Feeds

'Steve Jobs' dupes blogosphere with AT&T protest hoax

Operation Chokehold (not) set for Friday

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

A web-borne - and, for that matter, web-born - movement to spank AT&T this Friday which started as a hoax has taken on a life of its own.

On Monday, the ever-risible lampoon site The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs published a parody proposal ostensibly from Apple engineers called Operation Chokehold that calls upon iPhone users to flood AT&T data networks this coming Friday.

According to Fake Steve (aka Daniel Lyons, late of Forbes, now of Newsweek), he received an email from said engineers that read:

On Friday, December 18, at noon Pacific time, we will attempt to overwhelm the AT&T data network and bring it to its knees. The goal is to have every iPhone user (or as many as we can) turn on a data intensive app and run that app for one solid hour. Send the message to AT&T that we are sick of their substandard network and sick of their abusive comments. The idea is we’ll create a digital flash mob. We’re calling it in Operation Chokehold. Join us and speak truth to power!

Fake Steve approved of the plan to demonstrate AT&T's "bastardly behavior over bandwidth usage," noting that: "Our engineers are friggin livid. And, because they’re engineers, which means they're basically evil little pricks, they've come up with a plan to teach AT&T a lesson."

That plan may have started as satire, but it's gathering steam as an actual protest - so much so that commentary about Operation Chokehold is choking the web.

And then there's veteran opinionmeister Dave Winer, who tweeted his surprise, possibly because he himself had recently suggested his own idea for a protest: a more benign but not nearly as rousing one-day boycott of AT&T by iPhone owners.

Commentards on the aforementioned sites are also taking Fake Steve seriously, offering such advice as remembering to turn off WiFi and suggesting appropriate data-sucking apps. Another poster, however, noted darkly that "Denial of service attacks are illegal in the US under 12 different statutes, including the Economic Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act."

Yet another commentard, when informed that bringing AT&T down might affect emergency services, noted: "Good point! However, if somebody does die due to a missed 911 call, at least it will be for a good cause." But according to another commenter: "911 calls are routed for free to any available network, like T-Mobile. If ATT crashes, you can still call 911. Don't worry."

People, people, people... Fake Steve is a satirist. Operation Chokehold is a joke.

Yes, AT&T has done a piss-poor job of managing the bandwidth requirements put upon it by the überpopular iPhone. And yes, the company's Mobility honcho Ralph de la "Darth" Vega recently insulted suffering customers by suggesting that they're data hogs who need to "understand what represents a megabyte of data" or he'll throttle their data access.

But here's our prediction: Friday will come and Friday will go, and AT&T's service - or lack of it - will remain the same. As one commenter to Gizmodo's report on Operation Chokehold remarked: "I have one problem with this. How do we know if the operation is underway? I don't think I'll be able to tell the difference." ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Och aye! It's the Loch Ness Monster – but only Apple fanbois can see it
Fondleslab-friendly beastie's wake spotted... OR WAS IT?
Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
Not exactly attractive to the Israeli tourist demographic
Sleuths find nosy NORKS drones on the Chinternet
UAVs likely to have been made in the Middle Kingdom
Dorian Nakamoto gets $23,000 payout over Bitcoin invention saga
Maintains he didn't create cryptocurrency, but will join community
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Japanese boffin EYES up big bucks with strap-on digi-glasses
AgencyGlass saddles user with creepy OLED display
Pirate Bay's 10 millionth upload: Colour us shocked, a SMUT FLICK
P2P badboys show online piracy is alive and humping
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys
Little men straddle LOHAN, attend tiny G20 Summit... ah, sweet memories...
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.