Feeds

Hacker hijinks impinge on US mid-term elections

Kissing babies, spreading worms, and linking to dodgy MySpace profiles

Security for virtualized datacentres

Forthcoming US mid-term elections have been disrupted by hackers. The website of Ted and Fran Gianoutsos, a husband and wife team running for governor and lieutenant governor in Alaska, was infected by a computer worm last week.

The website of the write-in candidates, tedandfran.com, was infected by the Gedza-A worm in an apparent prank that meant officially sanctioned campaign promises were replaced by pictures of Canadian songstress Avril Lavigne.

"It's fairly innocuous other than the fact it tries to change your home page to an Avril Lavigne picture that is sitting out there on a server somewhere," Webmaster David Molletti told News.com. "So it's a nuisance thing, but it was plugged in there."

After cleaning the site last week, the site was reinfected on Monday in a move that meant visitors to the site were warned that it was harbouring malware. The site was later hosed down and rebuilt with changed admin passwords. Ted Gianoutsos, who doesn't have access to an internet connection himself only became aware of the hack after he received phone calls from irate users.

The attack hasn't been all bad news, however. Gianoutsos concedes that the assault has thrown the spotlight on his campaign, which features the controversial policies of opening up Alaska's wildlife refuges to oil and gas exploration, and reducing health care costs for Alaskans, particularly military veterans.

Candidates in the Hood

Elsewhere, the MySpace web page of San Jose council candidate Sam Liccardo was altered so his friends profile included wannabe gang members, young men and women in various states of undress, and people who used their forum on MySpace to make homophobic or racist rants, or contained references to drug abuse.

The "Sam Liccardo for City Council 2006" MySpace profile was created by a campaign volunteer as a way to reach out to young voters. Liccardo, whose early career included prosecuting child abuse cases, was shocked by the unauthorised changes and acted to have the site shut down. He's asked MySpace to investigate what happened to his site which was, in theory, supposed to be screened by campaign volunteers. Liccardo suspects either a hacker he'd previously prosecuted or a political opponent was behind the attack.

"I prosecute internet crimes against children," Liccardo told the Mercury News. "This fits the pattern of defendants I know who are computer savvy." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.