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back to article UK's Guardian prints 'Assad family' emails leaked by activists

Syrian activists have leaked a cache of files that purport to represent the private emails of Bashar al-Assad and his closest associates, sent during the bloody clampdown against opposition activists. Ongoing violence in Syria has claimed the lives of more than 8,000 people as the government seeks to crush an Arab Spring- …

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FAIL

So if I've got this right, an Anonymous hack led to the ending of a vital information leak to the opposition activists, by making Assad abandon the account that was being spied on? Way to go Anon, another feather in your cap.

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Anonymous Coward

It was Syrians themselves and as far as I know AnonOps hasn't claimed it. Im not quite sure the crackers in this case consider themselves anons, even if the Gruniad is publishing what they got from Assad and his boys. It may have even come from the Free Syrian Army but I'll bet it was just some regular people, some sysadmin or secretary passed on logon details he or she knew to people who had the connections to get it out.

Either way, good on whoever did it. This kind of thing gives a deep insight into regime strengths and weaknesses coming straight from the horse's mouth.

And Its worth its weight in gold to anyone who might want to destabilize, infiltrate, or eliminate high ranking members of the Syrian Ba'ath party. Had we had information like that on Noriega or

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Anonymous Coward

On Noriega

Or on Castro, neither conflict would have been as bloody or long. (Stupid touch screen)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: On Noriega

What?? Nortiega was ousted pronto when his usefulness became less than his pain-in-the-side-mess. What conflict was there? He trafficked drug to the US with the CIA knowing and turning a blind eye for years, until his time came. Then an invasion followed, not a long conflict.

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Anonymous Coward

Computer Misuse Act

The Computer Misuse Act became law in Aug 1990.

The Act identifies three specific offences:

1) Unauthorised access to computer material (that is, a program or data).

2) Unauthorised access to a computer system with intent to commit or facilitate the commission of a serious crime.

3)Unauthorised modification of computer material.

I think the Guardian just did an oopsie as far as #1 goes...

Unauthorised access to computer material.

(1)A person is guilty of an offence if

(a)he causes a computer to perform any function with intent to secure access to any program or data held in any computer, or to enable any such access to be secured] ;

(b)the access he intends to secure, or to enable to be secured, is unauthorised; and

(c)he knows at the time when he causes the computer to perform the function that that is the case.

(2)The intent a person has to have to commit an offence under this section need not be directed at

(a)any particular program or data;

(b)a program or data of any particular kind; or

(c)a program or data held in any particular computer.

(3)A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable

(a)on summary conviction in England and Wales, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both;

(b)on summary conviction in Scotland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both;

(c)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine or to both.]

So if someone gives you a username and password on an account you do not own or have permission to access and you use that info to access that account, then you are nicked mate.

Ref: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/18/introduction

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Silver badge

Re: Computer Misuse Act

I don't believe that Syria is (yet) part of the UK

The US seems to think it's laws apply everywhere but I don't think we are quite there yet.

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Boffin

Re: Computer Misuse Act

I'm sure the Guardian will claim that they did not use the login details themselves but merely published the content of the emails after they had been passed to them, therefore not being guilty of any computing crime. That does still leave them open to any Syrian trumped up charge for upsetting the Dicktator (sic) and his missus, but - AFAIK - seeing as Syria doesn't have an extradition treaty with the UK I'd say the Guardian juhnahleests are pretty safe. They just better not take any holidays anywhere near Syria.

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Silver badge
Holmes

What an amazing coincidence

Emails about the Bad Guy du Jour about to be Bombed Into Democracy are being leaked by an interventionist newsrag?

Well, well, well, well.

So I hope someone will leak the details on the Bahrain Royal Family, crushing dissent with Saudi Armor. On the other hand, they probably get good consulting in information security from various US/UK agencies.

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Anonymous Coward

I don't get it.

Why is Assad fair game, but Heather Mills isn't?

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Bronze badge

Re: I don't get it.

Isn't she fair game?

As the one who took Paul McCartney for all that she could get, I would've thought that she is very much fair game.

It also may have something to do with the fact that she isn't a brutal dictator who slaughtered thousands of people and while she made one old ( and much beloved ) old man unhappy, Assad has spent a long time inflicting misery on his people.

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Silver badge

Grauniad logic

So, in this country New International employees are being arrested and dragged away in scores because someone eavesdropped on important people's mobile phone conversations. The Grauniad strongly approves of that. But when the private correspondence is that of a foreign government which the Grauniad hates - it's open season.

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Bronze badge

Re: Grauniad logic

Proportionality?

Committing a low-ish level crime to expose and embarrass a government who has killed 8000 of their citizens seems reasonable.

Committing the same crime to find out...whatever the hell it is that Sienna Miller could possibly know... doesn't compare.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Grauniad logic

Putting the total lack of perspective for a moment, there is no suggestion the Guardian either hacked or requested that hacking itself.

(trying to draw a parallel between a murderous dictator and celebs/victims of crime is pretty out there though)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Grauniad logic

Tom Welsh - absolutely right the Graun's hypocrisy on this utterly stinks. Using illegally obtained material makes you every bit as beyond the pale as the hackers themselves.

However nasty the dictator. The end doesn't justify the means.

Hypocrisy because the Graun has been stoking the fires under NI. and to date has had to publish no less then FIVE abject apologies for printing LIES as fact on NI alone. NI doesn't have clean hands but neither does the crusading Graun.

CIF is the home of some of the most vicious racist anti semites you'd ever wish to see drowned. Nothing is ever done about that though.

Then again the Graun has losts and lots of form in the hypocrisy stakes.

Running a campaign against legal Tax evasion whist itself evading paying £100M in tax via the offshore 'Scott Trust'.

Polly Toynbee Graun communist er columnist decrying the little people flying everywhere on cheap airlines. Whilst it emerges one of several luxurious homes is a Tuscan Villa. So how does she get there ...Fly her own Broomstick?

Now it emerges Ken Livingstone has also been legally evading tax and again whilst roundly condemning everyone else for doing the same thing. Ken's little tax scheme is via a company called Silveta. He has personally saved upwards of a quarter of a million pounds in tax. Hypocrites everywhere.

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Anonymous Coward

Assad ordered Jobs bio - 'How to be a Syrian dictator'

Was Jobs the inspiration for the crackdown?

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