The National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance ( http://www.ncfta.net/), a Pittsburgh based nonprofit that uses public and private sector experts to help address cyber-crimes, announced that it has added the U.K.’s Serious Organised Crime Agency to its list of international partners. SOCA, considered the U.K. equivalent to the FBI, handles cases dealing with class A drugs, human trafficking, major gun crimes, fraud, money laundering and computer crime.
The cyber-forensics alliance has partnerships with more than 40 private sector organizations in the U.S. and more than 15 law enforcement or regulatory agencies around the world.
The collaboration plans to bring a SOCA agent to Pittsburgh for the next three years to work with in-house experts on issues such as phishing, sales of credit card numbers and other cybersecurity concerns that negatively impact U.K. citizens.
Hacker Will Expose Potential Security Flaw In Four Million Hotel Room Keycard Locks
At the Black Hat security conference Tuesday evening, a Mozilla software developer and 24-year old security researcher named Cody Brocious plans to present a pair of vulnerabilities he’s discovered in hotel room locks from the manufacturer Onity, whose devices are installed on the doors of between four and five million hotel rooms around the world according to the company’s figures.
According to Forbes (Full article)
“…tens of thousands of Americans may still lose their Internet service Monday unless they do a quick check of their computers for malware that could have taken over their machines more than a year ago.” reported by USA Today.
According to the document (whatishactivism.pdf) found on the website The Hacktivist by metac0m, Hacktivism can be described as “a policy of hacking, phreaking or creating technology to achieve a political or social goal.” The definition still holds even though the document seems to have been written a few years back, is dated December 2003 and it lists several groups and their tactics.
Estephanie Hubbard wrote for the Toronto Film Scene; “Every generation has times of protest that define it. The 60s had protests against the Vietnam War, the 80s had its AIDS awareness and gay rights protests, and the early 2000s had protests against the war in Iraq. And now, in the double-digit 2000s, we have a very modern kind of protest: “hacktivism”.”
“We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists” is a documentary that takes us inside the world of Anonymous, the radical “hacktivist” collective that has redefined civil disobedience for the digital age. The film explores the historical roots of early hacktivist groups like Cult of the Dead Cow and Electronic Disturbance Theater and then follows Anonymous from 4chan to a full-blown movement with a global reach, one of the most transformative of our time.
We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists screens at Hot Docs on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm, Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm and Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 7:00 pm. Check the festival website for details and tickets.
According to Fox Business, the Iranian cyber attack used a very sophisticated virus similar to one targeted at Tehran’s nuclear program in 2010, “the Stuxnet worm, penetrated at least 30,000 computers. The virus specifically targeted machines linked to centrifuges carrying out uranium enrichment for its nuclear program.”
Read more at Fox Business
According to Reuters, the Iranian oil infrastructure got “cyber attacked” yesterday, the question is by who. The reason behind the question is a matter of interpretation of course, but lets just speculate for a moment; would you agree if the attack was executed by a nation, then it would be a cyber attack. If it was not a nation can it be then considered as an act of hacktivism?
Hacktivism (a portmanteau of hack and activism) is the use of computers and computer networks as a means of protest to promote political ends. The term was first coined in 1996 by a member of the Cult of the Dead Cow hacker collective named Omega. If hacking as “illegally breaking into computers” is assumed, then hacktivism could be defined as “the nonviolent use of legal and/or illegal digital tools in pursuit of political ends”. These tools include web site defacements, redirects, denial-of-service attacks, information theft, web site parodies, virtual sit-ins, typosquatting  and virtual sabotage. If hackingas “clever computer usage/programming” is assumed, then hacktivism could be understood as the writing of code to promote political ideology: promoting expressive politics, free speech, human rights, and information ethics through software development. Acts of hacktivism are carried out in the belief that proper use of code will be able to produce similar results to those produced by regular activism or civil disobedience.
Hacktivist activities span many political ideals and issues. Freenet is a prime example of translating political thought (anyone should be able to speak) into code. Hacktivismo is an offshoot of Cult of the Dead Cow; its beliefs include access to information as a basic human right. The loose network of programmers, artists and radical militants 1984 network liberty alliance is more concerned with issues offree speech, surveillance and privacy in an era of increased technological surveillance.
Hacktivism is a controversial term, and since it covers a range of passive to active and non-violent to violent activities, it can often be construed as cyberterrorism. It was coined to describe how electronicdirect action might work toward social change by combining programming skills with critical thinking. Others use it as practically synonymous with malicious, destructive acts that undermine the security of the Internet as a technical, economic, and political platform.
Essentially, the controversy reflects two divergent philosophical strands within the hacktivist movement. One strand thinks that malicious cyber-attacks are an acceptable form of direct action. The other strand thinks that all protest should be peaceful, refraining from destruction.
As a principle of political activism, reality hacking takes advantage of the insight of linguists and sociologists who argue that post-twentieth-century popular culture in the advanced world has become particularly impervious to either positive or negative rethinking of community. Negative assertions about community—in the form of negative news stories and mass political protests—tend to fall on ears overloaded by daily tragedy in the news, even when the causes and facts they relate are valid and deserving. Positive reimaginings of community—in the form of utopian havens, alternative religious or political structures, or idealistic protest against the status quo—equally tend to fall upon unbelieving ears of busy individuals who have already accepted the standards, sacrifices, and limits of the reality in which they normally operate.
As an alternative to these dead ends of twentieth-century political activism, reality hacking tries to capture the attention of individuals in their normal course of regular information consumption. It may involve attracting mass media attention to an attention-getting fringe political issue more liable to generate rethinking of cultural norms than standard debates to which the public has already become jaded. Or it may involve harnessing the means of information dissemination itself, using online information sources to disseminate alternative definitions of commonly accepted facts.