Sunday, 12 June 2011

Masked Criminals/ Vigilante!?

HACKER!!! Ooo. Would you not be interested to be one? Knowing all the back doors and loop holes of all prominent sites, bending rules and mending them as you want them. No, i do not support hacking but i do admit, being one is a cool feat. Basically there are two types of hackers :-
a) Ethical Hackers :- The Batmans and Supermans of the Cyberworld. They follow unwritten rules and have a code of conduct which they swear by.
b) Black-Hat Hackers :- Well you get the point by now. They are the Dr.Octavius' and Jokers of the cyberworld. They use their knowledge for personal gain and exploitation.

Yes, V is for Vendetta!!
Its not so simple for hackers though. Ethical hacking is a fine line to tread. Right now, after so many high profile hacks in recent times, hackers are actually losing the sympathy and support they were garnering from general public. There have been as many as 13 reported attacks on servers containing sensitive information of many high profile companies. Couple of days back, two Indian official sites (NIC and a Indian Army site) were hacked by the pretty well known hacking outfit, Anonymous. What will surprise you though is the reason why they did it. Anonymous have begun a campaign called "Operation India", everything is explained in the next video which i recommend you to watch very highly. You can follow the campaign on twitter or visit their facebook page for further information.
Update : The video has been removed by Youtube for violation of its policy against "deceptive content".

But i am going to leave you with a letter the group addressed to the government.

"We are Anonymous Again.
To the People of India and Government,
You Have Underestimated the Power of people.You thought First NIC Hack by Anonymous was Playful act, "THINK AGAIN".
We are not here to Play with anyone.We are here to send a Message to all the people who support the Anti-corruption bill. We took Down Indian Army Official Site and NIC knows more what we did.We do not support anyone, We Support Only The Anti-Corruption Bill.No one can speak for Anonymous, Nothing is Official.
We are Not the "FLAME", We are just a "SPARK".Stop Your Brutal Violence and Blame games.Anonymous are the people.

We do not forget.
We do not forgive.
We are legion.
Expect us"

Before you start feeling for this vigilante group, let me throw some light on some of the other alleged hackings they have undertaken in the past three months. Sony's PlayStation Network(PSN), a network which serves around 77 million users, was hacked. Information containing Names, Addresses, usernames and passwords and Credit Card Details of all the users was compromised. Imagine a group of hackers, a breed whose morality and integrity is always a point of debate, holding a database of 77 million users with their credit card information. The data itself is worth millions of dollars of if not more. People say that Sony brought this upon themselves when they took a cracker (a person who cracks codes and bypasses validation processes) named GeoHot to court because he cracked the PS3. Sony was warned by Anonymous group that they will take revenge for violation of privacy, according to the group, the company cannot tell a person what he needs to do with his device. Be that as it may, i do not think any kind of reason justifies stealing such sensitive data and putting the consumers at risk.It took Sony 6 weeks to restore the PSN and it cost them a mind boggling $25M. This was by far one of the biggest hacks ever, it shook the cyberworld.

V for VAMOS!??!
And this is where it just began, in beginning because GeoHot is a pretty harmless and famous person on the internet, the hacking received support from sections. But what followed next was shocking.Just when Sony began to assess and fix the broken PSN, two of its subsidiaries got hacked. PSN again got hacked. Hackers after this suddenly went on a rampage. Nintendo got hacked by a group of Hackers known by the name Lulszec.  Apparently they did not mean any harm. Later on their tweet said, "We just got a config file and made it clear that we didn't mean any harm. Nintendo had already fixed it anyway. <3 them". Nintendo went on record saying that even though hackers bypassed some security measures, their customer data could not be hacked into or breached, hence no need to worry. YEAH RIGHT!! Last heard Police caught three people related to Sony hacking.

A cyberwar atmosphere has been created by now. The latest victims being Citibank and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), even Gmail was hacked. These hackers never ever sleep, even right now as i am composing this piece, reports are coming in that games publisher Codemasters (Cricket 2011, F1, Dirt series, etc) have also been hacked. Early reports suggest that names and email addresses of customers have been stolen from the database.

There is a saying that there is no such thing as an unhackable and uncrackable device or server. Its rather frustrating and irritating to accept that our private and important details can be accessed and stolen by a group of individuals who do it as an evening boredom killing event.Privacy and Internet security are huge issues which can actually break a company in no time. Google and Facebook face hundreds of privacy related cases, though they win over 95% of them, the rather small number of cases lost have cost them hundreds of millions of dollars. Hackers are like mistresses, you have to handle them with care and they might reward you and spare you. But if by any chance you infuriate them, then be prepared for your life being turned upside down. They can ruin and spoil trust and goodwill you have built and worked upon for years within minutes.Hackers are an unavoidable part of the internet, treat them well and they tie a cape around their necks and roam at night, treat them wrong and you might have to deal with some weird ass villains.

News Box 
1) Apple launches a plethora of stuff in softwares. Are you iReady? iCloud, iOS5, Mac OS X Lion et al!
2) Sony launches PlayStation Vita, makes forget all Sin, Cos and Tan θ.
3) Nintendo launches Wii U. Yes after Wii, they finally thought of U.
4) E3 2011 floors smashed by dropping jaws, people report missing eyeballs. Here's the Round-up.
5) Samsung Chromebook Series 5 Reviewed.Pales soon after.

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