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Vatican Attack Provides Insight Into Anonymous

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the casting-the-first-e-stone dept.

Security 355

Hugh Pickens writes "John Markoff writes that an unsuccessful campaign against the Vatican by Anonymous, which did not receive wide attention at the time, provides a rare glimpse into the recruiting, reconnaissance, and warfare tactics used by the shadowy hacking collective and may be the first end-to-end record of a full Anonymous attack. The attack, called Operation Pharisee in a reference to the sect that Jesus called hypocrites, was initially organized by hackers in South America and Mexico and was designed to disrupt Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Madrid in August 2011 for World Youth Day and draw attention to child sexual abuse by priests. First the hackers spent weeks spreading their message through their own website and social sites like Twitter and Flickr calling on volunteers to download free attack software and imploring them to 'stop child abuse' by joining the cause. It took the hackers 18 days to recruit enough people, then a core group of roughly a dozen skilled hackers spent three days poking around the church's World Youth Day site looking for common security holes that could let them inside. In this case, the scanning software failed to turn up any gaps so the hackers turned to a brute-force approach of a distributed denial-of-service, On the first day, the denial-of-service attack resulted in 28 times the normal traffic to the church site, rising to 34 times the next day but did not crash the site. 'Anonymous is a handful of geniuses surrounded by a legion of idiots,' says Cole Stryker, an author who has researched the movement. 'You have four or five guys who really know what they're doing and are able to pull off some of the more serious hacks, and then thousands of people spreading the word, or turning their computers over to participate in a DDoS attack.'"

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The Pope should declare a Holy War on these bums (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39174947)

A new inquisition to capture and torture these basement dwelling monsters

Re:The Pope should declare a Holy War on these bum (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175009)

In Spain? I wasn't expecting that.

Re:The Pope should declare a Holy War on these bum (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175097)

No one was.

Re:The Pope should declare a Holy War on these bum (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175249)

thats-the-joke.jpg

Re:The Pope should declare a Holy War on these bum (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175625)

In Spain? I wasn't expecting that.

We should all declare a holy war - they are currently releasing info along with Wikileaks about an IN PROGRESS attack to stop Iran from gaining nuclear capabilities. There are political reasons making them the only fucking idiots breaking news about it before success - their practically taking the first information management steps required for WW3.

Re:The Pope should declare a Holy War on these bum (0)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175665)

In Spain? I wasn't expecting that.

Actually, in Spain, nobody expects the Papal Inquisition. The gangs protect their respective territories.

Re:The Pope should declare a Holy War on these bum (1)

maestroX (1061960) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175827)

It would be easier and more effective to maintain silence and truncate their index.html.

Anonymous (-1, Flamebait)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#39174955)

Cue a large number of comments that incorrectly state that "Anonymous isn't anyone", "Anonymous is everyone", "Anonymous is an idea", etc.

Re:Anonymous (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39174967)

Cue as well a number of people deriding the "a handful of geniuses surrounded by a legion of idiots" idea.

A protest is a protest. You're not an "idiot" just because you're not an organizer.

Re:Anonymous (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39174999)

I think they are trying to debunk the idea that Anonymous is a legion of hackers. Instead Anonymous is a handful of hackers surrounded by a bunch of people with computers.

Re:Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175061)

Indeed. Most of the 'organization' are social-engineered victims of the core group.

Re:Anonymous (4, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175147)

Victims? They don't get tricked into installing a botnet client. They install, configure and run a DDoS tool, voluntarily. Although botnet herders might participate sometimes, I don't think any infected computers count as Anonymous members...

Re:Anonymous (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175219)

No, no that's not what the article said at all.

Re:Anonymous (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175087)

Sounds about right, "idiots" is a bit harsh. But then the skilled hackers are transient also, so the intelligence agencies who can't grasp the concept of a leaderless collective are going to be disappointed that there aren't just a few heads to cut off...

Re:Anonymous (2)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175157)

I didn't realize anyone thought that Anonymous was a legion of hackers. It's been previously reported that being part of Anonymous meant downloading DOS tools, so it should've already been clear that Anonymous wasn't a bunch of hackers. It seems to me that "legion of idiots" was just a gratuitous insult.

Re:Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175283)

I thought "genius" was the gratuitous part. I would go more with "A handful of moderately competent hackers surrounded by a legion of fucking morons".

Re:Anonymous (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175457)

In any field of endeavor that the speaker is not masterful in, "genius" is anybody that knows more than you do.
That's most slashdotter's parents call them "computer geniuses" because they can reboot the modem when the ISP hiccups.

Re:Anonymous (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175185)

B-b-b-ut fox news told me they are hackers! On steroids!
Steroids! You can't even stuff these nerds in a locker!
We're doomed!

Re:Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175419)

I participate in the Susan G Komen walk for the cure. Three day fund raiser to help fight breast cancer. But I am not Susan G Komen. Does that make me one of the "legion of idiots" for this cause?

Re:Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175525)

No, that makes you an unwitting dupe of right-wing religious zealots.

Re:Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175471)

I think they are trying to debunk the idea that Anonymous is a legion of hackers. Instead Anonymous is a handful of hackers surrounded by a bunch of people with computers.

Isn't that the structure of any revolutionary movement ? Few brains + the masses.
Anonymous is just the digital equivalent of real life revolutionary movements (without the bloodshed that revolutions bring in).

Re:Anonymous (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175713)

People with computers and the patience and drive to download command line software and follow its instructions. That qualifies them as "hackers" in the eyes of the general public at least.

Re:Anonymous (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175075)

How about "A handful of those in it for the lulz surrounded by a bunch of less skilled fags who are in it for the lulz."

Oh, and a few moralfags who whine too much.

Re:Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175247)

Anyone who was using LOIC is an idiot.

Anyone who walked around in the street waving a sign and wearing a Guy Fawkes mask is a protester.

There is a difference.

Re:Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175337)

"Anyone who walked around in the street waving a sign and wearing a Guy Fawkes mask is a protester."

I know several of those.

Trust me, they're idiots too.

Re:Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175557)

"A handful of geniuses surrounded by a legion of idiots". Sounds like the Catholic Church, except the part about the geniuses.

Re:Anonymous (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39174975)

I originally read it as "Vulcan Attack" which perked me up for a moment. Those guys wouldn't just go after anybody.

Then my eyes focused better. Damned presbyopia.

Re:Anonymous (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175377)

If it's age-related you can get glasses for ten bucks. Or a CrystaLens implant for $15,000.

back on topic... from TFS -- designed to disrupt Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Madrid in August 2011 for World Youth Day and draw attention to child sexual abuse by priests.

As if everybody and his dog didn't already know about the pedophlia. I never could understand the Catholic's refusal to let priests marry, considering that one of the Apostles (Peter maybe? I'd have to look it up) said that men should marry to avoid being tempted into sinful sex, and there's surely not much that's more sinful than raping children.

Re:Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175475)

Better yet, Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law.

Re:Anonymous (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175825)

Someone correct me on this if I'm wrong, but wasn't Paul (or one of the anonymous authors writing under the Paul psuedonym) responsible for the decree that priests of the Catholic Church be celibate in order to focus their energies on God?

Re:Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175851)

Paul suggested that single life was better for Christian service since you would have fewer competing obligations. However, he concluded that "it is better to marry than to burn." Kind of suggests a pragmatic approach. More directly, Paul specified the qualifications for bishop to include "married to one wife." Thats the raw text, you can make cases for both celebacy and marriage, with a reasonable reading being single is better if you can handle it, if not, get married (once).

No-no on marriage from old Euro power politics (5, Interesting)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175865)

I never could understand the Catholic's refusal to let priests marry, considering that one of the Apostles (Peter maybe? I'd have to look it up) said that men should marry to avoid being tempted into sinful sex, and there's surely not much that's more sinful than raping children.

I get a lot of history across my plate sideways as it were, since my wife is a history and English teacher. It's kinda fun actually -- she's already mostly vetted the books by the time they make it to the house, so I don't have to slog through lots of BS to find the good reads. :)

On-topic here, the reason the Church (big-C Catholic Church) explicitly outlawed the clergy marrying was because of clergy folks setting themselves up as little hereditary fiefdoms, complete with lines of succession and all the fun politicking and internecine warfare that usually accompanies such an arrangement. Disallowing marriage meant breaking that line of power, and is not too dissimilar from policies at the State Department that forcibly rotate diplomats -- this prevents anyone from getting too cozy (at least in theory).

In more detail, celibacy was general Church policy possibly as far back as AD 300 and is certainly mentioned in the mid-400s. This policy was often overlooked though in the hurly burly of northern European politics, and it wasn't explicitly decreed against until the mid-1000s with the Gregorian reforms. Suffice it to say that it's complicated, but the crux of the issue was inheritance and power struggles related to it.

There's plenty more online via Google [google.com] , or starting from this Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] .

Cheers,

Re:Anonymous (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39174995)

i am anonymous

Re:Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175091)

No, I am anonymous.

Re:Anonymous (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175483)

I am pseudonymous!

Re:Anonymous (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175015)

You're an idiot

Re:Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175215)

Your an idiot

Re:Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175271)

I'm an idiot!

Re:Anonymous (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175387)

grammar: the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you're shit.

(blatantly ripped from a picture I saw on a social network)

Re:Anonymous (2)

sixtyeight (844265) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175019)

Speaking of digital Kool-Aid, that kind of balderdash is probably why they're a handful of genii surrounded by a legion of idiots. That's the demographic it appeals to.

That being said, it's charming the way they always say, "Expect us." In this day and age, it's very civilized to find anyone who RSVPs anymore, let alone a hacking group.

"Expect us" (1, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175125)

Obviously, Anonymous is NOT the Spanish Inquisition, since according to them, EVERYONE should expect the Anonymous Inquisition!!!

Re:Anonymous (1)

pseudofengshui (1432581) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175611)

Excuse me, but the plural of genius is geniusaurses.

The more salient question, is WTF are you? (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175161)

Nothing more need be said.....

Re:Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175531)

How is that incorrect, especially the "idea" bit?
There is no such organisation as "Anonymous", all you have is a bunch of like-minded people on the Internet who prefer not to shout their names from the rooftops. This particular attack on the Vatican was perpetrated by a completely different set of people than some of the other attacks we witnessed. Even if you were to arrest them all, you won't have "arrested Anonymous", as the next attack will quickly prove.
Anonymous isn't anyone in particular, and could be everyone. It is an idea and perhaps more to the point a label or rallying brand.

Geniuses? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39174957)

I think he's giving them too much credit by far.

First port... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39174959)

This is far less satisfying than folks make it out to be.

Sounds just like... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39174963)

The organization they were attacking.

Re:Sounds just like... (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175029)

I wonder that myself.

Re:Sounds just like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175177)

Or any organization of sufficient size for that matter

The more people you have in a group, the greater the variance in how valuable a member is to the group

Eventually, the few who are most valuable to the group become the "core" of your organization, who are relatively geniuses to everybody else who become "idiots"

And this "core" doesn't necessarily have to be leaders per say. It could just as well be that front line sales rep who brings in the big clients, or the techie in the back coming up with innovative new products (and both techies and sales rep think management are a legion of idiots... refer to Dilbert)

Every organization faces this HR problem: who is your "core"? How do you retain them? How do you improve them? How do you train new ones? etc

FTS (1)

owenferguson (521762) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175033)

" a handful of geniuses surrounded by a legion of idiots" Sounds like slashdot...

Re:FTS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175793)

Except for the geniuses part.

How is this news? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175049)

Perhaps I'm just a bit more in tune (yeah right...), but, didn't we know this is pretty much how they operated? A bunch of LOICers combined with a couple of guys scattered across the globe who actually know wtf they are doing? The most interesting thing about this is that you have all these intelligence think tanks, the CIA, the FBI, etc. that Anon has managed to infiltrate or get through their security, yet the Vatican remains untouchable? Exactly what kind of stuff are they hiding that they need or implement better security measures than our intelligence services?

Re:How is this news? (1)

zrbyte (1666979) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175089)

The failure was just due to lack of determination on the Anon part.

Re:How is this news? (1)

Robadob (1800074) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175131)

They just have god on their side!

Re:How is this news? (1)

longacre (1090157) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175137)

The article seems to give all the credit to this Imperva company, who sounds like maybe the source for most of the story. This could mean they convinced a NY Times reporter to write an unverifiable story to boost they're street cred, or maybe they're actually better at defending websites than the Feds.

Re:How is this news? (5, Informative)

reimero (194707) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175311)

The article also raised two other points I thought were highly relevant:
First, the Vatican investigated in security and network infrastructure in a way designed to absorb attacks.
Second, they made the conscious decision that they weren't going to get into a PR battle with Anonymous (the Vatican official's quote about not commenting on real or potential threats.) A cynic might suggest that the Vatican is good at not commenting, but my takeaway is that this decision was mostly a "we're not going to give Anonymous the satisfaction of any sort of formal response." In a real sense, it's the same basic response that some of the most effective opposition to Westboro Baptist has given. The last thing Anonymous wants is to be ignored.

Re:How is this news? (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175533)

An organisation doesn't survive a couple of millennia without being very good at PR...

Re:How is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175207)

Yes, most of anon has never had sex, but they cling to a vain hope.

Do you really think they want to infiltrate an organization that makes you swear to never have sex?

They'd rather infiltrate a government agency that they fantasize has James Bond type lifestyles. The sad reality is those boring bureaucrats are almost as socially hopeless as the anons.

Re:How is this news? (1)

j-pimp (177072) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175643)

Exactly what kind of stuff are they hiding that they need or implement better security measures than our intelligence services?

It could simply be a matter of their being less to hide, and lots of it being on paper. The sex abuse scandals probably were covered up at the diocesan level (usually the size of a county or two in the United States). Equate priest with Police officer/Sargent and Bishop with Lieutenant and think thin blue line stuff. That kind of stuff doesn't get recorded on paper. Also, if it did get recorded, it probably got recorded on PAPER not on a hard drive.

Whatever ancient Dan Brown-esque evils Holy Mother Church has to hide is probably only available on paper if it exists. As far as the whole abortion and birth control thing, the church is quite proud and vocal about it.

Finally, anonymous only wants to steal the Vatican's poster collection [xkcd.com] .

Geniuses? (4, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175079)

'Anonymous is a handful of geniuses surrounded by a legion of idiots,' says Cole Stryker, an author who has researched the movement. 'You have four or five guys who really know what they're doing and are able to pull off some of the more serious hacks, and then thousands of people spreading the word, or turning their computers over to participate in a DDoS attack.'"

Calling the core trolls geniuses is an overstatement. Most of them are just scriptkiddies whose most sophisticated attacks are correctly guessing when the password is 12345. The strategy of Anonymous is to try hacking against easy targets and DDoS against well-secured ones. And while DDoS is relatively easy to implement, the LOIC those "geniuses" came up with is a crappy tool.

Then do your own thing, genius boy (-1, Troll)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175179)

Then retract that head out of your skanky butt, and do something more brilliant, sonny.....

Re:Then do your own thing, genius boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175349)

"As we're not smart enough to come up with good ideas, let's just burn everything just in case"

Awesome.

Re:Then do your own thing, genius boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175431)

Then retract that head out of your skanky butt, and do something more brilliant, sonny.....

Taking a shit everyday is "more brilliant" than what Anonymous does. The truly brilliant you will never know about because they do not act like trolls.

Re:Then do your own thing, genius boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175445)

What, like get a job, start a family, become a productive member of society, build, create, grow, nourish, and be happy?

Oh, you meant code another DDOS tool so script-kiddies can feel like they have e-peen.

Re:Geniuses? (1)

weszz (710261) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175197)

12345? That's amazing! I have the same combination on my luggage!

everyones' a critic.... (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175295)

the LOIC those "geniuses" came up with is a crappy tool.

dude, if you think you can do better you can do better [sourceforge.net] . Unless your kvetching about underlying design or strategy flaws.

DDoS tools are just crappy by nature (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175705)

This isn't hacking, there's no skill, it is just having more bandwidth available than your target and being a dick. Of course that only works if you actually can have more bandwidth. As they found out Amazon didn't even blink, Amazon has WAY more resources than some dumbass script kiddies.

Re:Geniuses? (1)

Lairdykinsmcgee (2500904) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175821)

I can't speak to whether or not Anonymous utilizes sophisticated hacking tactics, because I honestly don't know. I can say, however, that if they really are as simplistic as you want to say they are, then that suggests a real problem for the security of some rather important and powerful organizations/corporations. They have supposedly meddled with Bank of America, Sony, NATO, the CIA? If the security of these groups is flimsy enough to be upset by some simple guess work and child-like pranks, what does that really say? Again, I don't know enough about it to give an opinion. It just seems to me that if they really are responsible for the things they claim to be, then it is probably likely that they have some clue as to what they're doing.

fi8st (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175093)

propaganda and These early Mod points and grandstanders, the this is consistent ASSOCIATION OF recent Sys Admin claim that BSD is a of the founders of prospects are very our ability to [samag.com] in the Win out; either the Can coonect to don't ffel that vitality. Like an to this. For Sux0r status, *BSD

History class (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175099)

" 'Anonymous is a handful of geniuses surrounded by a legion of idiots,' says Cole Stryker, an author who has researched the movement. 'You have four or five guys who really know what they're doing and are able to pull off some of the more serious hacks, and then thousands of people spreading the word, or turning their computers over to participate in a DDoS attack.'"

That's how governments and empires work(ed) and were built. They teach it in classes, so why not put it to good use?

Mostly idiots? (5, Insightful)

Darkmane (767114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175127)

"Anonymous is a handful of geniuses surrounded by a legion of idiots,"

You can probably say this about most organizations in the world.

Re:Mostly idiots? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175425)

You can say this about the humanity as a whole.

Re:Mostly idiots? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175513)

Not mine.

All we've got are the idiots.

So, like any other group then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175145)

In the course of human history, the power of any group, be it a tribe, guild, religion, government, or corporation, has always been about a relatively small number of clever people surrounding themselves with a much larger number of useful idiots.

blue3g love the sheeple, the love of the neocon (0)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175149)

Evidently no one is ever supposed to take any action for their own survival, nor that of just and honest people?

This morning on NPR’s The Takeaway, annoyingly shrill-voiced, and hysteria-edged voiced, Celeste Headcase, interviewed the Brookings Institution, by way of Noah the Shackman, also a contributing editor to Wired (read any verifiably informative articles there in the last 10 years?????).

While Shackman did mention a few truthful facts, among Celeste Headcase’s constant barrage of snarky anti-Wikileaks comments, he sadly suggested everything Anonymous is doing is “highly illegal” – were that he would mention the same about the millions of crimes perpetrated by the banksters, insurance companies, lending processors, et al.; funny how that always escapes mention?

In Soviet Russia... (0)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175155)

no one is anonymous.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175539)

In Soviet Russia, anonymous is YOU.

Are the handful of genius... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175173)

a bunch of wacko zealots that actually hate the stuff they attack, or a bunch of really smart operators hiring themselves out, knowing that with the right arguments can attraqt a bunch of idiots to attack anything they want?

Internet cancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175175)

A relevant article [kimmoa.se] .

I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175193)

I understand when uninformed news sites give importance to this kind of events, but isn't Slashdot a technology site?
Aren't you supposed to know that this is no more than a circus ran by unskilled cry babies?
Is it that hard to understand that this kind of crap is even more useless than throwing rocks at government buildings?

Re:I don't get it (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175847)

Is it that hard to understand that this kind of crap is even more useless than throwing rocks at government buildings?

The usefulness of this particular act depends on how big your stones are, or how fast you can throw them.

handful of geniuses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175201)

'Anonymous is a handful of geniuses surrounded by a legion of idiots,'

Handful is pushing it. There can't be more than 2 or 3 who can truely frame a movement mentality instead of the usually "I don't like XXX, lets attack my personal army!"

Re:handful of geniuses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175493)

There can't be more than 2 or 3 who can truely frame a movement mentality

So what you are saying is "Moar like idiot savant amirite!"

COLE STRYKER!?!?!?! (1)

CMYKjunkie (1594319) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175227)

Cole Stryker has - HAS - to be a pen name, right?? Totally sounds made up.

Re:COLE STRYKER!?!?!?! (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175385)

Might be assumed, but Stryker is an actual name. There's two of them in my phone book.

Evil can't win... (1)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175255)

On the first day, the denial-of-service attack resulted in 28 times the normal traffic to the church site, rising to 34 times the next day but did not crash the site.
 
    The only way that evil can win is if good people fail to act. If the Catholic Church is the Body of Christ started by a divine Jesus Christ, then obviously wicked men practicing their pedophaelia or hackers targeting it's website cannot destroy the Church. Metaphorically speaking, they can load the pistol and pull the trigger but the weapon will misfire, their aim will be off, the shot will be deflected, or something else will happen that prevents the shot from reaching the target. Just sayin...

Re:Evil can't win... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175331)

On the first day, the denial-of-service attack resulted in 28 times the normal traffic to the church site, rising to 34 times the next day but did not crash the site.

    The only way that evil can win is if good people fail to act. If the Catholic Church is the Body of Christ started by a divine Jesus Christ, then obviously wicked men practicing their pedophaelia or hackers targeting it's website cannot destroy the Church. Metaphorically speaking, they can load the pistol and pull the trigger but the weapon will misfire, their aim will be off, the shot will be deflected, or something else will happen that prevents the shot from reaching the target. Just sayin...

....or it was the proactive security practices used by the Vatican. You know, either one seems just as likely

NOT the first end-to-end record of a full... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175257)

This whole thing reads like the PayPal protest back in 2010. So, um, what's new?

Cyber-warfare is a crock (1)

Powercntrl (458442) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175269)

The attack, called Operation Pharisee in a reference to the sect that Jesus called hypocrites, was initially organized by hackers in South America and Mexico and was designed to disrupt Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Madrid in August 2011 for World Youth Day and draw attention to child sexual abuse by priests.

How exactly was crashing the website going to have any effect on the event in meatspace? I can see anon causing some damage to a dotcom company, but this isn't The Matrix. I'm sure the church doesn't have any critical infrastructure tied to their website, and last I checked most still used books. You know, that old information storage system that operates just fine without electricity.

I bet next anon will be protesting Black Friday by attacking Walmart's site, and they'll be shocked when no on even notices the increased traffic.

Anonymous can't attack the Catholic Church... (1)

otaku244 (1804244) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175299)

...because God knows who they are; therefore, they aren't anonymous.

Why? (5, Insightful)

afabbro (33948) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175343)

Attacking the Catholic Church in 2012 over the priest abuse scandal is like attacking Britain over John Major's policies.

The abuse scandal was a pattern of abuse and cover-up that exploded into the media spotlight in the late 80s/early 90s. The Church did wrong, but since then, they've done a lot of right - there's a zero-tolerance policies, lots of priests have been defrocked, billions in settlements have been paid, hundreds were jailed, etc. There will always be sexual abuse in any large organization with access to children - schools, Boy/Girl scouts, the YMCA, the Mendocino Physics Club, Gencon, whatever. So yes, there may be some that goes on today on a small scale...but what has changed is the organizational response. In 1970, a Bishop might have shuffled a pedophile priest to a different parish. Today, there's zero tolerance, formal processes, and a much greater awareness.

So...why attack in 2012? What is the point? If this was 1990, it'd be more understandable.

I think "anonymous" (aka a half-dozen bored kids) is just desperate to remain in the spotlight. The attention-getting is more important than any "cause". In fact, attention-getting is the cause.

Mod parent up (1)

BigDaveyL (1548821) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175451)

If I had the points...

I believe I heard that churches are statisically safer than schools or sports programs. Or this is used as an excuse to allow priests to marry (most of the issues was male on male action so marriage wouldn't help). Unfortunately, many people blindly drink the Kool-Aid.

Re:Mod parent up (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175549)

I believe I heard that churches are statisically safer than schools or sports programs

No, churches are no less safe. It's just statistically more likely that they'll consider themselves above the law, and shuffle the pedophile priest over to the next parish, shred the memo, and move on.

The current pope was the man put in charge of shuffling the pedophiles around and keeping it out of the press. It is highly unlikely that things have grown safer for children under his watch. After all, if it had, why did the church need to get the republicans under Bush to pass a law disallowing lawsuits and legal actions? Because what we know is only the tip of the iceberg, and the idea that the pedophile priests have all been caught, or all magically stopped doing what gets them off, is laughable.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175503)

So...why attack in 2012? What is the point? If this was 1990, it'd be more understandable.

Because nobody believed Sinead O'Conner back then. Has anyone apologized to her yet? Also, the scandal didn't really break until around 2003 and didn't have any real steam until about 2005. The Vatican put out an apology that blamed the secular world and here we are.

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175605)

Attacking the Catholic Church in 2012 over the priest abuse scandal is like attacking Britain over John Major's policies.

The abuse scandal was a pattern of abuse and cover-up that exploded into the media spotlight in the late 80s/early 90s. The Church did wrong, but since then, they've done a lot of right - there's a zero-tolerance policies, lots of priests have been defrocked, billions in settlements have been paid, hundreds were jailed, etc. There will always be sexual abuse in any large organization with access to children - schools, Boy/Girl scouts, the YMCA, the Mendocino Physics Club, Gencon, whatever. So yes, there may be some that goes on today on a small scale...but what has changed is the organizational response. In 1970, a Bishop might have shuffled a pedophile priest to a different parish. Today, there's zero tolerance, formal processes, and a much greater awareness.

So...why attack in 2012? What is the point? If this was 1990, it'd be more understandable.

I think "anonymous" (aka a half-dozen bored kids) is just desperate to remain in the spotlight. The attention-getting is more important than any "cause". In fact, attention-getting is the cause.

The Catholic Church is still abusing children, it didn't stop in the 90's. Are you living in a box under a rock?

The really amazing thing is people still go to their churches and hand over money to these criminals so they can rape their kids.

And people still defend them! Ug.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_sex_abuse_cases_by_country

80/20 Rule applies to organizations, too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175353)

The description "a handful of geniuses surrounded by a legion of idiots" fits almost any organization of more than a few dozen people. Pick any large organization you want, from a political party to a Fortune 500 company, and 20% of the people actually get things done, while 80% of them are placeholders to justify the departmental budgets.

Insight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175397)

I don't think so.

True of every organization ever created (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175439)

"A handful of geniuses surrounded by a legion of idiots".

Well, duh. That is the time-honored approach to power used by every political organization/religion in the world. A small group of people manage to convince a large number of people to become puppets/tools - ostensibly to serve some "higher purpose" - but in reality merely giving power to the small number of people for their own gain.

It just seems to be human nature that most people will line up and blindly engage in abhorrent behavior if someone else tells them to do so. An authority figure telling them what they want to hear (irrespective of how absurd it may be) is a well-known approach to getting the sheep to line up. The fact that they are being used for someone else's gain seems to fall into some sort of genetic blind spot. Hence why we have so many atrocities inflicted on each other.

If you want some disturbing science related to seeing just how far the 'common man' will go in response to a random authority figure, go read the Milgram Experiment. It will leave you with a healthy distrust of the people sharing this planet with you.

Coward (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175669)

I am Anonymous.

Re:Coward (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175813)

"I am Anonymous."

I am oblivious.
I'm not even a squad, let alone a Legion.
It may look like I forgive.
But really I just forget.
Don't expect me because I'll probably oversleep.

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