Feeds

Pastebin.com hiring staff to get rid of activists' dumps

No matter how I scrub, stink of leakage still on me

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Pastebin.com has promised to police content on its site more tightly by hiring staff to delete data dumps and other sensitive information more quickly.

The site, one of several of its type and originally set up primarily for programmers, has become a favourite dumping ground for hacktivists from Anonymous and LulzSec over recent months. Many of these posts have revealed an array of personal information swiped from the insecure systems of targets including home addresses, email passwords and (more rarely) credit card details. The dumps are then linked to and publicised by Twitter updates from the various hacktivists.

Pastebin.com relied on an abuse report system to flag up potentially controversial material. However Jeroen Vader, the 28-year-old Dutch entrepreneur who bought the site two years ago, told the BBC that the present system isn't responsive enough and that Pastebin.com plans to hire staff to actively scour the site so that "sensitive information" might be removed more quickly. PasteBin currently gets 1,200 abuse reports a day via either its on-site notification system or by email.

"I am looking to hire some extra people soon to monitor more of the website content, not just the items reported," Vader told the BBC in an email interview. "Hopefully this will increase the speed in which we can remove sensitive information."

Vader said Pastebin.com, which makes its income from selling banner ads, attracts an average of 17 million unique visitors a month, up from 500,000 two year ago. Trending topics on the site frequently include data dumps from hacktivists involved in AntiSec movement, an offshoot of Anonymous which aims to expose the security shortcomings of computer security firms, police agencies and other high profile organisations. Recent data dumps have included the purported details extracted from a high-profile hack on intelligence agency Stratfor last December and from a data dump of passwords from the YouPorn sex vid channel, among others. Other data dumps of local organisations have led to the blocking of Pastebin in both Pakistan and Turkey.

Pastebin asks its members to avoid posting password lists, stolen source code or personal information. As well as being the go-to place for data dumps, Pastebin.com is also often used by hacktivists to try out the effectiveness of DDoS tools.

"In the last three months not a single day has gone by that we didn't get some kind of DDoS [distributed denial of service] attack," Vader said. "I do hear from people in the hackers' community that many hackers like to test their DDOS skills on Pastebin." ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.