Hackers With A Death Wish

It’s probably not a good idea to taunt the folks who tracked down Osama bin Laden and specialize in covert, extrajudicial killings.

CIA Web site hacked; group LulzSec takes credit

The hacker group LulzSec claimed credit Wednesday for taking down the CIA’s Web site for a couple of hours, the latest in a string of embarrassing Web site disruptions the group has pulled off — apparently more to poke fun and highlight vulnerabilities than to cause real damage.

At 5:48 p.m., LulzSec, which dubs itself “the world’s leaders in high-quality entertainment at your expense,” posted an alert on Twitter: “Tango down — cia.gov — for the lulz.”

The site was back up by 8 p.m.

See also:
Hacker Group Goes After CIA SiteLulzSec’s CIA hack just one of many high-profile hackings
LulzSec Speeds Up Cyber Attacks, Now Claims CIA Website Hack
Hackers say they hit CIA website
Hackers Claim CIA Website Breach
Hackers breach into CIA website
LulzSec claims responsibility for CIA.gov outage
Hackers claim hit on CIA website
Group claims to have hacked CIA website
Senate website, CIA.gov reportedly hacked. LulzSec claims responsibility. [Updated]
Lulzsec Claims Responsibility For Hacking CIA And Senate Websites
CIA website hacked; group claims ‘credit’
Central Intelligence Agency

Apparently, LulzSec stages these attacks for giggles, laughs, and bragging rights, which is all fun and games until they bite off more than they can chew by hitting an entity with unlimited resources and more hacking talent than they have, and then suddenly it won’t be so funny anymore. Maybe LulzSec already has and they just don’t know it yet.

/as Jim Croce warned, you don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind . . .

Spam, Spam, Not So Wonderful Spam

Oh sure, he’s an “ambulance chaser”. But hey, in this case, the ambulance deserves to be chased.

Man quits job, makes living suing e-mail spammers

Daniel Balsam hates spam. Most everybody does, of course. But he has acted on his hate as few have, going far beyond simply hitting the delete button. He sues them.

Eight years ago, Balsam was working as a marketer when he received one too many e-mail pitches to enlarge his breasts.

Enraged, he launched a Web site called Danhatesspam.com, quit a career in marketing to go to law school and is making a decent living suing companies who flood his e-mail inboxes with offers of cheap drugs, free sex and unbelievable vacations.

“I feel like I’m doing a little bit of good cleaning up the Internet,” Balsam said.

. . .

Still, Balsam settles enough lawsuits and collects enough from judgments to make a living. He has racked up well in excess of $1 million in court judgments and lawsuit settlements with companies accused of sending illegal spam.

His courtroom foes contend that Balsam is one of many sole practitioners unfairly exploiting anti-spam sentiments and laws. They accuse him of filing lawsuits against out-of-state companies that would rather pay a small settlement than expend the resources to fight the legal claims.

. . .

Balsam certainly isn’t the average Internet consumer.

When San Mateo Superior Court Judge Marie Weiner in March ordered Trancos Inc. to pay Balsam $7,000 for sending spam that recipients couldn’t stop, she noted that he has more than 100 e-mail addresses.

See also:
Anti-Spam Crusader Dan Balsam Takes on ‘Cheating Wives,’ Other Spammers
Man Quits Job, Makes Living Suing E-Mail Spammers
Daniel Balsam, the Man Who Quit His Job to Make a Living Suing Spammers
Daniel Balsam Job: Suing Email Spammers
The Man Who Makes His Living Suing Email Spammers
Man Quits Job; Now Makes Millions Fighting Spam
Daniel Balsam, Anti-Spam Crusader
Daniel Balsam, the Man Who Quit His Job to Make a Living Suing Spammers
Calif marketer goes to law school to sue over spam
Breast-Enlargement E-Mail Spurs Marketer Into Law School and Anti-Spam Practice
Calif marketer goes to law school to sue over spam
San Francisco attorney on crusade to end spam
DanHatesSpam.com

So, Balsam maintains hundreds of e-mail addresses to deliberately collect spam and then turns around and sues the senders for sending him the spam. Talk about you niche law practice. It’s not the most ethical and noble way to use a law degree to make a living, but the spammers are worse and they’re the one’s violating the law.

/pretty harmless as far as “ambulance chasers” go, at least Balsam isn’t filing frivolous lawsuits against legitimate companies