A 12-year-old Canadian boy has pleaded guilty to hacking government and police websites

A 12-year-old Canadian boy has pleaded guilty to hacking government and police websites during the 2012 student uprising in Quebec under affiliation with the Anonymous brand of hacktivists.

anon-170   According to the Toronto Sun, the fifth grader, who lives in the Montreal suburb of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, appeared in youth court on Thursday, accompanied by his father.

The boy pleaded guilty to three charges related to hacking websites that included those of Montreal police, the Quebec Institute of Public Health, the Chilean government and some non-public sites.

The attacks took some of the sites offline for up to two days, at what police estimated as a cost of $60,000 in damages. A more detailed report will be handed over next month when the boy is sentenced, according to the Toronto Sun.

The student uprising of spring 2012, which lasted into that fall, was sparked by outrage at a proposed tuition hike and spiraled into a have v. have-nots version of Occupy Wall Street, marked by the use of Molotov cocktails on one occasion, police use of rubber bullets and tear gas, and serious injuries to both police and protesters.

Be that as it may, the boy’s lawyer told the court that the 12-year-old’s actions in hacking the sites weren’t politically motivated:

He saw it as a challenge, he was only 12 years old. … There was no political purpose.

The paper reports that the young hacker has been involved with computers since he was 9.

The court was told that the targeted sites suffered three types of attack:

  • Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack: An attack wherein the aggressors bombard a target with requests designed to consume so much of its resources that it becomes unusable.
  • Defacement of pages. See Pastebin for a message posted on the Montreal police’s website in French and English.
  • Exploiting security holes in order to access database servers.

Others have reportedly been arrested for the attacks, but it was the boy who opened the door to enable them, the court was told.

The young hacker reportedly managed to get at personal information belonging to the sites’ users and administrators.

According to the Toronto Sun, he traded the pirated information to Anonymous in exchange for video games.

He also taught others how to hack, police experts told the court, though he reportedly warned them against going overboard, lest they get caught.

The Toronto Sun says that the court heard testimony from somebody who said that the tween put it this way:

It's easy to hack but do not go there too much, they will track you down.

I guess he went there too much, because they certainly did track him down.

Is he the youngest hacker ever to be caught?

Mafiaboy – the Canadian hacker who DOS’ed Yahoo, eBay and E*TRADE wound up in jail at the tender age of 15.

Canada: they grow more than maple trees up there!

Michael Calce – Mafiaboy’s real name – would go on to write in his book – “Mafiaboy: A Portrait of the Hacker as a Young Man” – that the attacks he unleashed in 2000 were “illegal, reckless and, in many ways, simply stupid.”

He wrote:

At the time, I didn't realize the consequences of what I was doing.

Calce wound up pleading guilty to 56 counts stemming from hacking and attacking the sites and was sentenced to eight months in “open custody” at a rehabilitation home for youths, with another year spent on probation.

Parents, are your kids extremely talented with computers?

What are you doing to ensure they’re chatting rather than DDoSing? Programming for good instead of draining databases like some kind of cyber Dracula?

Please feel free to share with us how, exactly, you’re managing to rein in technical talent so you and your child stay out of court.

Bradley Manning faces 90 years in prison


Bradley Manning ‘sorry’ for hurting US at Wikileaks trial

Pte First Class Bradley Manning has apologized for hurting the US by leaking a trove of classified US government documents to Wikileaks. At a sentencing hearing in Fort Meade, Maryland, Pte Manning, 25, said he had mistakenly believed he could “change the world for the better”. And he said that in retrospect, he should have worked “inside the system”. Pte Manning, 25, faces up to 90 years in prison following his conviction in July on espionage and other charges. In an unsworn statement at the hearing in the sentencing phase of his court martial, Pte Manning said: “I’m sorry that my actions hurt people. I’m sorry that it hurt the United States.
‘Learning experience’

“I’m apologising for the unexpected results of my actions. The last three years have been a learning experience for me.”

Pte Manning carried several stapled sheets of paper as he stood abruptly from his seat and walked in a jerky manner – like a puppet, with strings attached – across the room to a chair where he could look directly at the judge.

It was the first time he had spoken since a pre-trial hearing. His voice was earnest, and he tried to convey a sense of remorse to the judge. He described himself as a junior soldier and asked, “How on Earth could I… think I could have changed the world?”

It was a prepared script, and he had a hard time delivering it. His hands were shaking so much that he could not hold the paper still. He swallowed hard, trying to maintain his composure.

The judge did not ask questions. As he spoke, her eyes flickered over to a screen on her desk.

Last month, military Judge Col Denise Lind convicted Pte Manning of 20 charges including espionage, theft and violating computer regulations.

He had already admitted passing hundreds of thousands of battlefield reports and diplomatic cables to Wikileaks while stationed in Iraq in 2010, saying in a pre-trial hearing he had leaked the secret files in order to spark a public debate about US foreign policy and the military.

In his brief statement on Wednesday, Pte Manning said he had come to realise he should have worked “more aggressively inside the system” to make the changes he sought.

“When I made these decisions I believed I was going to help people, not hurt people,” he said.

“Unfortunately, I can’t go back and change things.”

Pte Manning also said he understood he must “pay a price” for his actions, but hoped one day to go to university and have a meaningful relationship with his sister and other family members.

The sentencing phase of the trial has focused on how much damage the Wikileaks revelations caused. The prosecution has called witnesses who described the impact on US diplomatic relations and on the military’s dealings with Afghan civilians, among other effects.
Romantic ‘rough patch’

Pte Manning has said he never intended to harm US national security.
Manning dressed as a woman in undated photo provided by the US Army Pte Manning emailed his military therapist this photo with a letter describing his issues with gender identity, entitled My Problem

Meanwhile, on Wednesday the organisation that received and published the leaked documents, Wikileaks, said the statement was “extorted from him under the overbearing weight of the United States military justice system”.

“Mr Manning’s forced decision to apologise to the US government in the hope of shaving a decade or more off his sentence must be regarded with compassion and understanding,” the anti-secrecy group said.

Ahead of Pte Manning’s statement, Navy Capt David Moulton, a psychiatrist, testified that at the time of the leak Pte Manning felt abandoned by friends and family and had hit a rough patch with his boyfriend amid an isolating deployment.

The psychiatrist interviewed Pte Manning for 21 hours after his arrest.
‘Gender disturbance’


Pte Manning had also decided he wanted to become a woman, Capt Moulton said

In psychiatric terms, Pte Manning has a “gender identity disorder”, or “disturbance of one’s gender”, Capt Moulton said.

This is different from being gay, he added.

“Gender is very much at the core of our identity,” he said, adding that when a person is uncertain about his or her gender, the whole world seems “off-keel”.

Pte Manning referred to these issues in his statement, saying they were “ongoing” and “a considerable difficulty in my life”, but adding that they were no excuse for his actions.

Amid this turmoil, Pte Manning also became disillusioned about the US War in Iraq and was trying to correct “injustices”, Capt Moulton said.

“Manning was under the impression that the leaked information was going to change how the world saw the war in Iraq,” the psychiatrist testified.

He added that Pte Manning believed the leaks would ultimately end all war, and the young soldier was unclear about the extent of the punishment he would face for his actions.
US rights group RootsAction co-founder Norman Solomon (C) delivers boxes of over 100,000 signatures urging the Nobel Peace Prize to be awarded to Bradley Manning to the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo 12 August 2013 Manning supporters delivered 100,000 signatures in Norway for him to get the Nobel Peace Prize

“He underestimated how much trouble he would get in, for sure,” Capt Moulton said.

“He was really relying on his morals and his ideology and not thinking beyond that.”

Separately, an Army psychotherapist who treated Pte Manning while he was in Iraq said he had begun the process to remove him from the military.

“He was having issues at work,” Capt Michael Worsley said, adding Pte Manning’s job as an intelligence analyst had made him even more isolated and anxious.

During treatment, the soldier sent Capt Worsley an email describing his desire to become a woman and his hopes military life would “get rid of it”, attaching a photo of himself with a blond wig and makeup.

Pte Manning’s sister and aunt are also on the list of potential defence witnesses.

Internet Censorship


Internet content is also subject to technical censorship methods, including:

Internet Protocol (IP) address blocking: Access to a certain IP address is denied. If the target Web site is hosted in a shared hosting server, all websites on the same server will be blocked. This affects IP-based protocols such as HTTP, FTP and POP. A typical circumvention method is to find proxies that have access to the target websites, but proxies may be jammed or blocked, and some Web sites, such as Wikipedia (when editing), also block proxies. Some large websites such as Google have allocated additional IP addresses to circumvent the block, but later the block was extended to cover the new addresses.
Domain name system (DNS) filtering and redirection: Blocked domain names are not resolved, or an incorrect IP address is returned via DNS hijacking or other means. This affects all IP-based protocols such as HTTP, FTP and POP. A typical circumvention method is to find an Alternative DNS root that resolves domain names correctly, but domain name servers are subject to blockage as well, especially IP address blocking. Another workaround is to bypass DNS if the IP address is obtainable from other sources and is not itself blocked. Examples are modifying the Hosts file or typing the IP address instead of the domain name as part of a URL given to a Web browser.
Uniform Resource Locator filtering: URL strings are scanned for target keywords regardless of the domain name specified in the URL. This affects the HTTP protocol. Typical circumvention methods are to use escaped characters in the URL, or to use encrypted protocols such as VPN and TLS/SSL.
Packet filtering: Terminate TCP packet transmissions when a certain number of controversial keywords are detected. This affects all TCP-based protocols such as HTTP, FTP and POP, but Search engine results pages are more likely to be censored. Typical circumvention methods are to use encrypted connections – such as VPN and TLS/SSL – to escape the HTML content, or by reducing the TCP/IP stack’s MTU/MSS to reduce the amount of text contained in a given packet.
Connection reset: If a previous TCP connection is blocked by the filter, future connection attempts from both sides can also be blocked for some variable amount of time. Depending on the location of the block, other users or websites may also be blocked, if the communication is routed through the blocking location. A circumvention method is to ignore the reset packet sent by the firewall.
Network disconnection: A technically simpler method of Internet censorship is to completely cut off all routers, either by software or by hardware (turning off machines, pulling out cables). This appears to have been the case on 27/28 January 2011 during the 2011 Egyptian protests, in what has been widely described as an “unprecedented” internet block. About 3500 Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routes to Egyptian networks were shut down from about 22:10 to 22:35 UTC 27 January.[32] This full block was implemented without cutting off major intercontinental fibre-optic links, with Renesys stating on 27 January, “Critical European-Asian fiber-optic routes through Egypt appear to be unaffected for now.” Full blocks also occurred in Myanmar/Burma in 2007, Libya in 2011, and Syria during the Syrian civil war.
Portal censorship and search result removal: Major portals, including search engines, may exclude web sites that they would ordinarily include. This renders a site invisible to people who do not know where to find it. When a major portal does this, it has a similar effect as censorship. Sometimes this exclusion is done to satisfy a legal or other requirement, other times it is purely at the discretion of the portal. For example Google.de and Google.fr remove Neo-Nazi and other listings in compliance with German and French law.
Computer network attacks: Denial-of-service attacks and attacks that deface opposition websites can produce the same result as other blocking techniques, preventing or limiting access to certain websites or other online services, although only for a limited period of time. This technique might be used during the lead up to an election or some other sensitive period. It is more frequently used by non-state actors seeking to disrupt services.

Romanian hacker aims to protect world’s ATMs

Valentin Boanta (bottom, R) watches TV in his cell at the Vaslui penitentiary, 340 km northeast of Bucharest May 15, 2013.

VASLUI, Romania  – Valentin Boanta, sitting in his jail cell, proudly explains the device he has invented which, he says, could make the world’s ATMs impregnable even to tech-savvy criminals like himself.

Boanta, 33, is six months into a five-year sentence for supplying gadgets an organized crime gang used to conceal ATM skimmers, which can copy data from an unsuspecting ATM user’s card so a clone can be created.

He said he had started to make the devices for the sheer excitement of it and denies ever planning to use them himself, saying he only sold them to others.

Boanta says his arrest in 2009 and trial brought contrition, as he realized the impact of his actions and felt an urge to make amends. It also brought the former industrial design student a flash of technical inspiration.

“When I got caught I became happy. This liberation opened the way to working for the good side,” Boanta said.

“Crime was like a drug for me. After I was caught, I was happy I escaped from this adrenaline addiction,” he said. “So that the other part, in which I started to develop security solutions, started to emerge.”

It was during his trial that he got down to work. The stage for Boanta’s product pitch these days is the book-lined cell in the northeastern Romanian town of Vaslui he shares with five pickpockets and burglars.

“All ATMs have ageing designs so they are prone to vulnerability, they are a very weak side of the banking industry,” he said.

“Every ATM can be penetrated through a skimming crime. My security solution, SRS, makes an ATM unbreachable.”

Boanta says his “Secure Revolving System-SRS” can be installed in any ATM. It allows the bank card to be inserted longer side first and then rotates it to prevent skimmers being able to lock on to the magnetic data strip. The system returns the card to its user with a reverse rotation.

Outwardly it is a trapezoidal metallic box around 6 inches long with the card slot in the middle.

The SRS, funded and developed by a technology firm near Bucharest called MB Telecom, is patented and won an award this year at the International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva. The inventor and company are not yet saying how much it will cost, but insist it will be available soon.

“He fully deserves such recognition,” said SRS co-inventor and MB Telecom president Mircea Tudor. “He’s taking part in improving Romania’s image abroad and he’ll surely join our team when released.”

Romania has a deep well of technical expertise stemming from the time of communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who backed computer research and technical education.

Digital piracy flourished after his violent overthrow in 1989, as people who could not afford proprietary products bought cheap copies instead.

Romanian hackers stole about $1 billion from U.S. accounts in 2012, according to the U.S. embassy in Bucharest. A report by Verizon said Romania was the world’s second-biggest hacking centre after China. The FBI has even set up an office in Romania and helped to train specialist police agents.

Shetland hacker to be sentenced for LulzSec role


Jake Davis leaves Westminster Magistrates Court at an earlier appearance.

A GROUP of young British computer hackers who considered themselves to be “latter-day pirates” masterminded sophisticated cyber attacks on major global institutions including the CIA, Sony, the FBI and Nintendo from their bedrooms, a court heard yesterday.

Jake Davis, from Lerwick in Shetland, along with Ryan ­Ackroyd, Mustafa al-Bassam and Ryan Cleary were “hactivists” with the LulzSec collective that stole sensitive personal data including e-mail, online passwords and credit-card details belonging to millions of people.

News International, the NHS and the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) were also victims of the group, who lived as far apart as London and the Shetland Islands and did not meet in person.

Stolen information was posted unencrypted on their website and file-sharing sites such as ­Pirate Bay in 2011, London’s Southwark Crown Court heard.

They also carried out distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, using linked networks of up to one million computers to overpower and crash websites.

Their activity collectively cost their targets millions of dollars and potentially left millions of people at risk from criminals, the court heard.

Prosecutor Sandip Patel said the group, a spin-off from ­Anonymous, had been motivated by a desire for publicity rather than financial gain.

But he said they were “not naive to the risk that confidential data might be misused”.

“It’s clear from the evidence that they intended to achieve extensive national and international notoriety and publicity,” he said. “They saw themselves as latter-day pirates.”

He added: “This is not about young immature men messing about. They are at the cutting edge of a contemporary and emerging species of criminal ­offender known as a cyber ­criminal.”

Davis, 20, from Lerwick, Shetland, used the alias Topiary and was LulzSec’s main publicist.

He and al-Bassam had previously pleaded guilty to hacking and launching cyber attacks on a range of organisations, including the CIA and Soca.

Cleary, 21, of Wickford Essex, known as ViraL, pleaded guilty to the same two charges plus four separate charges including hacking into US air force agency computers at the Pentagon.

Davis, who faces possible extradition to the US, has completely turned his life around since being arrested, his barrister Simon Mayo QC said.

The Canterbury-born, Shetland-raised hacker was an isolated depressed teenager who fell under the spell of a “misguided ideology”, he said.

But since his arrest, he had found work in London as a scriptwriter, also writing for the Observer newspaper about his time with Anonymous and ­taking part in a documentary.

LulzSec existed only for a few months in the first half of 2011, the court heard. But it built up a huge international profile, with 355,000 Twitter followers.

It probed websites looking for security weaknesses to exploit.

Attacks such as those on Sony and Nintendo harvested massive amounts of private data.

Sony lost details relating to 26.4 million customers, the court heard.

LulzSec also carried out a F*** FBI Friday attack on the US law enforcement agency and Wipeout Wednesday, which took down the CIA.gov website.

The Arizona State Police were also targeted because of the state’s perceived racist policy towards immigrants, the court heard.

News International was targeted too, with visitors to the Sun website redirected to a spoof story about Rupert Murdoch taking his own life.

Some attacks, were less serious, the court heard.

A sexual health clinic in Newham, east London, was simply warned about security flaws because the group “liked” the National Health Service.

Hackers take control of North Korea


Hackers posted a picture of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un portrayed as a pig on the country’s official flickr account today. The account and the official Uriminzokkiri Twitter account were apparently hacked today as tensions in the Korean Peninsula continued to rise. The North’s Uriminzokkiri Twitter and Flickr accounts stopped sending out content typical of that posted by the regime in Pyongyang, such as photos of North’s leader Kim Jong Un meeting with military officials.

Instead, a picture posted today showed Kim’s face with a pig-like snout and a drawing of Mickey Mouse on his chest. Underneath, text read: ‘Threatening world peace with ICBMs and Nuclear weapons/Wasting money while his people starve to death.’ The mocked-up Wanted poster included a $1million ‘bounty’ placed on Kim and accusations of ‘human rights violations’.

Another posting says ‘We are Anonymous’ in white letters against a black background. Anonymous is a name of a hacker activist group. A statement purporting to come from the attackers and widely circulated online said that they had compromised 15,000 user records hosted on Uriminzokkiri.com and other websites. The images have since been taken down but the Twitter account stills appears to be hacked.

Tweets on the North’s Twitter account said ‘Hacked’ followed by a link to North Korea-related websites. One tweet said ‘Tango Down’ followed by a link to the North’s Flickr page. North Korea opened its Twitter account in 2010. It has more than 13,000 followers. The North uses the social media to praise its system and leaders and also to repeat commentaries sent out by North’s official Korean Central News Agency.

Anonymous have previously been accused of a number of planned cyber-attacks government websites across the world. One of their biggest coups was to secretly record a conference call between U.S. and British cyber investigators tasked with bringing the group to justice. Kim Jong Un has been ratcheting up tensions on the Korean Peninsula in recent days.

North Korea warned today that ‘the moment of explosion is near’ as it declared that troops have  been cleared to attack the U.S. using ‘smaller, lighter and diversified’ nuclear weapons. The rogue state has moved a missile with a range of 3,000km (1,800m) to its east coast – within range of Japan – and claimed it would be ‘merciless’ against its enemies. Kim Jong Un’s dramatic deployment came after the U.S. announced it was sending ballistic missile defences to Guam – the tiny Pacific Island on a list of possible targets for attack including Hawaii.

How Do Celebrities Get Hacked?

Celebrities. They’re just like us! They’re susceptible to the same mobile threats as normal people are, like phishing and malware. Plus, famous people are likely at more risk for targeted hacking attacks. The personal info on their devices—contacts, pictures, emails—is not just sensitive; it can be very valuable fodder for the tabloids.Here are the top ways we speculate famous people get their phones and sensitive contacts and photos compromised.

They click on links from “friends”
Celebrities: they have friends, too! Celebs can be targeted in “spear fishing.” Scammers can trigger an email or Facebook post appearing to come from a trusted friend or relative, rather than a run-of-the-mill, shady Nigerian prince, prompting a celeb to unwittingly download malware or give up private, sensitive information. Phishing attacks can be even more effective on mobile than on desktop PC because you likely can’t see the majority of the link due to the small form factor of your mobile device (in fact, research has shown that users are three times more likely to click on a suspicious link from their phone as opposed to their PC).

They use the same password everywhere or none at all.
We speculate the News of the World voicemail hacking scandal was made possible because many people choose very simplistic voicemail codes (1111) or never even take the time to change the factory default voicemail PIN number on their devices. This makes it very easy for hackers to listen to voicemail messages that are stored on cell phone carrier’s servers.

In addition to setting a different voicemail passcode, make sure to have different passwords for different online accounts and also set a passcode to access the device itself. Sure, the extra second seems like a hassle for every time a celeb wants to check for email from her agent. But think about all the apps like email and photo gallery that you can access right from the phone’s dashboard. Without a passcode on a celeb’s phone, a paparazzo-cum-pickpocket could swoop in on an unsuspecting celeb and get easy access to all the good stuff.

They use the free WiFi at the coffee shop
Whenever you see famous people in the tabloids, they always have some coffee beverage in one hand and their phone and keys in the other. It stands to reason that celebrities, just like us, relish saving on network data charges and tapping into the free, public WiFi at the coffee shop. They should be sure to only “window shop”: look but don’t log in to websites on public WiFi. These WiFi signals often send data unecrypted, in the clear. So if you’re logging into Amazon or your bank on public WiFi, it’s a little bit like sending your passwords through the post in a clear envelope. It doesn’t take the smartest hacker to grab this sensitive data off the air.

They use phones with known software vulnerabilities.
You’re a busy celeb. You have a reality show to tape, a children’s book to write, a restaurant to open, and Oscar™ to polish. You don’t have time to download the latest system updates for your phone, right? Wrong! Make sure your phone has all the latest firmware updates, because the updates often fix known security bugs. In fact, back in 2005 when Lookout was known as Flexilis, the three co-founders made news by standing outside the Oscars, where they were able to scan as many as one hundred phones whose sensitive data could be stolen by exploiting known network carrier vulnerabilities.

It can be a little disappointing to learn that famous people are not so different from us normal folk. On the bright side, you don’t have to be famous to get first-class smartphone security when you follow a few simple precautions.

Putin orders setting up of anti-hacker defence


Russian President Vladimir Putin has personally instructed the Federal Security Service (FSB) to promptly set up a unified system to detect and counter computer-hacking attacks on Russia’s IT resources.

“In the near future, we need to set up a unified system for detecting, preventing
and defending against computer attacks on Russia’s information (technology) resources,” Putin said at a meeting of the FSB.

He added that the task should be completed as quickly as possible.

Last month, Putin issued a presidential order calling for such a system.

The move came a week after Kaspersky Lab, a Russian computer security company, announced it had detected highly sophisticated malware, dubbed “Red October”, which targeted “diplomatic, governmental and scientific research institutions” in eastern Europe and former Soviet republics.

Kaspersky researchers said the majority of the affected computer systems were based in Russia and the virus had been created to “gather sensitive documents”, including geopolitical intelligence, access to classified computer networks and personal data.

Addressing the FSB meeting, Putin said the main targets of spying are Russia’s promising technologies and inventions, plans for development of the military forces and the defense industry, and crucial political and economic information.

“We need the most modern methods for organizing counter-espionage activity, including the protection of secret information,” Putin said.

“This likewise concerns the increasingly frequent attempts to break into national electronic databases.”

Putin also called for effective measures to counter attempts by radicals to use the internet for their purposes.

“When neutralizing any kind of extremist structures, we should act as resolutely as possible, and block attempts by radicals to use information technologies, internet resources and social networks for their propaganda,” Putin said.

He said that effective counter-measures demand special operations that must be carefully planned but also entirely legal.


Feds kick off Cyber Monday counterfeit crackdown

The Department of Homeland Security seizes 132 domain names allegedly linked to the sale of counterfeit clothes, jewelry, and electronics — and also goes after their PayPal accounts.

counterfeit_usd IPRC_Seized_2010_11_610x458
Banner that appears after the Department of Homeland Security seizes a site for alleged copyright infringement.
In honor of Cyber Monday, the feds cracked down on Web sites allegedly selling counterfeit goods. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it joined forces with international law enforcement authorities to nab 132 domain names that were supposedly hawking bogus sports jerseys, DVD sets, jewelry, and clothing.
“Our partnerships enable us to go after criminals who are duping unsuspecting shoppers all over the world,” Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton said in a statement. “This is not an American problem, it is a global one and it is a fight we must win.”
The takedown was carried out under two operations dubbed “Project Cyber Monday 3″ and “Project Transatlantic.” These types of domain sweeps during the holiday season have become something of a ritual for the government. Last year, the feds took down more than 130 sites during a similar operation and in 2010 they netted 70 domains.
This year’s seizures included foreign-based domains that ended in .eu, .be, .dk, .fr, .ro, and .uk. The operation was also coordinated with Department of Homeland Security offices in Maryland, New York, Colorado, Texas, New Jersey, and California. The targeted sites were allegedly selling luxury items that the feds bought in undercover purchases. Once the copyright holders confirmed the goods were counterfeit, federal judges issued seizure orders of the domain names.
Not only did the feds go after domain names but they also identified PayPal accounts that could have been associated with the Web sites. If more than $175,000 in proceeds was funneled through an account, it was targeted for seizure.
“PayPal and eBay Inc. pride ourselves in going above and beyond in the fight against the illegal online trafficking of counterfeit goods by partnering with law enforcement and rights owners globally,” vice president and deputy general counsel of Government Relations for eBay Tod Cohen said in a statement, “and we hope that this is fair warning to criminals that the Internet is not a safe place to try and sell fake goods.”
These Cyber Monday crackdowns are part of a bigger initiative by the government called “Operation In Our Sites.” In February, the feds boasted a major takedown of 307 Web sites that either allegedly live-streamed sports or sold fake NFL paraphernalia. According to the Department of Homeland Security, roughly 1,630 domain names have been seized since the umbrella operation launched in 2010.

Firefox pluggins for Hackers…


Here is the list of some super cool “Hacker” favorite Firefox pluggins.  Just download and install and let the magic begin:

  • 1. Firebug
    Firebug integrates with Firefox to put a wealth of development tools at your fingertips while you browse. You can edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page…
  • 2. GridFox
    Draws a grid on top of a website. This is useful for checking designs that are supposed to follow a grid-based layout.
  • 3. MeasureIt
    Draw a ruler across any webpage to check the width, height, or alignment of page elements in pixels. Its a really cool plugin that’ll come in handy when you are writing a CSS code.
  • 4. Selenium IDE
    Record, edit, play selenium tests. Its a really powerful tool to automate web app testing across many platforms. A must have!
  • 5. Tamper Data
    This is my favorite plugin. Very Powerful! You can mostly use it for security testing your web applications by modifying POST parameters. But it can be used to rip of many cool hacks!  For advanced users, its open source. Do check out its source. It’s really cool.
  •  6. User Agent Switcher
    This plugin adds a menu and a toolbar button to switch the user agent of the browser. A real cool one when you are a hacking a mobile web page!
  • 7. YSlow by Yahoo, Inc
    This is a must have for any hacker. This plugin analyzes web pages and why they’re slow based on Yahoo!’s rules for high performance web sites. And what’s more, it suggests you how to better them. How cool?
  • 8. ColorZilla
    This again comes handy when you are writing a css template. Just pick the color you like from any object from any page. It also has Advanced Eyedropper, Page Zoomer, and other colorful goodies.
  • 9. CookieExporter
    Exports all cookies to a standard cookies.txt file, that is in the same format as IE cookie export makes. It’s really helpful for some hacks. Try to use this somewhere.  (Hint : WGET)
  • 10. XSS Me
    Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) is a common flaw found in todays web applications. XSS flaws can cause serious damage to a web application. Detecting XSS vulnerabilities early in the development process will help protect a web application from unnecessary flaws. XSS-Me is the Exploit-Me tool used to test for reflected XSS vulnerabilities.
  • 11. Video DownloadHelper
    Using DownloadHelper, you can easily save videos from most of the popular video sites. This is extremely useful for pulling out site content from places like Youtube and Vimio. You can then save it into a bunch of formats or play and edit it however you like.
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