Thursday, September 12, 2013

Computer Hackers, Unite!

Hi! After a much-needed vacation from reality, I'm back! Now I'm cleaning house. I should have posted this article a year ago, when I first read it. Sometimes, as many a lazy-ass blogger will tell you, you create drafts of posts that you kick to the dark corner of your amnesia closet, only to discover these buried treasures a year later as you dig through the same closet searching for cigarettes, condoms or socks. And thus, here we are.

Many hackers are libertarians and anarchists. At least, they should be. And anarchist libertarians should become hackers. Think Julian Assange. Think Anonymous. Think Wired magazine. Think, you know, dorks in the '90s who understood the message of The Matrix while fantasizing about Carrie-Ann Moss' ass in black leather. The open-source movement, the anti-copyright/intellectual property movement, cypherpunks and the liberty movement share so many interweaving ideals and goals, that it's silly not to combine our super-powers together to fight the evil, tyrannical Lex Luther-wannabe mother-fuckers around the world who work for the most powerful institutions on earth--Nation-States. So, whenever you read shit like this below, stories about governments arresting hackers and anti-authoritarians, such as the creators of Pirate Bay, say a prayer and stand in solidarity with them against the wicked Statist sons-a-bitches who persecute them.

Imagine a million IRS "criminal" files zapped out of existence forever. Imagine the entire NSA data-base wiped out with the quick touch of your fingers typing code. Press ENTER. And, gone, forever. Imagine scrambling the online identities of every cop, every prosecuting attorney, every politician who wants to fuck with us: their bank accounts, their tax records, their social security numbers, their health records, their online browsing history. Imagine making some of these records known to the public. All of these tools can be, should be, and will be ours. This is the future of our small-but-growing resistance movement. It's nonviolent, and yet breeds chaos. It doesn't, in all reality, hurt anyone. But it sure will fuck with them. Bad. Let's give the NSA a taste of its own medicine. Hacking is the way of the future. So, you know, hackers unite! (and all that jazz.) Word.

(Original article printed below:)


Computer Hackers Target Cambodia

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Cambodia is the latest country to come under sustained attack from computer hackers after police in the tiny Southeast Asian country arrested one of the founders of The Pirate Bay file-sharing website last week.
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
The Pirate Bay founders Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, left, and Peter Sunde at Stockholm district court in 2009.
A group calling itself NullCrew began hacking into government and commercial websites in the country after news of Gottfrid Svartholm Warg's arrest broke over the weekend. Among other targets were websites for the Cambodian armed forces, the Ministry of Public Works and Cambodia's Institute of Standards. NullCrew hackers then posted what they claimed were passwords to the websites on a bulletin page widely used by so-called hacktivist groups.
"The founder of The Pirate Bay was arrested in Cambodia, so Cambodia is now a target," NullCrew said in a statement announcing the launch of what it calls #OpTPB—or operation The Pirate Bay.
"They should have expected it when they did this," the group said. "Cambodia, we will not stop until you come to your senses."
It is unclear how disruptive the hacks were, or whether they were simply intended as a threat to the Cambodian authorities by showing how vulnerable the country's computer security systems are.
Chin Daro, a deputy director of state-run Telecom Cambodia, said officials are working with Internet service providers to identify the source and extent of the attack.
"It's hard for us if the (Internet protocol) address is outside the country," he said.
Hacker attacks have emerged as an urgent challenge for governments and corporations around the world in recent years. They already are playing a role in conflicts in the Middle East, where Iranian government agencies have been infected by sophisticated viruses. But hacker attacks also are a growing problem for smaller countries, such as Cambodia, which might not have the resources or technology that other, larger nations might have to combat such assaults.
At the same time, security experts say underground groups such as NullCrew and Anonymous are stepping up their attacks in defense of what they describe as a mission to protect Internet freedoms.
The group Anonymous, which Internet security analysts say works closely with NullCrew, last month crippled several government websites in Ukraine in retaliation for the Ukrainian government's move to shut down a popular site where pirated media files are shared. Other hackers last month defaced government websites in Uganda in support of gay, lesbian and transgender rights, while Anonymous-affiliated hackers attacked several Australian websites in retaliation against government plans to retain online data and, theoretically, make it easier to track Australian citizens online.
In recent weeks, NullCrew has also claimed to have attacked Cambridge University in England in support of its campaign in support of WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange. Mr. Assange is currently hiding in the Ecuador embassy in London in order to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning in connection with allegations of sexual assault, but he fears Sweden may hand him over to face prosecution in the U.S. for his website's release of secret diplomatic cables.
"There is much more where this came from, and don't think this is the end," NullCrew said in its statement, in which it listed a series of passwords to access the university's computer system. The university has said it is investigating the claims.
In explaining its Cambodia attacks, NullCrew made a direct reference to Kim Dotcom, the founder of file-sharing site Megaupload who was arrested early this year in New Zealand after the U.S. accused him of enabling large-scale piracy over his website. The U.S. is attempting to extradite him to face charges of money laundering and racketeering—charges which hacktivist groups say carry disproportionately large jail terms.
Cambodian authorities, meanwhile, say Mr. Svartholm, a balding 27-year old with a goatee, could be deported any day now after his arrest last Thursday. Cambodia doesn't have an extradition agreement with Sweden, but Cambodian officials said they can simply revoke Mr. Svartholm's visa and leave him vulnerable to extradition from a third country.
Mr. Svartholm and three other associates at The Pirate Bay were sentenced to one-year prison terms in Sweden three years ago in a landmark case and ordered to pay 30 million kronor, or around $3.6 million, in compensation to entertainment firms, including Warner Bros., EMI and Columbia Pictures for copyright violations.
All four denied the allegations, saying The Pirate Bay didn't host any files but instead provided links through which users could download media content from other websites.
An appeals court reduced the prison sentences for three Pirate Bay operators. Mr. Svartholm, who couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday, didn't show up for the appeal hearing, and was ordered to begin his 12-month sentence earlier this year.
—Sun Narin contributed to this article.
Write to James Hookway at james.hookway@wsj.com
A version of this article appeared September 6, 2012, on page B4 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Computer Hackers Target Cambodia.

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