Thursday, January 27, 2005

Boing Boing has a post about a person who got arrested for using lynx, a text based web browser. It seems a person looking at the logs for a Tsunami relief site determined that the unusual entries created by the lynx browser indicated an attempt to hack into the site. Somebody from BT (the site's operator) called the cops, who busted down the lynx user's door and arrested him. Curiously, the BBC news account of the story makes no mention of the browser issue.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Joshua Kinberg, of the Bikes Against Bush project has accepted an ACD ("Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal") in the case the government brought against him for his protest/performance at the 2004 Republican Convention (which involved spraying text messages onto the sidewalk). He is saying that the case was dismissed on January 20.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

A person, claiming to be a developer for the military recruitment game America's Army has made a posting in their forum that the government is cracking down on the game's cheaters.

"Our bans last week came without notice and took the bad guys by surprise. They don’t know the extend of what we know, and moreover how we know it. For example, we have the means to detect bad guy activities that I know the bad guys do not know we can detect. That’s the way we want it, too – while we haven’t banned them yet, we’re using them to collect more data, track down their friends, and their friends, and learn more as we discover new behavior."

Get that? So if you're an America's Army player and have a friend who's a player, and that person knows someone who cheats at America's Army, you might be justified in expecting government monitoring of your actions.

"Some of you (and clearly the bad guys are among them) don’t always remember that this game, and all accounts and derivative products, are the property of the United States Army. When you tamper with the game, not only are you breaking the EULA you’re misusing Army property – and, worse, you’re misusing US Army computer programs and equipment.

"Tampering with software and servers owned or used by the Army is cyber crime."

So now cheating at an online game is a cybercrime and presumably related to terrorism in some way. Cheating in online games is indeed a real problem. But I'm not sure that the kids who cheat at America's Army are in the same league as real terrorists who commit cybercrime.
Kevin Poulsen has a piece at Security Focus about Nicolas Jacobsen, the 21 year old malicious hacker who allegedly broke into the T-Mobile network for at least a year. He apparently used this access to monitor U.S. Secret Service e-mail, download candid photos of celebrities and others, and obtain passwords and Social Security numbers of the wireless network's 16.3 million customers. Mr. Jacobsen was charged with two felony counts of computer intrusion and unauthorized impairment of a protected computer. His trial is scheduled to begin on Feb. 14th in Los Angeles.

Monday, January 10, 2005

It seems Ken Lay is paying search engines to point people to his version of the Enron scandal. According to this story by Mary Flood of the Houston Chronicle "he's paying to make sure major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and AOL list his site first when you search for his name, Enron and related terms."