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Verizon Says Hactivists Now Biggest Corporate Net Threat

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the is-that-hat-dark-grey-or-light-grey? dept.

Privacy 150

alphadogg writes "Hactivists — not cybercriminals — were responsible for the majority of personal data stolen from corporate and government networks during 2011, according to a new report from Verizon. The Verizon 2012 Data Breach Investigation Report found that 58% of data stolen in 2011 was the result of hactivism, which involves computer break-ins for political rather than commercial gain. In previous years, most hacking was carried out by criminals, Verizon said. Altogether, Verizon examined 855 cybersecurity incidents worldwide that involved 174 million compromised records. This is the largest data set that Verizon has ever examined, thanks to its cooperation with law enforcement groups including the U.S. Secret Service, the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit and police forces from Australia, Ireland and London."

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Welcome in the real world (5, Insightful)

aglider (2435074) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441241)

where you need real technicians!

Re:Welcome in the real world (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441297)

Yep. Security measures should be valid regardless of the motivation of the attackers. Unless of course you can get to shoot the attackers, in which case it really does matter they're activists.

Re:Welcome in the real world (5, Insightful)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441681)

Most companies have coasted by with bad security practices, now they have to up their game. Boo f'n hoo.

CEOs tell us "sucks to be you, suck it up" when it comes to their monopolies. I say the same thing back at them. Actually employee decent programmer, engineers, admins, and managers. Quality > Quantity?!

hacktivists == cybercriminals (5, Insightful)

noh8rz3 (2593935) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442535)

there's a difference between hacktivists and cybercriminals? sounds like a false distinction to me.

Verizon is credible???? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441303)

Why should we believe Verizon about anything?

Re:Verizon is credible???? (5, Insightful)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442219)

Indeed... especially in this case.
Think about how the data was generated: the data comes from reported incidents of network compromise.

EVERY hacktivist compromise will be reported by the victim, as the hactivist group has already reported it and they have a responsibility to disclose such things.

I'd bet that most intrusions and data extractions conducted by other groups (organized crime, government special ops, industrial espionage) are never reported to Verizon, therefore they wouldn't show up in the statistics. For that matter, most of these intrusions likely go completely unnoticed. Considering we've just been finding out in the last year about intrusions that have been ongoing for TEN YEARS, who's to say how many like these are still in the "unreported" category?

Without all the rhetoric, Verizon's study is really saying that intrusions reported for political reasons are more highly reported than those that both the intruder and the victim have no desire to make public. Any other conclusions involve too much conjecture (on the same level as the RIAA losing billions to piracy) unless more data is provided.

Hactivists == cybercriminals (4, Insightful)

jcaldwel (935913) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441305)

Anyone stealing personal data is a "cybercriminal". Sounds like they are playing with words.

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (4, Funny)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441355)

Criminal. People who stick "cyber" in front of things because the innerwebs are involved need to be slapped.

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441485)

Surely you mean cyberslap [bash.org] them. Cyberhard, right into cyberteeth.

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441509)

Ow! My pixels hurt!

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (1)

garrettg84 (1826802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442533)

You meant your cyberpixels, right?

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (1, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441371)

They're separating out based on motivation.

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (2)

jcaldwel (935913) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441429)

They're separating out based on motivation.

I saw that... and that IS playing with words. In this case, a criminal is a criminal regardless of motivation.

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (0)

228e2 (934443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441475)

Agreed. Hacktivists should fall under the Cybercriminal subset instead of being on equal level.

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441927)

But the motivation determines if it is a crime in the first place.

Kill someone with malice, got to prison, kill someone in self defense, no prob.

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (3, Insightful)

jcaldwel (935913) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442033)

But the motivation determines if it is a crime in the first place.

Kill someone with malice, got to prison, kill someone in self defense, no prob.

I don't think this article was talking about homicide.
What motivation would make it legal to hack a government or corporate system and stealing personal data?

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (2)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442237)

The kind where the hacktivist is exposing a tie between a government or corporate system and blood diamonds [wikipedia.org] or oppressive regimes?

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39442585)

A single act can both serve the greater good and be illegal.

"An unjust law is no law at all" may sound noble, but the fact is an unjust law is still a law, and can still be used to lock you up.

Of course, in some cases, unjust laws *should* be broken, and we should praise and thank the people who broke them. Especially if breaking them means going to prision as a personal sacrifice made for the greater good.

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (1)

Grumbleduke (789126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442163)

But in that case the intention/motivation/circumstances make a difference between being a criminal and not. In this case, both groups are criminals, the intention is irrelevant... at least, under English law, which is all I really know anything about.

The BBC's headline [bbc.co.uk] was particularly silly in this regard: "Data theft: Hacktivists 'steal more than criminals'" - as the BBC of all news groups should have someone available to point out that it's not stealing, and that hacktivists are criminals.

Of course, the whole story is rather silly as it seems to be based only on reported data breaches; presumably a hactivist breach is more likely to be noticed/reported than someone breaking in to take data for unlawful uses. They're more likely to want to keep the breach quiet so they can keep doing what they do.

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (2)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441719)

But aside from all of that, how the hell do they even know exactly what the motivation was? Just because the intruder said so? Just because nothing bad happened immediately?

BTW, does anyone have the contact number of the people who made this determination? I have a really nice bridge I'd like to sell them.

Much as I like the idea of cyber Robin Hoods, you still gotta call them what they are.

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (2)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441915)

I'm not saying they're not, but the distinction is important for the targets. A course of 'Stop being a dick' might be enough to stop being a target of this group of people.

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441943)

Not necessarily - take "Hate Crime" laws. If I beat you up for "looking at my woman"...that's one thing. If I beat you up because I think you're a *insert race or sexual preference* then I can have additional charges added.

The Government loves to add "tack-on" penalties (see sodomy laws). It allows them, at their discretion, to trump up charges if need be...

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (3, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441525)

Yes they are both motivated by making a lot of money. It is just that one group comes up with a lame excuse that makes it seem like they are fighting for the little guy like a robin hood... Except for the fact they are stealing form everyone and giving to themselves.

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441399)

Anyone stealing personal data is a "cybercriminal". Sounds like they are playing with words.

Not from the perspective of the larger companies/governments.
While the actual action is similiar enough the result is vastly different.
The main objective for a "cybercriminal" is to steal customer information. The end result is that the customer gets screwed over and the company gets some bad publicity that they have to deal with.
Hacktivists on the other hand tends to look for indications that the company/government does anything illegal. This causes damage that isn't as easily passed down on the taxpayer/customer.
I expect that we will see better security for servers and harder punishments for "cybercrime" soon.

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39442823)

Hacktivists on the other hand tends to look for indications that the company/government does anything illegal. This causes damage that isn't as easily passed down on the taxpayer/customer.

Ahhh- That would explain why there was a fraudulent charge on the cc I used to subscribe to Stratfor's newsletter. I was interested in the company's take on certain events, so paid to read their stuff... nothing more. I also love the way "hacktivists" manned up and stood up to the Zetas when one of their own was kidnapped.

Unless they have responsibility to go along with the "authority" they exercise on the internet, they're less than worthless; no different than anyone else who rationalizes parasitic behavior. Just another form of internet parasite, albeit with delusions of grandeur.

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (3, Insightful)

Experiment 626 (698257) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441409)

Agreed. It's weird how the article tries to spin them as separate things. "Most cybercrime now politically motivated" would have made for a more accurate headline.

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441421)

It's a false distinction, but the news agencies have spent decades trying to convince people that 'activists' are pure and righteous, incapabe of evil and if you disagree you must be evil. There are a dozen synonyms in use just to influence whether viewers are supposed to revile a muderer or buy shirts with his face on them.

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (5, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441563)

As others have said, the distinction is motive.

There is also a distinction in the damages.

If I steal a million debit card numbers for greed, I'm going to try to cover my tracks and exploit the cards for profit. There will be tens of thousands of individuals who will suffer direct financial harm as I drain their bank accounts. Even those "made whole" by the banks will still suffer embarrassment. Their banks are also victims. Only when it is traced to the company I stole the data from do they realize they are a victim.

If I do it for lulz, like "The Joker" on Batman, there's no telling who will be the immediate victim. Will I publicize it to embarrass the banks? Will I order adult-novelty products on the credit cards and send them to the card-owners and watch the fallout on national TV? Who knows.

If I do it as an "activist" I'm probably only interested in hurting the company, not the cardholders. Yes, the cardholders will suffer collateral emotional damage and some will spend time or money trying to protect themselves in case I'm also motivated by greed, but the intended victim is the company I stole the data from.

Of course, I may be targeting a third party such as a security vendor by directly attacking its corporate customers, or I may attack a government by attacking those who support it. But in each case, the owners of the bank card numbers I steal aren't going to have their bank accounts drained. Unless of course I have a little greed or I'm careless and let the numbers fall into the hands of someone who is greedy.

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (1)

noh8rz3 (2593935) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442705)

sobu or whatever his name is from anonymous rang up $70k in stolen CC charges. activist or criminal?

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442077)

I think you may have a couple wires crossed here. It isn't that the media wants you to believe that "Activists" are purely good.

"Good" activists are either venerated and deified or if their cause really wasn't attractive to the people who came after them they are passively forgotten.

"Bad" activists end up as either "heads on the pike" and become a symbol of what we tell our children to actively seek and stop or they are actively forgotten; basically the cultural version of burning the body and scattering their ashes in the wind. There is a reason you never see Luigi Galleani used as a pop culture reference even though he was infamous at the time.

It isn't that there aren't bad activists, we just don't talk about them in polite society.

wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39442255)

maffia = organized crime
they have many section they enjoy

and ill say this if corporations continue bashing civil rights and freedoms then were all criminals cause i stand on the side of light here and they know it.
-united hackers association
http://www.uha1.com guess what YOU CANT have access to our stuff waaaaaaaa poor gay faggy corporations no longer having hackers hand you the freebies OH GEE....

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39442301)

Worse than playing with words, they are massively distorting the assessment...

The Sony break-in (~70 millions records) counts as hacktivism, and therefore a single incident is accounting for the vast majority of hacktivism break-ins since they're assessing based on number of records disclosed.

Also, most break-ins are not advertised, except in the case of hacktivism efforts where they plaster the hack everywhere they can get 2 mins of exposure. That doesn't tend to happen in the case of corporate attacks (which tend to remain covert).

So basically, LIES, DAMN LIES!

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (2)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442773)

So basically, LIES, DAMN LIES!

,and statistics [wikipedia.org] .

I could go to homeless shelter. Ask every person there if they are homeless. Then post my statistics that homelessness has reached 100%. In microscopic print I "might" add "at homeless shelters".

What's funny is when political pollsters pull these pranks and still only manage to scrounge up forty percent and change support for their candidate.

Re:Hactivists == cybercriminals (1)

gabereiser (1662967) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442445)

I was just about to post this... Hactivists sounds like a justification... in the end they are still cybercriminals...

Which is then used for criminal activity (1)

captaindomon (870655) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441313)

How much of the "Hacktivist" data that is stolen is then turned over and used for criminal activity? Does it matter why it was stolen, if the result is the same?

Re:Which is then used for criminal activity (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441929)

Depends. If the hacktivists make the hack public and hence I know about my CC being stolen before it can be abused, I can react. Plus, my bank has no way to play dumb and pretend it was my fault that my CC number got abused.

So yes, the average hacktivist is less of a threat to me than the average for-profit hacker.

Re:Which is then used for criminal activity (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442393)

usually the data was available for criminal activity already.

hactivists just tend to publish their exploits on the high seas and share their plunder. usually that means that the hole gets plugged.

And how are they not criminals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441315)

And how are they not criminals?

Re:And how are they not criminals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441625)

Because all hacktivists are leftist.

Re:And how are they not criminals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441721)

Here are the definitions for you....

Terrorist: Arab
Criminal: Poor Black or Hispanic
Activist: Upper middle class white.
Hacktivist: Upper middle class white kid.

Re:And how are they not criminals? (1, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441983)

Easier definition:

Terrorist: Someone who doesn't agree with you, wants to go to war with you but lacks the funds for a big enough army to actually call it a war.

Criminal: Someone who does something against the interests of society but lacks the money to change the laws accordingly, or someone who does something against the interests of those that have the money to change the laws.

Bad analysis (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441319)

The truth is that hactivisism alone is not a sufficient cause of corporate data breaches. A variety of issues come into play: corporate laxity in IT, a preference for fast deployment of services over careful security scrutiny, absence of strong legal consequences against corporations for permitting data breaches, programming languages/environments that make it easy to deploy vulnerable services, lack of fine-grained data permissions at the hardware/network/OS level, etc.

Remove any one of those factors, and the rate of data breaches would likely go down significantly. I'm not sure where Verizon gets off picking just one of them.

Re:Bad analysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441383)

As in previous years, Verizon has found that most cyberattacks were avoidable if network managers followed best practices for information security. Verizon said that 96% of attacks were "not highly difficult," and 97% of attacks were avoidable through "simple or intermediate controls.''

From TFA

Re:Bad analysis (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441419)

I'm not sure where Verizon gets off picking just one of them.

Probably because all of the other things you mentioned are a pain for Verizon. They'd have to implement more stringent IT practices, defer speed and convenience for security, abide by new laws and generally put more effort into how they handle data. But Hactivism? No, that's the result of Other People doing Naughty Things, so don't look at us. Preventing this sort of thing is the FBI's problem, not ours. When we lose customer data it's all the fault of the hactivists doing things they shouldn't, nothing to do with us...

Re:Bad analysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441855)

Except Verizon's report is about the source of data breaches, not the cause so your entire post is pretty much irrelevant.

Re:Bad analysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39442285)

Since source and cause can often times be used interchangeably your trolling effort in unsuccessful, fuckwit.

Well gee... (5, Insightful)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441331)

Maybe I'd have an ounce of sympathy if Verizon (or any ISP/phone company) didn't constantly fuck over their customers.
What goes around comes around...

Re:Well gee... (5, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441819)

We shouldn't support criminals just because they target people we don't like. Effectively that is saying that rights and protection should be applied only to those we favor in a given moment.

And in some of these cases, passwords, credit cards and personal data was leaked publicly. So the customers are the ones suffering more than companies like Verizon.

Re:Well gee... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39442161)

What fucking comment did you read? Lack of sympathy for Verizon is not simultaneously support for criminals. Verizon needs to have actual goddamn security, not just security theatre. After that, if Verizon wants sympathy, then perhaps they shouldn't be engaged in the practice of shafting their customers.

They might be criminal, but they are NOT threat (3, Insightful)

coder111 (912060) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442577)

I consider corporations like RIAA & MPAA, BSA, and politicians lobbied by corporations to legislate censorship, spying & restrictions of internet usage the biggest threat to internet. Patents & restrictions on writing software are a close second.

When downloading or uploading information or cracking copy protection can ruin your life worse than committing grand theft or murder, I consider that action immoral and unjust. And I will consider any corporation supporting & pushing this kind of legislation a valid target.

While I agree that unlawful implies criminal, lawful doesn't necessarily mean right, and unlawful doesn't necessarily mean wrong. These days the laws are broken mess, and even when they aren't only the rich can afford to defend themselves, rendering justice system broken.

--Coder

Re:They might be criminal, but they are NOT threat (2)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442837)

Do you remember the Oklahoma City bombing?

The terrorists in question disagreed with the federal government. They felt that the only way to enact change was to break the law. So they murdered innocent civilians, including toddlers in the daycare.

The families of the victims were unhappy with the federal government and how the death penalty was applied in federal cases. So they wrote a law. They traveled to Washington D.C. and testified before Congress. They got their law passed less than a year after the attacks.

Being unhappy with a system doesn't mean criminal activity is justified when you can legally make changes within the system. I was extremely unhappy with SOPA and PIPA. I spoke to my representatives. Lee Terry here in Nebraska was a co-sponsor of SOPA. After people like me explained our concerns to him, he removed his support for it. I didn't have to commit a crime just because I was unhappy with a situation.

Re:Well gee... (2)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442805)

We shouldn't support criminals just because they target people we don't like.

Exactly. That's why Robin Hood is unpopular and almost no one knows about him now and why he was universally hated in his own time.

#1 threat (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441349)

Maybe the number one threat is acting like a douche. How many large, successful companies are targetted when they don't act like that? Hey Sony, get a clue.

Re:#1 threat (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441723)

Having morality on the internet ruled by a fickle, faceless, and amoral mob is a dangerous state of things even if the only people they're attacking right now are ones you personally consider to be bad guys.

Re:#1 threat (1)

gabereiser (1662967) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442529)

+1 * Achievement Earned: "Like a Douche" *

Re:#1 threat (1)

GaratNW (978516) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442841)

In other news, hacktivists state that modern media corporations are the biggest threat to personal liberty and freedom in the last 100 years!

Annnddd... they're not very wrong.

Crime is crime (4, Insightful)

rbowen (112459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441365)

This is a really dangerous distinction. Crime is crime. Politically motivated crime is - what? Terrorism? I don't like where this is going.

Re:Crime is crime (5, Insightful)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441601)

I think the point is that hacktivism occurs mostly because of unethical behavior of the target companies, not because they have generally weak security or valuable data. Therefore, companies can avoid being targets of hacktivism more by avoiding unethical behavior, rather than spending millions to beef up their security.

You can't legislate ethics (1)

tacokill (531275) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441871)

The company's aren't anymore responsible for this hacktivism crime than my dog. Your attempt to paint some culpability upon them is a laughable. All you are doing is trying to rationalize criminal behavior under the guise of "they deserved it" (according to you).

What is ethical and what is legal are very different things. Companies are really only required to follow what is legal. However, it is normally in their best interests to act ethically as well -- but we don't require, as a matter of law, people or companies to act ethically. ie: we don't throw people in jail for acting unethically. We throw them in jail for acting illegally.

Your attempt to confuse the two topics seriously discredits your post because it has no meaning. It's like calling for a war against jealousy....

Actually, you can. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39442761)

Until the Supreme Court ruled that corporations were persons under the law in the late 19th century, corporations were legally obligated to serve the public good. They also had limited lifetimes, had to stick to a single industry, and had to have a specific purpose.

Re:Crime is crime (2)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442125)

No justice quite like angry mob justice!

Re:Crime is crime (0)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442151)

It's not hactivists that are a threat to the net. It's the corporations and government agencies that the hactivists target that are the real threat.

Re:Crime is crime (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442337)

This might be so in certain cases and not in others. I would say some go after any company that is large. In fact Verizon has so many people working for them, there is no way customer relations and going to be good. Maybe they ought to hire more people that actually know what they are doing and much less that don't.

Re:Crime is crime (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442613)

I think the point is that hacktivism occurs mostly because of unethical behavior of the target companies, not because they have generally weak security or valuable data. Therefore, companies can avoid being targets of hacktivism more by avoiding unethical behavior, rather than spending millions to beef up their security.

you know that's mostly bullshit. besides, doesn't help that it's unethical to have your customer records easily accessible by spammers and when exploits are carpet bombed over ip ranges.. it's just shit luck. of course if you have unethical operation going on then it's more likely there's something juicy there. they should try to be reasonably secure regardless, it doesn't have to cost millions.

hacktivism occurs mostly because it can. and it gets noticed because hacktivists want that. thus, it's easier to get datasets about hacktivist cases than about cases where the hackers don't publish what they found. big whoopi doo. in fact, if the attackers don't publish then it's very unlikely the victim will even admit.

on more important note WHAT THE FUCK FOR DOES VERIZON TECHIE EXPERTS GET ACCESS TO EXAMINE MILLIONS OF HACKED DATA ENTRIES? whaaat the fuck? verizon? of all fucking possible things _them_? what the fuck, really, when did verizon became a subsidiary of the interpol with a data breach response team?

Re:Crime is crime (1)

KraxxxZ01 (2445360) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441605)

Hundred years ago in UK homosexuality was a crime. Following your logic, someone who would pose as gay for political reasons would be a terrorist. As long as data stolen is shared for free, as it was, I don't see hactivists as criminals.

Re:Crime is crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441637)

One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

Although, having the government make the "terrorist" claim will be hurtful, it will also add a ton of support to those who have the label. I'm not sure if the government should take that risk. Imagine if all of a sudden people become sympathetic to "terrorists" because the label now includes some American teenager who has an affinity for technology and hacked JP Morgan because he was upset about his mom's house being foreclosed on by U.S. bank.

You know in some parts of the world and at various stages in history, politically motivated criminals who attack the government and other key social entities were called revolutionaries.

Labels can work in so many different ways.

Distinction perfectly valid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441667)

If I am the victim of oppression, then I wholeheartedly welcome those who "steal" from my agressors, whether politically motivated or not.

Re:Crime is crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441895)

Right is right, regardless if right or left. Wrong is wrong. Defining them is problematic. Crime is crime, but define crime? Legal or illegal often more about control then with whether it is right or wrong. Taxation is a politically motivated crime, as is spying on citizens, but like so many other politically motivated crimes, they are not only not illegal, but increasingly "legal". It is all a matter of definition. The legal definition having the full power backing of the government. Increasingly by executive order. Major media and the government often work seemingly together to redefine words to better suit themselves, liberal, anarchy, and hacker are historic examples.

"Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first a patron, the last a punisher." Common Sense, Thomas Paine

Captcha: Illusion (interesting choice for posting security purposes)

Re:Crime is crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441905)

This is a really dangerous distinction. Crime is crime. Politically motivated crime is - what? Terrorism? I don't like where this is going.

What, would you rather the label only apply to religiously-motivated crimes?

Seriously, what's the difference? A bunch of people of one religion carry out criminal acts because of their beliefs and opinions, a bunch of people of one hobby carry out criminal acts because of their beliefs and opinions. Are you trying to imply that our ethics are betterer than everyone else's, so our criminals are more righter than other criminals who have different ethics? Because I don't like there THAT is going. Mostly because history has shown us where that HAS gone in the past.

Re:Crime is crime (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442001)

It's only terrorism if you lose.

No, its not the biggest threat (0)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441431)

The federal government is.

Re:No, its not the biggest threat (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442133)

The very same federal government that can't figure out a conversation between two RPG players planning a raid in a game of cyberpunk not being real, despite the weapons being mentioned being invented in 2018?

Re:No, its not the biggest threat (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442315)

Incompetence does not have to equate to threat level.

Re:No, its not the biggest threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39442775)

No, the corporations that own the federal government are more of a threat.

And 20 years ago... (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441451)

... most data was probably stolen for the lulz.

My how times have changed.

Good practices (1)

basotl (808388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441461)

Good security practices will protect from either threat. It doesn’t really matter the vector in this case.

Activism is more visible (5, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441481)

When you are hacked by an activist, they will make sure that you and the rest of the world know about it. Criminals, on the other hand, try to be as subtle as possible. Some victims might not even realize that they have been breached, and even if they do it's much easier to cover up. I don't think activism surpasses crime, it's just much more visible.

Re:Activism is more visible (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442185)

Not only that, but even when the companies realize they were hacked, they are also very likely to cover it up instead of anounce they had a breech. When anouncing the crime is harmful to both the criminal, and the holders of the evidence, things tend to not be reported.

Bullshit. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441519)

"Hacktavists" are just a highly visible boogeyman. Useful for scaring white people that watch network news and the politicians that cull their votes.

Visible, but hardly a blip compared to the massive spam, fraud, phishing, trojan, and malware ops that the real blackhats run. These things are complex and deep and ever present, so they're useless for scaremongers.

Want a real data set that will turn up evidence of massive economic fraud? Get ahold of Verizon's billing data.

the real threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441545)

Sounds like the biggest corporate net threat is poor security on their part.

Easy to protect against (4, Insightful)

Kidbro (80868) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441611)

Well, good thing then, that it's easy to protect yourself against hacktivists. Just stop being dicks.

Re:Easy to protect against (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442157)

Telling a manager to stop being a dick is like telling a techie to wear tie and suit. It just won't happen in this universe.

Re:Easy to protect against (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442633)

A big problem with that. That's in the eye of the beholder.

Wait, hold on! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441685)

So people who breach poorly executed and even more poorly planned security are the greatest threat to security on the net? Methinks it's the corporations who would rather spend more on propaganda than proper security that are the problem here, the "hacktivists" just point it out.

Bad nomenclature is bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441757)

Hacktivism does not a criminal make. To take a page from the Wikipedia definition on hacktivism: If the definition of "hacker" is assuming illegality, then yes, hacktivism is causal to criminal acts. HOWEVER, if the definition of "hacker" is assuming someone who modifies technology from its original form (the true and original definition of a hacker), then NO, hacktivism is merely utilizing technology to protest.

This is the same as qualifying Islam == Extremist. Not all extremists are Islamic, and not all Islamics are extremists. They are not causal, or even corollary if a lot of causes. So why do we keep hanging on this notion that Hacktivism == Illegal. This is a problem that has plagued hackers for decades, and is stupidly being provoked by people who like to hang on archaic and false definitions.

Re:Bad nomenclature is bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441977)

Also, bad grammar is bad. I meant "promoted," not "provoked." Silly me.

Re:Bad nomenclature is bad (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442173)

Fun science fact: the word "cracktivism" sounds even sillier than "hacktivism."

That being said, the label "hacktivist" has only been applied thus far to groups like LulzSec who trespass on others' computers to make a point; the others are just tech-savvy activists. I'm afraid your hopeful alternative is just a unicorn.

Re:Bad nomenclature is bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39442507)

What you said is completely meaningless in regards to the point I made. Grats.

A cow's opinion (1)

Iniamyen (2440798) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441765)

How can you know 100% of the time what the motivation is? Haven't you ever seen Die Hard?

No way is Verizon the Biggest Corporate Threat. (1)

Are You Kidding (1734126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441781)

(Did I misread the headline?) Monsanto, Unocal, Dow Chemical, and Goldman Sachs are a far greater threat to human existence. When it comes to Evil, Verizon is merely an annoyance.

Hactivists? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39441849)

Verizon Says [crappy internal security] Now Biggest Corporate Net Threat

There.. I fixed it for you.

or actually, the BIGGEST corporate net threat (1)

mallydobb (1785726) | more than 2 years ago | (#39441975)

is actually unsecured and improperly managed networks run by corporations that collection too much information on us. There, fixed that...

there, corrected that for you (1)

HWguy (147772) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442009)

Hacktivists Say Verizon Now Biggest Corporate Net Threat

It's pretty much the same. (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442273)

Hacktivists are motivated by politics which is motivated by money. So I don't see the difference. I wonder what Google's figures are?

58% of what they KNOW was compromised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39442323)

When "hactivists" compromise something, they start screaming it from the roof tops. When "criminals" compromise something they keep their mouths shut. It is quite possible that there are many undiscovered security breaches that fall into the second category. (I use these terms in quotes merely to provide some logical distinction. The acts themselves are generally criminal in nature regardless of motivation.)

Takes one to know one, I guess (1)

Tommy Bologna (2431404) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442547)

Is this the same Verizon who has been helping the NSA with warrantless wiretaps -- that is to say helping the gov't steal personal data in real time?

Sony - probably skewed the results (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442567)

Considering the largest breach of 2011 happened to be Sony (started with Playstation Network, spread through to other Sony sites), it's hard to tell if this is the case. After all, Anonymous and Lulzsec kept breaking into other Sony sites All in all, Sony lost probably close to 150M customer records....

I would call that hackivism since it was meant more to embarass Sony over their lack of security.

How reliable is this data? (2)

gozu (541069) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442587)

hacktivists, by definition, will publicize their break-ins so you can be sure they will be counted.

Common thieves and governmental spies (chinese, russians, etc.) on the other hand, might never be discovered if their level of competence is superior to that of the security administrators of a company.

Therefore, the statistics offered are very dubious and I would not be surprised if they are completely and spectacularly wrong.

"Hactivists" aren't criminals? (1)

Frenzied Apathy (2473340) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442661)

... was the result of hactivism, which involves computer break-ins for political rather than commercial gain. In previous years, most hacking was carried out by criminals

They must be fighting it... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442859)

Because my Verizon iPhone has NO data on their 3G network anywhere near down town.

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