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Anonymous hacks MIT website on anniversary of Aaron Swartz suicide (techienews.co.uk)
86 points by l15 1376 days ago | hide | past | web | 23 comments | favorite

I'm glad MIT's self-funded electrical generation project finally got what was coming to them!


So when you're mad at someone or a group of people, you break their stuff?

Why are we cheering for this? I'm strongly in favor of EFF, Doctorow, and others to shed light on what they did, but this the electronic equivalent of covering a building with paint of a group you don't like.

The people left to fix it/clean it up had nothing to do with it, and it does nothing to help those trying to break the system via legitimate means.

Come on HN, stop cheering for these events.

Is it really the same?

If they have backup (it's MIT.. I don't doubt they do have backup) it's probably clean in less than 15 minutes.

Now they also need to fix the security issue. It's more like I know your door is broken but I use that problem to talk about another problem. Will that make you work more? Maybe yeah because you will have to fix that door NOW but in the same time, the same is true if I told only you, you would still need to fix it now because it can be a HUGE danger for you.

Seems like we should be focusing more attention on the Department of Justice. They were the ones really pressing the ridiculous charges. MIT definitely shares some blame, but the DoJ is where we really need to see some reform.

It has been a year. Can we stop tiptoeing around family and pseudo friends? Good comment from reddit discussion on a recent swartz story that was trying to blame MIT:

[begin quote]

An adult (Aaron) who was NOT affiliated with the University, broke the law using MIT's network. MIT suffered damages because of his actions (temporary loss of access to JSTOR), and moved to stop his activity. Because his activity was criminal, he was arrested.

Now his father blames MIT and the prosecuting attorney apparently almost entirely for the death of his son. How about when he, as a father, understood the fragility of his son's condition and didn't do more to encourage him to perform his activism without breaking as many laws? You know, so as not to put himself in a position where he might be faced with jail time? How about the father getting him serious psych help so that he could understand that 3 months in jail wouldn't be the end of the world, even for someone with Crohn's disease, and if anything, serving time would add to his status as a hacker activist?

NOPE, never a mention of that, only slinging hate and blame at MIT for not assuming the position of legal defender of someone who was never a student. I genuinely wish that MIT had done more for Aaron, but blaming the University for Aaron's suicide is ludicrous. Absolutely ridiculous.

One final thought. The dad says "Bob reasons that MIT chose not to cross Heymann so as not to alienate the New England Electronic Crimes Task Force—or endanger its federal grants". WELL! How dare MIT not endanger it's lifeblood of federal grants by intervening on an unaffiliated adult's behalf!

[end quote]

MIT's behavior was fine in foresight. In hindsight they may have had better options. The DOJ charges were not ridiculous. Again, in hindsight, had they known they were dealing with an unusually fragile person with a defective personal support network, they should have toned things down a little.

The ridiculous part is trying to slap him with 35 years in prison (worse than murder in many cases) when the victim, JSTOR, chose not to even press charges.

No one tried to slap him with 35 years in prison. If the prosecution was able to win on all counts, and convince the court that Swartz had caused a very high amount of monetary damages, he was looking at around 7 years.

See Orin Kerr's detailed look at the charges and the possible sentences at [1].

If he opted for a plea bargain, he was looking at 3 months.

[1] http://www.volokh.com/2013/01/16/the-criminal-charges-agains...

(Broken record) Swartz's own lawyer believed that had he opted to go to trial and lost, he still mightn't have received a custodial sentence.

Part of it is that we don't expect any better of the DoJ. Being asshats is their job. But MIT, they're an icon and they've let us down.

MIT has quite the number of subdomains.

I myself found that a server I managed had been exploited via Roundcube a few years ago and saw that the domain http://esi.mit.edu/, running on Drupal or something then, had been hacked by the same people (tracked back the source via the Apache HTTP logs, came from a Drupal instance that had been hacked) - links to bad websites could be found hidden in the source code to presumably improve their Google ranking. I notified ESI and they took it down.

I can't imagine that with the number of subdomains MIT has that this could have been all that difficult or noteworthy.

I love that taking control of a website maybe 100 people would visit in a day for a few hours is still a big deal. You want to hack something, crack a real system.


cogen.mit.edu again?

This is the same domain that Anonymous hacked last year.

They probably left a backdoor in there, or perhaps put up still-insecure software when restoring from the last hack. That'd be my guess, anyway.

Or it's an inside job.

techienews.co.uk reports the wrong date for the protest, Feb 14, while the real date is Feb 11.


An archive for when MIT repairs their defacement — http://archive.is/t74rs

The hack seems a bit vanilla. Good message nonetheless but DOJs main page would have been a good addition.

almost seems as though they (or maybe some of them) are somewhat ok with the message.

Well done. I adore the logo placement and URL. Good job.

just a validation, was Aaron Swartz - Co-Founder of Reddit as mentioned in the article.. I cant seem to find any link to the same on the article..

SQLi really?

Yes, the world will shudder from this hack on an unrelated subdomain of a prestigious private university! The day we fight back has finally come!


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