(2008-01-03) Random thoughts on the Aftonbladet attack

Yesterday, a user known as Force9 started this thread on the ultra-libertarian forum Flashback (In Swedish):

He claims to have hacked Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet's mail system. Web site defacements are a so common, its hardly worth mentioning anymore, but this attack was not one of those. The first part of post is filled with contempt for the common man and the degenerating society. He speaks in terms of us, implying that he is not working alone. Instead he calls his crew the Adult Pissed-Off Hackers (Vuxna Förbannade Hackare) which is a reference to another Swedish cracking team called Unga Arga Hackare (Young Angry Hackers). He claimed to have hacked Aftonblandet two years ago in order to modify the ad banner system. They were detected and locked out. This time, the mail system was on the menu. His post (in Swedish) is much more detailed, but I dont have the time to translate it for now. He also made the cracked password hashes public, which proved that a vast majority of the employees at Aftonbladet have choosen some very bad passwords. You know like the same as their username, "lovesexy" and (drumroll) "anakin".

This is nothing new. Previously mentioned Arga Unga Hackare attacked anti-piratbyrån (a Swedish anti-piracy organisation) a few years back. In the late 90s Swedish hackers defaced every damn site they could get their hands on. Telia (Swedish Telco), Livets Ord (Swedish sect) and Nasa were among the victims.

What drives people to do this? We all know virus- and wormwriters do it for the money. Most likely this is NOT the case with the Aftonbladet hack. Were talking about hacktivism, which is just a witty way of merging the terms hacking and activism. Force9s posting is written in a very immature and condescending tone which oozes of contempt for Aftonbladet. And I admit hes really shooting fish in a barrel. In my opinion, Aftonbladet is the most successful outlet of cheap, pointless news in Sweden. When I read George Orwells 1984 and came upon the word prolefeed, Aftonbladet was the first thing that came to my mind.

Still I wonder where all the despair and anger over everyone and anything normal comes from? Force9 strikes me a bitter nerd, who wants to get back at society. A bit like the guy who wrote the Ganda virus, to get back at his school 1).

Thats all for now. Im write more later.

(By the way, I know that the art of breaking into system should be referred to as "Cracking", but most people persist in calling it "Hacking". So I've given up on getting this right)

Someone is doing a good job of collecting screen shots showing how the publicated password list has been abused. Many of the users use the same password on Facebook as they use on the Aftonbladet intranet. The results are off course predictable. Be warned, some off the pictures and texts are clearly not safe for work (tm)


1) The motivation behind the Ganda worm:

Tags: Förbannade Vuxna Hackare, aftonbladet hacked, auh, hacker, hacking, unga arga hackare
Posted: 2010-06-17 by Erik Zalitis
Changed: 2010-06-17 by Erik Zalitis

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