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Malaysian Hackers Target Johnson Family
MEDFORD, Mass. (CAP) - Hackers took aim at a local family's website early yesterday, deleting data, defacing pictures, and replacing text on the home page with what appears to be a translation into Pirate Talk. A spokesperson for the Johnson family said most of the damage has been fixed but updates about their recent New Hampshire vacation will be delayed.
"I had just posted this whole write-up about our week at the cabin with pictures and everything," said father Dale Johnson. "Then I logged on and someone had Photoshopped scribbles all over the pictures and called my wife a scurvy dog and promised to keelhaul me if we don't pay the sprogs some heed."
"We're supposed to go spend the weekend at my sister's but I'm afraid what'll start as a drive to the Berkshires will end with a trip to Davey Jones' Locker," mother Linda Johnson added.
The international hacker group Anonymous has taken credit for the attack and vows further harm "if reparations are not made." Cyber security experts who have analyzed the Johnson's website say many of the details carry the same signature mark as the hackers who recently defaced a number of Malaysian government websites.
"We're seeing some of the same concerns over censorship and corruption and less government interference," said Symantec security advisor Greg Stanning. "And also a human rights angle as the hackers focused on that recent trip to New Hampshire and how much the kids hated it because they were so bored without any cable TV or anything to do.
"The hackers 'strongly recommend' the Johnson parental units consider a trip to Six Flags or someplace similar for their next vacation," Stanning noted.
A CAP News investigation turned up an obscure posting on the Reddit message board entitled, "IAMA Malaysian Hacker, AMA" where we posed as a 45-year-old male pretending to be a 14-year-old female who supposedly knows someone who once dated someone who went to school with someone who knows the Johnson family daughter. The resulting thread provided some revealing information about the hackers' motives.
"Putting the pieces together was like tic tac toe, figuring out it was actually a Malaysian hacker intern who broke into the Johnson family website," said CAP News Internet Expert Randall Kiper. "Seems the Malaysians like to have their n00bs practice on smaller sites before being allowed to hack right into the government, make sure they're ready and all that.
"Clearly this guy needs some work, what with his juvenile pirate talk and whatnot," added Kiper. "Thanks to our work, Symantec has issued a vulnerability warning to the McCarthy's down the street who recently put up that boring-ass website about their family reunion that nobody cares about. We're pretty sure they're next."
Although shaken by the ordeal, Dale Johnson says it won't stop him from continuing to take his family on cultural vacations and then blogging about them on his website. However, he does plan to install the Anti-Malaysian Hacker plugin for WordPress to try to make his site more secure.
"If I stop updating everyone about our family activities, whether via the site or the three-page letter I type up that gets sent out with our Christmas cards, then the terrorists win," said Johnson. "I want my kids to grow up without fear of repercussion if they decide they can't boil their lives down to a 140-character tweet or two-sentence status update. I owe them that."
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