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Reporters Threatened, Labeled Hackers For Finding Security Hole 120

Posted by samzenpus
from the keep-your-mouth-shut dept.
colinneagle writes "Scripps News reporters discovered 170,000 records online of customers of Lifeline, a government program offering affordable phone service for low-income citizens, that contained everything needed for identity theft . Last year, the FCC 'tightened' the rules for the program by requiring Lifeline phone carriers to document applicants' eligibility, which led to collecting more sensitive information from citizens. A Scripps News investigative team claims it 'Googled' the phone companies TerraCom Inc. and YourTel America Inc. to discover all of the files. A Scripps reporter asked for an on-camera interview with the COO of TerraCom and YourTel after explaining the files were freely available online. That did not happen, but shortly thereafter the customer records disappeared from the internet. Then, the blame-the-messenger hacker accusations and mudslinging began. Although the Scripps reporters videotaped the process showing how they found the documents, attorney Jonathon Lee for both telecoms threatened the 'Scripps Hackers' with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)."
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Reporters Threatened, Labeled Hackers For Finding Security Hole

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  • Lee added that the Scripps Hackers eventually used Wget to find and download "the Companies' confidential files." (Wget was the same tool used by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg in the film The Social Network to collect student photos from various Harvard University directories.) The rest of the letter pretty much blamed the "Scripps Hackers" for the cost of breach notifications, demanded Scripps hand over all evidence as well as the identity and intentions of the hackers, before warning that Scripps will be sued.

    Folks, there was a big bad security breach [yourtelamerica.com]. Now, *adjusts his massive belt buckle* we're investigating this like we would any other serious crime. And right now we're just trying to identify weapons used in this heinous attack. Now, we've discovered that the hackers were using [documentcloud.org] a very vicious mechanism in this attack. In a murder, you might find a revolver used to put two bullets into the back of a poor old defenseless lady's skull in order to get all her coupons and a couple of Indian head pennies out of her purse. Or perhaps in a pedophile case, you'll find the "secret candy" that was used to lure the children into a white panel van with painted over windows.

    *expels a long tortured sigh*

    Well, I gotta say, in my thirty years on the force, I wish we were only dealing with something like that today, honest to God Almighty I really do. Instead this artifact was discovered at the scene of the crime [huji.ac.il]. Now, I'm not asking you to understand that -- hell, I'd warn you against even openin' up your browser to the devil's toolbox. But let me, a trained law enforcement professional, take the time to explain the gruesome evidence just one HTTP request away from you and your chillun'. The page is black. Black as a moonless night sky when raptors swoop from the murky inky nothing to take your kids and livestock back up with them silently. On it is a bunch of white text that makes no sense to any God fearun' man on this here Earth. That's what they call a "man page" probably because it is the ultimate culmination of man's sin and lo and behold it displays a guide to exact torture on innocent web servers across this great and holy internet.

    Even if you want to use this "man page" for WGET to learn how to use Satan's server scythe, you would have to read through almost twenty pages of incomprehensible technobabble like what that kraut over in Cali -- the one who took his wife's life -- spoke. And if you want to just see an example, it's not at the top! No, why, it's all the way down at the bottom. For this one, they don't even have examples. Just enough options to kill a man. Probably gave Steve Jobs cancer, they never proved all these options in these pages didn't. Buried in the mud of a thousand evils lie more evils.

    And why, oh why are we even wasting taxpayer money on these Scripps Journos? Who needs a trial when the evidence is in the tools they used? Folks, I think it's time we WGET one last thing, I'll WGET a rope and you WGET your pitchforks and torches ... let's go down to Scripps and put all this computer business behind us. Okay?

  • by game kid (805301) on Monday May 20, 2013 @05:59PM (#43776903) Homepage

    ...and when those fail:
    3. I need to spend more time with my family.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!

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