Print 31 comment(s) - last by EricMartello.. on Jul 22 at 7:21 PM

Members of Anonymous have set their sites on hacking gadget giant Apple.  (Source: MacLife)

Fox News proclaimed U.S. President Barack Obama's death on Monday -- but it was due to a hack.  (Source: Twitter)

The President was actually alive and well, enjoying 4th of July barbecue at the White House.  (Source: AP Photo)
Fox News carried fake stories of an Obama assassination on its Twitter feed

It's been a busy couple of weeks for Anonymous sub-groups.  The hacker collective, a group without a leader, has made a name for itself with many high profile actions over the last year, including promoting the revolution in the Middle East.  But it's smaller sub-clans, such as LulzSec that have really caught the public eye [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13].

I. Apple Hacked?

A couple of weeks ago a Pastebin post popped up claiming the group had hacked into gadget maker Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iCloud service.  The group writes:
Greetings Internets,

This is a story all about how we made Apple and everything they own, our bitch for life.

Hello, good day, and how are you? Splendid! We're LulzSec, a small team of lulzy individuals who feel the drabness of the cyber community is a burden on what matters: fun. Considering fun is now restricted to Friday, where we look forward to the weekend, weekend, we have now taken it upon ourselves to spread fun, fun, fun, throughout the entire calender year.

As you should know, The Lulz Boat stores vast amounts of booty; much of this booty we don't release as it's simply too shiny and/or delicious. As of late, certain inferior sailing boats have discovered flaws in the iCloud (the, thinking themselves exciting and new.

Too late. The Lulz Boat controls this ocean, chumps.

Some weeks ago, we smashed into the iCloud with our heavy artillery Lulz Cannons and decided to switch to ninja mode. From our LFI entry point, we acquired command execution via local file inclusion of enemy fleet Apache vessel. We then found that the HTTPD had SSH auth keys, which let our ship SSH into other servers. See where this is going?

We then switched to root ammunition rounds.

And we rooted... and rooted... and rooted...

After mapping their internal network and thoroughly pillaging all of their servers, we grabbed all their source code and database passwords, which we proceeded to shift silently back to our storage deck.

"It seems the glorious leader of LulzSec got arrested. Whois driving the boat?"
The post is unconfirmed, as it was not linked on the group's official site or Twitter account.  Also the data that was claimed to be stolen (site code, user records, etc.) has not yet been released.

However, the renamed LulzSec group, which now calls itself AntiSec, claimed via a post to the Twitter account "AnonymousIRC" and a linked post on Pastebin, to have hacked Apple.

The post shows a number of users names and passwords on what appears to be an Apple survey page.  In total, only 27 usernames were taken, so this doesn't appear to be the treasure trove LulzSec (may have) alluded to.

II. Obama Dead? Fox News Says So

In related news, another Anonymous sub-group calling themselves "The Script Kiddies" on Monday hacked into the foxnewspolitics Twitter account, a media tool of Fox News.

The account, which has 33,000 followers, began tweeting that United States President Barack Obama had been shot.  The posts read:

@BarackObama has just passed. The President is dead. A sad 4th of July, indeed. President Barack Obama is dead

@BarackObama has just passed. Nearly 45 minutes ago, he was shot twice in the lower pelvic area and in the neck; shooter unknown. Bled out

@BarackObama shot twice at a Ross' restaurant in Iowa while campaigning. RIP Obama, best regards to the Obama family.

#ObamaDead, it's a sad 4th of July. RT to support the late president's family, and RIP. The shooter will be found

BREAKING NEWS: President @BarackObama assassinated, 2 gunshot wounds have proved too much. It's a sad 4th for #america#obamadead RIP

We wish @joebiden the best of luck as our new President of the United States. In such a time of madness, there's light at the end of tunnel
The posts were fired off within a short 10 minute window.  Fox has not yet deleted them.  The posts were retweeted many times by observers.

Think Magazine has interviewed someone claiming to be a member of the group.  They state:
"I would consider us to be close in relation [to Anonymous], 2 of the members of our group were members of Anonymous," said a representative of The Script Kiddies, who, for reasons that should be quite clear, asked to remain, yes, anonymous. "I was a member of Anonymous. We hope to be working with them soon."

"We are looking to find information about corporations to assist with antisec. Fox News was selected because we figured their security would be just as much of a joke as their reporting. It will be a never ending battle."

"The names change from time to time like LulzSec and Anonymous or Script Kiddies. But [there] will always be a group of people that need to stand up for everyone else and attempt to keep the government in balance with it’s people. Without groups like Anonymous, what is there to prevent corruption?"
Of course anybody can claim to be anything on the internet, so take that source with a grain of salt.  

Fox is not the first news organization to fall victim to death pranks.  PBS was hacked by LulzSec at the start of May.  The group posted fake stories about the late rapper Tupac Shukar not being dead.  LulzSec also hacked Fox's sales department a few days later, in a lower profile intrusion.  

Some news organizations have even posted such stories accidentally as reportedly many keep canned articles in reserve for such events.  For example, Bloomberg embarrassingly published Apple CEO Steven P. Jobs' obituary in 2008. 

It is a federal criminal offense to threaten the President, though it is unclear whether the posts would constitute a "threat".  The Script Kiddies have had two accounts suspended by Twitter.  

The President, meanwhile is alive and well.  He spoke at a celebration at the White House yesterday.  His feed reads:

Today we are celebrating our country, honoring our troops, and enjoying a little BBQ. From all of us at #Obama2012, have a wonderful Fourth.

It is unclear why Twitter deleted those accounts, but tolerated LulzSec who hacked PBS's feed.  Fox News is a property of News Corp. (NWS), Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

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RE: lulz indeed
By EricMartello on 7/5/2011 5:04:19 PM , Rating: -1
I fail to see how pranks and small amounts of localized chaos equate to preventing corruption. Is their misguided self righteousness supposed to be the lulz?

Well, the first two words of your comment are true but the rest is just fluff.

Corruption exists because people believe they are "untouchable" or safe outside the system they helped create to separate themselves from the common population. Our government is extremely bloated and laden with corruption.

What do these type of actions do?

1) They raise awareness. For better or for worse, at least these hacks are getting people to notice an issue.

2) They illustrate chinks in the "system's" armor. People sit around cowering in fear of the government and their misconceptions of its power, thinking that if they behave themselves all will be well...but no, that is not true. Sometimes you have to fight and sometimes you have to smash the system and remind those elected officials that their power is quite finite.

3) The 'chaos and confusion' creates and environment similar to the insurgents vs the US military in the middle east. They never really know what the next 'attack' is going to be and therefore can never really prepare for it.

As far as these being merely pranks, I think not. The information they release to the public is likely a tidbit of all the information they obtained...and they probably get what they want long before informing the public of their actions. They could do some real damage if they wanted to, but up to now they have not.

RE: lulz indeed
By The0ne on 7/5/2011 5:07:26 PM , Rating: 2
Better to let people here remain blind and ignorant. They want to be this way so I see no reason for anyone helping them see the light, no matter how smart they think they are.

RE: lulz indeed
By Reclaimer77 on 7/5/2011 5:22:18 PM , Rating: 4
Exposing corruption is grand and all, but sorry, I cannot support the vehicle of such exposure being the seemingly indiscriminate, illegal, and careless actions of online hackers. Shutting down PSN for a month and threatening peoples financial security had nothing to do with exposing corruption.

Also please explain to me how hacking a senior citizens online magazine exposed corruption or putting fake stories up on a twitter feed.

So spare us the 1960's hippie trip of "burning it down" and "smashing the system". There aren't people sitting around being oppressed needing hackers to come to the rescue. Please, give me a break.

RE: lulz indeed
By EricMartello on 7/6/11, Rating: 0
RE: lulz indeed
By tng on 7/6/2011 9:02:10 AM , Rating: 3
I fully support it. It works. The price of freedom is blood, we're just not there yet...but this is how it starts. Boston Tea Party, anyone? If you want to be a cowering pussy then nobody is stopping you from keeping your head buried in the sand.
I will fully back RC77 on this. Yes the price of freedom is blood, are you willing to die for the cause? Literally?

Until you and your favorite pests are, you are just that, pests.

RE: lulz indeed
By EricMartello on 7/8/2011 1:05:40 AM , Rating: 2
I'm willing to stake my life on my fundamental ideals; but I'm not going to simply martyr myself to make a point. In order to accomplish my goals, death would certainly put a dent in those plans. I'm sure the original dissenters who laid in the foundation for the USA were originally brushed aside as mere "pests".

RE: lulz indeed
By tng on 7/11/2011 11:13:09 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure the original dissenters who laid in the foundation for the USA were originally brushed aside as mere "pests".
No, not really. This is where I have to say that you talk tough, but really aren't.

The original people who pushed for the American Revolution, were almost all land owners, some more wealthy than others, some had considerable status at the time. All of them were willing to risk death (literally) for the cause.

LULSec is willing to do what, make a few anonymous Twitter posts? Steal some old couples retirement funds? Yeah great role models....

RE: lulz indeed
By EricMartello on 7/22/2011 7:21:34 PM , Rating: 2
No, not really. This is where I have to say that you talk tough, but really aren't.

Am I trying to be tough? Not really. I am simply stating facts.

The original people who pushed for the American Revolution, were almost all land owners, some more wealthy than others, some had considerable status at the time. All of them were willing to risk death (literally) for the cause.

Of course a lot of them were land owners. Why do you think they came here in the first place? Status and wealth were not quite as relevant back then since all of them were under the thumb of Britain. It was the underlying sentiment of the colonists who were busting their collective asses for the sole benefit of Britain eventually took its toll and prompted the revolution.

They didn't just get here, decide they don't want to be ruled by Britain, start a war and that's that. The dissenters got the ball rolling by getting people riled up and showing them that Britain isn't as powerful as they believe and that their lives could be better if they're willing to fight for it.

LULSec is willing to do what, make a few anonymous Twitter posts? Steal some old couples retirement funds? Yeah great role models....

What is Lulzsec and others like them doing? They're getting the ball rolling. I don't recall they ever "stole" anything from old people, nor did they set out to be role models...and unless you have first-hand knowledge of what they're doing you should probably not take the biased media as "fact".

RE: lulz indeed
By tng on 7/6/2011 8:57:21 AM , Rating: 1
Sometimes you have to fight and sometimes you have to smash the system and remind those elected officials that their power is quite finite.
Your are correct with this statement, but do you really believe that all of the kiddies who do this stuff have really done anything or are really willing to do what it takes?

The only way that almost any government pays attention to what the citizens want is at the point of a gun. Not saying that it will happen here, but your socially retarded hackers probably aren't willing to shoot people to get a point across.

You realize that even if you replaced all of the elected officials in Washington DC with people sympathetic to your cause, nothing would change? That is because behind every elected official, there are a thousand unelected people in the bureaucracy that want to retain the status quo. Short of complete revolution (bloody and violent) they do not go away, your hackers make no difference.

RE: lulz indeed
By tng on 7/6/2011 10:08:03 AM , Rating: 2
I love when I get downrated for comments like I posted above.

It confirms to me that there are people out there that really think that who they vote for really makes a difference. After looking at our last 4 presidents, can you say that there are any differences anymore? Sure, vote in Ron Paul, would love to see that, but I really doubt he would be any different where it matters. Elected politicians are the theater for the voters, the real power in government is in the bureaucracy.

"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken

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