On Thursday, SC Magazine and just about everyone else reported on the hacker takedown of Comcast’s homepage and email service for several hours during the pre-dawn on Thursday. It was a pretty big deal considering Comcast has some 14 million subscribers.
Later Thursday, Wired scored an interview with the two hackers – “Defiant” and “EBK” – who claimed responsibility for the attack.
Hackers, it is important to note, are no different than any narcissistic criminal who is more out for fame than fortune. These two teens craved that one big interview before they are shackled up and led off to jail, which judging from their willingness to detail a step-by-step blow of their hack, shouldn’t be too far off.
The Wired piece has some memorable quotes, so be sure to check it out. I’d print them here but I’m not sure how my boss would feel about transcribing Defiant’s visual re-enactment of the last time he was arrested for hacking.
So what did we learn about these two ? For one, they hate Comcast. They were never out to steal any personal information – although they claim they could have easily sniffed for data packets once they exploited a flaw at Comcast’s domain management provider, which allowed them to take control of Comcast domains and redirect traffic to their own server.
The pair admits it is nervous about getting pinched, but they said they tried to notify a Comcast IT manager, who apparently hung up on them when they tried to tell him what they were doing. (Reminds me of another major company that didn’t take IT advice, even after being breached for millions of records).
Then, the Comcast hackers figured, if nobody cares and we’re already in, why not keep going?
The biggest takeaway from this event might be that the hackers claimed to take advantage of a flaw at the domain management firm, Network Solutions, which basically means more websites could be open to a similar attack – or worse. (Network Solutions, the provider, however, denies playing any role in the episode).
We should also point out that Defiant and EBK are members of the “Kryogeniks” hacking contingent. That same group made the news when a non-member hacked some celebrity profiles on MySpace to send out spam bulletins announcing support for the group in hopes of impressing members.