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Hacker Took Over BBC Server, Tried To Sell Access On Christmas Day

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the you're-a-mean-one dept.

Crime 41

An anonymous reader writes in with this story about a hacker that took over a BBC server during the Christmas holiday. "A hacker secretly took over a computer server at the BBC, Britain's public broadcaster, and then launched a Christmas Day campaign to convince other cyber criminals to pay him for access to the system. While it is not known if the hacker found any buyers, the BBC's security team responded to the issue on Saturday and believes it has secured the site, according to a person familiar with the cleanup effort. A BBC spokesman declined to discuss the incident. 'We do not comment on security issues,' he said."

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Merry Christmas ... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45818879)

... to me!

These guys are getting a little smarter. Not a lot of eyes on the servers on Christmas. And a lot of card traffic at Target on Black Friday (still a great take even if would have been discovered after just one day).

Timing is everything folks. Just when you least expect them ...

Actually it was Torchwood (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45818939)

But the Doctor fixed it!

Re:Actually it was Torchwood (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45818973)

lol Dr Who fan lol so geeky so nerdy.

die in a fire.

Re:Actually it was Torchwood (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45819091)

I probably will....

Same AC as above.

Re:Actually it was Torchwood (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45820845)

I change my mind. I'll probably die from asphyxiation rather than from the fire itself. Same AC as above.

Re:Actually it was Torchwood (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45820991)

Autoerotic asphyxiation during the fire, that is. Not the smoke inhallation. It's the only way to get off. Same AC as above.

Re:Actually it was Torchwood (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45821337)

so geeky so nerdy

wow

such time travel

very england

It would work (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45818945)

People in the UK pay to see a made-for-TV Doctor Who movie in theaters.

Re:It would work (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45819013)

Yeah, perhaps some cyber criminal could have written and uploaded a decent script for it!

Re:It would work (1)

isorox (205688) | about 9 months ago | (#45822953)

Yeah, perhaps some cyber criminal could have written and uploaded a decent script for it!

Day of the doctor - the November 50th special with tennant, was generally acknowledged to be great. As was the Paul McGann night of the doctor YouTube clip.

The Christmas regeneration episode - time of the doctor, was really confusing.

Re:It would work (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45819047)

People in the UK pay to see a made-for-TV Doctor Who movie in theaters.

People all over the world pay to see Movies in movie in theatres when they could torrent it and watch it on a crappy TV or a computer monitor.

It's about the quality of the experience, not penny pinching. This is especially the case if you are a big enough fan of Dr Who, Star War, Avatar, The Hobbit, Aliens, Predator.... etc. going to see the movie is actually worth it and watching it on TV, particularly the first time you watch it, is spoiling the experience. I watched the Dr Who movie in 3D and to me it was worth it even though I'm not a hardcore fan.

Re:It would work (2)

isorox (205688) | about 9 months ago | (#45819215)

People in the UK pay to see a made-for-TV Doctor Who movie in theaters.

People all over the world pay to see Movies in movie in theatres when they could torrent it and watch it on a crappy TV or a computer monitor.

It's about the quality of the experience, not penny pinching. This is especially the case if you are a big enough fan of Dr Who, Star War, Avatar, The Hobbit, Aliens, Predator.... etc. going to see the movie is actually worth it and watching it on TV, particularly the first time you watch it, is spoiling the experience. I watched the Dr Who movie in 3D and to me it was worth it even though I'm not a hardcore fan.

If it wasn't ruined by 3D I could see the argument, especially when you're watching with a lot of similar minded folks.

I went to see the Hobbit last week (2D, I'd have preferred a 2D HFR but that didn't seem to be available). After paying the £18 for two tickets, we were subjected to uncomfortable seating with about as much leg room as a real theatre, and someone actually yelling at the screen! The first 15 minutes were adverts, then another 15 minutes of trailers. And of course the "you are a criminal" statements and 1984 "report your neighbours" adverts.

Now our normal venue (Trafford Centre) does have comfortable seating, and I've never had someone yelling "watch out for the dragon" and laughing and muttering to themselves in a cinema before, but it didn't help the "cinema experience"

So the question is, what remains. Why would I want to watch a film at the cinema when we could instead watch it at home on the sofa with a glass of wine? Even shared experience films, like comedies, are let down by the number of screenings -- it's been 13 years since I last sat in a packed cinema.

It's the impatience that makes me go to the cinema. It's cheaper to buy (not rent) it on blueray than to go out, and the experience is better.

It should be 3D HFR with Dolby Atmos at that price (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 9 months ago | (#45820327)

It should be 3D HFR with Dolby Atmos at that price.

Re:It would work (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | about 9 months ago | (#45819219)

If you really are a fan of the Hobbit (the book) I strongly urge you *not* to see the 2nd movie, and if you did, you're most certainly not going to see the third - but that time it'll not be on my advice, you'll get to that conclusion all by yourself.

What a nightmare this movie was...

Re:It would work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45819367)

If you really are a fan of the Hobbit (the book) I strongly urge you *not* to see the 2nd movie, and if you did, you're most certainly not going to see the third - but that time it'll not be on my advice, you'll get to that conclusion all by yourself.

What a nightmare this movie was...

I'm only a mere fan, not purist... :-) I thought it was OK although I could have lived with a bit less slapstick.

Re:It would work (1)

dougisfunny (1200171) | about 9 months ago | (#45820097)

Well a children's bedtime story should have slapstick shouldn't it?

Re:It would work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45820155)

Well a children's bedtime story should have slapstick shouldn't it?

Yes, and it should not be treated like scripture either. Deviating from the letter of the plot when you film the book is not tantamount to heresy ;-)

Re:It would work (1)

isorox (205688) | about 9 months ago | (#45820473)

Well a children's bedtime story should have slapstick shouldn't it?

Yes, and it should not be treated like scripture either. Deviating from the letter of the plot when you film the book is not tantamount to heresy ;-)

Yes, but surfing two dwarves heads looked more ridiculous than surfing a shield. It was bad as the Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and really pulled you out of the film.

Re:It would work (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | about 9 months ago | (#45819667)

Yea, I saw the first one and was quite disappointed by the movie. I don't mind trimming bits to speed up movies. Books are quite long and can take days to read (or more for the slower readers or readers with less time to read) but adding extra bits and especially the wrong bits had me pretty unhappy with the experience.

[John]

Re:It would work (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about 9 months ago | (#45819425)

Eventually they will become like the rest of us and wait until they can view it at home. Movies are so much better when you are in total control of the volume and pause buttons. And really, would you enjoy interrupting the flick everytime someone got a phone call?

Re:It would work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45821315)

And really, would you enjoy interrupting the flick everytime someone got a phone call?,/Quote>This is why I always lay down the law any time I watch anything with anyone else at (my) home.

1. Watch the show
2. Turn off your 'phone
3. No, you can't get up and make a call or get coffee
4. No, you should have thought about pizza or Chinese before we started watching
5. No, you should have gone to the can before the show started
6. No, they can't come over and watch a show we've already been watching for ten minutes
7. No, I will not tell you what happens next; just fucking watch!
8. If you're bored, leave. Quietly!
9. [Add as required]

Re:It would work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45821369)

And really, would you enjoy interrupting the flick everytime someone got a phone call?

This is why I always lay down the law any time I watch anything with anyone else at (my) home.

1. Watch the show
2. Turn off your 'phone
3. No, you can't get up and make a call or get coffee
4. No, you should have thought about pizza or Chinese before we started watching
5. No, you should have gone to the can before the show started
6. No, they can't come over and watch a show we've already been watching for ten minutes
7. No, I will not tell you what happens next; just fucking watch!
8. If you're bored, leave. Quietly!
9. [Add as required]

Re:It would work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45820387)

It's also got a generational component to it. Most people still don't even know what a torrent is. So saying that they could watch a torrent on a crappy tv isn't quite right; they'd first have to know that torrents even exist and how to work with them.

Re:It would work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45821883)

Theaters also have drawbacks: a movie experience can be spoiled by a noisy neighbour or a full bladder.

Re:It would work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45822217)

I'm a pretty serious fan of the Alien and Predator franchises, but I wouldn't even consider going to watch them in a cinema if I was offered money for it. IMO the best way to ruin a movie watching experience is to have 100+ people watch it with you. Just the mention of "Quality of experience" in relation to watching a movie while enjoying the BO of a regiment of sci-fi nerds makes me wonder if you actually had your brain online when you wrote that.

Screen size is of course entirely irrelevant, what matters is the arc angle of the viewing screen. At home, I can choose my distance from the TV, meaning I can make the screen exactly as large as I want simply by moving closer or further away. It will go from the width of my hand at arm's length (YMMV depending on how far away you can move your chair before running out of room) to a full 180 degree view if I press my nose to the screen. HDTV is plenty high enough in resolution that you can sit as close as you want without seeing any pixelation - assuming you invest in a TV with a decent panel.

The purpose of going to the cinema is social, not artistic, and I'm way past the age where I need the schoolyard bragging rights.

Re:It would work (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about 9 months ago | (#45822383)

That is only true if you aren't smart enough to figure out how much the experience costs.

Hint: An awful lot less than the cost of a year's worth of regular movie viewing.

My cheap home theatre setup can make the couch shake, my TV is perfectly adequate for my needs and I can watch it with people I want, not random strangers making noise, talking, phones, etc.... I always get the best seat in the house and I can hit pause whenever I need to.

Selling access to just one site? (0, Troll)

gmuslera (3436) | about 9 months ago | (#45819007)

The pros of the NSA have a full catalog [spiegel.de] of nice things for sale, and you can use it to gain access to mostly everything.

Re:Selling access to just one site? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45819207)

Your post is indistinguishable from a troll, but at least you brought the NSA into the story for more flogging.

Really missed his chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45819009)

If he'd sold early access to the Doctor Who Christmas special to Americans, he would've made a fortune.

Re:Really missed his chance (3, Informative)

isorox (205688) | about 9 months ago | (#45820617)

If he'd sold early access to the Doctor Who Christmas special to Americans, he would've made a fortune.

He broke into an outside ftp server, presumably in a DMZ, that's used for transferring files to and from outside companies.

I'd love to know the details of the breakin, was it an exploit in the previous FTP software?

Currently it's running
220 ProFTPD 1.3.3g Server (ftp.bbc.co.uk) [212.58.252.93]

But has several more ports open to random people on the intarweb (rsync, really?)

21/tcp open ftp
22/tcp open ssh
80/tcp open http
443/tcp open https
444/tcp open snpp
873/tcp open rsync

Re:Really missed his chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45822971)

I'm curious why you seem to have a problem with them running rsync, while you don't seem to have the same (and more) problems with the FTP server.
Why do you think rsync would be a problem?

Re:Really missed his chance (1)

dwater (72834) | about 9 months ago | (#45824013)

Yes, I'm curious too.

Re:Really missed his chance (1)

isorox (205688) | about 9 months ago | (#45830751)

I'm curious why you seem to have a problem with them running rsync, while you don't seem to have the same (and more) problems with the FTP server.

Why do you think rsync would be a problem?

FTP obviously has its faults, but it is a known, standard way of sharing files with other companies. It's highly likely that a company pushing files to the BBC will send them via FTP, and vice versa (The BBC did a deal with Signiant [bizjournals.com] to handle some external file transfers, but obviously sharing material with some companies will still need an open and common standard like FTP)

I'd be very surprised that any company that is happy to use rsync would be unable to use rsync over ssh. I'm unsure why you'd want to use rsync to transfer a couple of files either, rather than scp.

It's most likely that rsync is used in this case to keep multiple servers synced from a master, in which case blocking access at a firewall level should be happening.

The fewer services exposed to the public, the fewer lines of attack.

Christmas Invasion (4, Funny)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 9 months ago | (#45819031)

The BBC has plenty of experience with Christmas invasions. I expect a police-box was involved in dealing with the problem.

I love that dog (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 9 months ago | (#45819197)

It's Hacker [bbc.co.uk] time!

U HAVE TREAD UPON MY DOMAIN... (2)

OcabJ (13938) | about 9 months ago | (#45819563)

So did Acid Burn kick Crash Override out of the system?

Re:U HAVE TREAD UPON MY DOMAIN... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45820201)

Zero Cool made them all look like n00bz!

Close the Portcullis! (0)

shadowknot (853491) | about 9 months ago | (#45820173)

The walls of the Big British Castle have been breached, the serfs and tithe payers are at risk of pilfer from outside forces. We can't possibly have non-sanctioned extortion take place, we have a charter by jove!

Can the Hacker(s) please now.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45820331)

take over the rest of the Beeb?
I'd welcome a change from the usual drek, drek, with a side helping of drek..

Bhuwhaa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45820587)

But they don't comment on security issues apparently, so how and why is this a story here?

I told you so... (1)

DogsRevolution (1325495) | about 9 months ago | (#45821251)

Some kid was really upset they couldn't get Family Guy on BBC iPlayer. Santa takes this stuff pretty seriously I say.
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