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back to article Tipsters exposed after South Africa's national police force hacked

The identities of more than 15,000 South Africans who reported crimes or provided tip-offs to the police have been exposed following an attack on a SAPS (South African Police Service) website. The names and personal details of whistleblowers and crime victims were lifted from www.saps.gov.za and uploaded to a bullet-proof …

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Facepalm

"Tipsters exposed after South Africa's national police force hacked"

There are so many things wrong with that I don't know where to begin.

"face palm" doesn't even come close.

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Re: "Tipsters exposed after South Africa's national police force hacked"

I'll bite because I'm sitting here very curious to what is wrong with it. I guess you can peg me as a typical 'merican, because I just don't know.

To save another post, I must say that in the past I have never completely found Anon's methods too worrying, not completely, however this...dear lord. The people who have made complaints are obviously not the most well off, or they just would of went straight to a politician or government head to have their issues resolved silently. So the means these poor people are seriously scared, more than ever, or now if never. I went straight from seeing some reasoning behind Anon's actions, to completely despising them.

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Flame

Re: "Tipsters exposed after South Africa's national police force hacked"

Agreed 100%.

As far as I'm concerned, if any of the people named in these files comes to any harm, the script kiddies (I refuse to grace these fuckwits with the term "hacker") responsible should be charged as accessories after the fact. So if any of the named people are killed, then these little bastards should go down as accessories to murder, in addition to any penalties imposed for computer misuse.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Tipsters exposed after South Africa's national police force hacked"

You'll have to catch them first.

Oh but wait.... in true Script Kiddie fashion they're bragging all over Twitter and even doing interviews. The more frequently they brag, and the more channels they do it through the higher the likelihood of making an identity revealing mistake.

True hackers don't brag to the whole world. Maybe within their own circles, but they generally have the good sense to stay under the radar as much as possible.

It's one of the issues I have with defacements, part of the challenge of hacking is getting in undetected and staying undetected. Defacers don't even try, they run an automated script to find a vulnerability, upload a defacement page and then try to tell the world how awesome they are. About as much skill needed as there is to pay someone else to break into a house for you.

I'm sure there is some real talent hidden within Anon but most of them seem to be talentless script kiddies. Going by LulzSec I'd guess the talent is sat quietly in the background, whilst the Skiddies are cannon-fodder being sacrificed to help further the talent's own agendas (building hoards of BTC for example)

Anon because I quite like the irony

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Anonymous Coward

Eh?

What organization hosts its website anywhere near the same network as their real intranet? That's just one of the reasons why you pay someone else to host your website & email server. I believe it's called minimizing the attack surface.

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Facepalm

Dumb & Dumber meet Dumbest Yet.

What a bunch of clowns, exposing ordinary citizens because they are miffed at the coppers? Truly a sad bunch of embarrassing twits.

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Anonymous Coward

Arizona laws requiring immigrants to carry documents at all times

Is that true. As, as far as I can understand, that would mean, that everybody in Arizona has to carry documents at all the times, to prove that they are, or are not immigrants. Well, I suppose, if I lived in the USA, there where things I wold understand better than now.

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Boffin

Re: Arizona laws requiring immigrants to carry documents at all times

Is that true.

Short answer: Yes...kinda.

Longer answer: Yes, the xenophobic (to put it mildly) Governess of AZ, pandering to an even more xenophobic, racist base, decided to score a few points w/ said base by creating a "Papers, please" law that stated that anyone looking too "immigrant" could be stopped by authorities at any time for no reason other than looking too immigrant (read: Hispanic), and be made to show proof of citizenship or the right to be in the country legally. This law was largely (but not completely) shot down by the US Supreme Court; the only remaining part of the law still to be decided was whether the law would tend to single out a specific group (read again: Hispanics) for undue scrutiny vis-a-vis other immigrant groups (read: Caucasian immigrants, like Irish, Germans, Hungarians, Brits, Aussies, etc.). So, people can still be pulled over and make to produce their papers, please, but the chilling effect of the SCOTUS scrutiny makes it unlikely that the law will be widely implemented; because if it is, and someone can come up with a reasonable set of statistics that Hispanics are being singled out more often the other immigrant groups (and there are groups gearing up to do just that), SCOTUS will kill the last remnant of the law still left standing. And that xenophobic, racist base I mentioned earlier would rather have the law there even if unenforceable (sorta like the old "blue laws"), than have it summarily ruled unconstitutional.

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Headmaster

Re: Arizona laws requiring immigrants to carry documents at all times

What kind of little roach downvotes this?

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Facepalm

Re: Arizona laws requiring immigrants to carry documents at all times

The same one that downvoted you, I wot...

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Re: Arizona laws requiring immigrants to carry documents at all times

Someone Else: "...the only remaining part of the law still to be decided was whether the law would tend to single out a specific group..."

First, I agree with your sentiment. Second, thanks for the description. I read about this, but never heard more about it, I thought it was COMPLETELY shot down, I thought wrong.

With fear, I'm not sure about your point of view that it will be used for highly racist profiling. For instance, if you are correct about the "specific group" part, then couldn't they put ANY race or ethnicity into a single group? In other words, couldn't they just pick and choose the single group at free will, at any time, leading to an ever rotating free pass for unconstitutional methods?

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Re: Arizona laws requiring immigrants to carry documents at all times

If you are resident alien you are required to have your green card you at all times regardless of what state you are in. But, but they can not stop just to check your immigration status.

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Re: Arizona laws requiring immigrants to carry documents at all times

If you live in the US, you pretty much do have to carry "papers" all the time that would prove who you are. I expect it's mostly the same in the UK, only you don't think of it that way. Over here we mostly call them 'drivers licenses' although a few states have opted to issue them to illegals and thus undermined their validity. You need them to drive a car, buy alcohol, cigarettes and usually to cash a check. If you apply for a job, you not only need one of these*, you also need your Social Security Card*.

These things are known by those who denigrate others as "cockroaches," but they don't like to let facts get in the way of their two minute hates.

*There are alternates for each of these, but the noted option is usually the easiest to supply.

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Re: Arizona laws requiring immigrants to carry documents at all times

If you live in the US, you pretty much do have to carry "papers" all the time that would prove who you are. I expect it's mostly the same in the UK, only you don't think of it that way. Over here we mostly call them 'drivers licenses'

I live in the UK, and don't carry my driving license with me... Indeed, I haven't seen it for 10 years or so.. Not that it would be much good anyway, it's only a piece of pink paper (no photograph)

Unless I'm going shopping, I usually leave the house with no phone/credit cards/id etc.

But then, I don't live in the "land of the free" :-)

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Bah!

Oh look, a new breed of hacker is born.

White hat.

Black Hat.

Asshat.

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Anonymous Coward

Script kiddie

Well, kiddie at least, as anyone old enough to remember the necklace killings carried out by the ANC on suspected informers in the 1980s would have had the decency to anonymise the data.

[Those were the days - first time I saw someone murdered 'live' on TV, if you'll forgive the phrasing, was in a Beeb report on SA where an editor failed to cut the video quite soon enough as someone was being hacked to death by a mob. Now of course, the Beeb quite happily shows pictures of people being shot to death - as long as the video comes from US helicopter gunships, is in that eerie green monochrome and there is no sound of the person screaming as they're blown apart.]

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FAIL

".za" is now being transferred to Zimbabwe.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Unhappy

re:- ".za" is now being transferred to Zimbabwe.

Got to agree on that point, not long now until you can use the past tense.

What really surprises me is that the SAPS system was actually hackable; means they had power and it hadn't crashed!

In a few weeks time when Zoom-Zoom signs the secrecy bill into law you won't even hear about this sort of thing or exposure of corruption/incompetence/criminality or any of the usual SA government activities. Sigh!

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Not even remotely responsible

In most civilised countries releasing the names of informants/police correspondents is - for the most part - just an invasion of privacy. While there would be some repercussions, they would be few.

South Africa is an entirely different matter. The place is completely ruled by criminals and swift "justice" can be expected for many on this list.

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That bullet-proof?

I would think that if the lives of police informants are put in jeopardy, no site is bullet-proof - the principals for that site would be headed straight to jail in almost any country in the world. Possibly after regime change, even.

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Re: That bullet-proof?

There are some countries in the world that really don't give a fuck what has happened in another jurisdiction, and nothing short of an international incident is likely to change their mind. You need the Govt of that country to handle the hosting company (as you're hardly going to invade) so it is quite possible that a host can be completely bullet-proof for something like this.

Of course, should the site operator reside within or travel to SA then the SA authorities might be able to do something, otherwise those details are likely to stay up as long as the bills are paid (a quick search suggests you can get 'bulletproof' hosting from $1/month).

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Not so fast you lot....

There may be a different group behind all this...

Perhaps someone paid (or otherwise motivated) some ass-hat script kiddies to collect and release,

Maybe someone 'left the door open' knowing its only be a matter of time.

Maybe someone edited the list before, during or after the theft.

There are just soooo many possibilities.

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Facepalm

Re: Not so fast you lot....

The tactics and complete disregard for possible mushrooms (that would be innocent bystanders to most of us) are completely in keeping with previous behavior attributed to the collective.

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Devil

And strangely enough....

This article appeared in ElReg but never made the columns in a majority of the printed and electronic news media here in the Banana Republic..

Ignorance is bliss.......

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Anonymous Coward

Diplomatic Immunitaaaaaaaaaay....

It's been revoked...

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Anonymous Coward

There is no reason to fuss over this. The finest government backed courts of the land have stated that the police exist only to enforce the law, and that they have no duty to protect individuals or the public before a crime has been committed since no law has been broken at that time.

Therefore its obvious that citizens doing their legally required duty to inform on family and friends as well as actual dangerous criminals with motives and means towards potential retribution, shouldn't expect any kind of police protection. The fact that the police are courteous enough to ineffectually hide away their names is exactly the kind of genteel manners we should expect from these professionals, but it should only be regarded as an optional politeness and not any kind of mandatory expectation.

Revealing the names is therefore perfectly within the legal expectations of society however impolite it may seem. And of course any retribution from the criminal class would in fact be a crime which the police would have to investigate.

The criminals who broke into the police database should be punished only for their illicit access, and not for revealing the names. Breaking into police databases is a horrific crime especially if it exposes information that could be used to justify the absurd position that police departments sometimes take "liberties" with "abusive power" which of course they never do because that is against the law and police exist only to enforce the law. Anyone who reveals such information is a criminal because they undermine society and respect for the law.

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