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Largest Hacking Scam in Canadian History

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the stole-all-the-maple-syrup dept.

Security 211

vieux schnock writes "Police raided several homes across Quebec on Wednesday and arrested 16 people in their investigation, which they say uncovered the largest hacking scam in Canadian history. (...) The hackers collaborated online to attack and take control of as many as one million computers around the world that were not equipped with anti-virus software or firewalls."

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Really? (2, Funny)

ImprovGuy (541110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22501872)

Are there that many computers without anti-virus software or firewalls on the Internet?

Re:Really? (5, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22501910)

Are you serious? There are hundreds of millions of PCs in the world (billions?), and the vast majority of them aren't properly secured. Also the vast majority of them have 10 smiley toolbars and take 45 minutes to boot.

Re:Really? (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22501944)

I think he was trying to be funny... weren't you, Bill?

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22502754)

I truly hope you're not equating "anti-virus and firewall" with "properly secured". While perhaps good ideas for some, they are hardly neither required nor sufficient in many cases.

Re:Really? (3, Funny)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#22501916)

Yes, there are that many Windows machines on the internet.

There, fixed it for you (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22502078)

Are there that many Canadian computers [...] on the Internet?

OK it hardly looks like what you said now, but you mean to say they got both of them?

The bigger question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22502402)

Is canadian dick as good as nigger dick? I mean its not as black but that doesnt mean it cant go up your ass just maybe not as far so if youre used to that backofyourthroat feeling you might be dissappointed

Re:Really? (4, Informative)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502092)

It doesn't even really matter at this point. Let's be honest... the average computer user doesn't know the difference between U2-Somesong.mp3 and U2-SomeSong.exe. It doesn't take much to write an application that would be able to run in a restricted user account... just connect outbound on port 80 for coordination, and for payload delivery. The code would be simple enough that you could change the binary significantly enough that the fingerprinting that virus scanners use are practically worthless.

That doesn't even address the vector of replacing the setup.exe (or equivalent) on, say, an Office 2003 cd posted on thepiratebay. Obviously, the install has to run as admin, so you pretty much know, you are a shoe in for a compromised machine for anyone who tries to install it. And again, it would be such a trivial, simple application, that you could change the attacking binary pretty much at will.

Re:Really? (3, Insightful)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502502)

It doesn't even really matter at this point. Let's be honest... the average computer user doesn't know the difference between U2-Somesong.mp3 and U2-SomeSong.exe.

To make matters worse, some attacks may even occur if you are dealing with safe file types, like a PNG [microsoft.com] or even PDF [softpedia.com] . Some security problems exist due to the user's ignorance or idiocy but "some" isn't exactly the same thing as "all".

Re:Really? (5, Interesting)

ultranova (717540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22503300)

To make matters worse, some attacks may even occur if you are dealing with safe file types, like a PNG or even PDF.

There are no safe file types. All files can be viewed as programs meant to run in a specialized virtual machine (the program which is used to open them). For example, a PNG file is a program which, when run, will compute an array of bytes (the image pixels). The same goes to PDF. In this view, since all files are programs, it is in principle possible that any of them could contain code which can result in unexpected behavior of the virtual machine executing them.

Of course some file types are easier to compromize than others, either due to sheer complexity or ambiguity of the specification or because they are Turing complete. However, it is impossible to guarantee that every viewer for any file type is free of defects. Anyone still remember ANSI codes for DOS, which could be embedded to text to change color but also to set macros to keyboard keys when the file was viewed ? And of course SQL injection attacks are based on formatting a text string so it will cause unexpected results, not to mention causing a buffer overflow with an overlong string.

I repeat: there are no safe file types. They all have a potential to contain malicious code, because there is no such thing as data which is not also a program. From a certain point of view, GIMP is simply a very specialized compiler...

Re:Really? (3, Informative)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502580)

That doesn't even address the vector of replacing the setup.exe (or equivalent) on, say, an Office 2003 cd posted on thepiratebay.


Why stop there? Most of the Windows OS torrents are slipstreamed. There's no reason to assume they didn't slipstream a few viruses, bots, and backdoors in there too.

Re:Really? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22503148)

There's a web of trust on the piratebay with trusted uploaders. Installing an OS or running a keygen from a newbie uploader is virtually guaranteeing you to get a trojan downloader. I've been playing around with a few of the torrents from the piratebay and installing them on a separate vlan at home. It's very enlightening watching all the network traffic when the compromised OS calls home. I am pretty sure this is one of the primary "seeding" vectors for the nu-war storm network. I weekly find new morphed storm clients using these trojan downloaders and I always submit them to virustotal.com.

Moral of the story: Only trrrrust the pirates with the green skull. Arrrr.

Re:Really? (4, Insightful)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502978)

the average computer user doesn't know the difference between U2-Somesong.mp3 and U2-SomeSong.exe.

The average user cannot tell there is a difference - because the Windows default is to hide the extension!

It may be criminally insane, but its the default.

Re:Really? (0)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22503088)

It may be criminally insane, but that's the Microsoft way!

Re:Really? (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 6 years ago | (#22503696)

It is the default because 95% of users don't care about file type/extensions. Why would any company cater to 5% of their customers? That would be insane.

Re:Really? (1, Funny)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 6 years ago | (#22503662)

"Let's be honest... the average computer user doesn't know the difference between U2-Somesong.mp3 and U2-SomeSong.exe."

Thank god I do. I would much rather have the malware ridden U2-SomeSong.exe than an actual MP3 by U2. That would just be awful.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22502234)

Darn! None of my ubuntu systems have anti virus or firewalls. Have I been hacked then?

You just know it'll be disappointing.. (0, Troll)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22501884)

Largest "x" in Canadian history!

Spot the key words (4, Insightful)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 6 years ago | (#22501890)

The hackers collaborated online to attack and take control of as many as one million computers around the world that were not equipped with anti-virus software or firewalls

Police won't reveal what the information was used for but investigators estimate that the network profited by as much as $45 million.
Hmm... as many as, as much as, or maybe they're inflating the figures to show what macho investigators they are.

Re:Spot the key words (5, Insightful)

powerlord (28156) | more than 6 years ago | (#22501980)

Nah, nothing so covert. Its simply that, "as many as", sounds a lot better than, "three computers we know about, but we really have no clue" or "we found 5 million deposited in their bank accounts in the last month, but the accounts have been open for nine months, so who knows how much money they could have collected previously".

Alternatively they probably have a pretty good idea of the ranges involved, but hey, high numbers make a better press release.

Re:Spot the key words (1)

Skeet112 (1088203) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502032)

If they are trying to be macho, that's probably not the only thing they are "inflating".

Re:Spot the key words (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502516)

I dunno -- is a million nodes especially large for a botnet? It seems consistent with the various botnet stories linked here, and quite conservative compared to the usual estimates here of the prevalence of compromised Windows systems (i.e. all of them, if not more).

Re:Spot the key words (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502800)

1 million machines in a network talking to each other would probably consume more bandwidth in network overhead than useful work. Even instructing 1 million independent machines to do the same thing would take a considerable amount of time/bandwidth (eg. send a spam email to each one plus a list of targets so they can begin spamming... that's a million emails you've got to send - might as well send the spam yourself).

Re:Spot the key words (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22503084)

At any rate, I was mistaken -- while some of the wilder claims of botnet size are in the millions, realistic estimates put even the largest in the low six figures. So the OP is correct that the figure given here is rather improbable.

Re:Spot the key words (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22503290)

Why would they be talking to each other rather than just a single controller? Or one of several controllers. IANAbotnetwriter, but I don't really see the need for them to communicate with each other, unless it's through an attempt to obfuscate the original source of a command sent to the network. The internet has several million machines in a network and it seems to do okay for itself.

Re:Spot the key words (2, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 6 years ago | (#22503640)

1 million machines in a network talking to each other would probably consume more bandwidth in network overhead than useful work. Even instructing 1 million independent machines to do the same thing would take a considerable amount of time/bandwidth (eg. send a spam email to each one plus a list of targets so they can begin spamming... that's a million emails you've got to send - might as well send the spam yourself).


Except that a good botnet doesn't have to have machines talking to each other. Each compromised machine just needs to find a few others to get its orders from, who gets its orders from someone higher in the chain, etc.

There doesn't have to be communications back to the server.

For spamming, each machine gets a list of a bunch of usernames from a peer who shares its list, and gets other addresses from other peers. That's why you can end up with multiple copies of the same spam in your inbox - the spammers don't care if you get 1000 copies of the same email. And the spambots don't bother marking off an email as sent to a specific address and tell everyone, they just run through their own lists.

This way, the only real communication happens top down, fire-and-forget method. If someone buys 1,000,000 emails, spammer can send out more just to ensure that 1,000,000 people got it. But since they're scammers, it doesn't matter if it went to 10,000 people 100 times.

Um, this is Slashdot... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 6 years ago | (#22501900)

The hackers collaborated online to attack and take control of as many as one million computers around the world that were not equipped with anti-virus software or firewalls.
You're stating the obvious and preaching to the choir.

Re:Um, this is Slashdot... (2)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22501948)

that were not equipped with anti-virus software or firewalls.
Hardware or software firewalls? After XP SP1 the windows "firewall" would count for most users.
Still recommend to install more than the paper tiger at the gate if you get that chance, but, anything is better than nothing for most users yes? If they mean hardware firewalls, I know very few home users that have one...

Re:Um, this is Slashdot... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22502166)

In my limited world view, I know of at least 20 people who are still running Windows98FE,SE, and WindowsME. Not everyone buys a new computer or OS just because they can. Most of the typical users I know will wait until their machine dies (can't surf the internet or send email) before trying to fix it. Buying a new computer is a last resort.

Re:Um, this is Slashdot... (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 6 years ago | (#22503626)

Thanks to wireless Broadband in the UK a lot of people have a hardware firewall (mostly running Linux) in their homes without them even knowing it ....

Re:Um, this is Slashdot... (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#22503738)

When I setup my parent's DSL they received a "free" router from AT&T that came with a NAT firewall. A few years later and my future Mother-in-law orders DSL from AT&T and she gets a DSL modem and nothing else. Every time I visit her it's like playing whack-a-mole with worms and viruses. I installed a software firewall but she always removes it because it's "annoying" and slowing down her computer.

Obligatory: (5, Funny)

powerlord (28156) | more than 6 years ago | (#22501906)

Blame Canada! ... eh?

Re:Obligatory: (-1, Troll)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502188)

Please note that Queerbek is not really part of Canada, eh? They are a separate and distinct culture and society stuck between Ontario and the Maritime provinces, eh?

Re:Obligatory: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22502820)

+1, original

So which is it? (1)

red star hardkore (1242136) | more than 6 years ago | (#22501936)

Police raided several homes across Quebec on Wednesday and arrested 16 people in their investigation...
The 14 suspects arrested Wednesday...

Re:So which is it? (1)

Shadow_139 (707786) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502016)

2 of them are now probably in Guantanamo Bay so there for not people anymore..... Oh it not america or Canadea, near mind....

Re:So which is it? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22502022)

It's 16 Canadian people, or 14 Americans... it's just the exchange rate.

Re:So which is it? (1)

hsdpa (1049926) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502258)

Well actually.. Err.. Maybe it's the other way around ;)

Re:So which is it? (1)

Poltras (680608) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502676)

Or maybe not. Depending on WHEN you ask :)

Re:So which is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22503168)

I shouldn't laugh.. really I shouldn't... AHAHAHAHA

Re:So which is it? (4, Insightful)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502050)

Both.

16 people were arrested.

14 of those 16 were arrested on Wednesday.

Re:So which is it? (1)

red star hardkore (1242136) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502110)

Read the article, it all happened on Wednesday.

And the point I was making (but didn't elaborate enough on) was if they can make a mistake on reporting such a small number, what is the error margin on 1 million and 45 million?

Re:So which is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22502230)

Uhh.. obviously, 14 suspects and 2 rats

Thats the only way canadian police can catch anything

Re:So which is it? (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502256)

If you read it carefully it says that they raided a number of homes on Wednesday and "arrested 16 people in their investigation". It doesn't specifically state that all 16 were arrested on Wednesday, although that's what it implies. It only says "The 14 suspects arrested Wednesday are between the ages of 17 and 26".

I read this as the investigation led to raids on Wednesday that led to 14 arrests. Two others were likely arrested before those raids but still as a result of the same investigation.

Re:So which is it? (1)

ajcham (1179959) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502470)

Or 16 were arrested on Wednesday, but 2 are no longer suspects.

Re:So which is it? (-1, Troll)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502074)

It's 16 in English-speaking Canada, 14 in Quebec (where they can't count).

Re:So which is it? (1, Troll)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502374)

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: French Canadians should get baths, not mod points.

Re:So which is it? (0, Troll)

denisbergeron (197036) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502600)

I always wonder why english canadian are so stupid and racist like you !

Re:So which is it? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22503004)


Which province has language police again? Right, xenophobe Quebec.

We're the vast majority and sick of seeing our tax dollars being used to artificially prop up a dying language. Look at the stats, they speak for themselves. Outside of Quebec or some federal government jobs, French is passe.

Most French Canadians are only a hair above the Indians for the amount of sucking at the government teat they do.

Re:So which is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22503370)

French isn't a race, you dumbass.

Bigot, maybe. Racist, no. Read a fucking book once in a while, it'll help you control these silly kneejerk reactions.

Re:So which is it? (1, Funny)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22503450)

I always wonder why English Canadians are so stupid and racist like you !

there. fixed it for you.

Good job demonstrating that it's the English who are the stupid ones.

Re:So which is it? (1)

smtrembl (1073492) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502998)

Apart from the fact that I don't get this comment about baths, it doesn't seem I get modded much either.

From TFA: (2, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 6 years ago | (#22501992)

[...] and face charges related to the unauthorized use of computers.

Surely they must mean unauthorized use of other people's computers?

Re:From TFA: (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22502290)

I'd assume you're always authorized to use your own computer.

Then again, in today's climate, maybe not...

Re:From TFA: (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502630)

I'd assume you're always authorized to use your own computer.
Nope. There are times when I'm not authorized to use my own computer. Just ask my wife! ;)

Elaboration on my previous post (1)

red star hardkore (1242136) | more than 6 years ago | (#22501994)

What I meant was, if they can make a mistake on reporting such a small number, what is the error margin on 1 million and 45 million?

Re:Elaboration on my previous post (1)

jjm496 (1004054) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502614)

It means 2 people were arrested on a day other than Wednesday. Not that complicated. 16 arrested, 14 on Wednesday.

why does law enforcement inflate numbers? (1, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502006)

whenever they seize some methamphetamine or cocaine, it's always "street value estimated as 20 billion dollars!"

now we have some yahoos in canada who controlled "1 million computers and made $45 million in profit!"

up next: "the police looked in the suspect's glove compartment and found a small bag of marijuana, with an estimated street value as high as the GNP of Australia! additionally, the suspect's cellphone was found to have cracked and controlled the computer networks of the NSA and Los Alamos! he used this vast network of hacked machines to make $20 brazilian dollars by cheating stay at home moms in a get-rich-quick scam! the suspect is also believed to be al qaeda's number 2 commander in iraq!"

Re:why does law enforcement inflate numbers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22502404)

What we have to read is 45$M estimated dammage around the world. Damage can be calculated in loss of time, stolen information etc. There is a big difference betweeen "profit" and "damage" !

H33Z 4 S00P3R H4X0R! (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502708)

Because it makes them look like they actually did something important.

Re:why does law enforcement inflate numbers? (1)

t33jster (1239616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502712)

Anybody who has seen an episode of Law and Order knows that filing charges against a person is ofte the equivalent to initiating a negotiation. The inflated charges lead to a plea to a lesser charge. Those of us who pay taxes don't mind this, as the bad guys still get punished (although usually not as severely as they might), and we don't have to pay all the overtime to the DA, public defender, judge, baliffs, etc.

Re:why does law enforcement inflate numbers? (1)

grub (11606) | more than 6 years ago | (#22503048)


whenever they seize some methamphetamine or cocaine, it's always "street value estimated as 20 billion dollars!"

They use the smalled unit of sale and work from that. It sounds better when they take the gram price of pot and apply that against a 200 kg seizure when everyone with a quarter of a brain knows that the 200 would be sold in huge lots elsewhere. Who buys grams?

Hardly the first time Canada has caused problems (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502024)

Let us not forget Bryan Adams.

Re:Hardly the first time Canada has caused problem (1)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502138)

hey, how many more times do they have to appoligise for that.
besides, do you realy think he was as bad as 45 Billion dollars?
or even Alanis...

Re:Hardly the first time Canada has caused problem (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502198)

Well, at least Alanis was hot--except for her live performances (where she always looked like she was having some sort of epileptic seizure).

Re:Hardly the first time Canada has caused problem (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502478)

South Park was playing nice ...

If you REALLY want to hit Canada where it hurts you need to bring up Celine Dion.

Of course they will DENY, DENY, DENY ... but you will have taken a piece of them forever by reminding them of their biggest skeleton they just can't seem to hide no matter how hard they try.

Urgh, I feel dirty for just bringing it up ...

Re:Hardly the first time Canada has caused problem (5, Funny)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22503122)

As with a lot of our other trash, we simply shipped Celine Dion to America. Now she's your problem, enjoy.

Hey now! (1)

X3J11 (791922) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502668)

I'm more ashamed of our country unleashing Celine Dion than Adams. Oh, and kd lang...

However, the shame is offset by William Shatner. He's The Shat afterall!

Profitable (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502040)

In Canada they will probably server a couple years in prison if that, be forced to eat a Big Mac, and then set free. The judges and the justice system in Canada suck big time.

1) Go to prison for some short time.
2)Then dived 45 million dollars Canadian (now worth more than the US green back... but what isn't these days) by 16.
3) Profit

This time we can fill in the blank(s).

Re:Profitable (1)

tecmec (870283) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502382)

The judges and the justice system in Canada suck big time.

Compared to who? The states? Ha! riiight...

Re:Profitable (4, Funny)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502612)

they will probably server a couple years
Someone needs more coffee.

Re:Profitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22502724)

A Big Mac? I thought it was American's that were over weight.

Re:Profitable (1)

Internalist (928097) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502858)

You *know* you're reading a geek site when the typos look like this:

[...] they will probably server a couple years in prison [...]
And why do you think the justice system is so bad up here? I mean, granted, Mafiaboy didn't do much time, but I've read tonnes of comments here lamenting the blown-out-of-proportion sentencing for "computer crimes" in the States.

Sounds like advertising. (2, Insightful)

TwoToeWilly (1243566) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502094)

This is one way for the anti-virus companies to stay in business.

So What Happens Now? (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502104)

Will Canada be liberal about this and give them a swat or two and take away their computers or will it do the right thing and prosecute them to the extent of the worlds anger and rocket the offenders to the core of the sun?
(k, I'm tired from insomnia and kinda grumpy,but still...)

Re:So What Happens Now? (1)

ahodgson (74077) | more than 6 years ago | (#22503724)

Murderers barely serve jail time up here. Don't hold your breath.

Eh? (2, Funny)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502112)

I moved here from Canada and they think I'm slow, but I'm really an über-hacker, Eh?

Re:Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22502474)

Thanks for the Tim Hortons.

That's a lotta denim... (1)

drewmoney (1133487) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502130)

Police won't reveal what the information was used for but investigators estimate that the network profited by as much as $45 million.

Damn! You know how many Canadian Tuxedos that will buy!?!

45m? (1)

Robert Goatse (984232) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502200)

I guess crime pays! Is that US or CA dollars?

That summary needs fixing. (3, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502212)

The hackers collaborated online to attack and take control of as many as one million computers around the world that were not up to date with patches and didn't have users with common sense.
There, thats better.

Re:That summary needs fixing. (3, Insightful)

zakeria (1031430) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502376)

slight correction: The hackers collaborated online to attack and take control of as many as one million MS Windows computers around the world that were not up to date with patches and didn't have users with common sense.

Re:That summary needs fixing. (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502450)

Indeed :) Though an heaily unpatched Linux machine is probably just as easy to take control of. Just less of em out there, haha. (I spent my spare time in college years rooting random Linux servers and changing the text that says "Welcome to blah blah Linux Redhat blah blah" to "Welcome to blah blah Windows ME blah blah....". That was fairly amusing, and harmless to boot.

Re:That summary needs fixing. (2, Informative)

VorpalEdge (967279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502558)

Common sense? Really? Most people, when they buy their first computer, expect it to "just work." They expect everything to be fine as it is, and for the patches (if they've ever heard of them) to be nice, but unnecessary.

After all, what they were sold is good enough, right? They didn't exactly buy the "turn your computer into a botnet zombie" feature (bad jokes featuring MS aside). They still expect companies to have integrity, and to make products that actually work, and that don't explode when you turn around. Common sense in this situation would be "companies can't ship products with security holes, they'd get sued!"

And yeah, I am aware that the parent is probably joking, but someone modded it insightful. :(

Re:That summary needs fixing. (2, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22503712)

We're in 2008. Even non-software products now get recalled, blow up, fall apart, are defective by design, are made in china (lol), all over the place. Go to Bestbuy and buy a headset at random (close your eyes and pick one), go up, and try it. 9 to 1 that thing will break within 2 weeks, sound will be crap, and it will be barely usuable.

All but the fanciest grocery stores will have expired stuff on the shelves if you look well enough. You have to be selective in what food you pick, make sure to read the expiration date, cook your meat to 160-170 degrees, etc.

Nothing works out of the box anymore. The only difference is that software doesnt always have to be recalled, it can be patched. But if you don't say informed, the ground beef you have in your fridge that got recalled...you'll never know it was. Thats "common sense" in this day and age.

Haha (5, Informative)

ViralInfection (1221188) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502220)

From the ages of 17-26.

Wouldn't you say the RCMP is just hunting down script kiddies?

Re:Haha (1)

tecmec (870283) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502626)

Calling them script kiddies based solely on their ages? As a 19 year old, that offends me. How many real (not script kiddie) hackers are 40-something or 50-something?

Re:Haha (1)

jjackson (83961) | more than 6 years ago | (#22503716)

Not many - but how many 40 or 50 year olds had access to a PC when they were in their teens?

I am personally at an age that had I been born much earlier, I would not have had the option of learning to code a virus for a PC in my teens. I am 34 and easy access to PC hardware was a new concept when I was in my early teens. Home computer networks and mass adoption of the Internet didn't start until the early 90's... about the time I was your age.

All that being said, it is in the vast majority of teens' natures to take risks and seek attention. A computer crime, particularly an Internet crime has a reach that far exceeds anything my father could dreamed of. There is very little a 15 year old could have done in there parents basement in the US that would have affected someone in Australia (geographical locations are arbitrary) when he was a teen.

Last but not least, when I was a teenage and wrote my first PC virus (yeah, yeah... I did it too) that completely baffled the system administrators at my high school - I was supposedly one of the world's "elite". The statistics stated that perhaps only 10,000 people in the world had the knowledge to do so... reading that statistic was what actually inspired me to see if I could. So, I bought several books on x86 assembly language and got my hands on as many viruses as possible, printed reams of disassembled virus bytecode, and stepped through countless lines of instructions in DOS's debug.exe to watch them in action. After a few months was able to craft a completely unique virus that was prolific as hell and slipped right through the Antivirus applications' (of that day and time) scanners.

Now I hear my kids' friends talking about how they write viruses... I had an entertaining discussion with a 14 year old at one point claiming he was one of the reasons that I have a job (I own a small PC security consulting company), yet from the remainder of the discussion it was pretty clear that he wouldn't know a PCI slot from DIMM socket if he was put on the spot to identify them.

I guess my point is - the bar has been drastically lowered for entry into the virus writing world. About anyone with the ability to use notepad and search google can write a VBScript app that will spread itself via Email (or a Perl script for those who would like to jump on the down-with-windows bandwagon). This being the case, it fits into the teenage rebel without a clue mentality quite nicely. The percentage of kids that are actually gifted programmers hasn't really changed but the number of kids tinkering with scripts and programming certainly has - which is precisely where the stereotype of the teen script-kiddie comes from. (The word "kiddie" has a basis in reality as well).

Don't get me wrong - I am not putting you down. For all I know you could have an IQ of 200 and have graduated high school at 12. However, the vast majority of people are complete idiots - with the level of skill needed to write viruses and the average computer user now being part of that majority. By the time people are in their 20's/30's there are slightly more important things to do (job, family, etc) than try to mess with the computer of someone halfway across the globe to gain a +1 to e-peen size. So, yes, it is a pretty safe assumption that script kiddies will be in their teens.

Sensationalism (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22502344)

scam Slang
n.
A fraudulent business scheme; a swindle.

tr.v. scammed, scamming, scams

To defraud; swindle.


So, who was defrauded or swindled in this case ?

"Script Kiddies Busted" would have been more appropriate.

Crackers, not hackers (EOM) (1)

objekt (232270) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502372)

EOM because I don't like NT.

Is this a RIAA Press Release (1)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502418)

The numbers confuse me.

"backbacon" Tag (1)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502526)

Why RTFA when you have /. tags?

largest bushwhacking scam in history of universe (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22502528)

that's yOUR fearful 'leaders' all right. what a debacle to try to explain to the kids. let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

The Unwritten Story... (5, Funny)

Panaqqa (927615) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502540)

These arrests were in Quebec. What they are not telling us is that the arrests were REALLY for not hacking into the boxes using both official languages.

Canada ? (0, Flamebait)

Griff-GW (1235800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22502736)

With 45 million why on earth would you stay in Canada ? /BookItOutOfCanada

Script Kiddis Horah! (1)

poormanjoe (889634) | more than 6 years ago | (#22503036)

"Eh, check 'er out Uper! A Newfoundland!"

Canadian Scam (1)

up2ng (110551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22503044)

What's that all Aboot ?

Outdated security setups? (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 6 years ago | (#22503344)

"... many as one million computers around the world that were not equipped with anti-virus software or firewalls."

How about outdated software/updates (e.g., virus definitions)? What are the statistics for those?

Non-Clarification (1)

lordshipmayhem (1063660) | more than 6 years ago | (#22503426)

1) There's a link on the site to report typos. I submitted the 14 vs. 16 issue there.
2) On http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080221.whacker21/BNStory/National/home [theglobeandmail.com] , they're saying it's 17, and being consistent throughout the article.

I don't know which is correct at this point in time.

Canadian Prisons (2, Funny)

Detritus (11846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22503660)

Does Canada have any strict regime prisons? It certainly has the geography for it. Why not ship the script kiddies off to a work camp in the middle of nowhere for a few years.
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