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Fox Hacks Fark 188

Posted by kdawson
from the rule-number-one-is-see-rule-number-one dept.
circletimessquare writes "Valleywag.com is reporting on a case of a hacker not covering his tracks. It seems that, via a targeted email, an admin at Fark.com downloaded a trojan, which was used to steal passwords for Fark servers. Notably, these activities were traced to an IP address in Memphis Tennessee, and to a Fox News new-media reporter. As to the veracity of the story, that is bolstered by the fact that the story was greenlit for the front page of Fark. Motive? That could range from Fark being a rumored Fox takeover target, to stealing source code for a competing Fox social networking site. If the story is true, laws have been broken, but perhaps not by the Fox News reporter: it's possible his computer was hacked as well. Whatever the truth, it's a very entertaining read, as it pushes a number of hot buttons."
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Fox Hacks Fark

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  • Hah. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Klickoris (1104419) on Friday August 17, 2007 @05:07PM (#20267831) Homepage
    Fox is an internet hate machine.
    • Re:Hah. (Score:5, Funny)

      by Leftist Troll (825839) on Friday August 17, 2007 @05:23PM (#20268035)
      Internet? Fox is a real life hate machine.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by glitch23 (557124)
        It's interesting how a comment calling an organization a hate machine w/o any evidence is rated insightful. Who do they hate and why and what proof is there that they do so?
      • by StikyPad (445176)
        Which would still be okay, if only it were Pretty and Little.
    • Re:Hah. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dormann (793586) on Friday August 17, 2007 @06:02PM (#20268465)
      For those that didn't get the reference [youtube.com].
  • by RunFatBoy.net (960072) * on Friday August 17, 2007 @05:07PM (#20267835)
    So, did this Phillips guy develop the trojan that stole the Fark passwords? Did this guy minor in CompSci?

    So a news anchor has hacked Fark in an attempt to possibly steal source code for their own social networking site?
    This apparently isn't your average local anchor.

    Jim
    RunFatBoy ( http://www.runfatboy.net/ [runfatboy.net] ) - A workout plan for beginners.
    • by Xtravar (725372) on Friday August 17, 2007 @05:11PM (#20267893) Homepage Journal

      So, did this Phillips guy develop the trojan that stole the Fark passwords? Did this guy minor in CompSci?
      He sent a trojan. Any idiot can do that, with the plethora of pre-built and easily customizable trojans out there.

      Not to mention, it doesn't take a genius to write a trojan and any hobbyist programmer can do it (though maybe a little harder now with "enhanced security" in Windows").
      • by LWATCDR (28044)
        But what idiot runs a trojan?
        Not only that what is he doing running Windows?
        Well I will not need to go to Fark every again.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by PopeRatzo (965947) *

          But what idiot runs a trojan?
          Not only that what is he doing running Windows?
          Well I will not need to go to Fark every again.
          So, you wouldn't read a blog just because an author uses Windows?

          Your dedication as an ideologue is impressive, and appropriate for a story involving Fox and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
          • Your dedication as an ideologue is impressive, and appropriate for a story involving Fox and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

            That's right, just keep telling yourself Rupert Murdoch isn't in it for the money...
          • by LWATCDR (28044)
            You need to get a grip. I was kidding it is Slashdot afterall.
            But I still have to admit that I am disappointed that he did run a trojan. It just isn't that hard to not run attachments.
      • by Viper Daimao (911947) on Friday August 17, 2007 @05:53PM (#20268387) Journal

        He sent a trojan. Any idiot can do that,
        yes but we're talking about a reporter here!
      • by Gazzonyx (982402)

        So, did this Phillips guy develop the trojan that stole the Fark passwords? Did this guy minor in CompSci?

        He sent a trojan. Any idiot can do that, with the plethora of pre-built and easily customizable trojans out there.

        This is a reporter we're talking about. You know, like the kind of people who try to infiltrate Defcon as a 30-something with blue eyes, blond hair, with a complexion that says "I've seen the sun at least once in the last month", to get the most paranoid people on the planet to talk about the illegal things they've done.

        We can only assume he had his secretary, an intern, or the guy who delivers the coffee do it. The only other explanation is he's being framed.

    • by Vellmont (569020)

      So a news anchor has hacked Fark in an attempt to possibly steal source code for their own social networking site?
      This apparently isn't your average local anchor.

      That was my first thought as well. Then I realized that even an idiot can hire someone from say "rentacoder" to write them a trojan, then email it off to the victim.

      That doesn't mean the guy is guilty of course. Only that lack of knowledge or technical expertise doesn't clear him.

    • Fox News Reporter == Journalist?

      Well, actually, even my own biased opinion wouldn't label most Fox employees as 'not journalists' - but everytime I consider the Fox news network as a whole, I just can't think of it as a news network.

      Ryan Fenton
      • by ArcherB (796902) * on Friday August 17, 2007 @05:27PM (#20268095) Journal
        Fox News Reporter == Journalist?

        Well, actually, even my own biased opinion wouldn't label most Fox employees as 'not journalists' - but everytime I consider the Fox news network as a whole, I just can't think of it as a news network.


        This was not a reporter from the cable Fox News Channel, but a news anchor from a local Fox TV station. You know, the same one that shows Family Guy and The Simpsons. That is not FNC, which shows Bill O'reilly and Geraldo.

        • IF this guy is guilty (and he could be hacked and framed himself), i think it is certain the guy is just a lone idiot. the question being: why would fox hack fark? there's no valid reason for them to do that. but there is a valid reason for a new media reporter trying to build a social networking site!

          having said that (that the hacking in question here most definitely is not representative of fox news), it is intellectually dishonest of you to draw distance between a local fox station and the national one i
          • by nuzak (959558)
            and, btw, there's nothing wrong rupert murdoch seeding his conservative point of view in his media acquisitions. it's a free country, and his media conglomerate has obviously done quite well financially by addressing a conservative fan base. good for him, good for fox news (local and national)

            Having the freedom to throw journalistic ethics out the window in favor of addressing one's fan base doesn't make it right.

            Oh wait, different rules apply to conservatives. Never mind.
            • I'm sorry, but having people of one opinion slant or another has NOTHING to do with journalistic ethics. That'd be if they were lying about cold, hard facts (which you don't seem to be accusing them of). Putting one spin or another on things is perfectly legitimate.

              Hell, the last time I saw CNN (I don't watch the news often at all, as I tend to get irritated about injustices I can't affect in any way), all they had for the 20-30 mins I was stuck watching it was some guy tearing into Bush like it was no on

        • by Otter (3800) on Friday August 17, 2007 @06:10PM (#20268523) Journal
          This was not a reporter from the cable Fox News Channel, but a news anchor from a local Fox TV station.

          Where are all you guys getting "news anchor" from? (I'm not even going to ask where the submitter and editor hallucinated "reporter" from.) The article describes him as the "new media manager" -- i.e. the head of their website and related activities.

          The elaborate fantasies in the link still seem unlikely, but this is a relatively tech-savvy guy, not the sportscaster.

          • Since when have "new media" or "manager" ever implied "tech savvy"?

          • by ShaunC (203807) *
            Darrell was an on-camera reporter and occasional anchor for WMC-TV here in Memphis before he went to the Fox station. The way our local market plays out, WMC-TV (NBC affiliate) and WREG-TV (CBS affiliate) own most of the news share. Once someone from WMC or WREG jumps to a different station in the market, they could be _the_ anchor and nobody would know it. WHBQ's most famous anchor of late is Ron Meroney, a morning staple who was extradited to Maryland last year on charges that he had sex with a child deca
        • by Keebler71 (520908)
          Exactly - an analogy would be to blame CNN for the actions of someone working for TNT (or TBS, the cartoon network, TCM, HBO, etc... all are owned by Time-Warner).
      • Why should Fox be a news network? CNN, NBC News, CBS News, etc aren't news organizations either are just advocacy groups for the political positions of their owners (or in the case of NBC: psychopathic mass-murderers). Hell, the New York Times has practically stopped pretending they aren't an arm of the Democratic Party.

        Personally, I get most of my news from C-SPAN, and I check Drudge periodically just to see if the world has ended.

        • by NeMon'ess (160583) *
          Are you talking about the same CNN, NBC, and CBS that abdicated their responsibility as the Fourth Estate following 9/11 to critically analyze the bullshit coming from the Bush Administration and associated think tanks?

          Those corporations are in business to make money for their shareholders. They didn't want to lose ratings by upsetting the viewers with tough stories about what was really happening and why, and is it the right course of action. Equally important is they'd lose their access to administratio
    • by neoform (551705)
      I'm a little lost, why would fox want to steal code for a site like fark.. it's not exactly what you could call a complicated site or anything..
    • by StikyPad (445176)
      Only the most inept of "hackers" would use his own machine to directly launch an attack. While most reporters would probably qualify as inept hackers, I'd be *more* surprised if they could figure out how to create a trojan than if they would know better than to use their own IP. If reporters know anything about the internets, it's that you can find any hacker using a Google Earth style interface that shows realtime images, regardless of cloud cover. That said, I find it far more likely that the reporter'
  • by proudfoot (1096177) on Friday August 17, 2007 @05:08PM (#20267845)
    Maybe fox can do a report on themselves now. Investigative journalism hits a new low. And I'm not quite sure the "it's for an article excuse will fly this time"
  • Huh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VonSkippy (892467) on Friday August 17, 2007 @05:09PM (#20267853) Homepage
    If the ongoing RIAA shenanigans have taught us nothing else, it's that IP does NOT equal personal Identity.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rm999 (775449)
      Yes, the summary does admit he may have been hacked, but it is a tech saavy reporter we are talking about here. The three most probable events are that he did it, he got someone else to do it, or he was framed. Foil hat aside, one of the first two guesses is most likely.

      Let us not forget that reporters often forget that they are also within the law when they are covering a story. Perhaps he did all this without thinking he was breaking a law.
    • by jofny (540291)
      IP doesnt equal personal identity, but the article states and implies other behavioral evidence that seem to lend weight to that correlation in this case.
  • Wait, the fact that it was greenlit on Fark indicates that it is true?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ScentCone (795499)
      Wait, the fact that it was greenlit on Fark indicates that it is true?

      No, the fact that is was greenlit by Fark and that it unblinkingly bashes Fox does that. If it had been an IP address at NPR, that would be different. Then there would have be peer review, done by Digg.
    • if the admins on fark are willing to link the story to the front page, then the story is probably true. fark would not link this to their front page and the story was unverified unless they were really really stupid. and who could verify it? well, howabout fark itself?

      otherwise, fox could turn around and cry foul themselves, a smear campaign, perhaps libel, etc. if valleywag.com made this up or has a bad source, fark would not link to the story, and they would know better than anyone else

      then there is the whole liberal bias thing: no. fark is not a liberal website #1, they are pretty even handed with the conservative and liberal spun links. and #2, even if fark were liberal, if you are going to smear someone, you don't stick your neck out in this way. you smear them in such a way that someone else's reputation is on the line. fark is putting it's own reputation on the line by questioning fox's reputation here. you don't want blowback here, which fark certainly would get if it got out the story was phony, and it would permanently diminish fark's good name (such as it is) if this was a phony story. thus the care involved in greenlighting the story or not

      so it's a rare case of the story being about the news, and one of the players in the story being a news aggregator site. what that means is is that you have an added level of verification automatically involved right there that you would not otherwise have

      however, in fox's defense, if you want to talk about smearing someone, i can think of no better devilish smear than hacking a fox news reporter's computer, and framing the guy as a hacker. brilliant

      but in such a case, you would expect the reporter to immediately allay with fark in just as much anger, anger at getting framed, and demand from his cable provider comcast records of inbound ip connections to his computer in the time frame outbound connections to fark were discovered by fark. any sheepishness, avoidance, or reticence on the reporter's part would pretty much spell doom for the guy's reputation

      and note that: the reporter's reputation. i don't at all think this is the work of news corp, rupert murdoch, or even the local fox tv station. if the reporter is guilty, he's obviously just a lone idiot, not part of some vast conservative conspiracy

      • I've always been a fan of your posts on k5, fark and here and would love to see you over on bannination.
        • i'm trying to build my own news aggregator (stay tuned)

          so either we can meet on the field of battle, or maybe even team up ;-)

          cheers
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by grahamsz (150076)
            Sounds like fun.

            It's really not very hard; there's certainly no need to steal the fark code :)
            • but it was an investigative news reporter, "hacking" fark in a bumbling manner. to such a character, interested in starting a social networking site, stealing source code might actually make more sense than rolling your own
              • by grahamsz (150076)
                I suppose the bar must be fairly low for "investigative news reporter" particularly if you are a freelance one. Still to have missed the whole open source boat is quite a spectacular omission.

                I expect you'd have better results guessing fark passwords than hacking their servers.

                I don't buy the "he was framed" explanation either. It would carry much more weight to do the hack from news corporations corporate offices, and would probably be just as easy.
            • by dr_strang (32799)
              Did you ever get your new user/password code working? Because I'd be on there if it is.

              • by grahamsz (150076)
                Should be working fine, though it sometimes takes 5 mins for the email to get through.

                As always check you spam bin and if you don't see it then let me know and i'll activate it manually.
      • by ruiner13 (527499)

        if the admins on fark are willing to link the story to the front page, then the story is probably true. fark would not link this to their front page and the story was unverified unless they were really really stupid. and who could verify it? well, howabout fark itself?

        Have you been to Fark? This certainly wouldn't be the first made up and/or inaccurate story posted to Fark, regardless of what the topic is. The purpose of Fark is to be entertaining, and this article seems to fit the bill, accurate or not.

        • if. they. are. wrong. then. they. will. piss. off. fox.

          seems to be quite the motivation to be right, doesn't it?

          now, if FARK wanted to be right about a story about FARK, how could FARK check on whether or not a story ABOUT FARK is true or not?

          hmmmm...

      • by canuck57 (662392)

        however, in fox's defense, if you want to talk about smearing someone, i can think of no better devilish smear than hacking a fox news reporter's computer, and framing the guy as a hacker. brilliant

        Yep, all hackers worth anything know you don't use your own IP to directly hack someone. First, you get a Chinese one to proxy your attack. So either this reporter is terribly stupid or has been had. Who knows, could be a Fark insider.

  • by nuzak (959558) on Friday August 17, 2007 @05:19PM (#20267993) Journal
    When you're done clearing your throat, mind telling us what the title of the story is?
  • by Brian Knotts (855) <bknottsNO@SPAMcascadeaccess.com> on Friday August 17, 2007 @05:22PM (#20268015)
    Fox News Channel is an entirely different thing than a local Fox affiliate, even one that is owned by News Corp. The summary above should make that more clear.
    • by ScentCone (795499)
      Fox News Channel is an entirely different thing than a local Fox affiliate, even one that is owned by News Corp. The summary above should make that more clear.

      Ah, you're new here!
      • by Brian Knotts (855)
        Ah, you're new here!

        Actually, I'm not (see uid).

        However, I might as well be, as I don't spend much time around here anymore, largely due to the problems to which you allude. And the infestation of numbskulls.

        At one time, there weren't really any politics to speak of here, and we discussed technical issues.

    • by ChePibe (882378)
      You might mess with kdawson's "narrative"! Can't have that!
    • hello, i wrote that summary

      it's not just an affiliate, it's not just getting house, 24, and the simpsons

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WHBQ-TV [wikipedia.org]

      it's owned by rupert murdoch. if you hadn't noticed, murdoch has a pretty solid track record of seeding his media acquisitions with his particular conservative point of view ...and, btw, there's nothing wrong with rupert murdoch seeding his conservative point of view in his media acquisitions. it's a free country, and his media conglomerate has obviously done quite well financially by addressing a conservative fan base. good for him, good for fox news (local and national)

      however, it is certainly disingenuous of you to think that distancing fox affiliates from each other is supposed to instill innoculation for fox (national) from implication for this hack

      no: the proper way for you to innoculate fox from the implications of any wrongdoing here is to point out, compellingly and reasonably, that this is probably the actions of a lone idiot, not fox news (local) or fox news (national)

      IF this guy is guilty (and he could be hacked and framed himself), i think it is certain the guy is just a lone idiot. the question being: why would fox hack fark? there's no valid reason for them to do that. but there is a valid reason for a new media reporter trying to build a social networking site to do that

      having said that (that the hacking in question here most definitely is not representative of fox news), it is intellectually dishonest of you to draw distance between a local fox station and the national one in this case as a defensive posture. they are all owned by rupert murdoch. maybe you just didn't know, but it sounds like you're spinning
      • It's "intellectually dishonest" of you to describe someone's pointing out a simple fact as a defensive posture. One might think you were doing some defensive posturing of your own, but for what reason, I wonder? The poster's not calling you names nor drawing any adverse conclusions about your elision, just bringing it forth as an FYI.
  • Fox outfoxed by Fark when Fox's farked fark of Fark was farked.
    • Fox farks Fark's fark.
      Darl's SCOX sucks Cox
      Google bungles YouTube's bundles
      Global Greedy Gluttons Gleefully Grind Glaciers


      I couldn't get anything to rhyme with "RIAA"
      • by Fez (468752) *
        I couldn't get anything to rhyme with "RIAA"

        You could pronounce that "REE-uh" instead of saying the letters. That way it would rhyme with something not unlike their main product.
  • Heh (Score:3, Funny)

    by ShaunC (203807) * on Friday August 17, 2007 @05:25PM (#20268053)
    He just wanted a catchy on-air slogan for when he jumped back over to the local NBC affiliate.

    "Darrell Phillips... HACK-tion News 5!"
  • by Undead Ed (1068120) on Friday August 17, 2007 @05:27PM (#20268087)
    Probably not a good idean to say that out loud three times quickly in front of the kids.

    Undead Ed
  • by grahamsz (150076) on Friday August 17, 2007 @05:32PM (#20268133) Homepage Journal
    Really... is there anything remarkable about the source code that runs sites like fark or slashdot. I hand-rolled my own [bannination.com] similar aggregator in a few days and it's evident that the users make the community and not the software.

    Short of collecting personal information, I can't see what value is there.
  • by east coast (590680) on Friday August 17, 2007 @05:33PM (#20268149)
    Come on. Who hasn't hacked fark?

    Err... I mean... yeah... this is terrible. Terrible I tell you.
  • by zCyl (14362) on Friday August 17, 2007 @05:34PM (#20268161)
    From the article, "Phillips also purchased, using PayPal, a paid subscription to TotalFark, a premium Fark service. The accounts all used the same IP addresses as the hacker." This makes it look a lot more like it was actually the individual. This is not just a case of the attack coming from an IP of a possibly compromised computer.

    For it to be a different individual, someone would have had to compromise the PayPal account of Phillips without him noticing. I expect there would be a shocked response from Phillips if this had been the case. Instead, the website of Darrell Phillips [dnphillips.com] seems to be blank today.
  • by m1cha (970250) on Friday August 17, 2007 @05:49PM (#20268349)
    He'll get over it. /last post
  • by greymond (539980) on Friday August 17, 2007 @06:13PM (#20268557) Homepage Journal
    Where did Fark's BOOB section go?
    • by gclef (96311) on Friday August 17, 2007 @06:19PM (#20268605)
      It went here [foobies.com]. Now, don't come complaining to me about hairy palms or blindness...in fact, don't even tell me what you did at all.
    • hrm. right there under adult content link on the right hand side. oh. you aren't a total farker. If you like fark, pay the $5 a month for information overload and more boobies than you can shake a stick at. Yes, that stick you sick bastard. /serious cat //serious thread ///slashies ftw
  • I loved Fark - especially the funny headlines, and the memes - but I haven't been back to it since they changed the layout. Looks absolutely shite on a laptop screen. Blinding white. Adieu, Fark, adieu
  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday August 17, 2007 @06:47PM (#20268913) Homepage Journal
    Slashdot had better be on the lookout. Somebody might send CmdrTaco a trojan in an attempt to steal the Slashcode!
  • 1) This is a Fox broadcast station affiliate, not Fox News Channel. The Fox broadcast network and Fox News Channel are separate sub-entities within the same corporate entity.

    2) Do Fark admins not use basic anti-virus software?

    3) The article is highly speculative, being based purely on circumstantial evidence regarding a possible motive, and is forced to use an ad hominem attack to support its conspiracy theory that Evil Overlord v2(tm) Rupert Murdoch is behind the break-in.

    Ergo, unless and until any r

  • News Corporation is not so much about making money in the pure profit motive sense.

    If all the world's news, culture and rational media were a giant pool of milk and honey.. then News Corp would find a way to piss in it.

    Oh, other possibly News Corp dirty tricks:
    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_arc hive/2003/02/17/337312/index.htm [cnn.com]

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