Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

1/14/2013
02:29 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Anonymous Hacks MIT In Aaron Swartz Tribute

Hacktivist group leaves defaced Web page calling for reform of computer crime and intellectual property laws.

In the wake of the suicide of noted developer Aaron Swartz, who faced hacking charges many believed were excessive, hacking group Anonymous defaced a Massachusetts Institute of Technology website to denounce the charges against him and urge computer crime law reform and more support for open access initiatives.

The hacktivist group quoted Swartz's call for open access in the message left on MIT's website: "There is no justice in following unjust laws. It's time to come into the light and, in the grand tradition of civil disobedience, declare our opposition to this private theft of public culture."

A spokeswoman for MIT confirmed that the university had been subjected to a denial of service attack on Sunday, but didn't immediately answer questions about how two of its servers -- rledev.mit.edu and cogen.mit.edu -- had been compromised.

[ Should DDoS attacks be protected under the First Amendment? Anonymous thinks so. Read more at Anonymous Says DDoS Attacks Like Free Speech. ]

Anonymous characterized its actions as a "little tribute" to Swartz.

Swartz, 26, was found dead on Friday in his Brooklyn, N.Y. apartment, having apparently hung himself. The co-creator of the RSS 1.0 specification, he also helped establish Reddit after his startup Infogami merged with the popular online discussion site. He was widely respected in the Internet community as an advocate for open access to information.

At the time of this death, Swartz faced the prospect of up to 35 years in jail. He was being tried following his 2011 arrest for "computer intrusion, fraud, and data theft" downloading and sharing academic journals from MIT and JSTOR, a non-profit academic archive.

JSTOR reportedly asked the U.S. government not to prosecute Swartz. MIT reportedly failed to do so. On Sunday, MIT president L. Rafael Reif sent an email offering condolences and asking for an internal investigation of Swartz's actions and of MIT's role and decisions following Swartz's activities on the university's network.

Swartz's online supporters have characterized the charges brought against Swartz as "complete garbage."

Swartz's family has responded similarly. "Aaron’s death is not simply a personal tragedy," his family said in a statement. "It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach. Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s office and at MIT contributed to his death."

The Justice Department has reportedly withdrawn the charges against Swartz, a standard practice following the death of a defendant. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Recent breaches have tarnished digital certificates, the Web security technology. The new, all-digital Digital Certificates issue of Dark Reading gives five reasons to keep it going. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
7 Tips for Infosec Pros Considering A Lateral Career Move
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/21/2020
For Mismanaged SOCs, The Price Is Not Right
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment:   It's a PEN test of our cloud security.
Current Issue
IT 2020: A Look Ahead
Are you ready for the critical changes that will occur in 2020? We've compiled editor insights from the best of our network (Dark Reading, Data Center Knowledge, InformationWeek, ITPro Today and Network Computing) to deliver to you a look at the trends, technologies, and threats that are emerging in the coming year. Download it today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Organizations have invested in a sweeping array of security technologies to address challenges associated with the growing number of cybersecurity attacks. However, the complexity involved in managing these technologies is emerging as a major problem. Read this report to find out what your peers biggest security challenges are and the technologies they are using to address them.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-5124
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-25
An exploitable out-of-bounds read vulnerability exists in AMD ATIDXX64.DLL driver, version 26.20.13001.50005. A specially crafted pixel shader can cause a denial of service. An attacker can provide a specially crafted shader file to trigger this vulnerability. This vulnerability can be triggered fro...
CVE-2019-5146
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-25
An exploitable out-of-bounds read vulnerability exists in AMD ATIDXX64.DLL driver, version 26.20.13025.10004. A specially crafted pixel shader can cause a denial of service. An attacker can provide a specially crafted shader file to trigger this vulnerability. This vulnerability can be triggered fro...
CVE-2019-5147
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-25
An exploitable out-of-bounds read vulnerability exists in AMD ATIDXX64.DLL driver, version 26.20.13003.1007. A specially crafted pixel shader can cause a denial of service. An attacker can provide a specially crafted shader file to trigger this vulnerability. This vulnerability can be triggered from...
CVE-2019-5183
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-25
An exploitable type confusion vulnerability exists in AMD ATIDXX64.DLL driver, versions 26.20.13031.10003, 26.20.13031.15006 and 26.20.13031.18002. A specially crafted pixel shader can cause a type confusion issue, leading to potential code execution. An attacker can provide a specially crafted shad...
CVE-2020-5226
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-24
Cross-site scripting in SimpleSAMLphp before version 1.18.4. The www/erroreport.php script allows error reports to be submitted and sent to the system administrator. Starting with SimpleSAMLphp 1.18.0, a new SimpleSAML\Utils\EMail class was introduced to handle sending emails, implemented as a wrapp...