Anonymous re-hacks US Sentencing site into video game Asteroids

Anonymous re-hacks US Sentencing site into video game Asteroids

Summary: The U.S. Sentencing Commission website has been hacked a second time. A code distributed by Anonymous "Operation Last Resort" turns ussc.gov into a game of Asteroids.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Legal, Security
37

The U.S. Sentencing Commission website has been hacked again and a code distributed by Anonymous "Operation Last Resort" turns ussc.gov into a playable video game.

Visitors enter the code, and then the website that sets guidelines for sentencing in United States Federal courts becomes "Asteroids."

ussc asteroids anonymous

Shooting away at the ussc.gov webpage reveals an image of Anonymous.

The trademark Anonymous "Guy Fawkes" face is comprised of white text saying, "We do not forgive. We do not forget."

Update Sunday, January 27, 11pm PST: the ussc.gov website has been offline intermittently, ostensibly due to high traffic. Anonymous Operation Last Resort tweeted the Asteroids hack can be "played" on yet another U.S. government website: "Backup gaming site while USSC.gov  is down miep.uscourts.gov " (the U.S. Probation Office for the state of Michigan). This suggests, in this writer's opinion, that Anonymous has background control of multiple U.S. government websites - and after the antics this weekend, the group likely has had this access for a while and they are playing a game of cat-and-mouse with the United States Department of Justice.

GalleryU.S. Sentencing website hacked into video game "Asteroids"

Hacktivist group Anonymous began its "Operation Last Resort" Friday night by hacking the U.S. Sentencing Commission website in the name of suicide victim Aaron Swatrz, demanding reform in the U.S. justice system.

The government website was pulled offline and restored by Saturday. Now, on Sunday afternoon, the U.S. Sentencing Commission website appears to have been compromised a second time, severely, wherein a code being issued by Operation Last Resort and other Anonymous social media accounts turns ussc.gov into a game of Asteroids.

Upon visiting ussc.gov and entering enter Konami code (with cursor keys) ↑↑↓↓←→←→ (up up, down down, left right left right) then keys B, A and "Enter" - the page becomes a playable version of the old Atari game, Asteroids.

Visitors can use their keyboard to shoot away at the U.S. Sentencing Commission website.

The hack reads:

AntiSec CAEK-mode activated. Destroy the system! Controls: up, down, left, right to fire.

AntiSec controls

Blasting away at the text on the website using the keys CAEK ("repeat for NyanCat powers"), player points tally in a score box in the bottom right of the screen, while the government website page and text begin to shrink.

As the "player" gets points by shooting the U.S. Sentencing Commission website, underneath a dark image of Anonymous is revealed.

This is the second time the website has been attacked and defaced in a hack that involves public participation.

Anonymous apparently still somehow has control of the website in some way, despite the last efforts by the U.S. government to clean up the attacks.

The link to the Javascript is embedded in the ussc.gov page, but the script is hosted on a public Google URL.

The website has actually been publicly attacked three times this weekend.

But the second hack was a massive takeover that stuck. Anonymous had used the site to distribute encrypted government files and left a statement on the website that de-encryption keys would be publicly released (thus releasing the as-yet unkonwn information held on the stolen files) if the U.S. government did not comply with Anonymous' ultimatum demands for legal reform.

Anonymous has not specified exactly what files they have obtained. The various files were named after Supreme Court Justices.

However, while the first hack was restored when the U.S. government swiftly acted to wipe the site from its DNS and pull the IP address, and then restore the website, the same resolution may not be possible as it seems Anonymous - and/or AntiSec - still have access.

The U.S. Sentencing Commission sets guidelines for sentencing in United States Federal courts, and Anonymous stated it had chosen the website for symbolic reasons.

Previously on the defaced ussc.gov website Anonymous cited the recent suicide of hacktivist Aaron Swartz as a "line that has been crossed."

The statement suggested retaliation for Swartz's tragic suicide, which many - including the family - believe was a result of overzealous prosecution by the Department of Justice and what the family deemed a "bullying" use of outdated computer crime laws.

We will post updates and developments as they happen. Let us know what you find out in the comments.

Topics: Legal, Security

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

37 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Never trust authority

    What a laugh. A great version of asteroids.
    frank0-3f91e
    • No authority = chaos...

      but the hippie wanna-be's don't really understand that.
      ScanBack
      • You moron

        You mean like slapping a 2 weeks income fine on HSBC for laundering money for the drug cartels????
        kirovs@...
        • What the heck does that have to do

          with authority? It's a simple fact - no governance = chaos proven time and time again. That's all I was pointing out Even the free loving hippie crown for FOSS have governance so doe the open internet so give me a break. What a jack-wagon.
          ScanBack
          • No one attacks authority

            It attacks the miscarriage of justice. Now you substituted this for something else- desire for chaos. Therefore the logical conclusion that you are a moron. I give you the benefit of the doubt by saying this- the other choice is that you are evil. So you are welcome.
            kirovs@...
      • Anarchy

        I think chaos is the point. To assume that chaos is always bad, is quite a limited use of our colorful English language. Think creative destruction. It's not possible to vote out the cancer, or change the structure, with passive discussion any more - that's because "authority" is itself the problem, because it is corrupt (and absolutely, I might add).

        On the subject of current or former porn stars: (1) Once the writer clarified this issue, it became seriously OT (yawn); (2) Jumping into the wayback machine and going back in time 10 seconds, to when #1 didn't exist yet, since human intelligence and skills are, for the most part, normally distributed and random, I'm not sure how someone's incredibly poor choice to go into porn (boone51's opinion, not mine - though I think it's not a rewarding choice in terms of one's happiness), in any way determines whether they are good at hacking, understanding technology, writing code, etc.

        Oh, and back to your comment again. If you see things so black and white that you can't see the justice matching the crime argument that kirovs was making, then you are not really seeing all the elements of the argument. What's better? Chaos and naked hippies running around trying to talk and sing to people, while basically spending their time with MJ, eating, and sleeping? Or organized evil, both corporate and governmental, that using a different moral system for those in "authority," compared to everyone else. That, my friend, is known as slavery. And just so you don't complete freak out, I'm using that term in its broad philosophical, existential sense, NOT as a reference to the United States before 1865.

        Cheers.
        screamino
  • Okay, now they're just bored . . .

    Okay, now they're just bored -_-.
    CobraA1
    • Lol...

      No, now they are playing a game of cat-and-mouse and expressing their control over the situation. They're fighting the good fight, and they're doing it well.
      Charles Niswander
    • PWN

      They are proving the ownage. As in, they OWN the assets and they will do with them as they please.
      Bryansix
      • Actions

        And proving that actions have consequences. Which, oddly enough, reminds me of the millions of Macs worldwide that were hijacked with java exploits after Steve Jobs had the brilliant idea of taunting the black hats.

        Obviously, the context is completely different, as I consider what Anonymous is doing, to be civil disobedience in the technology age, not the black hat behavior of the criminals who hijacked the computers.

        I wonder how many people are removing text on their websites that informs their customers that they use the highest level of encryption, just like the government, so you know it's secure. That's kind of funny :p
        screamino
  • Java Backends?

    Is it me or is every site that's hacked nowadays a Java or PHP site. USSC.gov is a ColdFusion/Java site. I believe MIT is a PHP site. Despite what some may claim, there's still a boatload of IIS/.NET sites out there... but you never hear about them hacked. I wonder if there's a list/blog of recent hacks on public sites (other than the stray story here and there).
    cmoya
    • heh

      Maybe if the govt spent less time trying to put talent behind bars, they could hire someone who knew how to secure a server. :)
      kevins_76
  • What really makes Anonymous weak and childish and no teeth...

    is they go after the US, but they do not go after "Judicial" systems in say China, or Iran, Iraq, India, UAE etc. Heck there a slew of African nations.... Why becasue they are scared and weak and do not want to take on real social injustice. When they are on the same grounds as say the US, England and the free world then they have an argument. Until then they have no basis, childish and just weak...sorry. They ignore the big problems and act like they are doing something. They are a gnat on a elephants rump.
    ScanBack
    • weak and childish and no teeth ?

      Imho I'd say the vast majority of the worlds population could be referred to by this proverb, why steer away from the core of who is causing these problems in other countries, or ignoring them, or adding to them........etc etc need we say whats wrong with taking a team load of builders, craftsmen, and just rid a governments corruption and let people live a decent life, why so difficult ? Why has it not been done by now ? We can send a tin can to the moon,
      wast millions on food everyday, split an atom in two, the list goes on........ But we can help fellow human beings in another country, why do you think that is ?

      "Heck there a slew of African nations"

      -- Wouldn't you say the USA is an uncontrollable sliding movement, with far more power than any other nation ?

      "They are a gnat on a elephants rump"

      -- Breakfast ? Strange how you mention Africa and elephant rump in the same paragraph in this morally and ethically challenging context ?

      Just an observation
      EdwardoRoundabout
      • I was pointing out that if Anonymous is so great, why are they hitting

        US Gov't and not trying the "Hacktivist" movements on Gov'ts that make ours look like Nirvana? It doesn't make any sense and makes them look foolish childish and foolish. I'm trying to piece together your ramblings above.

        "But we can help fellow human beings in another country, why do you think that is ?" Because they don't want help or they are not willing to help themselves or make the sacrifices this country made when we were in the same boat.

        -- Wouldn't you say the USA is an uncontrollable sliding movement, with far more power than any other nation ? Not sure what you are referring to but this country does a lot more to help nations then people realize. We could simply cut off the funding to other countries and the loans. Think they are mess now - just wait. Sure there are mistakes and there are others that are massive land mines that we need to avoid. 99% of the people have NO CLUE about what we help or hurt. But the "media' just points out th negative. Ignore all of the good and the aid and the fact that we indeed have people sacrificing. Yes the country is sliding but - in a very bad way based on our current leaders. We will soon be the next Greece.

        And Africa has some of the most corrupt Gov'ts out there. Millions if not billions have been spent to aid and help some of the countries - yet year after year they are in the same way. So yeah I mentioned them because they are a mess - So in all of this where is Anonymous? Why have they not tried to attack the Chinese Gov't and their well documented Tierney? So yeah no teeth.
        ScanBack
        • C'mon seriously Nirvana

          Lol okay yeah we take McDonald's elephant burgers, Nike Air 'sweat shop' Max trainers and fresh air for granted [cough cough] pay loads of tax, break your back for min wage, feel depressed about the economy, wonder what the hell our governments are doing to us, not to mention what they are hiding...

          They are all the same just the USA gov's is a different way of screwing us over, but same old same old story. They don't live like us, people in power, tends to go to their head, if you won a million would you give a hoot about your weekly food shopping bill for the week, gov don't care about nothing else than themselves, just like every other government.

          Lets see, would you say the USA supplies most corrupt countries with weapons?
          Wonder what else they get up to, you don't need to read a newspaper to figure that one out.


          Why should it be left to hacktivists to sort out other countries, why send money to a country repeatedly knowing that it was getting swiped by a corrupt government ???

          Kinda dumb, and we are supposed to be an educated nation, C'mon, and i didn't need to recite that from a book or any other literature extract or media script.

          Its a bit like throwing money down a well and expecting a crystal glass with ice and a slice of lemon to levitate up from depths of the earth. Cigar sir ?


          Yeah perhaps it seems childish, but our government's treat us like children, only they like to scare us into going to bed at night so they can get up to no good.

          And yeah no teeth, cause they treat everyone like they were born yesterday.
          EdwardoRoundabout
    • double agents perhaps?

      or as some have suggested, a PSYOP mission to draw out those who may be 'in opposition' to the USA and affiliates? there have been minor incursions into other nations, though with far less media exploitation.
      Nancy Smith
  • News Flash No Balls Scanback

    What they do shows more strength and guts then all those in office combined. Our government is full of corrupt, evil, yellow cowardly child molesting individuals who think they have "the strong ones" under control and by the "strong ones", I mean the ones who have a mind of their own, aren't followers and cannot and will not let these cowards think they have power!!! This Country is OURS to save and do what in our power to save Her and return Her to ONE NATION UNDER GOD!!!

    Now, you take care of those slew of nations that need need help. We have America to take care of and She get TOP PRIORITY
    Shelley Woodward
    • "What they do shows more strength and guts then all those in office combin"

      Really - how? News flash Ms. Shelley - the entire world is full of corrupt people. Gov't down to your neighborhood block watch. But the good out there are way more than the corrupt. But if you feel it's so bad no one is keeping you here (unlike many, many other countries). You can head over toe Greece, or Spain, or France (yeah there's a model) and their bankrumpt Gov'ts any middle east country tell me how those womens rights are there. They would LOVE to have you.

      The current powers in the country are on a very dangerous course with the Entitlement programs and debt. Sorry but we are the next Greece, but hey since you want to that kind of Gov't head on out. We are hot mess just waiting to happen and it's just a short time in the next 4 years for us to hit bottom. But I'm working on speeking Mandrine - lord knows our current "President" is about to give them the keys.
      ScanBack
  • Should have replaced it with Breakout, not Asteroids.

    Well, as far as I'm concerned, the U.S. Sentencing Commission is just another instance of useless government bloat as an excuse for tax payer financed cronism. So having their site hacked by Anonymous sounds just fine to me; except the tax payers get billed for the fix (which probably will be as incompetent and ineffectual as the last one.)
    Dr_Zinj