Gawker hacked: Just the latest sign that Web going Wild West

Gawker hacked: Just the latest sign that Web going Wild West

Summary: The Gawker attack by itself isn't a huge development. But when you put the Gawker hack in context of recent events---notably the targeting of sites like Visa, Mastercard and PayPal over the Wikileaks flap---the picture gets ugly in a hurry.

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TOPICS: Browser, Security
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Gawker over the weekend confirmed that it has its commenting accounts have been hacked. Anyone that has left a Gawker comment needs to change passwords pronto. The Gawker attack by itself isn't a huge development. But when you put the Gawker hack in context of recent events---notably the targeting of sites like Visa, Mastercard and PayPal over the Wikileaks flap---the picture gets ugly in a hurry.

The World Wide Web is looking more like the Wild West. First there's the Anonymous group, a loosely connected group of hackers, aiming to take out any entity that made life more difficult for Wikileaks as it posted U.S. government documents. That revenge attack is easily explained. Wikileaks supporters are making a point.

According to Mediaite, Gawker was targeted by a group called Gnosis over "arrogance" toward hackers.

Now let's carry this out. If a site---media, government, e-commerce or otherwise---is on the end of a cause you disagree with a denial-of-service attack (or any other attack) cannot be ruled out.

At this rate, every site is going to be attacked. Gawker serves as a cautionary tale to button up your security procedures pronto. This hack-to-make-a-point approach is likely to pick up steam.

Related: DDoS: How to take down WikiLeaks, MasterCard or any other Web site

Topics: Browser, Security

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15 comments
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  • Not the Wildest West

    A bit over the top with the invocation of wild west. There's a lot wilder stuff going on in trying to buy FCC regulations than there is in some (misnamed) "hackers" spinning their juvenile wheels fruitlessly.<br>
    curph
    • Its the wild wild west

      @curph .
      Botnet, DDoS, spam and the rest the internet is the wild west for sure ....Even more now with all those hacktivist group they good old days are over now. Now every group that will not walk the proper way may find itself with tar and feather .

      When they are located in USA they can be prosecuted elsewhere in the world .... else fun
      Quebec-french
      • RE: Gawker hacked: Just the latest sign that Web going Wild West

        @Quebec-french Even in America the chances of them being prosecuted are pretty low, those that are good will be hired by the government those that are just taking orders like footsolders are to difficult to track down anyway. There a reason why only 1 person have had charges press against him an that because it so difficult to find them in the first place.
        Knowles2
  • sadmglw

    It is the same when Govs and/or Corps do not like what is said or released (Wikileaks), the site get shutdown, banned, or worse, the individual is charged with a crime(looses ones freedom). All I say is "do your research!"
    sadmglw
    • Government

      @sadmglw It is the same when Govs and/or Corps do not like what is said or released (Wikileaks), the site get shutdown, banned, or worse, the individual is charged with a crime(looses ones freedom). All I say is "do your research!"

      Folks are always asking for proof, so give us some proof, some documentation that the government is trying to shutdown, ban, etc. Wikileaks. It's obvious this is what you're talking about, and yet you have no proof. Now, if you want to refer to China or N Korea, that's fine. But I'd ask you do "do your research!" too. You have no proof.
      boomchuck1
      • Naive

        @boomchuck1

        When a government is acting illegally, pressuring Amazon to boot Wikileaks, do you think they send a letter and then make it public? Lieberman admitted contacting Wikileaks. What else do you need?

        The US Gov't often acts illegally; the war in Iraq, Gitmo, and torture sites in Europe and elsewhere are examples.

        And since you are so keen on proofs, why don't you provide some documentary evidence on China and North Korea, which you re so easy to condemn. Do you think you can find much?
        Economister
      • RE: Gawker hacked: Just the latest sign that Web going Wild West

        I will not try to defend that the government has never done anything that was illegal. That is not my point. My point is that people are blaming the government for the completely legal actions of businesses that no longer want to associate themselves with Wikileaks (it could be any other business as well) when there is no proof that the government had anything to do with it.<br><br>As for China and N Korea, the great firewall of China is a well documented fact. There is no conjecture there. China is pretty up front about blocking content that they don't approve of. As for N Korea, Internet access is not even allowed for most citizens.<br><br>Here's some nice documentaiton from Wikipedia and other sources. We can go to more sources if you prefer. Now, please post your sources.<br><br><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship</a><br><a href="http://www.hjalmarsonfoundation.se/item.asp?itemID=1925" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.hjalmarsonfoundation.se/item.asp?itemID=1925</a><br><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/23/technology/23link.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/23/technology/23link.html</a><br><a href="http://www.greatfirewallofchina.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.greatfirewallofchina.org/</a><br><a href="http://www.wired.com/politics/security/magazine/15-11/ff_chinafirewall" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.wired.com/politics/security/magazine/15-11/ff_chinafirewall</a><br><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_the_People" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_the_People</a>'s_Republic_of_China
        boomchuck1
      • RE: Gawker hacked: Just the latest sign that Web going Wild West

        @boomchuck1

        Since when does the burden of proof lie with the citizen? Did Bill O'Reilly inform you that is the way you Fox news fanboys are to interpret things written in the Constitution these days?

        Remember this and remember it well. "Those who would trade security for liberty, deserve neither security nor liberty!"

        If it even hints of being an attack on on our right to the "Freedom of Speech" then it should be researched. You appear to just accept it on face value from your Federal Government. You further compound the issue by assaulting those who are not of a like mind! A thing that surprises me most is that you dare to voice this assinine opinion alone! Evidently you can't even see past the charade that is the News Media today in the trend set forth by Fox of stacking a half dozen loudmouths against anyone with an opposing viewpoint.

        Oh and one more thing, "The great FIREWALL of China"??

        Where DO you people come from?
        SmartAceW0LF
      • RE: Gawker hacked: Just the latest sign that Web going Wild West

        @SmartACEWolf

        Um...ok. First off - nobody said the burden of proof lay with the citizens of the nation. However, the burden of proof does lie with the accuser, which in this case is some citizen of some nation making allegations of illegal actions on the part of the government. You can't just make wild accusations and then say 'I don't have to back this up' - not how it works.

        Also, the national firewall that China has to filter out 'objectionable' content is frequently referred to colloquially as the 'great firewall of China' - for proof, simply search the term. Actually, here, I'll do it for you.
        http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=great+firewall+of+china

        Finally, @Economister, there is well documented proof that China will block any site and/or content they don't like and it's also a well documented fact that citizens in N. Korea don't get internet access which is a whole lot more than you can say for the US governments involvement in various corporations decisions to terminate service agreements with Wikileaks. While the government may not post a letter in the public notices section of the paper about it - that doesn't equate to being able to toss around allegations with no substance to back it up with (and one person in a governing body [especially one in a legislative body rather than a judicial or executive] contacting Wikileaks is hardly a smoking gun).

        I'm not saying the government didn't have anything to do with it, I'm just saying that I'm not a drone who simply accuses the government of always being evil and doing the worst possible thing. I prefer to have real facts (as in, not spouted by Glen Beck) on hand before I dole out judgement.
        p0figster
  • Going Wild West

    No, this isn't going Wild West, this is more like going radical Islam. This is the same sort of mentality that sends death threats to people that create a drawing of the prophet. These "hacktivists" are carrying out attacks because someone has insulted their 'prophet.' They are expressing 'righteous' anger and attacking anyone that disagrees with them. It is really disgusting. If they think they are fighting for free expression and sharing on the Internet they are actually just heading it in the opposite direction.
    boomchuck1
  • Except the government illegally requested those acts.

    Peter King's and Joseph Lieberman's offices contacted those companies to institute actions against WikiLeaks. Actions by the companies' on their own may be legal; however, government requesting those actions is a clear violation of the 1st amendment. And admission by the offices of those people is all the proof necessary.
    Dr_Zinj
    • RE: Gawker hacked: Just the latest sign that Web going Wild West

      @Dr_Zinj : Wow, what are you a Dr. in, useless misingformation?
      twaynesdomain-22354355019875063839220739305988
    • RE: Gawker hacked: Just the latest sign that Web going Wild West

      @Dr_Zinj
      Well, you clearly don't understand the function of a legislative body of government. If the Attorney General had contacted the companies and threated legal action if they didn't do something - that'd be one thing. But a representative/senator doing the same thing constitutes no legal threat as they have no authority to punish companies for failure to comply. A senator/representative doing such a thing is no different from you or I contacting their offices and asking them to cut off contact.

      The real difference is these two men did it to get votes to get reelected.

      Also - um, the 1st amendment says that the government shall make no law infringing on the freedom of speech - not that the government can't ask a company to infringe on someone's freedom of speech. I'm a huge fan of personal liberties, but that means that individuals and corporations need to be free to act as they deem best for their own interests.
      p0figster
  • About Time..

    we got back to the old days. This is how I used to describe the net to people. No one will look out for you, you are responsible for your actions and if you do dumb stuff, bad things will happen to you.

    I kind of miss it.
    dogknees
  • RE: Gawker hacked: Just the latest sign that Web going Wild West

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