Archive for January 2007

Proof that Mob Intelligence < Piece of Cheese

Apparently, earlier today, Nokia’s Canadian website was hacked by a professional hacker. The only thing he did was to leave his calling card in the product description of one of the phones. Ordinarily, the story would stop there.

However, the minor feat got listed on a social bookmarking site (Digg). Within the timeframe of a few hours, the combined intellect of the mob produced two constructive results:

  1. They found out how the hacker did it (it was actually just a simple SQL injection trick)
  2. They hacked it repeatedly, each hacker-wannabe trying to outdo the last person by putting something more obscene, more grotesque on the site (I’m told goatse was on it… if you don’t know, don’t ask – you don’t want to know)

The 2nd point was, of course, plain stupidity. A professional hacker would presumably have some way of covering his tracks. The hackers-wannabes in the mob, however, probably did it from their home computers.

As of right now, Nokia.ca is down, presumably while their internal security and corporate lawyers figure out which Digger to sue first. The original hacker is probably having a good laugh right now.

To quote one of the Men In Black, “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky animals and you know it.”

P.S. If you want to read more on the story, the place where it started is here. I urge you not to join the line of people jumping off the cliff, though.