[ISN] Hackers stop Guardian campaign

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Mon Oct 25 05:59:59 EDT 2004


By Nick Farrell
25 October 2004

US CRACKERS have managed to do what governments, business people, and
individuals have tried for years - get a British newspaper to stop
printing things that they don't like.

The Grauniad miffed voters in Ohio by suggesting which way they should
use their power as a swing state to influence the course of the
presidential election.

The newspaper's website said letter writers were free to support
either the Republican incumbent, US President George W. Bush, or
Democratic challenger Senator John Kerry. But it noted a Guardian poll
showed overwhelming support for Kerry.

The Guardian had invited its readers to contact voters in Clark
County, Ohio, a swing state, about the importance of the November 2

Within the first day, more than 3,000 readers logged on to the
newspaper's Web site to obtain the name and address of an unaffiliated
voter taken from electoral rolls.

By the time the news got over to the Americans, the campaign was
interpreted as a bid by the evil left wing English press telling US
people to vote for Kerry.

Not only did they get thousands of angry phlegms and snottograms from
Americans who apparently read the august organ across the pond.

They also received the attentions of crackers who believed it was
their patriotic duty to silence a free press, who they thought was
talking ill of their candidate.

The site was hacked and shut down. However, with true British stiff
upper lip and in the traditions of sticking to your point of view no
matter what the cost, the Guardian has decided against ploughing ahead

The editors have decided that enough is enough and they are calling it
quits. So just remember if a paper says something you don't like,
don't bother with defamation courts. A simple denial of service attack
is all that is required to stop a media campaign.

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