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Griefers Assault Epileptics Via Message Board

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the not-funny-mcgee dept.

Security 621

An anonymous reader tips us to a story up at Wired reporting on what may be the first computer attack to inflict physical harm on victims. Last Saturday, griefers posted hundreds of bogus messages on the support forums of the nonprofit Epilepsy Foundation that used JavaScript and strobing GIFs to trigger migraines and seizures in users. For about 3% of the 50 million epileptics worldwide, flashing lights and colors can trigger seizures. "'I don't fall over and convulse, but it hurts,' says [an IT worker in Ohio]. 'I was on the phone when it happened, and I couldn't move and couldn't speak.' ... Circumstantial evidence suggests the attack was the work of members of Anonymous, an informal collective of griefers best known for their recent war on the Church of Scientology. The first flurry of posts on the epilepsy forum referenced the site EBaumsWorld, which is much hated by Anonymous. And forum members claim they found a message board thread — since deleted — planning the attack at 7chan.org, a group stronghold."

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621 comments

May or may not be the same Anons (5, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907036)

The members of Anonymous that did these hacks, if, in fact, that is who planned them, are likely not the same people protesting the Scientology organization.

One of the things about Anonymous that makes it different than most groups is that there are no real leaders and that, due to its very nature, nobody really knows anyone else in the group short of a few people that they might know outside the anonymous forums (this is because on a lot of the boards that Anon originated on, posters are forced to post anonymously, hence the name).

So it's really impossible to tell whether the people doing this are the same ones behind the masks at the protests.

Smear campaign by Scientology (4, Insightful)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907054)

count on it.

Re:Smear campaign by Scientology (5, Insightful)

dosius (230542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907108)

Some Anons say there is but one Anon.

I express solidarity with the Anons who fight the CoS, but I refuse to accept the Internet Hate Machine as being the same Anonymous. It is why I said before and I say again: There are TWO Anonymous.

-uso.

Re:Smear campaign by Scientology (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907264)

We are legion for we are many, but there is only One Anonymous. Also this is pretty much the. most. awesome. thing they have EVER done, I want to know what community was behind this. Anyone want to post AC and own up to it?

Re:Smear campaign by Scientology (5, Interesting)

WhodoVoodoo (319477) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907390)

this is not true. There is not One or Two anonymous, there is NO anonymous.

It's not useful to associate "anonymous" as a group or entity. "Anonymous" is a completely chaotic, anarchistic, loose association. It is akin to race. There are (excuse this analogy) white people, and there are other white people who do bad things, and there are yet more white people who do good things. It is not useful to say "white people" are anything, except that "white people" came from europe and have a history of colonialism.

It is exactly the same with "anonymous". Anonymous is simply a subset of most people in the world who use the internet, and there is a subse tof them who do other things, and a subset of THEM who attack things, and a subset of this which may have assaulted an epilepsy board. But none of them are really related beyond circumstance.

The point is "anonymous" does not have any goals or means or anything. They don't even share interests, the only real connection is a mode of communication (and often web sites). Some anonymous coalesce to do things, like protest scientology or mess around on the internet, but they are not related except by modes of action. Attributing causal notions to this Anonymous is fallacy.

Re:Smear campaign by Scientology (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907406)

Akin to the nigger race maybe..

Re:Smear campaign by Scientology (2, Insightful)

Wavebreak (1256876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907176)

Not necessarily, however keep in mind that Anonymous is not a single organization but a collective of people who have different morals and values. Technically the Anonymous that griefs forums and social networking sites etc. shouldn't be considered the same entity as the Anonymous that's protesting scientology. Of course, this kind of thing is the downside of having no leadership or any kind of hierarchy whatsoever. In any case, I don't think it's fair to imply that these are the same people (altho in the interests of full disclosure, some might well be).

Re:Smear campaign by Scientology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907336)

While it's certainly convenient timing for Anonymous to be linked with such a pr-unfriendly event, that's the only reason for Anonymous not to have done so. Face it, the people on the *chans, 4chan in particular, like griefing people, and there's no reason to think they wouldn't do something like this. Sure, a lot of Anons, maybe even a majority, might not do something like this, but when have any of the *chans been some kind of moral haven? The idea of Anonymous "standing up" to the CoS is outright ridiculous. I've been on 4chan for a long time and I would never associate myself with these people. These people are going to protests to "stand up to the CoS" and then go back home to surf 4chan and start threads like "I'll post CP if you can count to 5 Anonymous." This is just a massive joke.

Re:May or may not be the same Anons (2, Insightful)

athdemo (1153305) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907384)

The fact that these Anonymous blamed it on ebaumsworld makes me think that almost beyond a shadow of a doubt it's the same people. Blaming ebaums is standard practice for the *chans. If you're trying to imply that the CoS is impersonating them to give them bad PR, I find it extremely unlikely they would've spent enough time researching 4chans raiding habits enough to know this, and even if they did, I doubt they would have done so. It wouldn't fit their purpose.

Cruel and unusual (1, Insightful)

Izabael_DaJinn (1231856) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907040)

I admit I usually think it is funny and appropriately rebellious when hackers set out to make a point. When they picked on the Scientologists it was funny. But this? Why this? It's like torturing your goldfish. Where is the challenge? What's the point?

Re:Cruel and unusual (4, Interesting)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907170)

It's not even new. I remember a virus in about the mid 90s that would attempt to cause the victim to have a seizure in the same manner. Also there was some Japanese cartoon that accidentally caused seizures in som watchers and it was popular for a while for people to post clips of the offending scenes on their websites. Not much a hack.

I am surprised that sufferers of this condition can't get filtering software for their computer though that analyzes what is happening on the screen and blacks out, or otherwise makes safe, dangerous content. Looking for strobes should be a fairly easy thing. Hell, I'd be surprised if a lot of ad banners don't cause seizures.

Re:Cruel and unusual (4, Informative)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907278)

with Firefox open about:config search for image_animation_mode and set to none

with Seamonkey in preferences > Privacy & Security > Images select Never to Animated images should loop...

not sure about Opera as i don't have it currently installed, and as far as Internet Explorer i have no clue since i do not have or use windows...

Re:Cruel and unusual (5, Informative)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907436)

To disable animation in Opera you go to Tools > Quick Preferences > uncheck "Enable GOF/SVG Animation"

Re:Cruel and unusual (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907280)

Also there was some Japanese cartoon that accidentally caused seizures in som watchers and it was popular for a while for people to post clips of the offending scenes on their websites. Not much a hack.
It was Pokemon. But the reason may be different: since that episode was never aired in the US, I guess some people wanted to try their luck, "russian roulette lite".

ebaums did it! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907052)

it was ebaumsworld... they hate us for our freedoms.

Re:ebaums did it! (0, Troll)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907286)

ebaums did it! (Score:1)
by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 29, @05:07PM (#22907052)
it was ebaumsworld... they hate us for our freedoms.


No. YOU did it. Just look at your name. Anonymous Coward. That says it all!

Anonymous, or the Hubbardistas? (5, Insightful)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907056)

I am no supporter of Anonymous, but isn't it convenient for the Scientologers that their new-found enemy should suddenly be suspected of a such certoonishly evil assault.

Two particular L. Ron Hubbard quotes are especially instructive in this regard-

We are slowly and carefully teaching the unholy a lesson. It is as follows: We are not a law enforcement agency. BUT we will become interested in the crimes of people who seek to stop us. If you oppose Scientology we promptly look up - and find and expose - your crimes. If you leave us alone we will leave you alone.
And-

Never discuss Scientology with the critic. Just discuss his or her crimes, known and unknown.
Certainly makes you wonder...

Also, Epileptics need to build themselves a Firefox plugin that'll detect any harmful behaviour, and block it Adblock-style. As the tech progresses this plugin could even be integrated into special sunglasses.... [hhgproject.org]

Re:Anonymous, or the Hubbardistas? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907136)

"Anonymous" has always preyed on the weak. They are not activists, at least, not originally. The activism associated with "Anonymous" recently via the Scientology raids is very new, and was not appreciated by many who had been channers for some time. This is just the same group of people getting back to their roots, griefing the weak. I doubt Scientology had anything to do with this.

Re:Anonymous, or the Hubbardistas? (1)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907202)

You are currently 1+ Interesting, when you should have been marked 5+ OT.

As in, Operating Thetan.

Re:Anonymous, or the Hubbardistas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907316)

Well I have no love for Scientology, they have certainly done many fucked up things in their time. However, this impression people have of "Anonymous" as moral crusaders is patently false. They are much closer to nihilists. They laugh at suicide, death, and those with any type of debilitating condition. They get their jollies disrupting kid's forums and games such as Habbo Hotel. They cheer people who choose to neuter themselves via butcher knife. They see the VT slaughter as a new high water mark to be surpassed. And so on. I'm not sure how "Anonymous" ever got associated with noble causes but it may have originated with the Hal Turner raids. Most were doing it because Hal Turner was a good target to grief, but others interpreted this raid as a noble cause against Turner's racist views.

Re:Anonymous, or the Hubbardistas? (1)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907398)

I have no love for Anonymous, but I see most of the actions you describe as positive for society, even if that wasn't the intention.

Disrupting kids' forums only points out how poorly implemented the security model is.
Cheering self-harm removes the cachet associated, in the harmer's mind, with harming, as he/she doesn't get the shocked reaction they were angling for (I know that's not the only motivation, but it's certainly a fashionable one).
etc. etc.

Re:Anonymous, or the Hubbardistas? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907162)

'Epilepsy' is a PSYCHOLOGICAL problem. These idiots who 'have a seizure' when they see a strobe light are TAKING THE PISS. Why on Earth could a flashing light cause an otherwise perfectly healthy person to collapse in a 'fit'?

It's a PSYCHOLOGICAL reaction. But then, we can't question anything that's been declared 'the truth' by science, so the 'knowledgeable' Slashdotters, ever inquiring (not) will mod me down for questioning the Holy Grail...

I'd like to see a 'photosensitive' 'epileptic' exposing themselves repeatedly to strobe lights, and see how long they could keep up the act, and keep having 'fits', over and over and over. I think they'd probably get pretty tired of bullshitting quickly enough...

Re:Anonymous, or the Hubbardistas? (1)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907232)

Not to feed the trolls, but 'psychological reactions', as you put it, are no less valid than physical ones.

It's just that we should appreciate that they are psychological, and tailor the treatment accordingly. Not that I necessarily agree with your assessment of Epilepsy- I don't even play a doctor on TV.

Re:Anonymous, or the Hubbardistas? (4, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907358)

Epilepsy is traditionally analysed with an EEG. That makes it a neurological condition.

And yes, I do have epilepsy, but not the photosensitive kind. Back in the days when the only way to make a rapid strobe light was with xenon or neon there was a lot of attention paid to pulse rates, intensity and containment. You were not supposed to just set it up anywhere. You had to warn people.

Now that anybody can make a strobe with an array of cheap LED's the photosensitivity issue is being ignored. This is a problem because it goes beyond people with recognised seizure problems. We should not be feeding pulse trains into our eyes which mimic signals which always run inside our brains.

Re:Anonymous, or the Hubbardistas? (1)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907416)

Now that anybody can make a strobe with an array of cheap LED's the photosensitivity issue is being ignored.
We should devise a fitting punishment.

Re:Anonymous, or the Hubbardistas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907300)

FAIL REPEAT THE QUESTION.

Re:Anonymous, or the Hubbardistas? (4, Informative)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907438)

Idiot troll. Epilepsy is absolutely *not* a psychological reaction. It's purely physiological - its no different in principle than a knee-tap reflex.

          Brett

I have a true Scientology story.... (5, Interesting)

Izabael_DaJinn (1231856) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907166)

A few months ago when that crazy Tom Cruise video first appeared I wrote a comment about it on DailyMotion making a joke about Scientology. The next day our office phone number (listed at our registrar) had a call (on the caller ID) from the Church of Scientology the very next day. No one was around to answer and no one called back, but it can hardly be a coincidence since it was the first time before and after we ever had a call from them!!

In other words, I do believe they would do something like you are suggesting.

I also would expect another phone call from them tomorrow for this post :~(

Re:I have a true Scientology story.... (2, Insightful)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907262)

I was sorely tempted to post anonymously (not the flashing lights kind) when writing the post.

But bullies don't stop if you run away.

Re:Anonymous, or the Hubbardistas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907236)

but isn't it convenient for the Scientologers that their new-found enemy should suddenly be suspected of a such certoonishly evil assault.
very. it really wouldn't surprise me if it was either a frame job to discredit COS's opponents or a group of arseholes completely unrelated to anonymous.

Redundant. (5, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907060)

Why did they go through all that trouble? They could have simply redirected 'em to Myspace [myspace.com] .

Assholes (1, Flamebait)

Renderer of Evil (604742) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907076)

There is not much to say, really. These people lack any form of human decency. Attacking objectively bad groups like Scientology is somewhat justifiable, but to target people with disabilities is the lowest of the low. Fuck them.

Re:Assholes (5, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907112)

And so, the Scientology strategy of blaming their detractors through a blackbag job worked. They got you to believe this was by Anonymous.

Re:Assholes (2, Interesting)

c_forq (924234) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907366)

And they are completely in the clear by their own code, sense according to scientology there are no psychological problems and epilepsy is a psychological disorder.

Re:Assholes (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907126)

You see it that was, because perhaps you have compassion for the weak. I see it as kicking Natural Selection back into gear.

Re:Assholes (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907182)

There is not much to say, really.

Yes, there is. They are recklessly and intentionally inflicting physical harm on other people. This is assault, and they should go to prison for it.

If you build a robot with a remote control and use it to shoot people, that's the same as holding the gun yourself. Likewise, if you intentionally set out to use your computer to cause seizures in others, specifically taking action because you know that this will be the result, then you are guilty of assault.

Find them, and lock them up.

Re:Assholes (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907226)

You sure accept they did it fast. But your not alone, and that's what scares me.

This is the 21 century, we shouldn't have mob justice or lynchings anymore.

Definitions please (2, Interesting)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907080)

What the hell is a "Griefer?"

Re:Definitions please (5, Informative)

garylian (870843) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907120)

See Wikipedia for a pretty complete explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griefer [wikipedia.org]

In a nutshell, it's someone that does a deliberately obnoxious or destructive thing to another person, simply for their own personal entertainment.

So, it's not exactly being used correctly. If it was done by Anonymous in response to a supposed threat, that was a premptive strike, not a griefing. If it wasn't anonymous, but simply someone that thought it would be funny, then griefing is a correct term for it.

Re:Definitions please (1)

driftingwalrus (203255) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907318)

It seems very similar in concept to a troll.

Re:Definitions please (1)

r00td43m0n (796630) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907154)

Someone who does something on the internet or in a video game just to cause someone else grief. Team killers, posting goatse randomly, general douchebaggery, etc.

Re:Definitions please (1)

Lord_Sintra (923866) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907192)

It's what the people who know nothing about the internet call a troll, or, if ingame, a lamer...

In future news... (5, Funny)

Spartan Niner (1264332) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907082)

Newbie griefers pretending to by Anonymous are caught posting from IP addresses associated with Scientology.

Re:In future news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907132)

"pretending to by Anonymous"? Careful, you're starting to believe in your own bullshit.

The Internets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907086)

[blockquote]And forum members claim they found a message board thread -- since deleted -- planning the attack at 7chan.org, a group stronghold.[/blockquote] Careful! The internets are serious business!

Of course (5, Insightful)

PakProtector (115173) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907088)

Obviously 'Anonymous' did this, because the Church of Scientology is so moral as to never stoop to breaking the law and framing others to remove a detractor.

Just how they would never try to drive a critic to suicide or cause the death of one of their own due to denial of basic medical treatment.

Sickening (4, Insightful)

wwwgregcom (313240) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907092)

As an epileptic, I find this absolutely sickening. Although I have a very mild form that is not photosensitive, this is a terrible act. For some, seizures do have a small risk of sudden death. When I was first diagnosed, I found these and similar message boards to be an absolutely invaluable resource in finding comfort and support for what is an often incurable and sometimes still stigmatized disease. For me, these forums will never feel like the same safe haven that they used to be.

Re:Sickening (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907128)

you fucking cry baby. i hope you die before spreading your inferior, epileptic genes.

Re:Sickening (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907186)

go kill yourself you fucking cunt

Re:Sickening (2)

JustShootMe (122551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907190)

Trolling those with a disease? Your genes aren't much better. Go crawl back into the primordial muck.

Oh, hey! Looks like they changed the commenting to work inline. That's cool. So at least your comment had some redeeming value, in spite of your best efforts.

Re:Sickening (4, Insightful)

taustin (171655) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907160)

Given how trivial it was to conduct this attack, I have say that this forum didn't "used to be" a safe haven, it only seemed to be. Now, you have a clearer understanding of how the world really works.

Makin' a list, checkin' it twice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907364)

List of places it's not safe for me to open my eyes:
  - Las Vegas
  - Times Square
  - Japan (any city)
  - teh internets

That's OK, we've still got lots of safe places.

Re:Sickening (1)

MADCOWbeserk (515545) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907184)

Unfortunately I don't have mod points to repair the wrong. But whomeever modded your post "flamebait" should have their account deleted.

Re:Sickening (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907310)

Flamebait is a pretty standard mod for this sort of post. It does after all encourage flames and other irrational posting (just look at the other replies).

Re:Sickening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907352)

slashdot was broken for a few minutes and let me comment AC and mod you fuckers down and my brothers-in-arms up. unfortunately it appears fixed and my mods have been undone. you are still an epileptic-loving piece of shit and you dont know the first thing about ebaumsworld, asshole.

--ebaumsworld

Re:Sickening (2, Informative)

jmv (93421) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907276)

Install noscript, set the FF option to disable animated gifs, disable flash. It's save again.

Re:Sickening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907306)

As someone who is not an epileptic, I find this absolutely sickening. It's very disturbing indeed, for exactly the reasons you listed.

Re:Sickening (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907334)

whats disturbing is your love of the genetically inferior

Re:Sickening (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907342)

looks like those spastics got their brains 0wn3d!

Maybe... (2, Insightful)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907098)

boards for epileptic support shouldn't be written with javascript and image upload ability in the first place? Just a thought. I don't recall ever having strobing marching penises coming out of the monitor at me when I read usenet all those years...

Re:Maybe... (1)

Spudtrooper (1073512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907270)

So is this why they took away the <blink> tag?

Chill dude (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907284)

I don't recall ever having strobing marching penises coming out of the monitor at me when I read usenet all those years...

Obviously you were just in the wrong newsgroups.

winrar (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907106)

winrar

Re:winrar (1)

dvase (1134189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907210)

How did this get moderated as Funny? What am I missing?

Re:winrar (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907242)

a brain? go back to gaia you newfag piece of shit.

Very Neuromancer (3, Interesting)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907110)

Reminds me of the terrorist attack by the Panther Moderns on Sense/Net in Neuromancer

More like... (3, Interesting)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907158)

More like Snow Crash [amazon.com] , or even better: the short story BLIT [answers.com] by David Langford. This story immediately brought BLIT back to mind.

Re:Very Neuromancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907188)

Obviously you didn't read "Snow Crash"

Yet another reason javascript should be abandoned. (1, Funny)

Dogun (7502) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907118)

If the past 15 years of strobing pages, CPU gobbling animated backgrounds, looped 'all keys disabled' rickrolling with an endless supply of modal dialogs weren't enough to convince you, perhaps this should be.

Flash, you're next.

Re:Yet another reason javascript should be abandon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907288)

So what you're saying is we should eliminate the while loop and return all web interaction to server side processing. Perhaps we should ditch images too?

Re:Yet another reason javascript should be abandon (2, Informative)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907308)

Animnated gifs have nothing to do with Javascript. Maybe boards don't allow posting animated gifs. An easy fix to this problem.

Seen This Before (4, Interesting)

Ganty (1223066) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907138)

I've already seen this sort of thing before. About six years ago Reuters had a series of flash based adverts for BMW that produced a swirling pattern on the screen. This advert produced an epileptic fit in one of our users and when I sent an emergency email to Reuters the adverts were pulled.

For someone to do this on purpose is kinda sick.

Ganty

Hackers? (1, Troll)

Aaron England (681534) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907140)

The headline of the news article is "Hackers Assault Epilepsy Patients via Computer", yet all the perpetrators did was troll the message board with offensive links not unlike what happens here daily on Slashdot. The media never could grasp the correct usage of hackers (hackers versus crackers, hackers versus script kiddies, etc), and confusing Anonymous for hackers isn't likely to help.

Re:Hackers? (3, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907440)

The media never could grasp the correct usage of hackers (hackers versus crackers

Ok, that battle was lost literally 20 years ago, give it the hell up already. Seriously, you're only deluding yourself on this one.

hackers versus script kiddies

I've always assumed that script kiddies are a type of hacker who use only code/exploits written by other people instead of writing their own.

and confusing Anonymous for hackers isn't likely to help.

Yes, well, if they're going to be a group, maybe they should get a name that isn't completely moronic.

Riiight... (5, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907152)

And I am supposed to believe that this is Anonymous branching out from their protest against Scientology, and not some asshat member of Scientology trying to give Anonymous a bad name because...?

Anonymous has a beef with Scientology, and that is the sole extent of their agenda to date, so there is absolutely no reason for them to suddenly decide to launch an attack against epileptics. On the other hand there is every reason for Scientology to try and smear Anonymous in order to gain a more sympathetic ear in any future court actions against Anonymous. Given the track record Scientology has with the use of smear campaigns against people and organisations that try to stand up to them, I'd say it's pretty obvious what's really going on here.

Oh, and expect incoming pro-Scientology astroturfers in 3... 2... 1...

Re:Riiight... (0)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907340)

Err... so if 'Anonymous' does something you like, it's them, but if they don't, it's not them.

Yeah... right. Get over it. Hiding behind the term 'Anonymous' pretty much labels them as a much of 13 year olds with no life in the first place. They don't *need* smearing - they're perfectly capable of doing it themselves.

Will the Authorities Take Notice Now? (1)

ThePolkapunk (826529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907164)

Many computer security analysts have been screaming for years that there needs to be tighter security in applications and that law authorities need to do more against cyber crimes. As much as I don't want the law breathing down my back when I'm using the computer, it's time someone did something to stop stupid little script kiddies from pulling shit like this.

Now that the line has been crossed, and hackers are using exploits to cause physical harm to people, I hope that this will be the wakeup call for governments to start doing something about it. They need to start pressing hard on companies who release bug riddled software. Universities and books need to start ingraining careful, methodical programming and security mindedness before they even learn "Hello World."

And for goodness sake, get those donut eating pigs off of their fat asses and get them protecting people instead of chasing after 7 year old kids downloading songs from the internet!

Re:Will the Authorities Take Notice Now? (5, Insightful)

nevali (942731) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907292)

Er, how about this: people who run websites need to be competent at it.

Many forum software packages have the ability to selectively or globally disable the upload animated GIFs. Given that they're forums for suffers of epilepsy, you'd think it'd be fairly high up on the list given that photosensitivity is a well-known symptom.

Similarly, a sticky forum post on "How to avoid a seizure when browsing the web" would be helpful. Links to Firefox plug-ins, and the like.

I was wondering when this would happen (5, Insightful)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907172)

I have a relative in the Fire Alarm business and he tells me about the restrictions on strobe lights on long corridors, they have to flash simultaneously because the random flashes could cause a seizure during a fire. I thought, "wow, that's right. I wonder if they actualy thought about it before hand, or if they wrote the regulation based on a real incident."

Anyway, having that on my mind, I was looking at some of the more garish web sites and thought to myself, "I wonder if someone would construct a site that could trigger an epileptic seizure. Well, now we know.

As for "Anonymous" be the same anti-scientology "Anonymous," I would bet with 99% confidence that if there is such an accusation, it is scientology that did it. We know "why" anonymous is going after scientology, whether you agree or disagree, they have a cause. The epilepsy incident has nothing to do with that cause, and furthermore undermines it. It only makes sense that since it undermines the cause of "anonymous," it was likely done by scientology since they are the ones with the actual motive.

Re:I was wondering when this would happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907298)

Anonymous doesn't need a reason. They do what they want because they can. They don't need a justification to fuck with people. They make fun of suicides and cutters.

The epilepsy attack and Project Chanology are the same group. I guarantee it.

Re:I was wondering when this would happen (2, Interesting)

MoogMan (442253) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907392)

Or maybe it was "Anonymous" after all, knowing that people would come to the same conclusion as you have, and blame Scientology.

Another reason why (1)

hee gozer (1261036) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907196)

using NoScript [noscript.net] is a Good IdeaTM. Linking to a page with a black-white pixel gif animation on the background is still possible though, there's no risk with animations disabled as well (unless you like to scroll).

This does not sound like Anon (5, Informative)

Toandeaf (1014715) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907212)

Maybe this is how Anon rolls on 7chan, but the Anon of 4chan simply does not work like this. Perhaps someone encouraged them, but usually such an idea would be met with accusations of using /b/ as a personal army. The raids I have seen always target pornographic webcams, racist radio shows, or rival internet groups such as Gaia. Anon may laugh at harm that happens on others, but they aren't actually malicious when it comes to their own actions. It is more their style to troll a dyslexia forum with garbled paragraphs. I suppose this could be the doing of a minority of truly evil people who take advantage of the anonymity, but this just seems too convenient of timing. I believe the Co$ is to blame for this.

Re:This does not sound like Anon (3, Insightful)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907304)

I would tend to agree.

I don't even think the hardcore /i/nsurgents would resort to something like this. I've started to look through a few of the places where this sort of this is discussed (the few I know about), and I haven't found anything. I think I might even leave them a note about someone doing this in the name of Anon, and how this undermines their long-term goals.

However, I would not completely rule out a rogue newfag or two who thinks this is funny.

Re:This does not sound like Anon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907368)

Its always some newfag, who then causes an influx of additional newfags, greatly reducing the average lulz available. Newfags, before you do anything, just remember, don't mess with football.

Dude, (5, Funny)

DancesWithBlowTorch (809750) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907408)

Maybe this is how Anon rolls on 7chan, but the Anon of 4chan simply does not work like this. Perhaps someone encouraged them, but usually such an idea would be met with accusations of using /b/ as a personal army.
What the hell are you talking about?

Man, I thought I was 1337, but it seems those days are gone. Great, now what am I going to do when my dad finds out I don't understand the internet anymore?

Re:This does not sound like Anon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907420)

Anon may laugh at harm that happens on others, but they aren't actually malicious when it comes to their own actions.
Ah hah, oh wow! You haven't been around for long then. Anybody who could be fucked around with, has been fucked around with.

I heard that Anonymous posts here? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907228)

Is that true?

This is indirectly a good thing... (5, Insightful)

JustShootMe (122551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907230)

Not the actual "attack" itself, of course. But immediately, someone mentioned "anonymous" and everyone knew who they were, that they had a beef with scientology, and that scientology was possibly behind it to discredit them.

This shows that scientology is losing the PR war. They are completely out of their league when they can't actually identify and personally harass their detractors.

Ok, this is uncool. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907252)

How about we find the people behind this and beat them with a bat and see how they feel?

Re:Ok, this is uncool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907312)

How about we find the people behind this and beat them with a bat and see how they feel?

Follow the money: www.scientology.org

hard to believe (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907254)

After all, we know 7chan is a Scientology stronghold. It is doubtful that the fearful and timid Anonymous people would dare plan something so nefarious under the very noses of their foes. They'd probably use the Something Awful forums instead.

There is a fundamental misunderstanding here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907302)

Everyone knows that there is no real anonymous... there is one guy that makes all the posts on all chans and a bunch of lurkers from ebaums that latch on to his insane ramblings and spread them throughout the internet. The lack of basic understanding on this matter just reaffirms the fact that slashdot is no longer relevant in today's intarwebz.

You assholes. (1)

Ethan Allison (904983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907332)

Seriously. Don't you have something better to do?

Scientology... (1)

Kinnaird (851535) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907382)

Scientology causes migraines?

Next Attack for Anonymous ... with Beer and Pizza! (3, Funny)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907388)

Next thing you know, someone claiming to be part of Anonymous will be posting pictures of pizza on weightwatchers forums, and pictures of beer on the AA forums.

I think this is bullshit. (1)

moxley (895517) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907404)

First off, I don't think whoever organized the protests against Scientology would do this. The negative PR alone would be a demotivating factor...

No....to me this has all of the hallmarks of a "false flag" hack. I can think of two groups who would want to do this to cause harm to the image of Anonymous AND "hackers" in general:

Scientology and elements within the US government.

I don't get the connection... (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907414)

What's the connection between Anonymous & eBaumsWorld, and why do Anons hate it so much? Is EBW a Scientology site? Anybody with a better understanding, would you please shed some light on this?

Slap ! (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907424)

Don't these people have mothers who tell them such things are in bad taste ? If not, why would someone who could be considered an adult be doing this ?

robbIE not just a cheap corepirate nazi whore... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22907452)

anymore. he's also a inept vandal. we're keeping track of your spoiled brat behaviour. there will be a charge for the damage.
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