Go Daddy Hacked by Anonymous Member

Go Daddy DNS Mail: Return to Sender

I was actually working online and encountered a problem with an email bouncing back unexpectedly; it took a phone call for me to realize that I wasn’t being individually targeted. An Anonymous member cyberattacked GoDaddy.com, which is a web server host that hosts millions of web sites. The hack has affected millions of websites and millions of emails are not getting through. 


Originally, Anonymous was thought to be behind the attack, but since then, AnonymousOwn3r, an Anonymous member from Brazil, has taken responsiblity for the hack on millions of individual DNS servers. 

Tech Cruch has reported that Go Daddy is working on resolving the situation, but given the enormity of the problem, it may take a while. The serious impact of the hack by AnonymousOwn3r seems to be on small businesses and Go Daddy’s site itself does not appear to have been affected. 


From what I can understand on Twitter, the hacker seems to believe that he is doing a favor to people by demonstrating to Go Daddy’s users that there are serious security flaws within Go Daddy. The business owners who are affected by the hack are angry beyond belief. There are several Tweets directed towards AnonymousOwn3r from angry business owners reminding the hacker that problems he may have with Go Daddy are directly affecting their livelihoods. 


The fall-out for Go Daddy is enormous. Mashable, a site noted for up-to-date Geek content, is already advising its readers on how to transfer their domains to other sites. The tutorial is simple and easy to understand, even for those who are more technically challenged. 


Meanwhile, according to CNET, Go Daddy has been updating their own Twitter account with messages to their customers that sound more hokey than correct; the basic line being given from Go Daddy is that they are aware of what is happening and are working on resolving the problem. 



That doesn’t mean that it won’t be a challenge for Go Daddy to resolve the problems that people are having with their DNS servers. After claiming how easy it was to do a hack on millions of DNS servers, the Anonymous member claimed on Twitter that when he did this kind of attack,


"when i do some DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack i like to let it down by many days , the attack for unlimited time, it can last one hour or one month."


The frightening thing about the cyber attack is how easy the attacker thinks it was and his apparent lack of remorse for the cyber attack. This has been evident through his responses to the pleas of the ordinary people affected by the Go Daddy hack. Taunts and insults to him have been ignored by him or have received replies like,


hahaha I'm not a lammer dude, did u see my attack to facebook last time? they can't ever know where it came from.”


Hackers vs. Hackers

A work of total fiction

Deep down in the dark city, the trolls, hackers and gamers were getting bored hacking the innocent corporations and preying upon pretty girls in races and on dating sites. They needed more of a challenge. 

The contests set up by security firms were a joke; everyone knew that the games were rigged by individuals trying to keep the systems unsafe. The Internet had been up and running since Al Gore invented it decades before and no one had taken the time to lock the door and secure the net because it just didn’t seem like a priority. 

Some minor hackers got together and started hacking a copycat hacking group called Semi-Anonymous. They always accepted responsibility for their hacks so they weren’t as anonymous as some of the other hackers out there. 

Anyway, the hackers hacking Semi-Anonymous had to come up with a name for their little group. It did not go the way as someone had planned. The so-called leader of the group wanted a tribute to an ominous movie in their title, but the group members were opposed. 


The hackers hacking Semi-Anonymous when it came to hacking, but they knew that Semi-Anonymous wouldn’t bother them too much since Semi-Anonymous had bigger and better things to deal with like the law, which was not on their side. 


The hackers chose Rainmaker as their name. Not in tribute to any movie or figure, but to the Native Americans who had inspired them. The name did not mean, in fact, that the hacking group was seeking retribution for the Native Americans. Rather, the name meant that the hacking group was taking their new group seriously and did not want to offend the spirits. (One of the hackers was old and had played Mist in his youth, so this may have also contributed to the name.)


Rainmaker didn’t start out hacking Semi-Anonymous, but decided to hack each other first to practice. This did not go over well with the girlfriends and wives of the Rainmaker members, but no one ever said that hackers or computer programmers had a special way with women. 


When Rainmaker did decide to start hacking Semi-Anonymous, it took them weeks to get organized. Who would hack who and why? Would they “claim responsibility for the hacks to make themselves sound more important or would they remain quiet about their activities? 


As smart as the members of Rainmaker were, they could not get their act together. To be continued.....


This looky-loo culture has got to stop

I’m about sick of everyone in my business; how about you?

Facebook and Twitter have pretty much ruined our society, wouldn’t you say? Oh, I know you think I’m one of those people who like to blame things for peoples’ mistakes—when guns don’t kill people! Gaping holes do!—but never have being public, and hanging on the every word or deed of every person you know, been this easy in the history of humankind.

Well, maybe when there were just two people, or whatever, it was easy.

In the “old days,” meaning just ten or twenty years ago, you had neighborhood gossips who went around to talk to every individual on his or her daily rounds, simply spreading the news. You know who I mean! When I was a kid, ours was named Robin, and she had a nasally voice to accompany her constant nosiness. I wish I’d had the precocious cleverness to tell her wild stories, like my pet alligator escaped or we were harboring a fugitive or something, just to see what would happen.Today you don’t even need the gossips. People post everything about themselves online. I know; I’m a bit addicted to posting pictures of my kid and what we did that day, too. It was really just to share with grandma and other relatives who seemed to not get enough of it, but now I really regret what I’ve done, what I’ve become. I am sick of this self-absorbed, Tweet! StatusReport! culture we’ve developed and what it yields in our daily lives.

I have relatives that simply cannot mind their own business. I don’t know how they think we survive every day, since they randomly call to complain about my family and our lifestyle rather than daily. It must be super nice to not work and just sit around playing on Facebook and calling people to ruin their day as these people enjoy doing, but dude, I am too busy for this crap! I’m actually living, raising a kid, working, trying to build a career, save for a home, homeschool, volunteer, and plenty of other things! I don’t have time for your ignorance and your misplaced so-called “concern” that only shows up when it’s convenient and especially your thinly-veiled threats regarding such concerns.

Do us all a favor and get a life, will you? It’ll be good for you AND the rest of the world at large. This making a life up while you sit around judging everybody else is getting really old.

Use IE7? Get ready to be taxed.

The Internet hates you, btw.


So, Internet Explorer 7 is not exactly the most beloved browser. I personally always picture the IE users to be the old people who just use whatever came built in with their big, box-bought PC they picked up at Costco and have no idea what's going on. I personally remove it instantly when I get a rig built and put in real browsers. Apparently I'm not alone in this hatred because it seems that at least one online retailer shares the same feeling.

The Australian electronics retailer Kogan has now imposed a six percent tax to anyone shopping their site through IE7. Savages, I tell you! Six percent tax for using such an evil browser is hardly punishment! Kogan's official reasoning? It's pretty simple; it's "the amount of time required to make web pages appear correctly in IE7," which you can't argue there. If it makes things harder for a company just to display properly for a SINGLE browser, then it's the browser that should change.

Kogan is also kind enough to let people know they can avoid the tax by using a real browser like FireFox, Chrome, Opera and others.  C'mon Grandpa, there are better browsers out there that are less overwhelming and actually work properly, just let your grandchildren introduce you to them and enjoy a slightly less clouded senility tech haze while you try running Google searches in chat windows and sign everything off like writing a letter. Oh the funny things that show up on the web when old people search, but that's something saved for later.    

Social Monopoly: How Facebook Created a Market Without Competitors

We're all addicted to one network and it doesn't look like that's going to change


Even for those of us who have been on Facebook since it was a collection of exclusive school networks, it's hard to imagine the site without its news feed, status updates and signature "Like" button. But the mechanics that make the social network so disgustingly addictive were surprisingly late additions to its host of features. 

I remember when pretty much all you could do on Facebook was post on people's walls and look at their pictures. Somehow, I get the feeling that Zuckerberg and company had many of Facebook's current features in mind from the beginning, only rolling them out gradually to secure momentum and increase signups. Now that Facebook has become a central component of maintaining an online identity, it seems the need for the company to improve upon its product has dwindled. There's not really much more Facebook can do to fuel our manic social consumption. But will they ever fall from their towering monopoly on social media? 

So far, the only new companies to even approach something like Facebook have been content-based, not personality-based. Recent upstarts Tumblr and Pinterest found their niche by letting people create and organize content. But Facebook requires no such creative input on the part of its users. It isn't blogging. You don't have to think yourself interesting or creative to use it. You just have to extend your personality into the internet. Anyone can do that.

Google has made a few valiant efforts to secure some of the personality-sharing market, but they simply couldn't keep up. You'd need a lot of user signups right off the bat to compete with the world's default network. Facebook succeeds because everyone you know is constantly contributing to it. Without that rate of content, no other network could conceivably come close to being the better Facebook. 

It's interesting to note that the site whose initial appeal lay in its exclusivity now succeeds on the basis of its universality. But Facebook tapped into the right cultural needs at the right time. If Google couldn't pull the plug on our Facebook addiction, it seems highly unlikely that any other company could come along and compete. The only question that remains regarding Facebook's future is whether we'll all get sick of social consumption itself. Given that we're being steered into an increasingly voyeuristic and exhibitionist culture, it doesn't seem likely that we'll be giving up our "Share" buttons or our "Like" thumbs anytime soon.

The Elusive Turing Test: What Happens When Two AI's Chat?

Artificial Intelligence may pass the Turing Test some day, but not yet.

The Turing Test, named for mathematician Alan Turing, is a kind of conceptual benchmark for artificial intelligence; one in which an artificial intelligence must be indistinguishable from a human in a conversation. That doesn’t mean that the voice simply sounds human, but that it is able to answer questions, make observations, and deliver instructions as a human would. It’s a deceptively tall order for engineers and robotics gurus to fill, but it looks that we may be on the eve of doing just that.

A recent feature in Wired.com looks at the prevalence of AI’s today, and at some of the recent developments within information technology, to determine whether the Turing Test can be tackled anytime soon. Artificial intelligence, defined as a program that can make a determination based on information and then execute it, is used ubiquitously today in ways that one probably wouldn’t even consider. GPS navigational systems, web browser search algorithms, stock trading algorithms and automated customer service programs are all examples of AI. In addition, two interrelated advances in information systems technology have pushed us closer to crossing the Turing threshold. One is the availability of enormous stores of raw data; from streamed video and audio to text conversations and technical documents. The second is the improved processing power necessary to analyze and utilize these staggering amounts of data.

However, simply warehousing vast amounts of analyzed data doesn’t begin to  recreate the human mind, because connections between data follows a structure of logic. If people are anything, it’s impulsive, erratic, emotional, and anything but logical. Instead, those concerned with creating a human-like conversation AI focus on probability, rather than logical connections; on, “calculating probabilities and producing complex behavior from the interaction of many small, simple processes.”

The result, at least at the moment, is something of a shady mockery of human communication. Attempting to find the kinds of tangential ideas, social and cultural variables, and relational cues that are an inherent part of human conversation is one of the biggest difficulties in recreating human speech. An open ended question or creative request can “break” a conversation AI (or chatbot). These shortcomings are readily apparent when you attempt to place two chatboxes together in a conversation (see the video below).

AI vs. AI. Two chatbots talking to each other

To gauge how far we truly are from a true AI, consider what simply passing the Turing Test actually accomplishes…a vague approximation of human conversation. It’s still mimickry, albeit an intricate and subtle one, of what people are able to accomplish. Even assuming that some AI is able to recreate human conversation, the distance between that and an approximation of something like human ingenuity, or creativity, is still a very long way off.


More Employers Requiring Access to Private Social Media Info

Facebook protests practice of demanding passwords on job applications

Back in the days of yore when the most advanced technology in your house lay hidden in your microwave and your television, you didn't have to worry about divulging intimate details of your personal life during a job interview. You showed up, talked to your prospective employer, and as long as you weren't a total creep, you were trusted to keep your private life private. But the recent phenomenon of publicizing the private sphere via online channels has led some employers to push the limit of the information they ask for on their job applications. Many employers now ask that you link them to your various online profiles while applying for a job--and some are even demanding that applicants share their Facebook passwords.

You wouldn't give your Facebook, Twitter or Gmail password to your friend, let alone someone you haven't even met yet. So why are some employers being so pushy? Police departments in some states seem to want to be extra careful about whom they're hiring. If you want to become a Virginia state trooper, you've got to disclose pretty much everything you've ever put on the internet. And a North Carolina police department is even asking applicants for a clerical position to share all their passwords to all their social media profiles even before they're considered for an interview.

Egregious? Pretty much, yeah. And Facebook isn't taking too kindly to the trend, either. They've recently updated their Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to prohibit soliciting someone else's password. After all, you wouldn't expect an interviewer to demand entry to your house or ask you to bring your personal photo albums to your entry screening just to make sure you've never done anything unsavory in your life. To scrutinize online profiles is excessive, invasive and just downright creepy. 

Thankfully, the ACLU is taking action against those in positions of authority who attempt to gain access to other people's Facebook profiles. They've already sued a public school who demanded that a student give over her Facebook and email account passwords after rumors circulated that she had talked about sex online. And Senator Richard Blumenthal (D - Conn) has been typing up a bill to make it a crime to demand passwords from people under your administrative power. Hopefully we soon see a national law that prevents this sort of scrutiny. I'd like the ability to keep my private life private even if I've published evidence of it online.

Be weary

It's that time:

It's time to start double taking, re-reading, taking anything you see coming across the web with a grain of salt. Well, that is to say more so than you normally would on any given day anyway. Can't trust the webbernets too too much...That is unless I say it, then it's pure gold and should be cherished above all else. What?! I have never played anyone in my life! Okay not true there was this one time at band cam-errrrr...


Developers and web hosts love taking this holiday to play with it's users. It's become something of a right of passage on the net that any would be respecting site play some form prank on April first. Pages and pages on Wiki even go out of their way to document the mass volume of pranks net super weight Google has done. Anyone else remember that supposed escaped AI that was slowly taking over the internet and showing up in places nobody suspected a Google presence? It liked pandas...that made me happy. I also like panda. More so that they have that new Paw plate so I’m not lugging around an extra tray of – huh? You mean the animal panda? Pfft! They just sit around and eat all day, I find respect for this AI dropping now.


To get to the point that I somehow had initially, then quickly lost in a cloud of inner monologue gone rogue is that people should actually take time to enjoy the efforts of the internet community on April Fools day. It's a good laugh, a way to brighten the mood and more over a great time for companies to actually slip in real ground breaking announcements, and watch everyone treat it like it was a joke. PSSST, PAX-East is on the 6th , a wonderful chance to put something out, have it treated as a joke, then unvail it at the convention and pull off what could be the greatest troll the world has ever seen! I'm looking at you EA.... I know there is something cooking.

Hacker Sabu an FBI Informer or Operative?

A Gizmodo writer opines the fact that the FBI "hacked" the hackers.

Sabu, the notorious hacker, Anonymous affiliate, and captain of the #AntiSec hacktivist movement, has been a divisive character within the hacker community. Hector Monsegur, aka Sabu, was taken into police custody and charged with crimes that could net him over 100 years in jail; including invasion of privacy, fraud, grand larceny…even treason. To reduce his sentence, Monsegur entered a plea bargain, and turned informant. The #AntiSec hashtag became a middle finger to government agencies across the world, and now, it seems, the maestro was a police informant. However, one major question remains; was he simply informing on his fellow hackers, or was he actively enticing them to commit cybercrimes?

A recent feature in Gizmodo by Sam Biddle entitled “Was the AntiSec Hacking Spree an FBI Front?” attempts to answer just that. Biddle, clearly pandering to the hacker-friendly contingent of his readership, even goes so far as to insinuate that what Sabu was actually doing was entrapment. He calls Monsegur a “snitch” and a “traitor”, but also acknowledges that he was the, “mastermind behind the most popular, prolific internet destruction streak of modern memory.” Of course, the internet itself is in "modern memory", but semantic arguments aside, the #AntiSec campaign was an incredible feat for organizing criminal behavior. Monsegur capitalized on a common ideology among hackers; open access, and managed to motivate hundreds, if not thousands, to ever increasing risks by attacking government agencies, even defense contractors and cybersecurity firms.

Seizing on allegations made by the same online personalities that Sabu may have incriminated, Biddle lays out a timeline in which Monsegur is taken into police custody and, as part of a plea bargain, promises not to commit any more crimes. Weeks after this plea bargain, Sabu returns to the Twittersphere and announces the startup of #AntiSec. “The biggest, unified operation amongst hackers in history. All factions welcome. We are one.” From that moment on there were a series of cyberattacks that Sabu either participated in or supported in online forums. In this way it’s clear that Sabu did, indeed, betray his compatriots.

Here Biddle takes a turn for the dramatic, accusing Sabu of, “ferrying his followers into FBI surveillance, setting up thousands of Anonymous devotees for attacks he—and the government—knew about before their victims.” Really, the hackers are the “victims”? The reality is that, like terrorist organizations, the mob, and gangs; hackers fell prey to a time-honored tradition by the FBI. They caught one middle-to-high ranking criminal, turned him against his peers, and lured the rest into the light. Hackers should know this better than anyone; hacking a system only lasts as long as the system can’t protect itself or the rules change. For Biddle to decry the tactic as “trickery” and refer to the hackers now under surveillance as “victims” is to attempt to change the game halfway through.

Tommy Edison, the Blind Film Critic

Tommy Edison and the videos he makes on his website, Blind Film Critic, have been making the rounds on the internet lately. Edison, who has been blind since birth, has been giving sighted people a new perspective on what it’s like not only to watch movies as a blind person, but also how blind people perform seemingly mundane tasks like cooking dinner or using an ATM for the first time. His website gives sighted people more information on lives that may seem completely foreign to them. Edison’s comments are different than most film critics’, but he also pays attention to aspects of movies that can get overshadowed by flashy screenshots and attractive actors.

He says that he pays attention to the writing and acting, instead. In addition to rating the film generally, he also rates films specifically for blind people, for whom different elements would make a movie worth renting. In reviewing Scream 4, for example, Edison wrote that sighted people would enjoy the movie, but that blind people should stay home. In his reviews, Edison includes clips of the music and the sound in the movie, illustrating how blind people can relate and should react to the movie. He definitely pays more attention to music soundtracks than other film critics, saying how the music affects the attendee’s mood.

Edison has reviewed a huge number of movies, including War Horse and Bridesmaids. After hosting radio shows for many years, Edison seems very comfortable being recorded—he doesn’t write reviews, but rather speaks them—laughing affably often. Roger Ebert put Edison’s first two film reviews on his own Chicago Sun-Times blog. Other Edison fans include Tosh.O and Howard Stern, who invited Edison to his show in 2004. Edison also posts a number of recorded blogs under the heading of “The Tommy Edison Experience.”

One of the most powerful—“When Sighted People Forget”—in which he talks about the simple things that sighted people do that can really throw a blind person off. In one segment, he mentions that moving one object out of place can really throw a blind person off—literally. His pieces are really relatable because he never condemns any sighted person for being insensitve; rather, he laughs off his misfortunes and encourages sighted people to be a little more aware of their blind friends. What do you think of Edison’s film reviewing and day-in-the-life videos? Do they give you more insight into how blind people live?