Angered By The NSA, But Confused By Acronyms, Brazilian Hacker Defaces NASA Websites
from the take-that,-surveillancestronauts! dept
If you’re going to go after the world leader in untargeted data collections, you might as well be just as unfocused. After details of the NSA’s spying efforts in Brazil drove the president to cancel her trip to the US, some of that anger spilled over to the public. And a certain member of the Brazilian public, one “BMPoc,” decided to lash out in the most internet of ways — by defacing websites linked with the intelligence agency. The only problem was BMPoC was one letter off.
Multiple NASA websites were defaced last week by a Brazilian hacktivist who may have misread the sites’ URLs, because he wasn’t protesting about the US space agency giving joyrides to inhuman stowaways – he was protesting against NSA spying.
“BMPoC” hit kepler.arc.nasa.gov and 13 other sites with messages protesting against US spying on Brazil, as well as a possible US military intervention in Syria.
Ah, NASA. The non-spy agency whose efforts over the years have resulted in a number of technological advancements we take for granted. NASA is a very, very, VERY outwardly focused agency, which perhaps explains why its internal controls are so lax it’s referred to as the “low hanging fruit” of the government website defacement field.
What the hacker lacked in accuracy, he made up for in successful hits and enthusiasm. The following warning graced unsuspecting NASA aficionados for several hours earlier this week.
NASA HACKED! BY #BMPoCWe! Stop spy on us! The Brazilian population do not support your attitude! The Illuminati are now visibly acting!
Obama heartless! Inhumane! you have no family? the point in the entire global population is supporting you. NOBODY! We do not want war, we want peace!!! Do not attack the Syrians.
Coherent, it is not, thanks to the language barrier, a fundamental misunderstanding that all acronyms are not created equal, and the obligatory Illuminati reference. NASA, duly chastened by orders to cease all “spy” and change its unsupported attitude, released the following statement.
“A Brazilian hacker group posted a political message on a number of NASA websites. … Within hours of the initial posting, information technology staff at the Ames Research Center discovered the message and immediately started an investigation, which is ongoing,” he said. “At no point were any of the agency’s primary websites, missions or classified systems compromised.”
In other words, the attack was about as harmful as graffiti. Perhaps even safer considering it wasn’t scrubbed off the “walls” by a group of low-level criminals putting in community service hours.
Other than the wrong acronym and the Illuminati, BMPoC is absolutely correct. Brazilians do not support the NSA’s spying or attitude and most of the world is very definitely not supportive of the US engaging with Syria. (Well, “engaging” by way of bombs, missiles and boots on the ground, anyway.)
If the secret to fighting a successful battle is knowing your enemy, BMPoC is no Sun Tzu (or even Ambrose Burnside, for that matter). On the plus side, website defacing is much more anonymous and less prone to crippling embarrassment than an in-person protest — especially one that finds the protester a few blocks away from his or her intended target, yelling at equally confused people about actions they never took and things they never said.