• MSNBC/CNET: Blog site back up after hack attack — Attack locked users of out of their accounts

    It is amazing how fast news travels about the hacker attacks.

    This morning when I arrived at school around 8:30 a.m, I discovered that Torts was cancelled (actually it was cancelled long ago but stupid me didn’t read the syllabus). So, I got online to post some stuff via Blogger to this site.

    When I attempted to login it said I had the wrong password. This didn’t make sense, but I thought maybe Blogger reset the passwords or something so I hit the button for “forgot password” and entered my username. When it did this it said it was sending my password via email to hax0redbyme.!

    This of course freaked me out so I tried to send a help request to blogger and then proceeded to backup this entire website to disk as I was afraid the hacker who had high-jacked my account would proceed to turn JMBzine into a porn site or something.

    As it turns out though my paranoia was not a solitary thing but must have been happening to tens of thousands of folks around the world at the same time (read the MSNBC story above)

    So all iis well… or is it? My question is, how can we as a society stop hackers from doing things like this (and don’t give me some romantic notions of hackers trying to destroy ‘the man.’ Pyra, who runs, is a tiny company that provides the power of free speech to hundreds of thousands of people, including oft-ignored folks like the Homeless, the elderly people in repressive nations, and even youth who need an outlet for self-expression. The folks behind this hacker attack should be found and imprisoned. ) when the need for enforcement of laws and norms of behavior is at tension with the freedom of expression and privacy that the internet is valued for?

    I don’t know the answer but the whole situation is disappointing to me. Hackers (who we typically think of as being anti-establishment folks) attacking blogger (a bastion of free speech) makes about as much sense as a waterproof mop. These folks (along with the email spammers) may very well destroy the internet as we know it. Unless the internet community can learn to self-govern, the government will come in and do it, and we know if they do it they will stifle free speech and turn the internet into a giant AOL-like environment where speaking against authority means punishment. The day that happens is the day I unplug and do my writing offline.