ABC website hacked

ABC website hacked and personal details exposed

The website of the top broadcasting agency in Australia i.e. the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (www.abc.net.au) was hacked last night by a hacker. The hacker apparently hacked the channel’s website as retaliation for the broadcast of an interview of a Dutch Anti Islam leader Geert Wilder on February 22nd. The hacker also leaked personal details of more than 50,000 users on the ABC website and released them online during the night.

ABC website hacked and personal details exposed

ABC website hacked and personal details exposed

The leaked data includes usernames, passwords, email addresses and residential addresses along with other critical sensitive information and more than a 1000 of these users happen to be government employees.

The hacker announced the hack on his twitter handle @Phr0zenM in a tweet, “ABC hacked for giving a platform for Geert Wilders to spread hatred #OpWilders – database leaked!” at around 1pm. Certainly this person is protesting for the airing of the interview of the Dutch leader and performed the hack as part of Operation Wilder.  The hacker infiltrated the website of the program Making Australia Happy and from there the data was stolen.

ABC took prompt action as soon as it was intimated of the hacking. The spokesperson for the channel addressed the press via email and mentioned that the channel had been

made aware that an ABC television programme website was hacked. The website relates to the ABC television programme Making Australia Happy, which aired in late 2010“.

 “At this stage, we are still investigating the details of the breach. However, we do know that it has exposed the name, username and a… version of the password that audience members used to register on the programme website,” she said.

 “As soon as the ABC was made aware of this activity the site was shut down.” 

Moreover, she also mentioned that “The ABC will be in contact with audience members who have been directly affected,” and stated that the attack had originated in some overseas location and that an activist had claimed direct responsibility for the breach.

The leaking of personal details of so many people has generated a lot of outcry by the Australian public and many are feeling anxious. One Mr. Tim Gresham of New South Wales told that he was appalled that his personal details had been leaked online and said that

This hacker has probably got a lot of information about me, intimate information about me, having an idea of what that website asked me in terms of my relationships and personal life,”

They’re asking a lot of people some very intimate stuff on that website, so these hackers have got some fairly intimate information on a number of people if they’ve managed to hack that website. This is big.

However, the Federal Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim is pleased with the swift response of the channel in this matter and said that he will not investigate the matter personally as he found the handling done by the channel adequate.

The hacker, however, is not the only one to protest against Wilder’s visit to Australia as people had took to streets in Sydney where he made the speech and a minor scuffle had erupted between protesters and the authorities.

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Perth gamer caught in cyber crime raid

A PERTH man’s house has been raided by police after he allegedly tried to sell a prototype of Microsoft’s new Xbox gaming console on the internet.

The house of a person living in Perth was raided by the local police on grounds that he was trying to auction off the development kit of the upcoming next-generation gaming console in the Microsoft Xbox series on the online auctioning site eBay. The new Xbox console, codenamed Durango is due to be launched by Christmas this year. The person is a teenager, referred to as SuperDae whose real name is Dan ‘Dylan’ Henry, who had his house raided on February 19th after the police furnished a search warrant and apprehended him as he attempted the sale of the prototype of the to be launched Durango console. Moreover, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was also involved in the raid and confiscation of items and is charging him with international corporate espionage.

The raid was carried out a few months after the teenager discussed about the upcoming console on his Twitter account which happens to be quite popular and which he auctioned the development kit on eBay. A spokesperson for the West Australian police did mention that  ‘Technology Crime Investigation unit is currently conducting a multi-jurisdictional investigation into computer-related offences,’ and that ‘A search warrant was conducted Tuesday the 19th of February 2013 in relation to this investigation where items were seized.’ However the spokesperson did not make any comment on the involvement of FBI in the relevant raid. During the raid, items the police confiscated include computers, Blackberry, VISA cards, and banking records etc.

SuperDaE did tweet about the raid in his house tweeting ‘police raided me’ and said that ‘an FBI agent and 7-8 police in your house and also that , ‘I don’t even have bank cards to buy or pay for a lawyer or a phone,’.  He even published the police search warrant online and said that the mention of Microsoft, PayPal and eBay was funny. Microsoft, in the meanwhile has denied allegations that they were behind sponsoring the raid in any manner and they have nothing to do with all this, “Microsoft did not initiate this FBI investigation with this individual, as has been asserted in some of the articles in the media,” and that “We take security very seriously and have no evidence of any compromise of our corporate network. We have no further comment on this matter.”  However, the truth in this statement is disputed as is the involvement of the FBI.

All this controversy and hype surrounding the case has made people curious about this man and who he is actually. Well, SuperDae is an active and persistent video game hacker who has a record of infiltrating giant video game companies such as Epic, Blizzard and Sony and claimed to have obtained versions of games which were yet to be released. Moreover, he also claimed that he did not commit any hack for any personal gain or commercial profit but just as a curious hacker who wanted to expose security fallacies even thinking of himself as a cyber security consultant. Whether he is just a curious teenager caught in the act, or a cyber criminal will be clear only after further investigation.