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Man Reportedly Jailed for Using Lynx

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the freak-outs dept.

Security 912

wezzul writes "A Londoner made a tsunami-relief donation using Lynx on Sun's Solaris operating system. The site operator decided that this 'unusual' event in the system log indicated a hack attempt, and the police broke down the donor's door and arrested him." Honestly, though, aside from a BBC article about a tsunami fund hacking probe that doesn't mention user agents there's little to corroborate this. Hopefully Lynx users need not worry too much yet.

cancel ×

912 comments

And for good reason! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501147)

Thats right; He shoulda been using "links" anyhow!

Re:And for good reason! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501182)

w3m is ... how do you say ... "teh bestest omg" text-browser. It's incredible how fast I get things done withit compared to the Mozilla-bloat- and -crapware.

Firefox light and fast my gay ass!

Stupidest mod ever (3, Informative)

mirko (198274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501208)

That idiot doesn't know that besides Lynx [browser.org] , there is also Links [mff.cuni.cz] .

Parent is not offtopic !

well (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501148)

good thing i use links!

Re:well (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501284)

http://termpapersexposed.blogspot.com/

First time using Links... (2, Funny)

YowzaTheYuzzum (774454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501301)

I just downloaded Links for the first time to try it out, headed to Slashdot, and the first article I see is how using Lynx can land you in jail... I guess I picked the right browser, didn't I?

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501149)

First Post!

Re:First Post (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501157)

First post with Lynx!

Re:First Post - CowboyNeal called the cops (5, Funny)

Anonymous Cowherd X (850136) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501302)

First post with Lynx!


And your last post here, you hax0r, you!


Morons. (-1, Redundant)

dcstimm (556797) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501152)

Complete Morons!

Re:Morons. (1)

ganhawk (703420) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501177)

I agree. If true, then this man should sue BT for the false alert!

How is this diffrent from arresting a customer going in to buy something getting arrested for theft.

Re:Morons. (1)

ganhawk (703420) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501185)

oops. I meant "how is this diffrent from a customer going into a shop to buy some, getting arrested for theft without proof"

double morons (-1, Offtopic)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501269)

You don't even have to be using Lynx to get put away in the UK. [bbc.co.uk]

Where's the buggy-eyed smily when you need it? (5, Funny)

PreDefined (787636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501153)

What's next? Sometime in the near future: Man tries to buy chocolate bar with paper money! Shock! Horror! Maybe this is just a little too random but that's where my mind travelled to.

Re:Where's the buggy-eyed smily when you need it? (5, Interesting)

ActionJesus (803475) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501218)

Up here in Scotland, we have our own paper money. Although its legal throughout the UK, a lot of english shopkeeps will give you funny looks if you give them a scottish fiver.

However, wheres fivers and the like merely look different, apparently the english dont have a paper £1 note (and we do, although they're much rarer these days).

How long until we get arrested for paying for something with "funny money"? Remember, every time you use a non-standard currency, your funding terrorists!

Re:Where's the buggy-eyed smily when you need it? (1)

zebs (105927) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501317)

Well the shop my girlfriend (yes I have one, and I read /.) no longer accepts your "funny money" simply because of the number of fraudulent scotish bank notes they have seen recently.

I can understand the problem though, how can you spot the difference between the fake and the real note when you've never seen the real one before?

WHY! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501154)

Why oh why wasnt it "Man Reportedly Jailed for Using IE"

Re:WHY! (5, Funny)

Hoagy (767703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501166)

what about "Man Reportedly Jailed for Creating IE"

Thank God for people.... (5, Funny)

Homology (639438) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501158)

actually reading logs, now, if only they could understand them.

Re:Thank God for people.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501173)

This is mildly off topic, but I'll back you up on a recent experience of mine. I've had some intense sinus pressure on the right side of my face, but no pain. My normal GP (who has served me well) dismissed it initially, but after 8 months did little more than keep offering me decongestants. They didn't really help. We stepped through a few other options, including ear infections and a course of antibiotics. Still nothing. A few times I asked the guy if he could just take a look up my nose, it *felt* like there was something there, on the right hand side.

He wouldn't, just told me it would be fine, it's nothing to worry about.

That leads me to poke around with a pair of tweezers up my nose - you know, it's really surprising how much space you have back there if you really concentrate while you're prodding about, to see what is where.

After a couple of attempts I latched onto something that didn't give any feedback of belonging to me - I couldn't feel the tweezing, and it didn't hurt. Giving it a tug I felt a *big* pressure change in my sinus, and pulled slowly. Out came what has to be the filthiest thing from my head. Two and a half inches long, dark green/brown and stained with a little blood on the end, it was close to the consistency of a pencil eraser in parts, moving to the consistency of jello at one end.

Then came the draining. Gack. What looked like 2 tablespoons of pus ran from my nose, which honestly made me feel physically ill. I like squeezing a zit as much as the next person, but this was just a bit much.

Anyway, after an hour I felt awesome. no more pressure on the side of my face, and I swear my eyes focus a little better than they did before. I took the gel-lump into my doctor, told him what it was, how it happened, how it had fixed all the sinus pressure I'd been having.

He didn't think that was the problem.

Go figure. My situation wasn't problematic. I wasn't in pain, I didn't have any long term damage to my health, but still a doctor when presented with symptoms and requests from a patient and ignores them, even when the final cause is discovered isn't someone to keep around, so I changed docs and told him why. Give each doc a good go at solving a problem, but if they insist on sticking on a point that really doesn't feel right, do change.

Re:Thank God for people.... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501181)

it's like the people reporting at some lan that somebody is "HAXORING MEEEE" when all that's happening is that the games played are sending broadcasting when looking for servers...

"informative" firewalls and IDS's in hands of fools are bad news.

Bonus Browser (5, Funny)

orangeguru (411012) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501160)

Lynx - the adventure browser ...

Re:Bonus Browser (1)

ninji (703783) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501197)

LOL wish I could mod this up! Text based and still more adventure then a full 3d game!

He could still have tried to break in... (3, Insightful)

Essef (12025) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501162)

Just because he was using lynx does not mean he was not trying to break into the site.

Re:He could still have tried to break in... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501191)

I bet it's a mickeysoft admin and he just googled what Lynx was and thought "jipes" a geek and pushed a big red button like it says on page 6534 of his Mickeysoft web admin book...

Re:He could still have tried to break in... (2, Insightful)

odyrithm (461343) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501212)

The kids intuitive, you can lean allot from him people of slashdot.

But aside from the joking, being a brit and having used BT for ADSL; yes I would say they are moronic enough to have done something as stupid as this.

Insightful??? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501224)

"Just because he eats apples doesn't mean he is not a child molester"

Where is the connection of the two? Parent puts some claim in the room, based on a connection which doesn't exist, and is modded up?

Re:Insightful??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501249)

I think he meant it as a joke. Slashdot moderators are morons though.

Re:Insightful??? (1)

Eric604 (798298) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501273)

slashdot needs smily icons :P

Re:Insightful??? (5, Insightful)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501287)

I actually thought it was pretty insightful, but I'll post instead of mod.

So far, all comments are supporting one of two hypotheses:
a) The story is a hoax, no one was arrested.
b) The story is true, OMG they are after us just for using Lynx!

Grandparent pointed out a possible third alternative:
The person was using Lynx, the bastard really tried to hack the tsunami relief site, and that's why he was arrested.

Re:Insightful??? (2, Funny)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501290)

Man found molesting child was eating apples.

That's head line new, a man was arrested whilst eating apples.

You watch too much FOX.

https? (2, Interesting)

beuges (613130) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501260)

Last i used lynx (which admittedly was years ago), it didnt appear to support https connections. Is this still the case? I'd be more concerned about a "tsunami relief website" that accepted donations over a non-secure protocol.

Re:https? (4, Informative)

Dicky (1327) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501306)

Lynx has (optionally) supported https for many years now - I used to use it for my online banking (one of the reasons I'm impressed by my bank's service - it uses javascript and stuff, but works fine without it) before I caught this nasty GUI bug...

Man Reportedly Jailed for Using IE (5, Funny)

SpikyTux (524666) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501164)

In an unrelated news, A Londoner made a tsunami-relief donation using Internet Explorer on Microsoft Windows operating system. The site operator decided that this usual event in the system log indicated the user has zero clue on how insecure Internet Explorer is, and the police broke down the donor's door and arrested him.

Technical in-joke (4, Funny)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501165)

So the police saw "Lynx" and busted him? Just as well he didn't script a PERL WWW-lib useragent:-
#!/usr/bin/perl

use LWP::UserAgent;
$ua=LWP::UserAgent->new;
$ua->ag ent("I p0wnz j00 d00dz hax0r/v.10 rev. fuq2 ");

Re:Technical in-joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501255)

It's much easier to just change your useragent string in the about:config of a mozilla browser.

Hope he gets the sysadmin locked up (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501167)

for false imprisonment, and sued for slander, liable, an anything else he can think of.

Re:Hope he gets the sysadmin locked up (1)

raehl (609729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501216)

for false imprisonment, and sued for slander, liable, an anything else he can think of.

He'll have a tough time on the false imprisonment and the slander without the liable.

Re:Hope he gets the sysadmin locked up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501266)

Also in England if you can prove you are wrongly jailed you are expected to pay for the time you spent in Jail (seriously).

Re:Hope he gets the sysadmin locked up (2, Insightful)

Eivind (15695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501294)

Not quite, but almost.

If you are wrongfully jailed you'll get compensation. BUT they'll subtract "housing and food", i.e. the value of the bed and the food in prison from your compensation. Which lead some journalists to report that you're supposed to "pay for jail".

Re:Hope he gets the sysadmin locked up (1)

xbmodder (805757) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501230)

i say lock him up now! do it or else M$ sys admins will be like jail for using mozilla. or jail for using mosiac :)

governments are funny. (3, Insightful)

ctime (755868) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501168)

While not fair by any means, to me this is clearly an example of one faction of the governments: Setting examples.
I would speculate that the browser inadvertently sent some malformed HTTP POSTS or otherwise made some "usual" as in "unusual garbage posts to credit card processing engine" and spooked the sysadmin who had far to much time on his hand and the local police number on speed dial.

poor bastard..I bet if he was using linux this wouldn't have happend ;]

Re:governments are funny. (1)

tonsofpcs (687961) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501188)

The site operator has most likely never seen a proper HTTP request.

Re:governments are funny. (5, Insightful)

L.Bob.Rife (844620) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501192)

But the real question is, did this request go through a judge to get a warrant, or was it simply some sysadmin making a claim (which could be easily refuted by an expert) and the police arresting somebody on one mans word.

Will police arrest somebody if I claim they killed somebody, or do they still need evidence?

Re:governments are funny. (2, Informative)

James Fryer (717807) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501243)

If someone makes a statement to the police, that is evidence, and they can arrest on the strength of it (in the UK at least).

Again, the US government proves to be (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501169)

a bullying, over-reacting, fascist....

Oh, wait, this was in another country.

Nevermind.

Just trying to do my duty as a slashdot poster.

Re:Again, the US government proves to be (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501202)

STFU, troll.

Oh com'on! (1)

LewsTherinKinslayer (817418) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501170)

I'm normally the kind of guy who moderates these kind of comments -1 offtopic, but for the love of god, how is this news? Its not even corroborated.

Re:Oh com'on! (1)

Zentac (804805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501195)

I would have modded you off-topic, but than I read the commend below about teaching flash sites about accessibility by hitting them with Lynx...
Geuss where my modpoint went :)

Re:Oh com'on! (1)

Leo McGarry (843676) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501292)

It's been a slow news day. If the increasingly inaptly named "editors" don't generate a certain minimum number of page views per day, they go on short rations.

Re:Oh com'on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501314)

You're new here, right?

I had to use Lynx once (1, Funny)

LardBrattish (703549) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501171)

I say jail 'em all
Using Lynx is just plain wrong!!! :)

Re:I had to use Lynx once (1)

grolschie (610666) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501235)

Exactly!!!.... err... well... unless of course X is broken again... damn this meddling in /etc, always breaking stuff...

Re:I had to use Lynx once (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501237)

Using Lynx is just plain wrong!!!

No, using Lynx is just plain text.

Re:I had to use Lynx once (3, Informative)

wertarbyte (811674) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501244)

You are right, (e)links is much better! :-) (Also support mouse control through SSH with PuTTY)

No, *I* am Spartacus! (4, Insightful)

cliffiecee (136220) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501176)

We *so* need to name a 'Lynx' day in protest. Hit all your favorite sites with a text-based browser in a non-windows OS for one day.

Of course, with all the embedded Flash around, some sites will be totally inaccessible... which would maybe teach them a lesson about accessibility.

Re:No, *I* am Spartacus! (1)

Drakonite (523948) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501238)

How is this different than any other day for a lot of us?

Sad thing is, it doesn't matter how many times I hit a flash based page with a text based browser it doesn't teach them anything, it only teaches me how bad so many webpage "programmers" are.

Re:No, *I* am Spartacus! (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501300)

It should teach you that people can ignore you and still function perfectly haply and even make and probably make more money that if they had catered for you.

When was the last time you purchased taylor made shoes?

Re:No, *I* am Spartacus! (1)

Zentac (804805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501305)

I understand that you would like to be able to use everything everywhere, but you should understand that a lot of flash sites try to offer a visual experiance, much more than offer you information. You could argue that they are still ignorant, witch is probably tru, but I think most people will just disregard it, even if you explain to them and get them to understand that there still are some people who use text based browsers

Because everyone knows (5, Interesting)

L.Bob.Rife (844620) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501178)

That hackers would never think to forge a browser agent tag.

G. Orwell would be proud (1)

maroonhat (845773) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501180)

since when dose a "hack atempt" constitute hauling someone off to jail?
...hmm thats a non standard browser not identifying it's type and it's doing strange things. Trace that IP. Arrest that hacker.
...1984 is today aparently

I don't believe it (2, Insightful)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501190)

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Jailed for using a nonstandard browser

A Londonder made a tsnuami-relief donation using lynx -- a text-based browser used by the blind, Unix-users and others -- on Sun's Solaris operating system. The site-operator decided that this "unusual" event in the system log indicated a hack-attempt, and the police broke down the donor's door and arrested him. From a mailing list:

For donating to a Tsunami appeal using Lynx on Solaris 10. BT [British Telecom] who run the donation management system misread an access log and saw hmm thats a non standard browser not identifying it's type and it's doing strange things. Trace that IP. Arrest that hacker.

Armed police, a van, a police cell and national news later the police have gone in SWAT styley and arrested someone having their lunch.

Out on bail till next week and preparing to make a lot of very bad PR for BT and the Police....

So just goes to show if you use anything other than Firefox or IE and you rely on someone else to interogate access logs or IDS logs you too could be sitting in a paper suit in a cell :(

There is something more going on here than just using a different browser. Police would never arrest someone just because of the browser he was using. Was he trying to hack into the website? If he did that, then it is a crime and the police had the right to arrest and jail him (hopefully for a long time).

Re:I don't believe it (1, Insightful)

bani (467531) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501226)

the police arrested him based on a complaint from BT.

you see, BT = big corpration. big money. police = BT bitches. what BT says, police does. no questions asked.

though it looks like in this case, the unquestioning obedience of the police to BT is going to backfire in this case.

this is not too different from what happens in the usa. police being at the beck and call of big business. and every once in a while a PR disaster as some big corp makes a mistake and the police get a black eye for unquestioningly following it without any investigations.

Re:I don't believe it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501242)

Yeah, I think as well, that the unusual browser agent made the site-operator look closer and follow the actions being done. After that he decided that is was going about an attempt to hack the site and informed the police about this.

But how is this crime anyway if this would be the case? Is acting like you are cracking the same as doing actually some cracking?

I mean, if I was probing someones door just trying to get in.... Is that called buglary? Maybe I was just checking or someone asked me to force the door. It could be the owner of the house asking me to do this.

People should investigate first and act upon it later depending on how much knowledge you've got about the particular case.

Re:I don't believe it (1)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501278)

There is something more going on here than just using a different browser. Police would never arrest someone just because of the browser he was using. Was he trying to hack into the website? If he did that, then it is a crime and the police had the right to arrest and jail him (hopefully for a long time).

According to the news, the guy was indeed jailed for using a different browser. What happened was that the site operator read the access logs and because he found the access logs a bit unusual (didn't recognized the browser identification and all), he reported them to the police, who raided the guy's house.

I am not absolutely sure if that is the whole story or if it is missing something (journalists... bah....) but if it isn't, it is quite alarming.

Re:I don't believe it (4, Interesting)

gnuorder (757415) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501303)

I'm sure there could be more to the story, like perhaps there were repeated log entries as if he had lynx in a script loop to do something as innocent as collect donation totals or something evil like password guessing. I wouldn't put it past the police/judges in any country of being largely ignorant of what a browser agent really means. It wouldn't take them much convincing to go busting down doors. The suspicious part of the story is the sysadmin thinking something odd with the user agent of just that one person and calling the authorities. Looking at the logs from fairly small web sites you are lible to see all sorts of odd user agents. If something did stick out, I would think a sysadmin's first step would be to do a google search.

Re:I don't believe it (5, Funny)

koi88 (640490) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501316)


Police would never arrest someone just because of the browser he was using.

I hope you're right. The link provided in the article [bbc.co.uk] doesn't provide much information about the nature of the attack.

Searching on BBC for "lynx" shows that this browser is very popular in Britain, they even named a real animal [bbc.co.uk] after it.

Did he file a bug report? (5, Funny)

node 3 (115640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501199)

BUG 6397: "Save As..." dialog doesn't work properly under certa...
BUG 6398: Lynx unexpectedly quits when Japanese text is...
BUG 6399: When browsing tsunami relief site, users are arrested by the police...
BUG 6400: Choosing "cyan" for visited links causes all links to show up as cyan...

Re:Did he file a bug report? (5, Funny)

js7a (579872) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501282)

Ha! "Works for me, can you attach a scan of your police report?"

Re:Did he file a bug report? (1)

Reorax (629666) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501325)

Try re-installing or running Lynx as root. If that fails, delete your ~/.lynx/I_PWN_JOO directory.

I understand why the admin was so suspicious... (2, Interesting)

Jaidon (843279) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501200)

...Lynx [browser.org] has that oh-so-scary Y and X in there. It looks very L33t [wikipedia.org] and hacker-friendly. Now, if that poor guy had only used Links [sourceforge.net] instead, this whole mess wouldn't have happened. There's nothing scary about an I and a K is there? Though I guess you could use them to say Mikrosoft. That's kinda creepy I suppose.

Cool hack (2, Funny)

farmhick (465391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501203)

I didn't even know the Lynx [atariage.com] was able to go online. And then to be arrested just because you use old technology [cwest.com] , what a bother.

Re:Cool hack (1)

koi88 (640490) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501246)


I didn't even know the Lynx was able to go online.

I have a similiar device [vgmuseum.com] . I've never used it for web browsing, though. Am I safe?

Re:Cool hack (2, Funny)

farmhick (465391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501308)

Well, maybe he tied a couple of bills to it and threw it through the charity's front window. Then they could say he crashed their Windows with something called Lynx. The reporter could have just gotten a little confused in the details.

What's that ? (5, Funny)

Liquid Len (739188) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501207)

Hopefully Lynx users need not worry too much yet.
You mean the three of them ?

Re:What's that ? (1)

kaedemichi255 (834073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501215)

Four, you insensitive clod!

The really shocking news is (1)

Advocadus Diaboli (323784) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501213)

how can it be, that because some idiot of operator doesn't know how to read logs a police squad is going after someone and arresting him?

This is no fun at all. If its that easy to get someone in trouble and if there is no control instance (usually a judge) that approves such actions, then we are in greater danger than we ever exepected.

Hard to beleive it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501217)

I use personnaly Wusage for my web statictics and it is not uncommon at all (everyday in fact) to see user agents more exotic than Lynx's one. So why *this one* ?

Anyway, since User Agent is a value which can be easily changed (non-IE users who try to bypass silly IE-only user-agent checkings know that well :) ), I don't know why people still care about it. There are more suspicious things to look at in an HTTP request.

call an @ an @ (3, Funny)

MorboNixon (130386) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501222)

I'm sure it wasn't the fact that he used Lynx, but all the ascii child pr0n they found on his hard drive that prompted his arrest.

let me try (1)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501225)

knoppix@ttyp0[usr]$ lynx http://www.dec.org.uk
[screen changes to ncurses mode]
[lynx output exited to pass lameness filter]

Tsunami Earthquake Appeal (p1 of 5)

Logo - Click to go to home page

Click here to continue to DEC website for more information

Click here for FAQ's

BT Logo

Tsunami Earthquake Appeal

DEC TSUNAMI EARTHQUAKE APPEAL

YOU CAN HELP - DONATE ONLINE

-- press space for next page --
Arrow keys: Up and Down to move. Right to follow a link; Left to
go back. H)elp O)ptions P)rint G)o M)ain screen Q)uit /=search

Inexperienced techies shouldn't run big sites (2)

grundie (220908) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501232)

Apart from the obvious hole BT have dug themselves in to, this goes to show that perhaps BT should employ more experienced staff to look after their high-profile websites. If the techie concerned thought Lynx was dodgy then clearly he hasn't been using the internet all that long.

Probably a fake story but if it were true... (4, Funny)

Slashdot Insider (623670) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501233)

Serves him right for not using a digitally signed [slashdot.org] and approved Internet! How could he trust Lynx?

Another conspiracy by M$? (3, Funny)

Hido (655301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501239)

Whats the chances of his door being broken down if he was using Windows XP with IE instead of using lynx?

This just goes to show that in the long-run, the TCO for M$ products are a lot lower then using other alternatives. :)

It was Microsoft Certified Administrator (1)

necromcr (836137) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501265)

.. i bet it was!

That's a bit scary (2)

Omniscientist (806841) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501247)

I'm not a user of Lynx, but I use links quite often. The thought of being jailed due to my using of a text browser that makes the world of popups and the loading of images a world in another universe makes me laugh and slightly worried. I hope I don't decide to make a website about something relatively useful and get canned for it. Thinking that this is jail-able is an idea so exotic I'd never think of it.

Re:Everyone is always connected. (1)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501291)

Lain is the goddess of the internet. Wherever you go, she is with you always.

The real headline... (5, Funny)

bani (467531) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501264)

BT, astonished by having seen the first correctly formatted HTTP request ever in their logs, reported the incident to police.

"Nobody follows RFCs these days -- microsoft has firmly established that standards are there to be ignored. Anyone following the HTTP RFCs as strictly and to the exact letter as this individual did is obviously up to no good, so we reported the incident to police as an obvious terrorist act.".

Well I think JWZ put it best for Lynx users. (0)

Ober (12002) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501274)

For those lynx users among us maybe you remember seeing this if you ever visited jwz.org

reference http://web.archive.org/web/20000303115840/http://w ww.jwz.org/

Re:Well I think JWZ put it best for Lynx users. (5, Funny)

Ober (12002) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501285)

Lynx users might remember this from www.jwz.org

#
Greetings, Lynx users. There is a reason this page doesn't use ALT tags
on the images. The reason is that the bozos responsible for both MSIE
and Netscape Confusicator 4.0 decided that they would display the ALT
tags of images every time you move the mouse over them -- even if the
images are loaded, and even if they are not links. The ALT attribute
to the IMG tag is supposed to be used *instead of* the image, not *in
addition to* the image.

This looks absolutely terrible, so I don't use ALT tags any more in
self-defense.

If they wanted to implemented tooltips, they should have used the TITLE
attribute to the A tag. That's in the HTML 1.2 spec and everything.

I had to decide between making this page look good for the vast majority
of viewers, or making it be readable by the miniscule minority of you
stuck in the 70s. Those of you in the retro contingent lost. Sorry.
#

reference:

http://web.archive.org/web/20000303115840/http:/ /w ww.jwz.org/

I am so paranoid (5, Funny)

tearmeapart (674637) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501279)

I am so paranoid that I use lynx.
I am even more paranoid that I use BSD. (Security is more important than speed, new developments, a friendly environment, etc.)
The paranoia continues because I use BSD's jail to secure lynx.

My command to open lynx:
'/usr/sbin/jail -U poor_england_guy /dev/null dummy233 192.168.2.233 "/usr/local/bin/lynx -disable_cookies -ssl-only -referrer='http://www.google.ca' -nocolor https://www.dec.org.uk/"'

So lets see:
1. You cannot save data about me because I disabled cookies.
2. You cannot see data that I receive or send because I use ssl.
3. You cannot use somekind of frame trick to send me to a site where I do not want to go.
4. You cannot use popups on me. Lynx does not exactly have any windows.
5. No frame tricks either. Lynx does not support frames.
6. If some hole is found in lynx, my automatic secure update (/usr/ports with freebsd) with fix it. It's secure and uses ssh2-like things, so it will take a few thousand/million years to get past that security.
7. Even a virus gets on the machine:
a. I can just restart lynx.
b. I boot off a CD. The filesystem is read-only. Really read-only.
c. Virii are unheard of on bsd.
d. I can switch to links or wget.

Conclusions:
1. I find it a good probability that this system admin saw the person's lynx setup (comparable to mine) and was extremely jealous. After a few minutes of being stuck on "hostname#", the system administrator just gave up and decided to sue this guy.
This jealousy is similar to SCO's jealous of Linux.

2. Everyone should switch to a similar setup. I am sure everyone would enjoy the interface, and some would especially enjoy the ASCII pr0n.

Ask the horses mouth (1)

gtoomey (528943) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501288)

The site is dec.org.uk [dec.org.uk]

Theres an email link on the home page & I'm going to email them & ask if its true.

Re:Ask the horses mouth (1)

Ubi_NL (313657) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501310)

I'd rather suggest we all check that page with lynx from all over the world and let them scream DDos attack to CNN

We have no confimation of the Lynx bit (4, Insightful)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501297)

So far there is a single, mostly unknown, source for the portions of the story pertaining to Lynx. This is notable more for how opposite the Blogsphere and mainstream media positions are on the story. Currently, only the man arrested knows the real story and I have even seen a quote from him yet. We certainly haven't been exposed to any decent journalism yet.

Have Your Say via UA String Extension Mozilla (4, Funny)

new500 (128819) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501298)

. . .

Now, I am trying to think up something appropriately insulting of their intellect to write to their logs with the UA spoofer extensions in Mozilla.

Any suggestions? :-)

. . .

heh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501307)

talk about no good deed going unpunished

You know an upgrade is way overdue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11501309)

When you get busted for using outdated software :-D

Lynx is *so* handy... (1)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501312)

...in case of near-slashdotting. :p

martijn@grote5:~$ lynx -dump -nolist "http://www.boingboing.net/2005/01/27/jailed_for_u sing_a_n.html"
#Atom RSS
[stuff cut to pacify lame(ness) filter]
Copyright 2004 Happy Mutants LLC. Some rights reserved. Boing Boing is a trademark of Happy Mutants LLC in the United States [and other countries].

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Jailed for using a nonstandard browser
A Londonder made a tsnuami-relief donation using lynx -- a text-based browser used by the blind, Unix-users and others -- on Sun's Solaris operating system. The site-operator decided that this "unusual" event in the system log indicated a hack-attempt, and the police broke down the donor's door and arrested him. From a mailing list:

For donating to a Tsunami appeal using Lynx on Solaris 10. BT [British Telecom] who run the donation management system misread an access log and saw hmm thats a non standard browser not identifying it's type and it's doing strange things. Trace that IP. Arrest that hacker.

Armed police, a van, a police cell and national news later the police have gone in SWAT styley and arrested someone having their lunch.

Out on bail till next week and preparing to make a lot of very bad PR for BT and the Police....

So just goes to show if you use anything other than Firefox or IE and you rely on someone else to interogate access logs or IDS logs you too could be sitting in a paper suit in a cell :(

Link (Thanks, Patrick!)

Update:: The source that told me about this has corroborated it with more detail in private email, but is leery of going public. I hope that more publicly available details appear soon, and will post them when I have them.

posted by Cory Doctorow at 12:08:00 AM permalink | Other blogs commenting on this post
Sponsored by:

Interested in advertising on Boing Boing? Email us
[stuff cut to pacify lame(ness) filter]
Click here to place a text ad like the one above.

[addtomyyahoo.gif]
martijn@grote5:~$

what os? (1)

POds (241854) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501319)

<quote>The site operator decided that this 'unusual' event in the system log indicated a hack attempt, and the police broke down the donor's door and arrested him.</quote>

And what OS was the site running?

Take one guess :)

Just tried it out... (5, Interesting)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501320)

Just made a small donation to the DEC site [bt.com] , using lynx.

Now let's wait and see what will happen next...

If lots of people do the same:

  • BT will get the message that there are still lots of people who use lynx
  • more money for the tsunami victims :-)

imagine how many non-standard (3, Insightful)

Evets (629327) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501323)

imagine how many non-standard user agents will be showing up in bt's logs tomorrow.

I bet there's a ton of LWP requests hitting BT as we speak.
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