Don’t write off the nuisance hackers just yet

Whenever some expert wants to evangelize about the current state of security, he or she will gush about how the current threat landscape is driven by greedy, profit-driven hackers out to steal your life's savings right from under your keyboard.

The days of nuisance-driven, teenage script kiddies are all but over.

Farewell Melissa virus, hello Russian Business Network.

And for the most part, he or she would be right.

Then, we hear about this: Hackers recently exploited a vulnerability on the Epilepsy Foundation's website to plant copious amounts of links on the support forum claiming to offer advice to sufferers. Clicking on the link, though, brought users to websites that featured rapidly exploding bursts of light.

Sounds harmless, enough, right? Wrong. When you have epilepsy, violent flashes of light tend to trigger a seizure.

As a result of the incident, users are no longer able to post animated images to the forum or embed links to other sites.

So it appears not every digital criminal is out for your money. There also are ones out there who could kill you.

It's probably safe to assume that this prank was committed by a group of teenagers who didn't have death in mind and instead did it for a good laugh among their circle.

Still, it is a pretty twisted act.

How can we fight back?

Secure website code. Plain and simple. Don't give these miscreants the opportunity to commit something like this.

How many incidents have to happen before website operators realize that their site is almost assuredly loaded with holes that can be easily exploited by the mean spirited?

Get daily email updates

SC Media's daily must-read of the most current and pressing daily news

By clicking the Subscribe button below, you agree to SC Media Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.