Hackers in the News

There have been a number of hackers in the news over the hurricane/holiday weekend.  I haven’t really been staying on top of this with all the hurricane coverage (as well as the ongoing debate between DJ Colonoscopy and myself), but here’s what I’ve found recently:

Teen Hacker Controls Ebay
By Nick Farrell: Tuesday 07 September 2004, 12:30
GERMAN POLICE HAVE arrested a 19 year-old hacker who claims he managed to control the local domain of E-bay.

Apparently, the hack happened at the end of August when the teen managed to direct punters on the eBay.de site to a different domain name server (DNS).

What is scary is that the hacker is not exactly an expert, and had found the instructions on how to fudge the transfer when he stumbled across a web-page. The teen decided to request a transfer for several sites including Google.de, Web.de, Amazon.de and eBay.de for a laugh and was amazed when it worked.

According to the police spokesman, the teen didn’t want to cause damage and was a little shocked when he was told that he had managed to become the new owner of eBay.de.

The domain has now been returned to its rightful owner and the would be hacker is finding himself charged by Inspector Knacker of the Yard.

Hacker’s Reward – Target: the Motorola v710Posted Sep 6, 2004, 11:07 AM ET by Simon Spagnoletti
v710None too happy about the fact that Verizon has deliberately crippled Bluetooth on the Motorola V710, Jonathan A. Zdziarski is offering a bounty to anyone who can successfully hack the phone and restore the OBEX and OPP Bluetooth features which have been disabled. What do these do, you ask? Well, OBEX lets you transfer files between the phone and a computer, while OPP lets you send phonebook entries and other info to another phone or Bluetooth-enabled car (using a Bluetooth headset with the V710 works just fine). Useful features don’t you think? The prize is up to $882.72, a sum of money we’re hoping will be enough to tempt at least one kindly hacker into getting this done.
 

A hacker’s tales from years in the Big House


Mercury News

Reformed hacker Kevin Mitnick spent five years in the Big House for breaking into corporate computer systems. Given his insider experience, he might want to start a career as a prison consultant now that Frank Quattrone, Martha Stewart and a whole new passel of white collar criminals are headed to the pokie.

In a recent interview, Mitnick, who got out of prison in 2000, said he did time with plenty of well-heeled inmates, including a judge and a senator, financier Ivan Boesky and Barry Minkow, founder of ZZZZ Best Carpet Cleaning — the Enron of 1987.

Don’t try to tell these guys that crime doesn’t pay, though.

Mitnick said he had coffee one day with Boesky, whom he described as “aloof.” Boesky asked him what he was in for. After Mitnick explained, he said, Boesky asked him how much money he made off his crimes. When Mitnick replied he hadn’t been in it for the money, Boesky was aghast. “You’re in PRISON, and you didn’t try to make any money?” Mitnick recalled Boesky asking him. “Isn’t that stupid?”

Being known as a computer hacker didn’t ease Mitnick’s time in prison, he said. Some guards suspected he had “mystical powers” and could take over the prison’s computer network — even though the terms of his sentence barred him from using computers for years. Once, in the prison law library, Mitnick said he sat down to work at a programmable electric typewriter and a nervous guard whisked him off to a disciplinary office.

“He immediately came over to me as if I was hacking into Norad,” recalled Mitnick. “It was comical.”

Joe Montana, Mac acolyte: Apple Computer’s lead pitchman, Steve Jobs, was unable to make the launch of the company’s new iMac G5 desktop computer in Paris last week.

So, Apple picked up a veteran pitchman who has hawked Schick razors, Coors beer, Fruit of the Loom underwear and Disneyland: legendary San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana.

Montana happened to walk into Apple’s San Francisco store last week as executives unveiled the new, all-in-one iMac. Honest. Apple executives insisted that Montana’s impromptu appearance was purely coincidental and not a publicity stunt.

Montana listened in on a press briefing, and then began extemporaneously extolling the virtues of the Mac. He said he uses Apple’s video conferencing feature, iChat, to talk to his daughter. Sometimes, they even set a place for her at the dinner table, he said.

Needless to say, Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of hardware products was ecstatic about the encounter and Montana’s enthusiasm for the iMac. “That was my highlight.”

Dealmaking on the run: Technology veteran Eric Benhamou got more than a good workout with running partner Dan Kolkowitz. He found a new company to invest in and yet another job as chairman.

The two chatted while on long runs about Kolkowitz’s latest venture idea. After more research, Benhamou was ready to invest some of his time and money in San Jose start-up Swan Labs, where Kolkowitz is the vice president of engineering.

Swan Labs specializes in products to boost the performance of software applications over wide-area networks.

“I became very convinced quickly that the market was going to be large and growing fast,” said Benhamou, now Swan Labs’ chairman. Benhamou Global Ventures also was part of the company’s $15 million first round of funding.

Now a slot is opening up in Benhamou’s busy schedule: This fall he plans to step down as the chairman of PalmSource. He already serves as chairman of 3Com, Cypress Semiconductor and palmOne.

[and finally, a post to prweb probably from Mortland himself]

Infamous Video Game “Hacker”, Mortland Calls it Quits
(PRWEB) September 6, 2004 
It was on September 9th 2002 that SEGA Public Relations Officer Jeff Millian said that video games had been taken to far. He was very right. 2 years ago an unidentified hacker (now known as Mortland) caused over $16,000 thousand dollars in damage and financle loss to Sonic Team, developers to the hit video game Phantasy Star Online. The attack was web based and downed the developer’s server for 3 days. It was later discovered that it was in retaliation to a disagreement between the company and Mortland pertaining to the recognition of September 11th victims. “It was when the company said, “Were not in the business of grieving and making holidays” that I decided to down there servers” said 17 year old Mortland in a statement to a local newspaper on September 11th 2002.

That was 2 years ago. To date Mortland has taken down 32 web forums, vandalized over 20 websites, and has been kicked off the servers to 11 games. “I’m just using the game to its full
potential, it’s
a shame no one else does.” Said Mortland who has finally decided to call it quits. Now at 19 and finishing up his schooling in Boise Idaho from studying Nursing, he has decided to enjoy the finer things in life. “I was always hating everyone, I was sick of everyone. But now I have simply decided to ignore them all and divorce my self from the human race. It worked out really well.”

When asked about the level of intensity agenst the sites that he attacked he responded, “When your pumped full of drugs all the time you do things for the stupidest reasons, I guess I just like messing with video gamers.” “I mean that isn’t how it always was, There were good reasons to some of my messages agenst some of the people I hit.” “I think I will try going into entertainment soon write now.” “I am just writing random thoughts on my web blog that you’re all welcome to visit at http://www.crazylife.org/~mortland”.

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