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It appears this blog got hacked, back in 2011. I ran a security scan a little while ago, and it picked up two files that were suspicious, and indeed they were files that weren’t supposed to be there. The file date was from 2011, when this blog was running at another hosting company. I deleted the files, but I doubt they were doing anything still.

A vexing problem for me is spam user registrations. I have no idea why they do it, but there are dozens every day. I installed a plug-in that is supposed to stop this, including all sorts of puzzles and CAPTCHA’s—totally ineffective. Today I put in a new plugin called “STOP SPAM” that is not only supposed to stop spam comments (not much of a problem here) but also spam user registrations. A new version just came out and I’m impressed and so far no spam user registrations. It even has a security scan. Winking smile

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Birther promotes “SONY hack” conspiracy theory

Nathan Bickel, pastor, Sandy Hook truther, birther, and commenter at the homoerotic fetishism web site Gerbil Report™, runs a blog cum news site called “Moral Matters.” On the site, he touts a video about the recent intrusion into SONY computer systems, reportedly by North Korean government-sponsored hackers. Only the video comes to another conclusion:

“…..It’s so freaking obvious. This is all about the Internet. It’s all about censorship. And it’s all about new draconian legislation – courtesy of this scumbag, this…………that makes up the president of the United States.

Obama hacked reporters’ computer?

Star Trek The Next Generation meets Mission Impossible

Former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was hacked, or so she says in a new book “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.” She says her phone’s acting funny. Oh, and her TV is on the fritz too. The mysterious government IP guru, “Number One,” found “classified documents deep inside her operating system” possibly put there to frame her. I might expect this story at Western Journalism (which has it) or Fox News (which has it), but I’m reading the Washington Post.

Why the intrusions? Attkisson believes it is the result of her Benghazi reporting. You remember, that scandal where nobody did anything deliberately wrong?

The story reads more like a thriller spy movie than a news story (“Suddenly data in my computer file begins wiping at hyperspeed before my very eyes”). Most of Attkisson’s security expert sources are given pseudonyms, and the one real name she gave won’t comment. It’s a serious accusation, but completely unverifiable at this point.

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Exclusive: Orly’s moving

Update: Orly’s web site is back up. Content restored to June 29 July 1. Google Safe Sites now says not suspicious any more.

Update 2: This curious item appeared in one of Orly’s ad slots (the end is .com truncated by the screen):

In an exclusive interview this morning with Obama Conspiracy Theories, Orly Taitz expressed optimism that her web site would be back up soon.

Readers will recall that her site, hosted by Network Solutions, became unavailable for a couple of days after what she described as a hacking incident. The site was restored, but then Google Safe Sites flagged the site as being a vector for third-party malware, causing a warning page to be displayed in the Firefox and Chrome browsers when anyone attempted to access it. Then the site went back down completely again yesterday and remained down as of this morning.

Taitz responded in an email this morning:

My site was hacked. It was cleaned and should be up shortly. I am also changing the hosting company.

It’s the pits when your web site is down (and I’ve been on the Internet a long time both personally and commercially and have suffered a lot of down time). It’s also a pain to change hosting companies (as readers here have experienced). So in the name of free speech, the best of luck to Orly Taitz in getting her web site up, no matter how despicable the content.

By the way, I found out that my site’s automated backup procedure hadn’t worked since last February. It’s backed up now. “shock:

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  • Obama Conspiracy Theories articles about “malware.”

Misplaced trust: hacking, punking and birthers

I was looking at Birther Report this morning, and noticed the article about their acquiring a new server (mentioned by commenters here previously). I and others have expressed some skepticism about the ability of Birther Report to remain secure once it leaves the Google umbrella and goes to a privately-owned server. The particular words from the author Helen Tansey that caught my attention were:

This process includes hiring a trusted programmer who will manage the migration from Blogger to the new server.

I don’t think birthers are very good at knowing whom to trust. Birther Report regularly publishes articles that are nonsense. They use advertising providers who let themselves get hacked, resulting in BR having been a vector for malware.

Of course, the poster child for misplaced trust is probably Orly Taitz who is regularly punked by commenters on her blog, filed no less than two fake birth certificates in court, and allowed malware to be placed on her web site on multiple occasions. Searching for “hacked” on this site returned more hits for Taitz than for any other. Taitz ended up suing her former webmaster (I express no opinion on the merits of that suit). Orly also claims to be hacked when she hasn’t been.

I put Mike Zullo in the number 2 position. While Zullo’s failures are not as transparent as Taitz’, it appears that he’s been fooled many times. He trusted the various birther document forensic volunteers much to his embarrassment. First there was Mara Zebest, who showed basic misunderstanding of technical details, and then Garrett Papit who led the Posse into false declarations about PDF files, the ones debunked by a Xerox machine. One also must at least wonder at the money spent by Zullo on the Reed Hayes report, which is yet to be released. Zullo’s biggest lapse in judgment was when he believed the fake 1961 vital statistics manual and then made it the centerpiece of his 2nd press conference. I should add that the Cold Case Posse web site itself was hacked last December, apparently because they used old software and didn’t apply security patches. They also went down a couple of time when they didn’t pay their bills. Whoever was entrusted with the site didn’t do a responsible job.

Phil Berg’s site was hacked too.

I think most of the birther and anti-birther web sites are hosted by blog providers, either Google Blogger™ or WordPress.com. These will shield their users from most forms of hacking except for third-party advertising that got Birther Report. For this reason, we don’t see a lot of hacking on these sites. Orly, however, runs her own software, as did Berg and the Zullo. I run my own software and the Fogbow does also.

I don’t want to make too big a deal about a birther site getting hacked: “There, but for the grace of God, go I,” the saying runs. A while back, the URL shortening service used my Twitter feed got hacked. That didn’t affect my visitors, but I did have to change URL shortening providers (Twitter does this automatically now). Someone else who runs a site on the same server as I, was hacked and started sending spam. I do some of the basic anti-hacking stuff like obfuscating database tab names, using secret keys in cookies and always installing the current versions of all the software I use.

No news from Indiana; Orly hacked?

Recovering from the shock of having my social-security number hacked from the South Carolina Department of Revenue database, I tried to get back on track, and went to see if there was any news from Indiana about Orly Taitz’s lawsuit, Taitz v. Elections Commission. Here’s what got I at her web site:

Error establishing a database connection

This message means that the WordPress blog software is active, but that it cannot connect to the content database. That could be hacking, but more likely the database server is down, or perhaps a configuration problem. My experience with this error is that it is typically brief, but Orly’s site has been down at least a couple of hours. I hope it gets up quickly, or Orly will go into withdrawal.

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So far, I haven’t found anything new on the lawsuit, except for a note on the Marion County Superior Court docket dated 10/23:

JACKET ENTRY: ALL PARTIES IN PERSON BY COUNSEL; COURT CONDUCTS HEARING ON FOLLOWING; PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT; PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT; DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO VACATE TRIAL AND DEFE

Notice that the word “trial” used in a previous order has been replaced by “hearing.”