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Republican Aide Tries to Hire Hackers

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the hack-it-yourself-like-the-rest-of-us dept.

The Internet 427

Noryungi writes "It seems as though a Republican Communications Director contacted Attrition.org, trying to hire hackers to improve his educational records. I don't know what is his dumbest move: (a) contacting Attrition in the first place, (b) using a real name Yahoo email address or (c) speaking at length about what he needed? Kudos to the Attrition crew for posting the whole email dialogue online! A sample from the conversation: 'Jericho: First, let's be clear. You are soliciting me to break the law and hack into a computer across state lines. That is a federal offense and multiple felonies. Obviously I can't trust anyone and everyone that mails such a request, you might be an FBI agent, right? So, I need three things to make this happen: 1. A picture of a squirrel or pigeon on your campus. One close-up, one with background that shows buildings, a sign, or something to indicate you are standing on the campus. 2. The information I mentioned so I can find the records once I get into the database. 3. Some idea of what I get for all my trouble.'"

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427 comments

What the? (0)

suso (153703) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338382)

"A picture of a squirrel or pigeon near where you live is fine. One close up, one from the distance enough so there are buildings or anything to help identify the location of where the pic was taken from."

Um, I'm sure I won't be the only one to ask this. But how in the hell does this prove that you are not the FBI, Secret Service, Police or whoever? Even if he was on campus at the time, I'm sure any authority that you'd want to fear could get to wherever they needed to be to take that picture in the same day that he asks for it.

O mighty hackers, please enlighten me and others here about this technique. Otherwise, I'm going to go on thinking that Jericho's methodology here is rather insane. Or is Attrition a joke hacker site or something to just expose people like Todd?

I did think that this part of the dialogue was pretty hillarious:

Jericho: And, are there pigeons on campus?
Todd: Forgive what I assume is dumb question, but what are pigeons? I know you're not talking about the bird.
Jericho: Actually I am.
Todd: Wow, I feel dumb now.

Re:What the? (2, Insightful)

RebornData (25811) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338408)

Umm, pretty much everything that came from the attrition.org side is a joke. They were yanking this guy's chain.

-R

Re:What the? (5, Funny)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338412)

Everyone knows that squirrels and pigeons have a protection from FBI spell cast on them, and cannot be photographed or photoshopped by FBI agents or those in collusion with them.

Re:What the? (4, Funny)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338644)

Everyone knows that squirrels and pigeons have a protection from FBI spell cast on them, and cannot be photographed or photoshopped by FBI agents or those in collusion with them.

Actually, their inability to be photoshopped has nothing to do with it. Pigeons are protected under whistle-blower laws.

Re:What the? (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338698)

that doesn't explain the squirrels

Re:What the? (4, Funny)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338810)

The squirrel requirement eliminates the nuts.

Re:What the? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17338812)

They are just plain nuts.

Nevermind, jokes on me I guess (2, Informative)

suso (153703) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338478)

I read the email correspondence before reading the network world article. They were just leading him on.

Re:What the? (5, Informative)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338520)

Um, I'm sure I won't be the only one to ask this. But how in the hell does this prove that you are not the FBI, Secret Service, Police or whoever? Even if he was on campus at the time, I'm sure any authority that you'd want to fear could get to wherever they needed to be to take that picture in the same day that he asks for it.

In case you are wondering, what they are doing is a variant of the 419 eater [419eater.com] technique. They had no intent of following through, but they had every intent of making the guy look like a fool as they strung him along.

Re:What the? (2, Funny)

xx01dk (191137) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339158)

Holy cow. This technique actually has a name.... and you knew what it was... I'm in complete awe over here.

(not a troll, simply poking fun) :)

Re:What the? (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338526)

Um, I'm sure I won't be the only one to ask this. But how in the hell does this prove that you are not the FBI, Secret Service, Police or whoever?

They were just messing with him. They were playing on the whole "hacker movie" stereotypes of being able to do anything with even the slightest bit of information*. The request to get a sign or buildings in the background was to solidify the idea that they wanted this information for verification purposes. They probably wanted him to believe they could zoom in from a live satellite and see the location he photographed.

They continued to jerk his chain with email exchanges like this one:

Have had a chance to set up a couple of
IDS/IPS evasion bots, perimeter scanning came up clean. Small SQL
injection issue merged with XSS shows that the backend database may be
either 768-bit encrypted or a simple 3DES matter, but a little more time
should take care of that issue. Once the tables are writable to sa,
should be ready to jump in and jump out with no problem. One of their
systems caught an early sniff, but was shut down with a smurf.

It sounds good (lots'o techno-jargon), but it's obviously nonsense to anyone who knows better.

* I don't watch 24, but I've heard some rather amusing takes on their entire "hacker" philosophy. In particular, they seem to be able to do the impossible without blinking an eye, just by wrapping it up in some techno-babble that's intended to sound good to the average joe.

Re:What the? (2, Informative)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338786)

I don't watch 24, but I've heard some rather amusing takes on their entire "hacker" philosophy. In particular, they seem to be able to do the impossible without blinking an eye, just by wrapping it up in some techno-babble that's intended to sound good to the average joe.
It's exactly the same technique as Star Trek:TNG technobabble, where plausible-sounding nonsense is strung together to magically create the "particle of the week"/Polarity Reversal that will, in classic deus ex machina form, save the day. They use a more toned-down (but no less impossible) form of the same thing on CSI. I've dealt with many TV writers. They're largely technologically illiterate. It's all they can do to get their PowerBooks to turn on.

Re:What the? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338548)

It's like the stuff you see on 419 Eater [419eater.com] where they convince the scammers to send in photos of themselves looking stupid.

Anyone with a half a clue would have twigged to it...The request is so clearly useless.

Re:What the? (1)

Hanners1979 (959741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338552)

The guy's take on the pigeon or squirrel thing is: "Main thing is to prove to a degree who you are, that you can do something unique and quickly, etc." You're right though, it doesn't seem like the best way to prove that somebody isn't an FBI agent... Unless pigeons and squirrels have some anti-Fed sixth sense that I'm yet to find out about.

Re:What the? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338572)

Obviously they were leading him on. But if he completed such a request, it would show that he was serious. That would go a long way in proving he had intent to commit a crime.

Re:What the? (1)

Zorandler (931867) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338776)

I hope these work, there's no pigeons, but some of
other birds and a couple with a squirrel. Let me know
how to proceed from here. I think there's a way to
verify that I took these yesterday...

That left me laughing so hard...only one of the pics ended up loading for me, but when it did, there was the cute little squirrel!

Re:What the? (2, Funny)

neoform (551705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339054)

Nah, the rot-26 takes the cake.

It's just like rot-13, but twice as secure!

Hilarious (5, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338388)

todd... no more.. omfg we are SO busted.. fuck fuck fuck FUCK FUCK
everything was PERFECT until their night noc ran a reverse udp traceroute
back to one of the hosts we had set up after that, straight DOWNHILL.
i've already been called twice by my isp asking about unusual activity,
some other shit about access attempts to a federally monitored system they
have everything in logs including the rot-26 stuff that finally got me
access all goes back to your login sorry i really fucked up BAD


I'm sorry, I keeled over laughing from that part. They really had him strung along with the whole thing. Although, I think he started to catch on after the "bust":

I was getting
serious cold feet and going to tell you to abort until
I saw your last email. To that end, I have spoken
about this to no one as we agreed and I will not speak
of it in the future. As a gesture of good faith, I was
hoping you guys would remove our correspondence from
your web site. Isn't that risky for all of us to have
it up there?


Honestly, the more I see of this stuff, the more I wonder if it isn't time for a congress reform rather than any of the billion other little "reforms" that congress proposes. The original intent of the founding fathers was that regular people would run for office and represent the best interests of their constituents; in the tradition of Cincinnatus [wikipedia.org] They certainly never intended for the "career" politicians we see today. Too much money, organized crime, and generally dispicable people getting into office.

The only question is, what is the best approach to encourage more honorable folks to run for office? Perhaps the terms of office should be limited? That would certainly help discourage careering. Limits on advertising budgets would be good, but difficult to police. Any other ideas?

Here's a couple ways: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17338574)

Don't pay them 6-figure salaries, and require that they be in session as much as any other working person would have to be at his/her job.

Re:Hilarious (5, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338620)

The only question is, what is the best approach to encourage more honorable folks to run for office? Perhaps the terms of office should be limited? That would certainly help discourage careering. Limits on advertising budgets would be good, but difficult to police. Any other ideas?

Yeah, how about congressional salary caps that bring them down to the median income in the US? That way, if they want a raise, they have to improve the quality of life for all people. Mind you, you have to include the unemployed, so that there's a bunch of zeroes in there to bring the average down - to give them motivation to combat unemployment.

They say that democracies fail when people realize that they can vote themselves entitlements. What about congress? They've been voting themselves entitlements continually, while the minimum wage hasn't kept up with inflation in more than a decade...

Re:Hilarious (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338908)

Yeah, how about congressional salary caps that bring them down to the median income in the US? That way, if they want a raise, they have to improve the quality of life for all people.

That's definitely fair, as long as you allow for various congressional expenses to be charged back to the congressional budget. Expenses such as travel and running their office are too expensive to come out of pocket, and we wouldn't want them running to outside money at the first opportunity. Of course, such an expense account opens up other possibilities for fraud (need I remind anyone of the congressional postal abuse scandal?) so it's not a perfect solution.

In the end, we need a set of changes that would convince the cheaters that politics isn't worth it, and that the only reason to get into office is if you want to see something changed. One has to wonder, how much better would politics be if we dissolved the parties backing these politicians?

Re:Hilarious (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17338980)

Don't be so naive. The Congressional salary is nothing compared to what Congressmen make in other deals. It is just a convenient excuse so that people don't look at shady deals. Take any Congressman who has served maybe 10 years or so. Compare their net worth before taking office and after. It is surprising how much better they suddenly become in investing in companies and buying land while working as a legislator. Remember, Congressional salaries total somewhere around $100 million per years while lobbyists spend billions (heck the RIAA probably spends more than $100 million a year on lobbying Congress). Reducing the Congressional salary would just give more motivation for the very few Congressmen who aren't corrupt to become so.

You get what you pay for ... sometimes (1)

baomike (143457) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339224)

>
After all who would want anyone in government who was capable of getting a high paying job.

The government should only hire the stupid... OH wait...

Re:Hilarious (1)

awehttam (779031) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338628)

The original intent of the founding fathers was that regular people would run for office and represent the best interests of their constituents

Perhaps this is testament to what regular people are truly like.

Re:Hilarious (1)

JasonKChapman (842766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338898)

The only question is, what is the best approach to encourage more honorable folks to run for office?

That's easy. Make it a more honorable calling. Lessen the position's power and profitability, and the sharks will find other waters in which to swim, leaving room for the civic-minded Mr. Smiths. Sadly, that's never going to happen. Tyrants don't yield power willingly.

In the old days, people had to hire armies and intimidate peasants in order to be major-league thugs with their own little fiefdoms. Now they just have to get elected.

Approval voting (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338914)

Any other ideas?

Yep, approval voting [wikipedia.org] , so that voters can select the dark-horse candidate without feeling that their votes are going to waste.

-b.

Re:Hilarious (1)

Peyna (14792) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339016)

The original intent of the founding fathers was that regular people would run for office and represent the best interests of their constituents

That's why the common folk were all sitting in Philadelphia writing the Constitution, right?

It's easy (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339100)

First, require all funds be donated by individuals. No more corporate slush funds. Next, make it illegal to donate to a candidate you can't vote for. No more buying off 51% of Congress. Finally, limit what can be donated by an individual to something the a person making the median income could afford (a couple of grand, adjust for inflation as needed). Toss in some really nasty penalties for violating these crimes. Problem solved.

Yeah, it'll never happen, but it's a nice though.

Re:Hilarious (0, Troll)

Sazarac (621648) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339150)

and generally despicable people getting into office.
Perfect. I just wish there was a way to spell "despicable" more like how Daffy Duck said it. i.e., with more saliva spraying.

Re:Hilarious (1)

Goldsmith (561202) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339234)

My dad was a politician, and while I think career politicians are a big problem, actually being in politics convinced him it's not. His argument is that like anything else, politics takes some time to learn. Thus, you will always have people with more experience than others, and the ability of these more experienced politicians is much greater than that of the rookies. The end result is that people with new representatives are not represented as well as those with seasoned representatives.

My opinion is that the old politicians simply push around the rookies. He is absolutely right that rookie politicians just can't get as much done. Also, he got out of politics on term limits which were repealed just after he left office, so I think that might be clouding his judgement.

Keep in mind that this guy (the aide trying to hire hackers) is not a politician. By enforcing the responsibility of politicians to ensure their staff is not breaking any laws, a lot of this kind of stuff goes away. To get rid of career politicians, you really need to get rid of political parties, or at least prevent the parties themselves from employing anyone. True career politicians won't let something like term limits stand in the way of political power.

Republican Aide? (5, Insightful)

Ninjaesque One (902204) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338390)

Is he trying to improve his own records? Isn't this just a case of an idiot who tries to get people to hack their educational stuff for them? I mean, it probably will lead to a congressional scandal, but it doesn't really have much to do with the aide's aide-ness or republican-ness.

Re:Republican Aide? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17338894)

I think this episode speaks directly to the aide's Republican-ness.

This sort of shenanigan is typical of ambitious, young-republican types. Theirs is a culture of corruption, straight up. The end justifies the means, as long as you don't get caught.

Just look at the recent leadership & history of the party...Rove, Gannon, DeLay, Ambramoff, etc., etc.

Just goes to show: You can't really trust somebody with a straight-A grade point average.

Re:Republican Aide? (3, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339122)

Okay, first you pin this sort of behavior on "ambitious, young-republican types". Then you cite a bunch of names - "Rove, Gannon, DeLay, A[]bramoff" - who don't actually fit that mold, all of them being well-established, somewhat aged participants in the political arena. And finally, you ignore the fact that blind ambition easily crosses partisan boundaries, and scandal has been no stranger to Democrats as well as Republicans.

Mentioning this guy's Republican-ness in the OP's title was nothing more than a thinly-veiled, irrelevant dig on the Republican Party, when the story is really about some moron in a low-ranking political job who tried to cheat on his resume.

Re:Republican Aide? (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338970)

but it doesn't really have much to do with the aide's aide-ness or republican-ness.

If a guy gets busted for BBQ'ing a bald eagle, would it make it more, or less, of a story if he worked for PETA?

Although the last 12 years have made the whole concept into something of a joke, the Republicans tout themselves as the "party of reform". And we just keep seeing scandal after unethical scandal from them.

No worries, though, in another 12 years we can say the same thing about the Democrats, who apparently didn't learn from the Republicans error and now want to position themselves as the Party-O'-Reform. But, having the same complete and utter lack of ethics as all politicians, they'll start making the same egotistical blunders as the Republicans did, once they take their new seats in January.


Meet the new boss...

Slashdot's petty partisanship. (0, Flamebait)

Rotten168 (104565) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338416)

Why is Slashdot becoming involved in all this petty partisan tit for tat stuff? They are in danger of losing their already questionable reputation.

Re:Slashdot's petty partisanship. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17338490)

I'd say you must be new here, but your id is too low.

Re:Slashdot's petty partisanship. (1)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338582)

How exactly is this article partisan? You could substitute "Intern for Google" for the aide and the results would be the same.

Re:Slashdot's petty partisanship. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17338784)

It's partisan because it's sectioned as politics and the headline is "REPUBLICANS AT IT AGAIN LOL", whereas when I read the emails it clearly had nothing to do with politics.

Re:Slashdot's petty partisanship. (3, Insightful)

mollog (841386) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338596)

I'm not surprised that yet another Republican is violating moral and legal standards to improve his/her position. I'm glad that someone outed this prick. I don't necessarily see this as an attack on Republicans on a partisan basis, but if you have a group that has a long and varied history of this sort of behavior, and you bring it up yet again, it can look partisan. I vote for honorable Republicans, so I'm not some kind of rabid partisan. I'm not impressed with the way Democrats conduct campaigns; it's half-assed, but I tend to prefer voting for Democrats.

We see Democratic boobs do all sorts of stupid, venal stuff. But when it comes to craven, cynical behavior, you have to hand it to the Republican for the no-holds-barred, down-and-dirty politicking.

Keep up the pressure on the bad guys.

Re:Slashdot's petty partisanship. (2, Insightful)

Dan Slotman (974474) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338648)

Corruption should always be condemned. It disturbs me that you are willing to ignore the actions involved because of partisanship. That said, I'd say this posting has less to due with politics than with technological naivety. Basically it was posted so that we can all have a good laugh at the unfortunate victim.

Re:Slashdot's petty partisanship. (1)

Rotten168 (104565) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338688)

C'mon, first off Slashdot is a very partisan website... anyone with any intelligence and perception whatsoever will realize this. But the article author mentioned this guy was Republican for one reason only, to score partisan points. Every article posted is slanted, biased, and an utter joke. And don't get me started on that idiot kdawson.

And yet, here you are. (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339176)

Are you fighting the good fight? Did the 'Free Republic' wackos organize you?

I wonder why there aren't any good technology sites with a non-liberal bias....you'd think the free market would 'provide' one if there were enough no-liberal technical people...

Re:And yet, here you are. (0, Redundant)

Rotten168 (104565) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339202)

You think this is a good technical website? They have the occasional good article (which is why I'm here). Of course I have to filter idiots like "kdawson".

BTW, Freerepublic banned me.

Re:Slashdot's petty partisanship. (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338672)

Why is Slashdot becoming involved in all this petty partisan tit for tat stuff? They are in danger of losing their already questionable reputation.

First of all, slashdot has to protect only one reputation: "news for nerds". Now, granted, lots of what is posted on slashdot is neither news nor for nerds, but THIS story is. It's hilarious.

Second, slashdot isn't making this a partisan issue. The fact that the guy works for the republican party is what makes this a partisan issue. In this case slashdot is only reporting the news, not trying to make it.

Re:Slashdot's petty partisanship. (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338722)

Some things are just funny. Laugh.

Re:Slashdot's petty partisanship. (1)

Rotten168 (104565) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338768)

Like 90% of all Slashdot "memes" it's not funny... like "we welcome our masters", "soviet russia", etc.

Re:Slashdot's petty partisanship. (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338896)

Then why are you here?

Re:Slashdot's petty partisanship. (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339162)

If anyone at all is here for the jokes, I fear for their sense of humor.

Re:Slashdot's petty partisanship. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17338796)

How do we know this was the genuine guy? The e-mail address could have been false.

Re:Slashdot's petty partisanship. (1)

NXIL (860839) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339138)

Because he initially lied about it, then admitted it?

Quote:

***
After initially denying knowledge of the exchange, Shriber told me this afternoon in the final of our three phone conversations: "I did something that's greatly out of character for me and it's a mistake that I regret."
***

http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/9999 [networkworld.com]

'Greatly out of character': right.

Re:Slashdot's petty partisanship. (1)

jamsessionjay (802511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338758)

They are in danger of losing their already questionable reputation.
hahahahahahahahahahaha

Re:Slashdot's petty partisanship. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17339020)

The is easy answer is because republicans are scum who deserve to be thrown in mass burial trenches and set on fire and then burried in squirel dung.

I kid I kid, but seriously though - if you voted for GWB twice and would vote for him a third time then you need to do the world a favor and kill yourself now.

This begs the question (0, Flamebait)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338424)

Kudos to the Attrition crew for posting the whole email dialogue online!
Would they have gone public if the fellow was a Democrat?

Re:This begs the question (4, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338488)

They had the whole exchange posted for a while, but it was only recently that anyone in the media bothered to track down the actual guy.

Re:This begs the question (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338966)

They had the whole exchange posted for a while...

Server must be running on a box in someone's bedroom or something, 'cuz it's off line now... And what's with having the domain registered at NetSol? I guess pretentious "security researchers" need their domain registered with equally pretentious domain registrars... Oh yeah, we got some quality hackers, er, I mean "security researchers" here!

Re:This begs the question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17338550)

Do you think their Democrats? I certainly hope they wouldn't waste something that gave me such amusement.

Re:This begs the question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17338612)

Would you have asked the same question if it were a Democrat?

(With the obvious substitution)

No, it doesn't (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338686)

Please learn what Begging the Question [skepdic.com] means.

Re:No, it doesn't (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339004)

Please remember that the english language changes with time. While proscriptive pedants like to point out how the phrase "begging the question" was previously used, that's hardly relevant today.

Re:No, it doesn't (1)

Dan Slotman (974474) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339232)

Begging the question is a logical fallacy. I'm not sure what you were babbling about...

Pure comedy gold. (1, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338426)

It's like reading about the guy who tried to hire an undercover cop to kill his wife...The poor joker is so obviously clueless, but trying to play it down. Every time he starts asking real questions, they just bury him in bs, and he buys it...It's so obvious they're screwing with him. At one point they get him to send 'em some snapshots of local squirrels.

An entertaining read.

Re:Pure comedy gold. (1)

jrobinson5 (974354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338762)

Links please?

The Real Mystery Is... (5, Funny)

CheeseburgerBrown (553703) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338536)

The real mystery is how somebody this sharp, informed and educated managed to do so badly in college. I mean, the guy's obviously got street smarts and book smarts.

Re:The Real Mystery Is... (1)

sbaker (47485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338788)

The real mystery is how somebody this sharp, informed and educated managed to do so badly in college. I mean, the guy's obviously got street smarts and book smarts.

You are forgetting that he's a communications director - you couldn't possibly expect him to understand how email and public forums work.

Re:The Real Mystery Is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17338870)

Are you kidding me!?!? This guy is an idiot and probably a spoiled, trust fund baby. He obviously thinks he can buy whatever he wants. He deserves what he get from this.

Re:The Real Mystery Is... (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339086)

The real mystery is how somebody this sharp, informed and educated managed to do so badly in college. I mean, the guy's obviously got street smarts and book smarts.

Ah, so well put. If I had mod points, I wouldn't be sure whether I should give you a "Funny" or an "Insightful".

(Remarkably, it appears that some of the folks who responded to your post may also fit the description you provided. How proud I am to be a member of such an intellectually gifted community.)

A friend of ours needs to have his grades revised (2, Interesting)

JavaScrybe (662349) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338554)

Am I the only one reminded of a very good independant british computer game [uplink.co.uk] ?

Of course, you'd have to bounce your connexion through InterNIC, hack into the International Academic Database, disable the proxy and clear your logs afterwards... :D

Re:A friend of ours needs to have his grades revis (4, Funny)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338684)

It would have been cooler if they'd sent this knucklehead screenshots of them doing the "hack" and it be from Uplink.
Then it would have been complete!

Don't mess with TCU network security! (1)

rk (6314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338630)

Those guys even logged lyger's rot-26 hack!

I tell people all the time though that double rot-13 is much harder to detect than rot-26.

Can't be a Republican aide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17338632)

He offered to employ an American at above minimum wage. This guy must be a Dem.

posting the emails was illegal and unproductive (1, Informative)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338656)

Kudos to the Attrition crew for posting the whole email dialogue online!

Not really. It's great grounds for them getting sued. It was a private communication and one could (probably) argue he had a reasonable expectation of privacy. It may come as a shock to slashdotters, but you can't just forward any old email that drifts into your inbox.

Also, it would have been far more effective to have brought the emails to the attention of federal authorities. Now, the chances of a fair investigation (and trial) are pretty much blown to hell.

Instead of actually helping, they just grandstanded...

Re:posting the emails was illegal and unproductive (1)

Zzeep (682115) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338792)

Yes, but they don't care, and I certainly don't either!

Re:posting the emails was illegal and unproductive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17338794)

> Not really. It's great grounds for them getting sued.

That would be so awesome if he sued. The stuff learned during discovery would probably put him away for life.

Re:posting the emails was illegal and unproductive (5, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338916)

IANAL, but if I understand correctly, either party of a two-way communication can generally make them public unless it's declared private by some sort of legal notice (terms of use, legal disclaimers in the sigs, or something.) Since Attrition is a publicly available website, and maintainer of all those public Infosec mailing lists, it's probably not legally reasonable for this guy to assume his emails would be kept private. After all, he didn't even have any real idea who the person was he contacted, much less have a nondisclosure agreement with him.

Re:posting the emails was illegal and unproductive (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17339192)

No, obviously you're not a lawyer since all your assumptions are crap.

Re:posting the emails was irrelevant and funny (1)

qwijibo (101731) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339094)

Are you really afraid of a judicial system that barely works? You think someone who tries (unsuccessfully) to commit some retarded crime is going to sue over someone revealing it? Good luck with that.

If they had reported this promptly to the FBI, it would have had the same result.

The chances of an investigation: 0 (retarded things happen everyday)
The chances of a fair investigation: 0 (fairness is irrelevant)
The chances of a trial: 0 (no crime, no charges, no trial)
The chances of a fair trial: 0 (In the US, we don't have fair trials)

Since there wasn't anything that really could be done to "help", entertaining countless people while humiliating an idiot is worth something.

Re:posting the emails was illegal and unproductive (1)

weeboo0104 (644849) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339148)

Say it after me... "THERE IS NO PRIVACY IN EMAIL".
There was nothing wrong with making the email available.

Do you know what happens when you try to contact the police or FBI about an email soliciting something illegal? They shrug and ask if any money was taken. The only interest I have ever gotten regarding an email was when I sent a printout of an email to my local postal inspector that asked I send $5 to five other snailmail addresses.

If I was sending company secrets or copywrited material to someone, yeah, I could probably expect someone to call or knock on my door. Probably not because the authorities were that interested, but rather because someone at said company pointed their IP lawyers in my direction.

Email is no different than posting to Yahoo.

Re:posting the emails was illegal and unproductive (2, Informative)

shrdlu (42466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339260)

The folks at attrition have *always* had a policy of posting email to them. It's usually a great read (and this one started back in September, ISTR). It was only when Mr. Bright Guy was outed as a congressional aide that it hit the big time.

I love the smell of napalm in December.

It's slashdotted already! (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338658)

Try the Coral: http://www.attrition.org.nyud.net:8090/postal/z/03 3/0871.html [nyud.net]

For those interested in making your own Corals sometime when an article has already been slashdotted, head over to http://www.coralcdn.org/ [coralcdn.org] and follow the instructions or just put the URL in the textbox. :)

You've gotta read the entire email trail! (5, Interesting)

sbaker (47485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338682)

It's just hilarious - this guy is supposed to be a Republican Communications Director?! A Communications Director didn't realise he was posting to a public site using his real name?! Yikes!

When they tell him that the Feds may have busted the operation by cracking their rot-26 encryption I nearly choked on my breakfast (cold pizza of course)! This is a classic.

On one of the linked sites, the guy is claiming that he was 'under the influence' for the whole exchange and is 'seeking treatment'. So he's claiming he was blind drunk for the entire two weeks? Wow - the Republicans either have better parties than I ever suspected - or they truly are drowning their sorrows after recent election defeats!

He needs to go to jail for a few years.

Re:You've gotta read the entire email trail! (3, Insightful)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338814)

He needs to go to jail for a few years.


"Few years" - that's a bit harsh considering nothing illegal was actually accomplished. Keep in mind that for a lot of violent crimes short of murder, the prison time isn't even a "few years." More like *a* year. The best punishment is exposing this guy for a fraud and making sure that he'll lose his job and be a laughingstock boob.


One more thing: who's to say that this was actually him not a prank designed to discredit the guy? It's not like they check ID before you surf the 'net. Maybe the article has more info, but it's currently slashdotted!


-b.

Yet another. . . (5, Informative)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338696)

shining example of the intelligence of people in my party. It's not bad enough we have this yahoo [washingtonpost.com] blocking phones to Democratic numbers used for providing people rides to polls on election day, or this putz [federalnewsradio.com] who embezzled state money, let alone the chimp in charge who has flip-flopped every which way on Iraq, but now this incompetent asshole.


I know that Sandy Berger (just so no one thinks I'm biased) is a real moron but come on, how much lack of intelligence does one have to have to think that they could get away with this?

Re:Yet another. . . (5, Insightful)

t0rkm3 (666910) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338926)

Hrmmm...

Politicians are politicians. Tis part of what makes me tire of our system. Remember the Dem that had the Nat'l Guard load up his private stuff during Katrina, asking them to defer food, troop, and rescue transport?

Lord Acton was right, will be right... forever.

That's why I would traditionally vote for Republicans, at least they are/were for smaller federal gov't more state/local control. However, this last group has hosed that whole concept up.

Professional politicians are power hungry sociopaths. How do we solve that problem?

The Squirrels and Pigeons... (0, Redundant)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338730)

...are in it together, along with the aliens, the illuminati, the CIA, the Clintons and the Bushes. Having photos of the squirrels and pigeons would allow the hackers to identify which agents are on campus without a doubt. It's plainly obvious if you're in the know.

Beyond Unbelievable (0, Redundant)

segedunum (883035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338736)

So this guy is a loser, and he felt that he could solicit the help of some hackers (look up the term) to hack into the computer systems of a university to jack up his grades - which he probably saw on Wargames or something - because he's such a loser he hates his grades?

It's just too unbelievable to be true, but then again, you couldn't make this up and he's a politician (and he's an aide that deals with the press - many such people seem to have serious personal esteem issues and wacky ideas of what's actually possible). So what else is new? So politicians, all over the world in fact, wonder why they're so hated and and treated as lying and cheating scum. Well, that's probably because they are, and the people around them are arguably even worse.

Sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, very, very sad little man (and I probably should think of another word other than 'man' there).

mod uP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17338802)

As a Montanan... (3, Funny)

genessy (587377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338872)

...I'm just proud my representative (or his aide) knew about the Interweb! ;)

As another Montanan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17338964)

I just wish they'd work on getting those of us in the rural areas some decent broadband options.

Re:As another Montanan... (1)

genessy (587377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339132)

I'm lucky enough to not be too rural any more, but I provide occasional tech support to people who are. You have my sympathy!

You guys will believe anything... (4, Funny)

zguru (831027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338874)

This is so funny. You guys will believe anything posted on the Internet! :)

Re:You guys will believe anything... (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339236)

This is so funny. You guys will believe anything posted on the Internet! :)
---
InternetS!

Tools you are. Like Diggers have you become. EOM. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17338904)

Lifted from Digg. Get your own news slackers.

Site slashdotted. Anybody got a mirror? (1)

sehlat (180760) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338960)

Or just post the thing here since it can stand the load.

West Wing Obligatory (4, Funny)

hellfire (86129) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338992)

This reminds me of a Hilarious West Wing scene:

[CJ is mad at Josh for posting to the message board of a Josh Lyman fansite]
C.J. Cregg: If you ever post anything on that website again, I will shove a motherboard so far up your ass... What?
Josh Lyman: You DO know I outrank you, right?
C.J. Cregg: SO FAR UP YOUR ASS...

Worst Headline Evar (0, Flamebait)

Spud Stud (739387) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339002)

"Republican Aide Tries to Hire Hackers" strongly implies that there was some political motive involved. There was none. Such a clumsy swipe damages any credibility Slashdot had of appearing politically neutral. Zonk, you should be ashamed.

A Christian University (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17339052)

Are any of us surprised by this? He went to a Christian university - obviously he learned a great deal.

B people hire C people, and so on down the chain.. (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339074)

There's a classic comment that A people hire A people, but B people hire C people. Bush has not exactly been known for great job appointments. If you actually follow his appointments, it's embarrassing, even if you're a Republican. They're loyal, but often not very good. (It's not just that lightweight at FEMA, "Mr. Torture" at Justice, and the economic advisers from Enron; there's a long, painful list of bad high level hires.)

Once you get the institutional idea that each level hires dumber people below them, a few steps down the food chain, people like this turkey are getting jobs.

Smurfing hackers... (1)

xx01dk (191137) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339090)

Here's an excerpt, after he "proves" he's "legit" to the "hackers", they do a test run to see if they have access to his college:

Shouldn't need anything else. Have had a chance to set up a couple of IDS/IPS evasion bots, perimeter scanning came up clean. Small SQL injection issue merged with XSS shows that the backend database may beeither 768-bit encrypted or a simple 3DES matter, but a little more time should take care of that issue. Once the tables are writable to sa, should be ready to jump in and jump out with no problem. One of their systems caught an early sniff, but was shut down with a smurf.

I just LMAO. Oh yeah, and when the media gets wind of this, guess what, he's republican... or at least the guy he works for is. Queue the media's leftist agenda in 3... 2... 1...

(My point is that it could have been anyone but you can bank on the fact that the media will drool all over this if it's legit, heck--sometimes they don't even do that. BTW I'm an independent.)

UNLESS.... it's all a clever ploy to see how easy it is to do such a thing, and the guy was going to expose this, but I think I'm giving him too much credit although maybe if he's smart he can spin it that way...

This is too funny.
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