Sue Ann, our social media guru, recently reported that a significant portion of the traffic on this site is coming from Russia – specifically St. Petersburg. We both routinely moderate comments to postings that are obviously put by a script.
The recent hacking activity by Russia isn’t the first time the U.S. has been attacked. Few people know that, a few months before 9/11, the Chinese declared war against the United States.
There was an incident in April of that year involving a U.S. Navy Reconnaissance aircraft and a Chinese interceptor. The U.S. plane was an EP-3, on which I personally logged over 500 hours as a CTI-NAC (RULING) (Cryptologic Technician, Interpreter – Naval Air Crew (Russian Linguist)). When our plane shows up on radar, it is customary for the responding country to send an fighter jet to “investigate”. When it gets “intercepted”, then everyone knows that everyone knows you’re there, at which point the pilots sometimes mess with each other. We did that with the Russians over the Baltic, when I flew on the A-3. And that’s basically what happened with China. The Chinese interceptor wanted to roll over in front of the P-3 to rattle the hull with his jet wake. It’s a dickish move, but not really dangerous. Unfortunately, he was too close, and when he rolled over, his tail clipped the P-3. The Chinese plane crashed, killing the pilot. The P-3’s pilot made the decision to try to land the plane, but the only available airstrip was on a Chinese island. He landed and no one on board died, but the entire airborne platform was compromised as a result.
In response to the incident, the Chinese declared cyber warfare on the United States. For 10 days, they were going to go after as many systems as they could in the U.S. The FBI actually issued warnings to the American hacker community not to retaliate, because the FBI would go after them. It was the Brazilians who targeted the Chinese, though. Attrition.org was actually keeping score on the hacks. The Chinese won the numbers game but the Brazilians won on style. My favorite was a group called “PoisonBox” whose graffiti tagline was “Owning China One Box At A Time”.
I was in Georgia at the time, attending the Army’s Signal Officer Basic Course. I was also working on my MCSD, and had a Windows Server 2000 box with SQL Server 7 on it. Since it was just for training, I didn’t bother to patch it, nor did I have a firewall on the cable modem uplink to the Internet. So, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when I discovered I’d been hacked. It was basically a “drive-by” – a scripted hack, exploiting a known SQL Server vulnerability. There was a series of folders and web files in the web server’s directory, denouncing American imperialism and praising China and communism. It was obviously a scripted hack. It wasn’t like there was someone physically on the other end actually snooping on my computer. It wasn’t personal; it was just business.
Similarly, I don’t think there’s actually somebody in St. Petersburg reading Hermit Haus religiously and trying desperately to write comments in that sketchy, incomprehensible English. It’s probably just a scripted troll, intended to get a response to register active sites out of the list of URLs and IP addresses to which it’s posting the same stuff. But, in the event that there really is someone reading this –
Вы можете писать по-русски если вы хотите. мы до сих пор не публиковать свои комментарии, но было бы гораздо интереснее. веселого Рождества и счастливого Нового года. Увидимся в 2017 году!