Monday, November 18, 2013

Cyber Attack On Obamacare Confirmed

I called it way back in October:

I wonder if there’s an army of GOP hackers just waiting to launch a DDOS attack on the site and shut it down via cyberterror.

And here’s the proof.

Yesterday [November 13], the House Homeland Security Committee published a video on their Youtube page highlighting a portion of the committee questioning Roberta Stempfley, acting assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Cyber-security and Communications, who confirmed at least 16 attacks on the Affordable Care Act’s portal Healthcare.gov website in 2013.

Roberta Stempfley highlighted one successful attack that is designed to deny access to the website called a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. A DDoS attack is designed to make a network unavailable to intended users, generally through a concerted effort to disrupt service such as repeatedly accessing the servers, saturating them with more traffic than the website is designed to handle.

Right wingers have been distributing the link to the necessary tools to perform the attacks on the Healthcare.gov website through social networking, as pointed out by Information Week, and other websites .

The name of the attack tool is called, “Destroy Obama Care!”

Yet again another time when I hate it when I’m right.

HT to CLW.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Short Takes

U.S. and Afghan forces clash, leaving five dead.

Bombs target Shiite sites in Iraq, killing 26.

Cyber attacks on 6 banks interrupt service for a lot of customers.

Two people were killed in a shooting at a VFW hall in Winter Springs, Florida.

The Dolphins lost in OT for the second week in a row.

Tropical Update: Hurricane Nadine keeps on going and going; there’s a new disturbance in the North Atlantic; Tokyo gets hit by Tropical Storm Jelawat.

The Tigers beat the Twins; the magic number is one.

Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hacked Off

Shakesville got attacked again yesterday by yet another attempt by someone to shut down the site. Fortunately, the site’s web guru was able to get the repairs made and get it back up and running last night. Meanwhile, Melissa re-opened Shakespeare’s Sister, which has become the place to go to when this sort of thing happens.

It doesn’t seem to be a coincidence that these attacks have been happening when Melissa or one of her contributors writes about rape and the attitudes that some people display about the crime. There seems to be a certain mindset among some that rape is a joke, that women are “asking for it” by the way they dress, or that bringing up the subject is somehow an assault on Man’s right to assert his manliness. Melissa has written candidly and bravely about her own experience with the issue, and she does not suffer fools and rape-apologists gladly. But it seems that the only recourse some have is to try to silence her and her blog.

The methods they use are the usual cyber attacks. (I won’t detail them because I don’t want to tip anyone off as to what we know is being done or what’s being done to stop them…and also because most of it is high-level geekspeak that lost me at, “Okay, what’s happened is…”) Assuming that the attackers are really going after the site because of its expressed opinions — as opposed to some bored teenager who is tired of drooling (or whatever) over his posters of Seven of Nine — they are proving that they have nothing but this kind of outburst to bring to the table. Defending Opie & Anthony for their rape jokes or not seeing the idiocy running rampant when a judge says that using the word “rape” during a trial about guess-what is “prejudicial” and will not allow the word to be said in court isn’t enough for these losers. They want to enforce their medieval views of patriarchy and domination, and having some uppity women respond negatively sends them into a blinding rage. All they have left is to hack into a website, which is a form of rape.

But if that’s all they have, it’s a poor response. They’re unable to defend their views or their opinions in an articulate fashion — as if that’s possible — so all they can do is silence someone else. They’re incapable of responding in any other way, so all they can do is rage and attack, and all that does is prove that they have nothing to say.

Meanwhile, Shakesville is back in business.

Update: Never mind. Hardware issues. Back to the old site for now.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Return of Shakesville

It’s back.

Melissa has something to say, too.

Thanks to all of you who stopped by here to check on the status of the site, and now that you’ve been here, I hope you’ll hang around — or at least add me to your blogroll. But first go over there and welcome the site back from this temporary inconvenience.

Oh, and while you’re there, the Paypal Donation button is fully operational, if you get my drift.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Shakesville Gets Seussified

From the comments at Shakespeare’s Sister where commenter Lizard waxed poetically:

Every Shaker in Shakesville liked blogging a lot–
But the trolls, who lived just south of Shakesville, did NOT!
The trolls hated discourse and logic and reason;
Perhaps, in their troll brains, they thought it was treason,
Although the most plausible reason of all
May be that their troll dicks were two sizes too small.
The more that they stewed over Shakesville’s success,
The more they determined to stop the whole mess.
“That’s it!” said the trolls, “Now they’re blogging on rape.
Our tiny troll dicks need a plan of escape!”
So they slouched in their basements one dark summer night,
Bombarded the server, and shut down the site.
“We’ve silenced the Shakers!” they crowed all in chorus.
“Our cool Freeper friends are now sure to adore us!”
But when next they logged on, oh, alas and alack!
The Shakers were blogging despite their attack!
The trolls said “What’s this? They’re back up and running?
But how can this be? Our plan was so cunning!
They picked up and moved to a new online space–
Who knew that the Internets were such a big place?
Their blog is still witty, their blog is still brainy,
Their blog is still ruthless to Bush and to Cheney,
They write about eagles and Mitt Romney’s dog–
My god, this is one indestructible blog!”
And what happened then? Well, in Shakesville they say
That the trolls’ dicks just fell off completely that day.
Let the lesson be learned, all you trolls in Troll-town:
You can shake up the Shakers…but not keep them down.

DOS Update

I’m happy to report a bit of progress. The Shakesville site is back up…sort of. What you get is the main theme with a link to the Shakespeare’s Sister site where Melissa and the gang are hanging out while the rest of the site’s construction is completed.

What this means is that the dedicated server is up and running, and as soon as the rest of the technical issues are resolved in terms of getting all the checks and safeguards in place, we’ll be back in business.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

DOS Update

People forget how fast you did a job, but they remember how well you did it.

I’ve got that little piece of wisdom over my desk, and it reminds me that while it’s taking longer than some people might have expected to get Shakesville back on line, it’s not because there’s any problems caused by the DOS attacks. It’s because the people doing the rebuilding are making damn sure that it doesn’t happen again and do not want to open up the site until they are certain that everything is ready.

Meanwhile, things are still hopping at Shakespeare’s Sister; those of us who were new contributors to Shakesville are now able to post there as well. So come on over there until the new digs are ready.

Leonard Pitts got his own version of a DOS attack. He’s come back even stronger, too.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

DOS Update

As Melissa said to me the other day in an e-mail, “Patience is a virtue and all that. I’m feeling virtuous.”

Feel free to insert a joke if you like about Melissa’s virtues, but when it comes to fighting back and armoring Shakesville against the trolls, she knows that it’s not something that can be done quickly or haphazardly. And having been privy to some of the plans in the works for defending the site against people who are afraid of what we talk about at Shakesville, I can say that it will be well worth the wait. Prepare to be amazed, inspired, and invincible, Shakers.

I can’t give you an exact time when the site will be back up, but I plan to be one of the first — after Melissa, of course — to announce it. So just keep checking back. I know that sounds like a cheap ploy to up my hit count, but what the heck. And things are still rockin’ over at the Shakespeare’s Sister site, so stop by there for a virtual drink at the virtual pub.

Onward.

Monday, June 25, 2007

DOS Update

There isn’t much more that I can report on this morning on the progress of bringing Shakesville back. The tech pro is being very thorough in going through the evidence — think CSI:Geek Squad — and you’ll get the idea.

Meanwhile, Shakespeare’s Sister, the previous site, is still active and there’s a thread going on. We’ve even attracted a few trolls for your troll-bashing enjoyment.

As I noted yesterday, a lot of other blogs have pitched in their support. It’s really great to see this kind of solidarity to preserve the idea that free speech isn’t something that can be taken away by some pathetic loser and a few lines of code.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

DOS Update

Shakesville — the site — is still down, but the support for Melissa continues to be heard. As I noted yesterday, the Shakespeare’s Sister site is still active, so if you want to stop by there and add to the chorus of support, please do so.

I’ve heard from those involved in the behind-the-scenes work and I’m confident that once the site is back up, that will be the end of the trolls’ attempts to take it down. That’s why it’s taking a little longer; a fortress isn’t built in a day.

Meanwhile, a lot of other bloggers are speaking out.

William K. Wolfrum

Phydeaux Speaks

Frogs and Ravens

Incertus

The Thinkery

Linkmeister

Teh Portly Dyke (No, that’s not a typo; that’s the name of teh blog.)

The Daily Background

skippy the bush kangaroo

Why Now?

WTF Is It Now??

Petulant Rumblings

Roger Ailes

The Blog of the Moderate Left

The Newshoggers

Unrepentant Old Hippie

I’m sure there are more who are on this story; let me know who they are and I’ll post the links.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

DOS

DOS stands for Denial of Service. It’s a computer term for what happens when a website or a blog is hit with so much input from people trying to read the site or submit comments that the server hosting the website can’t handle it and crashes. It can be just high volume, like what happened to HBO’s site on June 10 after the finale of The Sopranos, or it can be malicious; automated attacks by someone trying to shut down a web or a blog because they don’t like what the site is saying.

That’s what’s been happening at Shakesville. I’m going to spare you all the behind-the-scenes stuff because A) it’s a lot of techno stuff that I don’t understand (something about squirrels gyring and gimbeling in the wabe and overloading the capzapitor), and B) when the site comes back, Melissa McEwan, the dynamic force behind Shakesville, will have her say, and I’m not going to upstage her. As a contributor to the site — and ever the theatre scholar — I know who the star is and I know my role as a supporting player, and Melissa gets the spotlight.

I will say, however, that the little people — and I mean little in every sense of the word — that are doing this will not win. They don’t like what Melissa or the rest of the contributors have to say, so instead of having the balls to engage in a civil discussion about their issues, they resort to a techno-tantrum, and they are probably having a nice laugh about what they have done, chortling with glee when they click on the site and get an error message. Well, all I can say is, laugh it up now because when the site comes back — and it will — there will be plenty of things that Melissa and the rest of the Shakescrew will have to say that will send you even further around the bend.

Thuggery works on the theory that the victim will not respond or will curl up in the corner and whimper, “Please don’t hurt me,” and there’s a certain element that thinks that liberals can be easily intimidated. That may be true in some cases, but most of those have apparently been elected to Congress, and this crowd is different. We all know how to fight back because we’ve been doing it all our lives, whether it’s because we’re queer, female, transgendered, a member of a minority, or just the kind of person that bullies seemed to think were easy targets. But we have all survived and even thrived because of these threats by the foolish and the dull-witted, and this attack on Shakesville is no different than facing down schoolyard bully. (Or in my case, a drunken frat boy who called me a faggot and threatened me with a piece of 1-by lumber. He found out all too quickly that I didn’t go to the gym just to look good in a polo shirt. I may be a Quaker, but I know how to respond to an assault.)

So Melissa and Shakesville will be back, and as soon as it is, I’ll post the news. You may not agree with everything she says. You may not like the use of earthy language. You may even wonder what the fuss is all about; what’s one blog more or less in the blogosphere. But silence one and you silence them all, and that makes us all — readers and writers — a member of Shakesville. As I wrote back in February, picking up on the meme from the film Spartacus, I am Shakespeare’s Sister.

FYI: The old Shakespeare’s Sister site is still up and running, and Melissa has put up a post saying pretty much what I’ve said here. However…there is also the Paypal button over there where if you feel so inclined, you may make a donation to the cause. Fighting off the bastards with a donation makes you feel good.