back to article 2,500 copycat hack attempts on abortion provider site – report

Five weeks after a man was cuffed by police for swiping around 10,000 records of women who registered with British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), the site remains under sustained hack attempts, the BBC reports. The man in question – 27-year-old James Jeffery from Wednesbury, West Midlands – was jailed for two years and eight …

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Alert

Bah.

"My moral imperative to expose people with whose choices I disagree trumps everything else".

That kind of extremism is right next to bigotry in my book.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bah.

So when the guy claimed he was part of Anonymous, he really way - that's the sort of thing they do all the time at the moment...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bah ... Oh the joys of post-modernism.

"I am super-respectful of your right to believe whatever you like, as long as you don't push those beliefs at me.

What do you mean, I'm pushing my beliefs on you?! Are you stupid, I'm the tolerant one here!"

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Silver badge

Re: Bah.

Well if you consider abortion to be murder, as they do, then 53,000 murders per year is in their view far worse than Anders Brevik or pretty much any terrorist organisation out there.

That's how they view it. I'm not saying I agree with them.

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Gold badge

Re: Bah.

They can "view" it any way they like. They simply can't ACT on it. As a society, we have decided that this is an acceptable practice, that a woman has control of her body and the right to decide whether or not she brings a pregnancy to term.

If they want to see this changed, there are forums available for them to utilise. From protesting to legislation. I would even (personally) accept DDoSes and certain forms of protest-style/DDoS-style robocalling. Childish, but nonviolent and non-invasive.

The line gets crossed when you either commit violence or you participate in the theft of personally identifiable information. Actual violence is unacceptable as a method of obtaining social change excepting under the most dire of circumstance. (I.E. your own government is committing genocide, sovereign nation is invading you, etc.)

Theft of personally identifiable information is right there in the same category as violence. That may seem nonsensical at first blush, but the sad reality is that the information has only to make it into the hands of extremists and then people start dying. Alternately, you end up with extremists perpetrating bigotry via stalking, employment discrimination, exercise of police/state authority discrimination etc.

There is a reason that our society has placed a critical value on personally identifiable information. Under many circumstances its release can get people killed. Dead. No longer alive. Not in some theoretical statistics but in the real world. Living, breathing, contributing members of society. Killed for anything from race to religious belief, sexual practices to “allowing multiculturalism” (shudder, really? As a Canadian who values our multiculturalism, and revels in the fact that we’re one of the few nations to successfully pull it off, the Oslo thing still haunts me.)

So they can view it any way they want. I will defend their right to protest abortion policy to the death, even as I campaign against their beliefs to the bitter end.

But they aren’t allowed to hurt anyone. And they aren’t allowed to steal information that can/will be given to other people to engage in same hurt.

Free speech has its limits.

And my personal religious tolerance ends at the point where that religion demands intolerance of - or harm to - others.

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"which did not mean that all or indeed any of the miscreants were necessarily located Stateside."

Well quite. I mean, who would expect those wonderful Yanks to treat vulnerable women as easy victims to be viciously attacked? I expect there's several microseconds go by when the rednecks aren't thinking anything like that.

After all this is the country that's home to such civilised ideas as forcing women whose foetus has died to carry the corpse around inside them until it emerges 'naturally'.

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Anonymous Coward

Please...

Don't treat all Americans as if they are the same, it makes you appear like one of the ignorant rednecks you criticise.

Also, if you're going to make comments like the last para, cite sources.

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Silver badge

Re: Please...

Having lots of attacks originate from America does not mean all Americans agree with the attacks. But there have been many moves in the US to attack women's rights (mostly originating from extreme Republicans). For instance repealing equal pay laws:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/18/scott-walker-equal-pay-repeal_n_1434886.html

"Also, if you're going to make comments like the last para, cite sources."

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/03/12/442637/georgia-rep-compares-women-to-animals/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Please...

Ok... One state has repealed an equal pay law, that's bad, but it's not all of the states, by a very long shot.

One representative made bigoted comments, so what? I'd be bothered if people weren't generally shocked by them, which they appear to have been.

You are still representing all of one of the largest nations on earth as the same.

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Meh

Re: Please...

"One state has repealed an equal pay law, that's bad"

I still don't see how forcing someone to pay a woman more when he doesn't want to is helping employment of women (you need to follow up with "positive discrimination" laws and it goes lawyersque downhill from there) , but twenty bizarre ideas are orbiting in the heads of progressives even before they have eaten their equitable breakfast cereal.

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Silver badge

Re: Please...

I am saying that in the current climate, extreme anti-women sentiments are likely to emerge from the US. There seems to be a lot of encouragement for such views in some Republican circles.

That is in no way stating that everyone in the US has such sentiments. Many of my friends in the US are appalled and horrified by them.

Apart from anything else that would imply that all women in the US have such sentiments! (Although as far as I can make out from this side of the pond a startling though still small number do.)

Combating such views is not likely to be helped by denying that they exist and that a large number of people hold them.

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Silver badge

Re: Please...

I am saying that in the current climate, extreme anti-women sentiments are likely to emerge from the US. There seems to be a lot of encouragement for such views in some Republican circles.

That is in no way stating that everyone in the US has such sentiments. Many of my friends in the US are appalled and horrified by them.

Then you really need to improve your writing skills

"I mean, who would expect those wonderful Yanks to treat vulnerable women as easy victims..."

"Those wonderful Yanks", without qualifier, implies generalization.

"... to be viciously attacked? I expect there's several microseconds go by when the rednecks aren't thinking anything like that."

"The rednecks" -- do you intend this as a description of people in the US or a specific subset? Your phrasing is vague here.

"After all this is the country that's home to such civilised ideas as forcing women whose foetus has died to carry the corpse around inside them until it emerges 'naturally'."

This is not even vague. Here you're directly ascribing the idea not to an individual in the country, but to the country itself.

Combating such views is not likely to be helped by denying that they exist and that a large number of people hold them.

Nobody here is denying that those views exist. As for a large number of people holding those views, how large? In relation to what? Are these people concentrated in specific areas? Do they share common educational heritage?

Combating such views is directly hindered by vague, general statements about the sources and causes of them.

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Bronze badge

Re: Please...'forcing someone to pay a woman more when he doesn't want to'

Where to start. If people could pay what they wanted to, then all sorts of groups would be paid less. You might work in an office where an employer pays smokers less, or teetotallers twice as much as those who like the occasional beer, or Christians more than non-believers, or non-white half as much as whites (as really happened). Equality does not come from capitalism. capitalism, as much as I like it, is an economic system, not a system of ethics. It has to be tempered by outside forces, such as justice, equal rights, and prudence.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Please...

Really? You support paying women 25% less than a man for doing the same job? I'd love to see what you would do if you had a woman boss who was paying you 25% less than the woman in the next cubicle...

The equal pay for equal work laws are "positive discrimination". The laws don't say a woman must be paid more, just that she must be paid the same amount as you, all circumstances being comparable.

Paris, because I'd like to get paid what she's getting...

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Unhappy

The Ten Scariest Places to Have Ladyparts in America

This article may be of interest to some of the feminists on here, who are doing a great job of defending democracy :-

http://jezebel.com/5887627/the-ten-scariest-places-in-america-to-have-ladyparts

With states governments from coast to coast working tirelessly to make sure no woman has sex for pleasure without suffering the consequences of blessed, precious motherhood, it may be tempting to believe that if you have a uterus, the entire country has become hostile territory. Well, we've got good news and bad news: The good news is that wherever you are, things could probably be much worse for your ladyparts. Unless, that is, you live in one of the ten scariest places to have ladyparts. The bad news is that these ten places exist.....

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Meh

Higher or lower than background?

Are these just port scans or the usual password guessing that hits any machine with an open SSH port? http://www.lightbluetouchpaper.org/2012/01/06/brute-force-password-guessing-attempts-on-ssh/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Higher or lower than background?

Yeah, without some idea what they're counting as a "hack attempt" and what their usual level of background noise is, I'm deeply underwhelmed. It's not just ssh, there are still Code Red bots out there looking for ../../../winnt/system32/cmd.exe.

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Stop

difficult to evaluate...

Hands up anyone who's ever worked for an ISP or manages a server with a public IP? "1,000's of hack attempts" on any public site doesn't actually seem worthy of a news report, let alone raising an eyebrow.

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Anonymous Coward

2,500 is a meaning-less number

What time scale? What sort of hack?

My boxes see thousands of attempted hacks every day. If you call trying to connect to a ssh server that isn't there a hack.

My websites are under constant attack (and only half of that is Google's index bot!)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 2,500 is a meaning-less number

Second. I call bullshit on the story.

Fail2Ban block 5-10 IP addresses a day on my box, I suspect that if I opened port 80 I would see the same.

I doubt anyone is trying to hack BPAS specifically, it's just loose bots looking for a way into anything.

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Of those 2,500 US IP addresses....

How many will be extradited to the UK under that treaty to face charges of hacking here?

Anyone?

Oh well...

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Re: Of those 2,500 US IP addresses....

You beat me to it JetSetJim,

Working by US rules, the UK is in it's right to ask for the extradition of these "hackers".

Would be an interesting precedent and probably would be an excuse to rip up the awful one-sided, ill-though-out treaty.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Of those 2,500 US IP addresses....

Yep I'd like to see our completely fair, equal and balanced extradition treaty exercised in this case too. I'd like to see how the US responds to an extradition request on ≈2500 US citizens.

Oh, an IP address may not be an accurate identifier for a specific person you say... really?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Of those 2,500 US IP addresses....

Well so tell your government to find out who did it and request their extradition. It's not like anyone here would give a fuck, really. In fact, Obama would probably have the extradition proceedings expedited, because he could make quite a bit of political capital out of it in this, an election year.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Of those 2,500 US IP addresses....

I'm pretty sure neither country would want to deal with processing 2,500 hundred people at once but I think a bigger underlying issue is does the UK government want the US to extradite criminals? In most cases the punishment in the US will be more severe and it would be considerably cheaper for the UK to make a request for the US to investigate and prosecute on their own. I'd be willing to bet that the US would more often than not be willing to arrest for the sake of international relations if the UK applied any real pressure.

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Silver badge

Re: Of those 2,500 US IP addresses....

How many will be extradited to the UK under that treaty to face charges of hacking here?

I don't believe the current active extradition treaty covers numbers of any form. I believe it's still limited to people. Still, recent moves in the US regarding phone number portability do give hope that, someday, we may be able to transfer such rogue IP addresses and hold them accountable for their role in facilitating these heinous crimes.

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Easy punishment!

Send the anti-abortionist to China, India, Africa or any other over populated area. or beter yeat each anti-abortion MUST PAID for each un wanted birth, and must pay for the un wanted child until he is 18 (or 21).

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Anonymous Coward

I walk past the Marie Stopes clinic in London every morning, and there are always a couple of people both men and women with pictures, stroking their rosary beads and crucifixes. Easy to be smug and sanctimonious when you're preaching from your book of fairy stories and your lovely safe position, how about you put yourself in the position of frightened, vulnerable woman who simply wants someone to talk about her choices on a situation she may not have even had a choice in? Not all abortions are simply people forgetting to be careful and simply going out and getting laid without thinking straight. What about domestic abuse, stranger-rape and lack of education of available family planning options?

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FAIL

According to the extreme anti-choice zealots, NOTHING justifies allowing a woman to get an abortion... not stranger rape, not domestic abuse, not even death of the fetus... the woman MUST carry it to term no matter what. Once the fetus is born and becomes a child, the anti-choice zealots wash their hands of any responsibility for raising the child.

Some of them are so extreme as to simply refuse to pay child support for their own child(ren). One US Congressman owes over $100,000 in unpaid child support to his first wife, the mother of his (3-5) children, and as long as he holds onto his seat in Congress, he apparently can't even have his wages attached to pay the support... He simply says he can't afford to pay the support when he's only getting paid $175,000 a year.... Now that the story has become public knowledge in his state, I sincerely hope his time in Congress will end with the November election...

Fail, because the jerk is a total failure in life.

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Anonymous Coward

Making it easy for authorities

Evidetly these hackers are trying to get three hots and a cot for the next five years.

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Do you ever notice that those lunatic religious sorts who hurl abuse at people in the streets get "bless" and a hail mary pass on their bigotry but people asking for fair and equitable and reasonable treatment from society are accused of "PUSHING IT INTO FACES" like feminism and lgbt rights, neither of which is pushy at all yet always heralded as so while religious nutters who want to inflict pain on people get away with it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: religious nutters

Religious nuttery is a protected lifestyle choice here in the States.

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Anonymous Coward

I hope they prosecute every single one

Maybe a little jail time will teach the people the consequences of violating law when it's convenient.

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Why so many US hackers?

Simple. Campaign workers for Santorum are out of a job, and rather than do nothing...after all, an idle mind leads to the devil's workshop.

I can tell you unequivocally their minds are idle.

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