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Blogger Hacked 340

WCityMike writes "Blogger has been severely hacked into, with users' passwords and e-mail addresses being replaced with 'hacx0redbyme' or 'hax0redbyme.' Apparently, attempts to change your password or other information do not succeed due to a major database problem. Blogger currently has no official news: its main page simply apologizes for being down for repairs and its status blog has no information, probably suffering from the same accessing problem as other blogs. In the meantime, discussion, information, and advice is appearing on the weblogs of Anil Dash and Tom Coates, as well as this QuickTopic thread. Glad I use another journaling service." We usually try to avoid "Site X Hacked!" stories, but since this affects so many people - and, heh-heh, they don't have anywhere else to talk about it - here you go.
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Blogger Hacked

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  • A bit mean. (Score:3, Funny)

    by scumdamn ( 82357 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:03PM (#4530941)
    How could he say "heh-heh"? Blogging is a required service of the internet now! Without Blogs, what are we? Blogs are what seperates us from the animals! (well, that and product placement)
    • by gowen ( 141411 ) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:05PM (#4530971) Homepage Journal
      Blogs are what seperates us from the animals
      Thats true. You never see dogs boring each other witless with the irrelevant minutiae of their lives. Mind you, dog's can lick actually their own genitals, which is pretty much what blogging is a substitute for...
      • Mind you, dog's can lick actually their own genitals, which is pretty much what blogging is a substitute for...

        Why does a dog lick its balls? Because it can. And mostly, they do. Unlike humans weblogging. I'm sure many more can than do. And if they do, you don't really have to read them, or at least it is easier to ignore than the dog that just humped your leg. And as to boring each other witless, no they will never get bored sniffing each others arses. I suppose that is what really separates us.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Thats true. You never see dogs boring each other witless with the irrelevant minutiae of their lives. Mind you, dog's can lick actually their own genitals, which is pretty much what blogging is a substitute for...

        true enough, but while the dog's licking thier own bits and each others orafices serves some kind of purpose, bloggers are nearly entirely useless. Actually I always thought that the best parrallel to blogging was the jerry springer show: sure you can brag about what a loser you are to the public at large, and jerry springer fans will complain that you "Don't have to watch it", but really the best solution to the problem is a little napalm.

        as for the humourous arguement that somehow blogs "might be worthwhile to historians" perhaps in the same way that old trash becomes "valueable" to specialized trash collectors, i give you the poster child of blogging [livejournal.com] that i ran into while trying to give bloggers a fair shot from the last time
    • by gabec ( 538140 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:53PM (#4531406)
      What I did today: Well my 'blog website is down today. I dunno why. Golly. Luckily enough I found another website (as you can see) where I could babble on and on about absolutely nothing. Felix, (my roommate's cat) is doing just fine, thank you for asking. Did you see the X-Files re-run last week? Oh dear, look at the time. Maybe the normal blog website is back up. *hope*hope*
    • by scott1853 ( 194884 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @01:13PM (#4531603)
      You're absolutely correct. People need a place to discuss topics ranging from the great tasting new Pepsi Twist [pepsi.com] to the new Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza from Pizza Hut [slashdot.org] that's so deep, you'll need to eat it with a fork.

      Without blogging capabilities we would be just like animals you would see on The Crocodile Hunter on Animal Planet [discovery.com], Wed. and Sat at 8pm, 11pm, and 3am.

      All in all, blogging gives us purpose, and gives us a sense of comfort, similar to the new E-Class from Mercedes-Benz [mercedes.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:03PM (#4530944)
    Authorities were puzzled by the seemingly strange rash of "FIRST HACK!!!" posts on slashdot.org that arose shortly thereafter.
  • by LordHunter317 ( 90225 ) <askutt.gmail@com> on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:04PM (#4530949)
    I wouldn't want some l337 hax0r coming in and reading everything about my personal life...

    Oh wait, everyone can do that.

  • by CySurflex ( 564206 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:05PM (#4530962)
    Yeah "they don't have anywhere else to talk about it" is definitely a good reason. BTW, my mom doesn't have anywhere else to talk about her recipes.
  • Blogger's troubles (Score:5, Informative)

    by spookysuicide ( 560912 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:06PM (#4530974) Homepage
    Blogger has been having a lot of troubles lately, if you can find your own web hosting, you may want to consider using the very easy to set-up movable type [movabletype.org].
    • by inerte ( 452992 )
      Or Drupal [drupal.org], a superior tool IMHO.
    • MoveableType is definitely spiffy... Two thumbs up! :)
    • by MisterSquid ( 231834 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:32PM (#4531231)

      Movable Type is indeed excellent weblogging donationware. The folks at Movable Type [movabletype.org] are great at providing requested features and documenting their software. Installation takes (and I mean this) fewer than 15 minutes, set-up maybe 1/2 hour for even the most non-technical of users.

      I would rather run the latest release of Slash and went so far as to even check out chromatic's [wgz.org] Running Weblogs with Slash [amazon.com] (NB: /.'ers, /. is a weblog) after reading this recent /. story about "Building Online Communities." [slashdot.org]

      My problem though is that Slashcode requires a dedicated server--or one on which you have root acces--to install. I'm sure this gives Slash many advantages, but those of us who can't afford dedicated server solutions can't make use of those advantages. My web host doesn't even allow shell access.

      Movable Type (and a few other brands of weblog software) offers people with cheap web-hosting solutions to successfully install high-quality, customizable, open-source weblog software. The couple who run Movable Type produce a quality product. Check them out if you want to run weblog software but don't have a lot of money.

      I wonder if the /. crew couldn't be persuaded to come up with a version of Slash that doesn't require a dedicated server . . .

    • MT is pretty sweet, but.... as it gets more popular, it too will probably be hacked.

      Your best hope to remain hack free is to design your own system from scratch. Preferably using some ungodly combination of Java, Fortran, XSLT, XML, and a custom database you wrote in C for the fun of it.

    • if you can find your own web hosting

      I'm waiting for the day I can host my own web again. Why should anyone have to go any further than their own 486 to put up a website? The quality of free software available and ease of set up is astounding. There are a dozen or so web servers in Debian, and many fine automation programs for putting content onto those sites. It's as easy as:

      1. type deselect

      2. press spacebar

      3. type /apache

      4. press +

      5. repeat steps 3 and 4 for igal and other programs you want.

      6. press enter a few times.

      7. pull up a browser, a command line and an editor and enjoy building your site.

      I'm not sure why everyone interested has not done this. OK, ipchains takes a little more work, but it can be done in a few days with knowlegable help, so you can look at the rest of the web with the rest of your computers. The problem has something to do with the last mile, greedy and stupid publishers and fools that listen to them.

      My cable company has made all but ftp impossible and ftp is painful to most of the people I'd like to reach. Outbound port 80, and 25 are blocked. Most cable companies don't block port 21 because that would kill AOL's instant messenger. Still, the upload rate is crimped worse and worse, and html files don't work well over the system. The overall performance is poor, but I'd rather send my mom there to look at baby pictures than send her to some advert filled crap I don't have any control over now or ever. Eventually they will block port 21.

      It's stupid. My cable company could make more charging $20 a month to three people than $45 to one. I'd recomend people move to cable if cable were really worth anything to me, but it isn't so I don't.

      blogging services are nice, but only needed because the net is not free.

      • Why not run the webserver on port 21? So the users have to type http://myserver:21/foo.thml in their browsers - no big deal. Of course, you can't run an FTP service, or use AIM, and your bandwidth still sucks, but it's a start.
  • Blogs, who need em? (Score:3, Informative)

    by zaren ( 204877 ) <holdthis@mail.com> on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:06PM (#4530978) Homepage Journal
    I signed up for a blog once, to see what all the fuss was about. I ended up scrapping it and going back to doing page entries manually. It ended up being MUCH less hassle than having to use someone else's software, and then having to go back and re-tweak things with it. Editing HTML from the command line in a shell is much more time-efficient, IMHO.
    • by hansk ( 107187 )
      Sure, but for a majority of web users, a simple blogging application is the way to go. And because these easy-to-use blog apps have been provided, that's why they have become popular.
    • by The Good Reverend ( 84440 ) <michael@mic[ ]s.com ['hri' in gap]> on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:33PM (#4531250) Journal
      Web logs are amazingly convenient for people who don't have the skills to edit from the command line. Remember, most people on the internet aren't as savvy as you or I are, and to them, blogs are an easy and efficient means to updating their personal site. Don't put them down simply because they found a way onto the web without your skill level.
    • That is good and all from your standpoint, being comfortable with HTML an all. However at our org. I needed to provide a way for our PR person to be able to update news pages all on her own.

      Moveabletype works great for this (since I'm not a hardcore perl programmer, it was nice to have someone else do that work). I spent a few days building and modifying the page templates and setting up the site. Now all she has to do is login to a page, add a title and main story and click publish. Instantly several pages are updated with the appropriate news information, archives and search links, etc. Very nice since I don't have to waste time getting the information from her each time and create a new page. Great for her, because she can update the news website anytime she gets a press release.

      I think Blogger itself is somewhat bland, mostly for the novice/home user wanting to get a voice out. For the professional there are some impressive tools that will save you time (Movabletype [movabletype.org] or Radio UserLand [userland.com])

      - A non-productive mind is with absolute zero balance.
      - AC
    • Oh yeah, I agree completely. I can't for the life of me understand, for example, why those lazy Slashdot people waste their time with a content management system.
  • hmmm... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:07PM (#4530983)
    Well, since the home page just says the site is down, I'll have to ask here. wtf is blogger?
  • Good for them (Score:3, Insightful)

    by photon317 ( 208409 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:07PM (#4530987)

    I hate the word blog and all its derivatives, they deserve it for promoting this pop-culter-esque net phenomenon. Either you run a news site, a discussion site, a community, a personal journal or something along those lines. Blog is a stupid term someone made up to sound cool.
    • Re:Good for them (Score:2, Informative)

      by Nikkos ( 544004 )
      Blog is short for Web Log.

      Say "web log" 5 times fast and you'll understand why.

      I don't see anything "pop-culture-esqe" about it.

    • Re:Good for them (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Powercntrl ( 458442 )
      I hate the word blog and all its derivatives, they deserve it for promoting this pop-culter-esque net phenomenon. Either you run a news site, a discussion site, a community, a personal journal or something along those lines. Blog is a stupid term someone made up to sound cool.

      As a *nix command, blog would be perfect. Hell, you've already got grep, cat, fsck, mount, umount, etc... Short commands with weird names, it'd fit in perfectly!

      As a name for a personal journal however, it ranks right down there with OGG. These don't sound like technology terms, they sound like something a half-drunk mechanic would say to you... "OGG, your oil is all bloggy, your engine is fscked."

      Personally, I have no need for a blog... As it stands, no one visits my home page (which basically consists of a standard AOL profile-type "about me" page, some MP3s of songs I made in Sonic Foundry Acid and a few free crappy VB programs) anyway so even if I HAD a life and things to write about, only thing that'd ever read it are the webcrawler bots. That's kinda depressing actually... I better schedule an appointment with my shrink.
    • Re:Good for them (Score:5, Insightful)

      by The Good Reverend ( 84440 ) <michael@mic[ ]s.com ['hri' in gap]> on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:39PM (#4531308) Journal
      Oh, I'm sorry. Because someone uses a term you don't like, they deserve to be hacked? That's absurd. I'm sorry you have a personal problem with a certain combination of letters.

      It's not like "blog" was created by an ad agency, or by some company to sell it's product. It's a contraction of "Web Log", which is what these types of sites are. Don't like the word? Don't use it. But don't wish an attack on someone because you find time in your day to hate a contraction.
    • Blog is a stupid term someone made up to sound cool.

      Actually, no, what happened was everyone was calling it a 'weblog', which was naturally shortened to 'blog'.

      This is just the latest in a long line of multi-syllable words shortened to single-syllable words, bro.
    • This would put you in the ~40% of the slashdot population that hates [slashdot.org] that word. I admit, I hate it too, such a stupid word.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:07PM (#4530988)
    .... the 12 people who actually care about blogs at all are furious that their lives just got a little more pitiful.
  • Blogout. (Score:5, Funny)

    by b0r0din ( 304712 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:08PM (#4531003)
    Good thing I chose hax0redbyme as my original password. Ahh, the 1337 L1phs7y13.
  • recommendation (Score:5, Informative)

    by flanker ( 12275 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:08PM (#4531004)
    Disable or reset the password of the account used to FTP your blog to your web server ASAP.
  • Thank god my favorite blog [2600.com] wasn't [ctdata.com] hacked [slashdot.org].
  • by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:11PM (#4531026)
    Slashdot, for example, is a lot more of a news and current events site than it is Taco's personal weblog. k5 is more about essays and news. Occasionally, however, I'll stumble across a blog while looking for something else. If I don't know what it is at first, I tend to read it for a few seconds before going back.

    LiveJournal blogs are the worst, IMHO. People go on and on about events and parties with people that 99.99999% of their readers have never met. Once I realize I've stumbled across something like that, I leave it as soon as I can.

    Is it exhbitionism/vouyerism? If I read stories about a person's private life, I'd much rather they beging with a line like, "Dear Penthouse, I've always read the letters in your magazine but never thought that something like that could happen to me..."
    • by eclectric ( 528520 ) <bounce@junk.abels.us> on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:17PM (#4531094)
      Well, personally, I don't care if any of my readers know who I'm talking about. I really use a weblog to keep track of my state at any given time. This lets me look back and say "oh, that's what I was thinking." I mean, I don't care if I'm the only person in the world who reads my weblog.

      Why put it on the web? Well, there are often times, on irc and in email, when I want to point someone to something I've written... plus, if anyone is visiting my website, then it's possibly they want to know more about me. If they don't, then fine. If they do, then the weblog is there.
      • Annotated bookmarks (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Wee ( 17189 )
        You've said it perfectly. I personally write stuff on my website mostly as a form of annotated bookmarks. If I see something cool, or figure some new thing out, I can post it on my site and then go back and find it later and know what I was thinking at the time. And if other people want to check it out, they can. I've posted some fairly helpful (if tiny) tidbits, even if I say so myself, and they do get searched for. My journal is like the margins in my book of the Internet.

        But there is more to it than that. Everyone wants to spout off sometimes. If you have an easy forum for writing stuff down, eventually you'll rant about something. And doing so helps you "save state". You can go back a year later and see where you were mentally. And as you said, it helps people who are at a distance figure out what you've been up to. Having it web-accessible means you can write from anywhere.

        There's nothing wrong with keeping a web journal.


      • Voices in your head want out... Make a hole for them.
    • you dont get blogs, yet you seem to be maintaining one [furinkan.net]. i dont get that.
    • Not all blogs are the same. Here [csmonitor.com] is a review of MetaFilter.com

      "MetaFilter is one of the sometimes confusing class of sites known as 'weblogs.' In the original sense of the word, a weblog is a regularly updated collection of found links, commentaries, and personal reflections, maintained by a single person. For thousands of others, a weblog is simply an online diary - and while some have merit, many more (if not most) feature the "I hate my job," "my cat did the cutest thing," "here's my philosophy" essays which demonstrate that the locks on traditional diaries are there more to protect the public than the author's privacy. Fortunately, MetaFilter falls into the first category, with the distinction that contributions are not made by a single person - this blog has more than 12,000 contributors, and when it comes to scouring the Web, numbers matter."

    • I dunno. I personally read Wilwheaton.net, which is Wil Wheaton's personal blog. And Alan Cox's online journals. And a few others. What's Slashdot but a big, overgrown blog though really?
    • Due to head trauma at a very early age, I'm unable to remember anything from more than three days ago unless I have written it down and reread it. So my journal (blog, whatever) is a way of therapy.

      It seems that it entertains my friends, and I don't try to disappoint, but when all is said and done, if I don't write it down, it's pretty much gone for good.
    • No. Kuro5hin is about how the everything the USA does is wrong and how American should be USian.

    • by jacobito ( 95519 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @02:04PM (#4532127) Homepage

      LiveJournal blogs are the worst, IMHO. People go on and on about events and parties with people that 99.99999% of their readers have never met. Once I realize I've stumbled across something like that, I leave it as soon as I can.

      The obvious response is that you're not their audience. Most bloggers write to keep up with their circles of friends, not to impress the general public with the minutiae of their daily lives.

    • by wunderhorn1 ( 114559 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @02:15PM (#4532242)
      OK, here's the thing: Many people who keep blogs have *actual friends* with whom they like to keep in touch with. This idea of writing to friends may be an unfamiliar concept to you, but it's actually quite an attractive idea: You can tell people about your life, and those who care about you can read it and even write back! It's like writing letters, only you have a log of what you've written which could possibly be valuable at a later date, plus it's "write once, read everywhere" which saves you the time of having to compose a new letter each day for every person you want to know about you, and removes from them the burden of obligation to reply to everything you write!

      AND (this gets even better) because it's publicly accessible, you can meet new people with whom you can make friends! You may not have grown up with access to the online world, but for the generation that has, the internet is a great venue for social interaction.
      Does that help you understand why blogs appeal to some?

      If you come across a blog whose contents do not interest you, it probably wasn't meant for you to read. That doesn't mean there aren't people who do care about that person and enjoy keeping in touch with them.

      Oh yeah, and like the other guy said, your web page seems suspiciously weblog-like. And I liked the rant where you bitch about the Taliban's web page :-)

    • by Zulfiya ( 44302 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @03:02PM (#4532598) Homepage
      Well, they're not necessarily for you. LiveJounal, in particular, is geared towards reading other LiveJournal entries. That is, you get together a circle of ten or so friends and socialize. It's not about being informative or entertaining, it's about socializing. Since adding and deleting "friends" is more or less trivial, people leave their journals open (or "public") in the hopes that a person interested in other members of their mini-network will find them and become a new "friend".

      You don't get anything out of the little circle o'exhibition because it's really not there for your benefit. Move along.
  • by BMonger ( 68213 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:11PM (#4531032)
    I really didn't cheat on my math test like I said in my blogger!!! Somebody hacked it... yeah... that's it...
  • by eclectric ( 528520 ) <bounce@junk.abels.us> on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:12PM (#4531036)
    Luckily, I was worred when I first setup my blogger account, so i switch to a mysql database on my own webserver instead. Eventually, I ended up using movable type to manage my weblog. If you have access to a mysql database on your webserver, I would really recommend doing this.
    • by Inoshiro ( 71693 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @01:06PM (#4531508) Homepage
      MySQL is really overkill for your work. My changelog uses a Perl script which parses my entries into XHTML. It even nicely preserves my double-spaced end-of-sentences (I really crave that whitespace...). I'm starting to see some slugishness from ext3 because I'm over 1,000 entries now, but I'm planning on hashing my entries into a subdir for the year. That'll limit it to 365 entries per directory (give or take a leap year :)), allowing ext3 to serve my needs for years to come.

      A good flat file system lets you reuse the VFS of Linux for smarter caching, and it's easy to NFS or SMB mount it via any machine on my private network. This also means that for someone to compromise my setup and mess with my changelog, they'd also have unrestricted access (pretty much) to my local network, meaning I'd have a whole lot more to worry about than losing my journal entries.
  • by Prince_Ali ( 614163 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:12PM (#4531040) Journal
    Blogs are the next coming of geocities. They clutter the internet with useless information.
    I have a blog, but I only use it to say things like, "Fdisk overflowed when I tried to format my hard drive. Now it is negative 15 Gigs!"
    So yeah, I need to be shot.
  • Blog = weblog (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gosand ( 234100 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:13PM (#4531053)
    FYI, the term blog comes from the term weblog. It got morphed into "we blog", and the term got overused quite a bit. So a blog is basically a journal.

    I have never used one, or intend to. For some unknown reason, it bacame popular to just ramble out your thoughts into an online journal. Whatever. I don't see why this made the news though...

    • How many of us really didn't know what a blog was? I know I didn't.

      So, basically, an online journal site was hacked. Not sure this is big news, or news that mattered. But it does qualify as news for nerds.

      Thanks, taco
    • "For some unknown reason, it bacame popular to just ramble out your thoughts into an online journal. Whatever. "

      Then why are you reading Slashdot? Have you read any of CmdrTaco's news postings? ;p
  • Oh no! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:14PM (#4531058)
    Now how will we know when she's done her nails or he's bought a new stereo?!
  • While Everyone (Score:5, Informative)

    by SomeOtherGuy ( 179082 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:14PM (#4531061) Journal
    is looking for alternatives. b2 [cafelog.com] is a really good and powerful altewrnative. PHP, MySQl, and all the goodies.
  • Huh? (Score:2, Funny)

    For a second I thought I was looking at /. story generator [bbspot.com]. It's really been a while to see Something Hacked posts here. Blogger being hacked means loss of productivity, and the weblogs has become metaweblogs.
  • by burgburgburg ( 574866 ) <splisken06@emai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:17PM (#4531093)
    As of 10:02 am, the status blog now reports:

    Blogger has suffered a security intrusion by a "haX0r." We have all the data that was changed backed up within a couple hours of the attack, so we can have things pretty much back to normal soon. Of course, we're assessing the situation as thoroughly as possible to make sure it doesn't happen again. Also, if you store your FTP login information in Blogger, it wouldn't hurt to change that on your server--though it is unlikely that information was accessed. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    • Also, if you store your FTP login information in Blogger, it wouldn't hurt to change that on your server--though it is unlikely that information was accessed. (quoted from web site)

      It is "unlikely" that people got access to an account on your local machine. I think people might want to know either way. Quickly.

      • If your web site is like where I store mine, you actually have to be on their network to change the password. So, except for someone munging my site (sheyeah, like I CARE), it does not matter to me, although moving to MT and a webhosting service is something I have been contemplating for a while. I looked at slash and I won't even begin to try and understand it. I have too many OTHER things to do with my life which is why I used Blogger. Also if something is so important to you that you run around changing your password for your web site just because someone might have it, then why do you have the stuff on the web in the first place? Even if they did do something, you can most likely call your provider and get the password reset and then ftp all of your stuff back up. You DID save your site on your hard disk didn't you???
  • Is it just me... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Waab ( 620192 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:18PM (#4531097) Homepage
    or does anyone else think it's a bit much for some of these bloggers to be comparing [quicktopic.com] the hack to 9/11?

    I have to wonder what kind of life someone must lead when an attack on their favorite website is as traumatic as the events of that day.
  • Lots of services (Score:2, Informative)

    *shameless plug*

    There are a LOT of diary/journal/blog services on the web. My personal favorite: Digital Expressions [digitalexpressions.nu]. Not a lot of customization and such, and it has a smaller userbase and a very strong sense of community.
  • by L. VeGas ( 580015 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:21PM (#4531129) Homepage Journal
    Hacking a blogging site is like littering in a dump.
  • Sept 11?!?! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jzs9783 ( 612647 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:23PM (#4531149)
    From the QuickTopic thread:

    "This is like September the 11th all over again."

    Does that mean the attack on the WTC was a noble cause, causing many to rejoice, point, laugh, and snicker? For humanity's sake, I hope this was the thickest sarcasm ever to form.
  • Better hope... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dynedain ( 141758 )
    I hope they did backups.

    And I hope they patch the hole before restoring from the backups.

    More likely they'll dot-bomb.

    Do you know who has your passwords?
  • Related story (Score:3, Interesting)

    by randomErr ( 172078 ) <ervin.kosch@GAUS ... m minus math_god> on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:29PM (#4531207) Journal
    MS in blog parody takedown
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/28/27774.html [theregister.co.uk]

    By Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco [mailto]

    It's a pity that Microsoft's Beth Goza, who we teased here [theregister.co.uk] last week, has taken down her weblog []. Far from wanting to see it disappear, it ought be preserved in a time capsule.

    But not only has Beth's blog gone underground - so has the parody which inspired our story. It's disappeared from no less than five mirror sites.

    Even more extraordinary, a witch-hunt is on to find the perpetrator. One member of the PocketPC community says legal action is being threatened against the author, whose identity remains a mystery.

    "The phrase 'it will soon be out of our hands' was used by one figure close to Beth," we're told.

    It would be remarkable if Microsoft's expensive legal and public relations machinery were deployed in what is essentially a private matter.

    And highly unlikely, too, as parodies are protected under the First Amendment.

    Microsoft's approach to the press is singularly enlightened, when compared to say an Apple. The company takes barbs in good grace, and doesn't deploy feudal divide and rule tactics. It's never, to our knowledge, sued a journalist. Of course it has its favorite hacks, but in general the philosophy is - they're always going to be mean to us, they'll always be around: meanwhile, we have a message to convey, and stuff to sell.

    Evil and elitist?
    So were we being evil and elitist, as some of you suggested?

    As I replied [stretchingthought.com] to Jonathan at StretchingThoughts.com, it's onlyelitist if you think that blogs are folks' only form of expression.

    The king of webloggers Jorn Borger [robotwisdom.com] - he was the first to use the term and it's still the best [theregister.co.uk] - used to use a quote by Tolstoy in his Usenet sig:- "In human stupidity, when it is not malicious, there is something very touching, even beautiful... There always is." And there is something bewitching about Beth's ruminations such as " just for the record i like it when my foods touch" a line worth of Ralph Wiggum [google.com].

    No, what's strange is when an attack on one blogger is perceived as an attack on blogging in general. That implies that there can't possibly be a quality threshold in blogdom, and confirms John Dvorak's worst fears [pcmag.com]about groupthink. This is an unnecessarily defensive reaction and quite wrong. If blogs are writing, there's good and bad writing.

    Of course, John was being satirical, and he wasn't decrying blogdom: only the mentality that blogging is in of itself revolutionary [theregister.co.uk] and no criticism can be voiced, and no quality threshold can be drawn; that we must not differentiate between good and bad, because it's all somehow equally valid.

    The parody itself was pretty mean and spiteful. But it's a parody. We hope that groupthink doesn't extinguish parodies, as they help us see that the Emperor has no clothes.

    Please let us know if you've been contacted in relation to this investigation. And in the meantime, enjoy some other fine online journals by Microsoft staff:- which might be low on cheap laughs, but high on content:- min jeschwad [netcrucible.com], Inkblog [inkblog.com], and more highlighted in this Kuro5hin thread [kuro5hin.org].®
  • the diary-x.com link prevented a slashdot-ing with some very simple code. A simple way of preventing your server from crying uncle.
    I have often thought of writing a little code that blocks refering domains if they refer too many in a set period of time.
  • Glad I use another journaling service.

    I like it - that site wont be slashdotted!
  • by aengblom ( 123492 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:46PM (#4531360) Homepage
    Blogs have achieved one of the most fantastic of things ever on the internet. They killed the personal web site! Anyone been asked to visit anyones "personal web page" recently? I think not!

    Personal web pages were 50 times worse than any blog. It's evolution--not revolution ;-).

    Anyway... My friend has a blog. It's is like the BBS I ran when I was 14. Some friends log in. We talk about intersting things (or not) publicly. Eventually when I did things right, a few extra people came along and we had some good conversations.
    • Gee, maybe some of us miss those days of yellow text on purple backgrounds, 5 fonts sizes per page and misformatted tables (done by hand editing HTML, natch). And the blinking text, too. Always a favorite.

      But don't compare blogs to a BBS... those were the days when you actually had to have a brain to get online, versus now, when Bertha Walmartski can blog it up to tell the world that one of her three toy poodles is depressed.

      P.S. some of those awful personal pages still exist. I'd tell you where, but you'd go blind viewing them ;)

      • by aengblom ( 123492 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @01:18PM (#4531655) Homepage
        But don't compare blogs to a BBS... those were the days when you actually had to have a brain to get online, versus now, when Bertha Walmartski can blog it up to tell the world that one of her three toy poodles is depressed.

        You never signed on to my BBS did you

      • "those were the days when you actually had to have a brain to get online, versus now,"

        No, you are wrong. I am still waiting for people to actually use their brain and creativity when online, instead of trying to run a webserver on a carport remote control. It is a shame that the internet has turned into an anarchistic kindergarten because only juveniles can get connected. The reason those awful personal pages exist is that NOONE has anything to say. I wish my grandparents could get on the internet and publish their ideas, experiences and memories instead of kids with fake Britney pr0n and 1337-speak.
      • by dswensen ( 252552 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @05:49PM (#4533992) Homepage
        But don't compare blogs to a BBS... those were the days when you actually had to have a brain to get online, versus now

        Give this man a 5, Funny!

        I used to frequent a BBS. The rank stupidity I encountered there still amazes me -- I kept a few logs of some of those exchanges, and my reaction varies between thinking they must have been joking and wondering how they could even operate a keyboard.

        Incidentally, that particular BBS is still running, more than seven years later. I've checked in on a couple occasions, only to find the exact same users, arguing about the exact same things, obsessing over the same miniscule and irrelevant BBS policies, carving the same mountains out of molehills -- seven years later. It gave me the chills. I sometimes wonder if they're not trapped in some kind of Sartrian hell.

        The tools have advanced, there are a lot more people on the net now, but the general level of intelligence (on both ends) is about the same as it always was. What you see in an average blog isn't any more or less insightful than what I saw in the "Grips" or "Non Sequitur" forums on the old BBS.

  • Never trusted it. Give us the username and password of your FTP/Web account? Give me a break. So basically this guy hacked a single database and now could potentially have the login information for THOUSANDS of sites out there. Blogger can keep its service. If I want a Blog, I'll code it myself.
    • Never trusted it.

      I'm right on board with you. They didn't seem to do much to secure the database, when I looked at it about over a year or so ago [slashdot.org]. I became more concerned when they basically became a one-person operation, and have avoided the service like Kryptonite.

      Let this be a lesson--learn to trust your service providers before you jump on board with them. Also, use common sense and avoid services that store your FTP (and possibly ISP!) account info.

  • ... is not the creator of those blogs who use everything from 500kb animated gifs to multiple embedded flash files to gain attention, no, it's those sad people who clique together and generally agree on everything that the creator writes. Basically, most blogs are from women of all ages and most fans are 14 year pubescent teenagers hoping to read something sexually orientated. Unfortunatly, it almost never goes past this:

    I saw this and that movie and OMG is so r0x0r3d! All my friend on IRC agreed with me, except this Seth person who was being a dickhead again. Oh and my cat threw up sulphuric acid when at my mother's place, ruining the 3000 dollar persian carpet. Sorry moms, pops... Luv ya all, your favourite grrl!

    Something like that, only true blogwhores type allot more and generally convey even less interesting facts... Ah well, at least I'm not wasting my time on stupid overhyped blogs. As for that someone who cracked the Blogger DB; Do something more useful next time your g/f breaks up with you, getting back at her by ruining her blog isn't the brightest thing around.

  • If you try to access the alternate site mentionned in the message (diary-x.com), you will get the following: "Go Away I suggest outside, you look like you could use some sun.". You can access the "normal" website by copy-pasting the address (www.diary-x.com) in your browser instead of using the link (assuming your current page is NOT the slashdot mainpage).
  • by Hyped01 ( 541957 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:54PM (#4531413) Homepage
    "Blogger currently has no official news: its main page simply apologizes for being slashdotted if they re-enable full content, making their downtime for repairs even worse since they'll probably suffer from the same accessing problem as many other sites linked to from /.'s home page."



  • ...or the Osbournes, or Anna Nicole Smith's show, or...

    You're just sitting around watching (reading about) someone else living his* life. Perhaps the Sims is a little better, as you can direct the action.

    Wouldn't it be great to have a life so good that you didn't have time to read about someone else's, or better yet, publish the details of yours (and your thoughts)?

    Well, it is.

    And no, I'm not being lifeless by writing this because I have to be at my computer now; I'm at work This also means I'm getting paid to write this, so double bonus for me.

    * his is used instead of the incorrect "their" or the annoying "his/her". The author recognizes that women have blogs but has chosen to standardize on "his"
  • Basically, blogs are just online diaries where people sprout off their random synapse charges... so why not just create it in html and upload it to a server.... I'm confused.
  • This certainly just pisses ME off.

    (Why? See below.)

    I've been seriously considering a move to other ways to publish, with Moveable Type and Radio UserLand looking quite nice for support of images and the like (things I can't do from the free Blogger subscription). Now, it looks that I have a much bigger reason.
  • by Cutriss ( 262920 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @01:21PM (#4531687) Homepage
    Mark me as troll if you want. I don't give a shit.

    90% of the posts in this thread are all "Holier Than Thou"-type Slashdot posts from fellow geeks that obviously feel some sort of insecurity about their own lives and are thus insulting those that use weblogs.

    I don't use a weblog to achieve an inflated sense of importance or to boost my ego. I use it to keep track of what my friends and I are doing. A year from now, we'll have all graduated college, and it's nice to be able to keep tabs on everyone's day-to-day events...and to continue to do so even when we've gone our separate ways.

    Just because you *think* the Internet is full of 12-year-old girlie bloggers discussing the drab details of their lives doesn't mean it's the truth. And even if it was, who appointed you "critic of all those lowly masses"? Get a life of your own, man...
  • Whew. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by limbostar ( 116177 )
    I'm the admin of diary-x. A few months ago, when I was setting up the server into its current configuration, I thought "I should have a mod_rewrite rule that redirects traffic from slashdot away, so that the hordes won't crush my poor server if I should ever get linked."

    I'm glad the rule actually works, I never had a chance to test it out :)

    I should change the message though, the "you look like you could use some sun" comment is probably a bit harsh.
  • blogger back up (Score:5, Informative)

    by ntk ( 974 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @01:55PM (#4532036) Homepage
    Blogger's status page [blogger.com] was just updated (1150am-ish PST) to say this:

    We have found the cause of the vulnerability and have patched it. Everything is back restored and back online with the exception of the API server and bSTATS.

  • by Aanallein ( 556209 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @02:10PM (#4532212)
    I'm seeing a lot of negative comments on weblogs out there, and (even though this is slashdot) I'm somewhat confused by them.
    Just because you personally don't find the content of the average weblog interesting, should this really mean weblogs don't have a reason for existing?

    Personally, I'm extremely grateful for weblogs, as they allow a lot more people to communicate, and for me to discover that communication, then would happen before.
    * I read the weblogs of my favorite authors, knowing as one of the first people in the world when they finish the next chapter, decide on a title of the book, but far mroe important, getting all sorts of interesting insights into the creation of the book, into the links to real world events and the reasons for why certain things are what they are - this heightens my appreciation of said books.
    * I read the weblogs of the key people working on developing the next version of my favorite software. A lot of Mozilla (to name one of /.'s favorites) developers for example have weblogs, and if you don't have time to read bonsai, these weblogs are often an easy but effective way to stay up to date on development. And it's more than just software. The weblogs from people in the various W3C working groups, the weblogs from the figureheads in various movements and organizations... All of them can provide fascinating insights into a world you'd otherwise never see anythign from but the end-result.
    * I read the weblogs of various friends and acquaintances I have scattered all over the world. Weblogs are to email what usenet is to mailinglists. Pull, rather than push. I get the information when I want it, adn it still allows me to keep in touch with people I'd otherwise not have time for. Sure, the stories about their cats and dogs are completely irrelevant to 99.999% of the people out there; why would this not be perfectly okay? It matters to them and to the people who matter to them. Nobody's forcing you to read these weblogs... And every now and then one of these people will have something very profound to say, or will have dug up a really interesting piece of information, or came up with a really good joke... And then other people link to that, often in other weblogs, and the information propagates. And that's good too.

    No matter how all of us might feel superior to the average 'blogger', no matter how all of us can whip up a solution that's both more convenient and technologically superior to this "Blogger" in a matter of hours... these are things that don't matter. It's the sharing of ideas, the communication, the links and bonds... that's what matters. Most of it is static, most of it will never be read by anyone. But all of these people maintaining weblogs are part of ... I don't know... of something big. Somethign big like 'the internet', but more efficient. The information is presented in a more coherent fashion. If you've read one weblog, you can easily grasp the way any other weblog works, and for the average person out there, a weblog is a way more efficient way to communicate than the personal homepage as it existed 5 years ago.

    After previewing I pulled almost all links from this comment - if you're really interested in the weblogs of the people I mentioned here, go and search for them...

Avoid strange women and temporary variables.