Nov 06Is November 5th the Day before the Presidential Election? Or Guy Fawkes Day? Depends If You’re British or American — And If You’re a Hacker Planning to Attack PayPal…
…Symantec, NBC, the Australian government and Lady Gaga. Of course, an American hacker could be voting and hacking – hopefully not hacking voting machines. In any case, Guy Fawkes Day has been celebrated or commemorated for approximately 400 years – almost as long as the presidential campaign.
As you may already be aware, Guy Fawkes or at least Guy Fawkes’ masks have become the symbol of the Anonymous hacktivist group. Why Guy Fawkes? Because in the film V for Vendetta, V, the “antihero” who fought the establishment, wore a Guy Fawkes’ mask. Why? Well, considering Guy Fawkes was the guy who got busted hiding a stash of explosives to blow up the King and Parliament and was executed as traitor, that’s a good question. But, you’d have to ask Anonymous for an answer.
This might all be fun and games, except hackers have already been hard at work causing trouble. Cynthia Harvey on datamation.com reported that NBC news was hacked “with a Guy Fawkes image, and the traditional (British) children’s rhyme: ‘Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot / I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.'”
PC Mag’s David Murphy wrote, “Additionally, the site’s attackers claimed to have stolen user names and passwords from NBC’s site, but NBC hasn’t officially verified these claims, nor suggested which of its users might be affected if the attackers’ claims are actually true.”
CNET’s Violet Blue said Anonymous, “claim(ed) to have dumped user and employee account information on accounts from PayPal, Symantec, Australian government Websites and much more.”
Blue added hackers also ‘hack(ed) and defac(ed) Australian government sites, ImageShack and PayPal … NBC.com and Lady Gaga’s fan site … Saturday Night Live’s website, Australian steel and mining company, Arcelor Mittal, homewares website GiftNow, the Greek City website, the Ghana Consulate website, and (have also claimed) to have leaked VMware ESX Server Kernel source code via Twitter….”
According to the datamation.com story, hackers also threatened an attack on Zynga and Facebook.