Let’s take a trip back to 1992, when the hacking thriller “Sneakers” dropped in theaters. If you’ll recall, a team led by Martin Brice obtained a box capable of breaking any encryption code. This meant that they could, if they so desired, hack into any government system in the world.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), real-life hacking scandals are never this exciting. Take the following six examples:
Kaspersky Labs purports to be the top provider of computer security systems. Really? Would they mind explaining then how, during 2008, a Turkish hacker dubbed “m0sted” managed to crack the company’s website and deface its home page?
“The method?” you ask. SQL injection … an amateur method right out of “Hacking for Dummies”!
Less than a day after the Susan G. Komen website for breast cancer awareness pulled its funding from Planned Parenthood in February, a group of clever misfits hacked the site and replaced its headline with the following quite politically incorrect statement:
“Help us run over poor women on our way to the bank.”
This example doesn’t exactly constitute hacking, but it’s close enough to fit our requirements. A few days before Jon Stewart’s rally on the National Mall in 2010, a group of savvy pranksters used a trick known as “letterbombing” to spell out “KEEP FEAR ALIVE” along the side of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin’s Facebook pages.
Basically, each person set his or her profile picture to one of the letters in the message. One by one, they all then posted messages on the corresponding Facebook pages, thus causing the phrase to show up.
Again in 2008 (quite a year for hacking, if you ask us), another Turkish group hacked into the website for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The hacker group resented the group’s “regulatory” status, so it rerouted ICANN.org to a site reading, “You think that you control the domains but you don’t! Everybody knows wrong. We control the domains including ICANN! Don’t you believe us?”
In fall 2011, an unknown individual hacked a dozen church websites and replaced their welcoming message with one urging congregation members to convert to Islam. The hacker has yet to be identified, but most suspect he’s not really a Muslim. Rather, he’s likely just an upset atheist — either that or a very bored hacker.
During summer 2010, an unidentified group of hackers penetrated Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s website and redirected all visitors to a page with the following charming message:
[Dear God, In 2009 you took my favorite singer – Michael Jackson, my favorite actress – Farrah Fawcett, my favorite actor – Patrick Swayze, my favorite voice – Neda. Please, please, don’t forget my favorite politician – Ahmadinejad and my favorite dictator – Khamenei in the year 2010. Thank you.]
If you find this article interesting you also may want to check out this blog article “The 5 Most Infamous Hackers of All Time”