My weekend with a bunch of hackers
That pesky cyber-gang of hackers, Anonymous, struck again on the weekend, bringing down Senator Stephen Conroy’s website for almost 30 hours.
I know because I was there. It didn’t take much to predict that nerdy “hacktivists” against the internet filter would attack Government websites to coincide with real-life protests scheduled for Saturday.
Sure enough, a few clicks from Google led to a forum that set a date and time for the assault and, after a bit more digging, a chat room from which to watch the fireworks.
10am on February 20th. It was to be the third massive strike on Government sites since several were hit on February 10 and Kevin Rudd’s and the ACMA site were hit in September last year.
Gradually the group started to meander in to the chat room from all around the world.
Anon_poke: Fire your lazers… PLZ
RambJoe: Hmm, www.minister.dbcde.gov.au isn’t loading right now.
ioyou: currenlty down in canada
lthor: Not up in europe
gr0ssgh0st: it doesn’t looks like it’s up to me and I can’t ping it
Anonski: http://www.minister.dbcde.gov.au/ DOWN. KEEP FIRING FOR GREAT JUSTICE
RambJoe: It’s not just you! http://www.minister.dbcde.gov.au looks down from here.
OliveNigger: Nothings getting through.
web_user|54584: IF YOUR DDOSING WITH A PROXY YOU ARE DDOSING THE PROXY NOT THE FUCKING AUSSIES
mib_o7kx8h: take condom off! no proxies!! knock the bitch up!
unknwn: play nice kids
Anon88: KEEP ATTACKING even if it’s down.
The fact we’re not dealing with a scary army of computer geniuses was pretty clear from the start.
Anyone could join in. All you’d have to do was download a small piece of DDoS (or distributed denial-of-service) software, paste in an address and click a button. Enough clicks and the site was flooded with requests for information and crashed.
They’re a bunch of kids essentially, and some older geeks thinking they’re taking on the world “coz we iz hardcore outlawzz”. One said he was 12 and from Brisbane. He was peeved cause he didn’t account for daylight saving and missed the start of the cyber strike. At times, they’d get distracted and snap at each other.
mib_ec6lib: isnt myschool suppose to be a target?
mib_sy3ylu: Dont they have 7 m long worms in australia?
mibbbbbbbbbbb: we call them snakes
mib_sy3ylu: I swear that place is goddamn hell on earth.
mib_sy3ylu: And they try to take their porn away.
mib_sy3ylu: Fucking hell.
irritant: stop talking and GET TO IT !!
pulser: wtf guys
pulser: its up
pulser: get it back down
pulser: DDoS http://www.minister.dbcde.gov.au/ (IP withheld) take it back down
Missingno34: they probally changed IP
Missingno34: to avoid us
Johndo1: FIRE LAzORSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anon88: I think the aussies filtered me last time…
Hardly the highly organized criminals some reports suggest. They’re nerds. No worries.
The only worrying thing is the Government’s preparedness to prevent one of these attacks should it be on a website that actually provides a serious service.
After the Feb 10 debacle, the Feds gleefully announced they were aware the assault was coming (a google search could have found that), but that they were helpless to stop it. By the weekend they still clearly had made no headway.
Whether you’re for (conservative fascist) or against (pinko nutjob) the Government’s plan, you’d have to have serious doubts as to their competence to execute it properly.
Especially when they proved, twice, they can’t block an attack by pimply hacker wannabes on their websites when they know its coming.
Or when, in 2007, 16-year-old Tom Wood managed to crack their $84 million test filter in just 30 minutes.
Or, for example, when Senator Conroy is the man in charge, considering his track record of jobs-for-the-boys and dates with more than one kind of mogul in the Colorado ski fields.
The Government yesterday told me the same thing they said last week – that the new Cyber Security Operations Centre was on watch.
I was on watch too. I saw the whole thing.
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