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  • cDc Creates Biggest Media Hack Ever, Makes Up Hacktivism

    Dear mods: Please do not delete just because you disagree with this. This is an important topic that needs to be discussed by the community.


    http://seclists.org/fulldisclosure/2012/May/30

    cDc Created Hong Kong Blondes and 'Hacktivism' as a Media Hack

    Anonymous is a Lie

    Anonymous is a lie. Anonymous is built on a false foundation that
    casts a pale shadow over anything and everything they attempt to
    accomplish. While born out of the trolls and lulz of the /b/ board on
    fourchan Anonymous has quickly become an online activist movement. The
    group has targeted everything from oppressive regimes in the Middle
    East, to opposition about Internet censorship. They have been
    launching DDoS attacks from the comfort of their basements while
    people in the street are literally gunned down and then they have the
    audacity to claim victory for themselves because they managed to take
    a website offline for a few hours. These actions, these minor
    irritations, have given Anonymous the audacity to call themselves
    hacktivists, a term that is itself a lie. By using the term hackivist
    or hacktivism Anonymous is helping to perpetuate one of the biggest
    media hacks of all time and they don’t even know it.

    Pulling pranks on the media has a long history with the computer
    underground. One of the best examples is the entire movie “Hackers”
    which is so full of inside jokes they cease to be funny. Although when
    you examine the list of technical consultants the lack of humor makes
    sense. Hackers, the movie, is such a huge media hack the plot is used
    not once, but twice. The second time with Serena Achtul and the ‘True
    Life” show on MTV. The show supposedly illustrates a so called
    ‘hacker’ who convinces Serena to follow him around while he attempts
    to retrieve a disk before the feds do, which is exactly the same plot
    used in the movie ‘Hackers”. Even after Serena and MTV where told they
    were being trolled they chose to air the footage anyway.

    I don’t know who from the computer underground was the first to
    execute a media hack but some of the best have come from the Cult of
    the Dead Cow. To give you an idea of just how prolific and proficient
    the cDc is at hacking the media consider that their slogan is ‘World
    Domination through Media Saturation’. This is nowhere more apparent
    than the spectacle that was the BO2K release during Defcon in 1999. No
    software launch in recorded history; including those done by the media
    savvy Apple Inc., could touch this. Everything from smashing guitars
    to furry assless chaps to bad rap music with all the cDc members
    prancing around on stage as if it was the second coming. All that
    spectacle for nothing more than a remote access tool, something with
    almost the exact same feature set as PC Anywhere except that it runs
    on a different port number. Even Microsoft themselves said that BO2K
    wasn’t a threat but the press ate it up anyway and cDc proved again
    that they were in fact master media manipulators.

    Hactivism is another brainchild of cDc designed to fool and trick the
    media and all who choose to be associated with the term. The creation
    of the term is supposedly well documented as being first used by cDc
    member Omega in an IRC chat room in 1996. But close examination of the
    hacktivism Wikipedia page and that page’s history shows a second
    possible source for the term, that of techno-culture writer Jason Sack
    in a piece about media artist Shu Lea Cheang, published in InfoNation
    in 1995 which pre-dates cDc’s claim to the term. This co-option of the
    term itself is part of cDc’s plan to execute the biggest media hack of
    all time encompassing all of ‘hacktivism’.

    But co-opting the term itself is not enough. cDc felt they needed
    something to take advantage of the term and to plunge it fully into
    the media spotlight. They came up with a fictitious international
    hacking group, a group who would only attack corporations that did not
    support human rights, and so the Hong Kong Blondes were born.

    Reading the initial interview between the supposed Hong Kong Blondes
    leader ‘Blondie Wong’ and the cDc member ‘Oxblood Ruffin’ in cDc #356
    now, fourteen years later, makes the entire ruse plainly obvious. Arik
    Hesseldahl, who ran the initial story in Wired based solely on this
    interview, with absolutely no corroborating evidence in the first
    place, has since privately expressed his doubts about the story. By
    publishing this article he unwittingly became the first rube in a long
    line of media rubes that the cDc played with ever increasing
    dexterity. Hesseldahl has most likely not publicly expanded on his
    misgivings over the story as it would draw attention to his original
    reservations and expose the fact that he failed to verify even one
    fact in the article.

    The first thing that jumps out at me from the initial interview is
    that it was conducted by cDc member Oxblood Ruffin and published
    directly by him. No one else was present and no one else spoke to
    Blondie Wong and so no one can confirm the interview ever took place.
    Which brings me to the second red flag, the use of the handles
    ‘Blondie Wong’ and ‘Lemon Li’. Are these hacker handles supposed to be
    taken as legitimate or where they made up in an IRC chat room among
    half drunk and half high cDc members laughing themselves onto the
    floor? I won’t even mention the part of Blondie traveling with armed
    guards, seriously, Hollywood would have a hard time topping this.

    Next lets look at the claims that Blondie Wong and the Hong Kong
    Blondes supposedly temporarily disabled a Chinese communications
    satellite. China only had three official satellites at the time. Of
    course there is no confirmation of this claim from anyone either, not
    the Chinese, who probably would have pointed the finger at the US if
    it were true, or anyone else. But there is no mention anywhere of any
    Chinese satellite anomalies of any sort. Considering the large number
    of claims over the years of hackers attacking satellites, all of which
    have been proven to be false, it is highly unlikely that the HKBs
    succeeded where everyone else has failed.

    Then just as quickly as it began it was over. Within six month cDc
    officially cut ties with the Hong Kong Blondes and bid them ado.
    Oxblood wrote a tear-stained letter to his best buddy Blondie Wong in
    cDc #361 and the group formally cut ties with a press release in
    December, a press release signed by the cDc ‘Minister of Propaganda’
    and asking for all movie deals to be forwarded to him. But if the hack
    was going so well, with the media now using earlier uncorroborated
    stories to corroborate the current stories, why stop now? Why not
    build a massive Hong Kong Blonde media empire? Why? Because the
    Chinese government was starting to actually believe the bovine
    excrement the cDc was shoveling.

    Some of the members of the cDc received visits from associates of the
    Chinese diplomatic core at their homes, and by Diplomatic core I mean
    the Ministry of State Security for the People’s Republic of China.
    Having men in suits show up on your doorstep, regardless of which
    country they are from, was seen by members of cDc as taking a simple
    media hack a little too far. And so, just as quickly as the HKBs
    began, they disappeared, never to be heard from again, except in the
    echo’s of Oxblood Ruffin as he pontificates about the origins of
    hacktivism.

    Hacktivists and Hactivism pretty much went away after that. Sure it
    was around here and there but very few DDoS attacks and website
    defacements contained any sort of political or activist message. Those
    that did where mostly attributed to angry teenagers and not to
    activist organizations practicing hacktivism. That is until Anonymous
    came along. Anonymous quickly graduated from the trolling and the lulz
    that was /b/ and needed something to latch onto out in the real
    Internet, something to give their actions legitimacy, to draw in new
    members, and to evoke sympathy from the general population. The irony
    of all ironies is that the media gave Anonymous what they needed by
    labeling the leaderless collective as hacktivists.

    Of course once Anonymous had something they thought was legitimate
    they ran with it, waving the hactivism banner far and wide.
    Unfortunately, the whole thing is a lie, a media hack perpetrated by
    the ultimate masters of the lulz, cDc. A hack so lulzy and so
    pervasive it is still being laughed about by cDc members today.
    Anonymous unfortunately is oblivious to the fact that that they are
    just one more piece in the most epic media hack of all time, a media
    hack that has existed for over a decade and is now responsible for
    labeling an entire movement. Unfortunately, it’s no longer a joke and
    it’s no longer funny. It is time for Oxblood and the rest of the cDc
    to own up to their shenanigans and set the record straight.

    If Anonymous truly wants to make a difference they need to evolve
    beyond the simple DDoS attacks, web defacements and the media hack
    that currently defines hacktivsm and become the movement they want to
    be.

    http://seclists.org/fulldisclosure/2012/May/30

    - Wei Honker

  • #2
    Re: cDc Creates Biggest Media Hack Ever, Makes Up Hacktivism

    Originally posted by weihonker View Post
    Dear mods: Please do not delete just because you disagree with this. This is an important topic that needs to be discussed by the community.
    [SNIP]
    - Wei Honker
    Yeah. Only speaking for myself and what I have observed in other mods.

    We don't, "delete stuff," because, "we don't agree with it."

    We do moderate content, close threads and ban people for breaking rules (like spamming, going with political discussions, or bringing up topics of religion.)

    As for censorship:
    * I have and continue to censor spam --> commercial advertising <-- while I tend to /dev/null spamming that is self-promoting, or people trying to sell stuff using the forums. This includes all replies to spam. Don't reply to commercial spam posts, or your post will be moved away from public view with the spam post into my special spam archive. (Not deleted, but not public either.)
    * I have *sometimes* agreed to remove content that an author of content wishes removed if it does not interfere with the discussion/flow of threads, and doesn't remove examples of their history. (For example: duplicate posts, or empty replies where a user creates content, and then edits it on their own within 24 hours to be a mostly empty post.) This does not include what other people include in replies. This means, if you post something and someone else "quotes" your content in *their* reply, I am not going to edit their reply, for you, as that quote is part of *their* post, and they do not deserve to be "censored" because another user made a mistake.

    I think you will find that most, if not all mods are against deletion of content, as it ruins flow, continuity, and the "historical record." Edits can be worse and tend to be reserved for the worst offenders; we do sometimes choose to edit posts that end up in "Fucktard Hall" when we feel there is a legal risk, such as people calling forum members to perform illegal actions, or links to download content from other sources that would violate some laws. We've also edited posts in Fucktard Hall when it appears to us as though someone is trying to pretend to be a person they are not, in order to troll people into acting against a target. Edits of other people's posts are a horrible thing to do to people, but we will use edits as one of many tools to deal with users and their contributed content in Fucktard Hall. However, we keep a copy of the original, in case we ever need to review the original, unaltered copy. (Users are *mostly* allowed to edit any post they made, so long as they edit it within 24 hours of posting it. There are exceptions. Posts moved to /dev/null or Fucktard Hall are not editable by users right-away. Self-edits can also be harmful, as people try to rewrite their own history.)

    If this thread becomes, "too political," one of the mods will /dev/null it, and the users making it too political risk being banned. (If you want to know more about what is, "too political," see a thread of discussion for some examples of what we have tried to identify as "too political." And even when users are banned, we usually leave their posts "as-is" to show the kind of behaviour that preceded the ban, as a cautionary tale for others to learn from the mistakes of a few.

    Beyond that? Feel free to discuss this topic, and encourage other people to join in this discussion. Please avoid making it "too political", don't make it about religion, don't make it into spam (selling a book, toy, gizmo, etc.) and avoid breaking the rest of the rules, which can be summarized with, "don't be a jerk," and I'd bet this thread will remain open, and in Community Talk for people to talk about it.

    Good luck!
    (One of many mods.)
    Last edited by TheCotMan; May 13, 2012, 15:36.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: cDc Creates Biggest Media Hack Ever, Makes Up Hacktivism

      I'm not going to delete it because I don't agree with it...

      But I also don't understand what the point is. Of course that could be because I have ADD and that fucker was the definition of tl:dr.
      perl -e 'print pack(c5, (41*2), sqrt(7056), (unpack(c,H)-2), oct(115), 10)'

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: cDc Creates Biggest Media Hack Ever, Makes Up Hacktivism

        Originally posted by Chris View Post
        I'm not going to delete it because I don't agree with it...

        But I also don't understand what the point is. Of course that could be because I have ADD and that fucker was the definition of tl:dr.
        Summary:

        # Problem: claims of claims being made are inaccurate about hactivism
        # Disagreement on history of events and their meaning, or implication
        # Different claims are made
        # Examples with a view of history cited with proper noun names
        # Dismay of previously assumed vision of the hacktivism-world isn't as expected/remembered
        # "Here is what really happened."
        # Conclusion: this is what, "hacktivism," means to me, and hopefully many of you, and hopefully others will abide by how we describe, "hacktivism," and bring cool back to being a hacktivist.

        Reduced even further:
        # Things are not right in the hacktivism world. Do you agree? $GROUPS could be better if they abided by what I/those-that-agree-with-me think Hactivism should be.

        HTH...

        This message brought to you by Defcon CliffNotes.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: cDc Creates Biggest Media Hack Ever, Makes Up Hacktivism

          in spite of this being written in a style reeking with self-importance that made it rather unpalatable for me, i read this whole piece out of interest.

          and i was indeed mildly interested in a "gee, huh" sort of way right up until this last segment...

          Originally posted by weihonker View Post
          Of course once Anonymous had something they thought was legitimate they ran with it, waving the hactivism banner far and wide. Unfortunately, the whole thing is a lie, a media hack perpetrated by the ultimate masters of the lulz, cDc. A hack so lulzy and so pervasive it is still being laughed about by cDc members today. Anonymous unfortunately is oblivious to the fact that that they are just one more piece in the most epic media hack of all time, a media hack that has existed for over a decade and is now responsible for labeling an entire movement. Unfortunately, it’s no longer a joke and it’s no longer funny. It is time for Oxblood and the rest of the cDc to own up to their shenanigans and set the record straight.

          If Anonymous truly wants to make a difference they need to evolve beyond the simple DDoS attacks, web defacements and the media hack that currently defines hacktivsm and become the movement they want to be.
          just because something may have been started out as a "Media Hack" that by no means gives the author grounds to jump to the conclusion that "the whole thing is a lie"

          Let's say i start a rumor that "the government is secretly beating confessions out of people in police stations all across the country" and i have zero evidence for this. In this hypothetical, i am just being a douche. Let's assume that some people actually pick up this "false" ball and run with it... and they start all sorts of oversight groups and push for better regulation and reform.

          When this theme becomes "real" to the people involved, and when it starts having a "real" impact up on the world around us, the "false" origins fall away somewhat, at least in my view.

          I couldn't personally give two shits if the cDc stands up now or not and "admits" any load of bollocks or hacks the media some more with this theme. I really don't care about the origins of the "hacktivism" movement and how rooted (or not) they are in truth.

          The movement as it exists today, indeed even the term, has become a lightning rod... a rallying cry around which many in the community focus their efforts and effect real change in the world. (I'm not classifying it as positive or negative change, i think there has been a mix of many results that runs all ranges of the spectrum.)

          But just because someone is bloviating about how they don't like what the cDc was up to in the past (is that in fact the point of this piece? i really don't understand if the author is supporting the cDc or criticizing them or what, actually) that doesn't give them any real standing to tear down whole swaths of the hacker culture which has been born from actions in the past.

          Wei Honker states...
          Originally posted by weihonker View Post
          If Anonymous truly wants to make a difference they need to evolve beyond the simple DDoS attacks, web defacements and the media hack that currently defines hacktivsm and become the movement they want to be.
          ... but is there really some big picture, some overriding "manual" for what the Anonymous movement "wants" to be? Is Wei stepping up to lead them? This is where it gets unclear to me.

          Maybe the point being made is along the lines of, "you were born out of a lie but have become something substantial, and i don't like the direction you're taking or the lack of initiative... so recognize the fallacy of your origins and be more than you are now."

          I can sort of respect that, i suppose. But i think that focusing on the past is hardly the best way to go about this. One can snipe from the outside and throw stones at times gone by, or one can stand among the pack and try to grow something from within its ranks. This article, while interesting, seems to be more in the former category. While still a possible way to effect change, it may not be the most useful way I might choose to go about it.
          "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
          - Trent Reznor

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: cDc Creates Biggest Media Hack Ever, Makes Up Hacktivism

            Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
            Summary:

            # Problem: claims of claims being made are inaccurate about hactivism
            # Disagreement on history of events and their meaning, or implication
            # Different claims are made
            # Examples with a view of history cited with proper noun names
            # Dismay of previously assumed vision of the hacktivism-world isn't as expected/remembered
            # "Here is what really happened."
            # Conclusion: this is what, "hacktivism," means to me, and hopefully many of you, and hopefully others will abide by how we describe, "hacktivism," and bring cool back to being a hacktivist.

            Reduced even further:
            # Things are not right in the hacktivism world. Do you agree? $GROUPS could be better if they abided by what I/those-that-agree-with-me think Hactivism should be.

            HTH...

            This message brought to you by Defcon CliffNotes.
            I am renaming you George, and hugging and squeezing you.
            "They-Who-Were-Google are no longer alone. Now we are all Google."

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: cDc Creates Biggest Media Hack Ever, Makes Up Hacktivism

              So Oxblood and the rest of cDc have had almost two months to respond to the accusation that the Hong Kong Blondes were nothing more than a fabrication and yet have remained silent and said nothing.

              I will not let these lies stand. Defcon is coming, 10,000 of the worlds best hackers, probably at least half the cDc... yeah I have big plans.

              - Wei

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: cDc Creates Biggest Media Hack Ever, Makes Up Hacktivism

                Originally posted by weihonker View Post
                So Oxblood and the rest of cDc have had almost two months to respond to the accusation that the Hong Kong Blondes were nothing more than a fabrication and yet have remained silent and said nothing.

                I will not let these lies stand. Defcon is coming, 10,000 of the worlds best hackers, probably at least half the cDc... yeah I have big plans.

                - Wei
                You almost make me regret not going. Almost. Please, please, someone say there's going to be video of this.

                Ten thousand of the world's best hackers? Seriously? Have you ever been to Defcon? Even once? I also wonder at your conflating the cDc with Anonymous. Different generations. Really and truly. In fact, there was more than one cDc (geeze, I'm old).

                Here's a hint. Lurk more. Don't make me pull this car over to the side of the road.

                Oh, lordy, my sides hurt. Truly.

                Comment

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