[Humanist] 27.796 wreckers' bots

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Feb 14 06:06:53 CET 2014


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 796.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    "Clark, Stephen" <srlclark at liverpool.ac.uk>               (50)
        Subject: RE:  27.791 wreckers' bots

  [2]   From:    Desmond Schmidt <desmond.allan.schmidt at gmail.com>         (52)
        Subject: Re:  27.789 why the wreckers' bots?


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2014 09:19:12 +0000
        From: "Clark, Stephen" <srlclark at liverpool.ac.uk>
        Subject: RE:  27.791 wreckers' bots
        In-Reply-To: <20140213090125.B760B64F4 at digitalhumanities.org>


William Blake got the answer:

"believe Christ & his Apostles that there is a Class of men whose whole delight is in Destroying. "

(Preface to Milton)

The bot-makers may not know each individual act of destruction, but they can reasonably guess that they are managing to destroy a lot.

________________________________________
From: humanist-bounces at lists.digitalhumanities.org [humanist-bounces at lists.digitalhumanities.org] on behalf of Humanist Discussion Group [willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk]
Sent: 13 February 2014 09:01


On Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 7:52 AM, Humanist Discussion Group <
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

>
>                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 789.
>             Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                        www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                 Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>
>
>
>         Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2014 06:41:58 +0000
>         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
>         Subject: wreckers, not hackers
>
> Yesterday I received (from Adafruit, may they be praised) a Raspberry Pi
> in the post. I was pulled by force of curiosity and an old hacker's
> passion (once satisfied by building voltmeters and other such kits) away
> from serious work to play with it long enough to rekindle a much
> GUI-muffled sense of computing's primal appeal. This led just now (as I
> gazed across my desk longingly at the Pi and its bits) to a marvellous
> change in my slightly earlier annoyance at yet another attempt of
> someone, more likely someone's machine, to flood Humanist with bogus
> subscriptions. That annoyance became a question: has anyone studied the
> activities of those who set up and run bots the whole purpose of which
> is to wreck the operations of others? Here is no (supposedly) high moral
> purpose to bring down the great military and intelligence centres, no
> Robin Hoodian or Julian Assangian or Ned Kellian cyber-bushranger and
> romantic outlaw but bots set up to do their mischief mindlessly,
> possibly yielding no direct pleasure at all to the instigator. I have great
> sympathy for the larrikin trickster but not for such as these, who
> aren't even present to shake one's fist at.
>
> It would be a fascinating study, would it not? Even, perhaps, a PhD in a
> social science.
>
> Yours,
> WM
> --
> Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
> Humanities, King's College London, and Research Group in Digital
> Humanities, University of Western Sydney
>



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2014 20:19:27 +1000
        From: Desmond Schmidt <desmond.allan.schmidt at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re:  27.789 why the wreckers' bots?
        In-Reply-To: <20140212065233.2A96E643E at digitalhumanities.org>


Hi Willard,

Actually I spent 4 years at the Information Security Institute
investigating just these kinds of attacks. Have you received any extortion
demands yet? It would be interesting to trace the sender's IP addresses,
since these cannot be spoofed with this kind of attack, although they can
be hidden. I suspect these are script kiddies or hacktivists rather than
extortionists. But if you have a server it will be attacked. You must be
prepared because it will happen again. You should add a CAPTCHA to the
subscription web page to prevent illicit requests. That way the bots at
least can be stopped.

Desmond



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