website down.

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...THE_GAME_TWEET

    It really gets discouraging sometimes, when you realize how many twisted people there are out there, especially among the younger generation, just trying to think of ways to screw up society by harming or inconveniencing people they don't even know, and who never did a thing to them? With "citizens" like this, who the hell needs Chinese hackers? And what's worse is that by abusing some really wonderful technologies, they seriously degrade the value of those technologies to society.

    I can't say it enough. People who do this kind of thing deserve very long prison sentences because people who can harm total strangers, or who interfere with the legitimate institutions of society - well, they are totally broken, and there ain't no fixing them. Put them away where the only technology they can get their hands on is a pick or a shovel.

    (I wonder how the cops figured out what happened and then tracked this tweet to its source? I'm thinking that someone who called the number musta blabbed.)
    I should note that DDOSing phone numbers has been around forever. In the 1990s, I discovered a program traded around Bulletin Board Systems that would dial random alphanumeric and numeric pager numbers and give it a 911 page for the target phone number. It was mainly used to knock out the target BBS because you can't call if everyone else is returning pages to the thing.
    Some Kind of Commando Leader

    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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    • #3
      Yeah, and in general we should have paid more attention to those early BB hackers, phone phreakers, etc. They were definitely a forerunner of what was to come and it was perfectly predictable that as the technology spread throughout society, the pathology would spread with it. At the time, however, they were just regarded as a very tiny bunch of relatively harmless goofballs and weirdos. What harm could they do, aside from stealing some services from the phone company (who we felt deserved it anyway), or playing pranks on one another. Mitnick should have been the canary in the mineshaft, but aside from some sensationalism people who were designing systems didn't really understand what his case was telling us. No one took the trouble to look beneath his folk-hero veneer.

      If system security had been a top priority - including both hardware design (CPU's and HD's especially) and software development - starting all the way back in the 90's or earlier, a lot of companies, and in particular Microsoft, would either have developed their systems very differently or failed altogether. (We wouldn't even have seen Windows 95, 2000 or Vista, all of which were half-baked products rushed to market ahead of the "real" projects, namely Windows 98, Windows XP and Windows 7, just for the sake of generating sales.)

      And if Microsoft had failed, well....I'm not sure it would have been a bad thing if we'd all wound up on Linux anyway. I have a Linux file server running on an old 486 desktop that I almost threw away, and I get TRUE five-nine uptime out of it - last boot over 13 months ago. Windows, not so much.

      Of course, the public didn't demand security either. They demanded cheap hardware and cheap software. They also demanded 20-minute concept-to-market cycles, gee-whiz-what's-new-today, and a bazillion new apps per year. I've had Version 2 for 6 nanoseconds, so where's Version 3? And they CERTAINLY weren't going to put up with 20-character pass phrases.

      Meanwhile, new OS's push the envelope on old apps ("fixed" with "compatibility mode", of course!), and new apps make old hardware obsolete...and all the time Murphy and Moore can be heard cackling in the background. And as we well know, "security", "cheap", "high-volumes/low-margins" and "fast" don't go together. Never have, never will. And it hasn't helped that software development is now being done in the back alleys of Rangoon, Hyderabad and Loznica, either.
      Last edited by SecTrainer; 08-14-2011, 08:14 AM.
      "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

      "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

      "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

      "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

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