Anonymous Just Hacked The ABC Over A Lateline Interview

The hacktivists are at it again, this time causing trouble for Australia's national broadcaster. The usernames and passwords of what appears to be all the ABC's registered forum users were just posted online after a controversial interview that Anonymous says was anti-Islam.

Under the banner of Anonymous, a hacker going by the name of Phr0zenMyst launched #OpWilders, which is a response to a Lateline interview last week with Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician who is vocally anti-immigration and anti-Islam.

The hackers got mad with Lateline's coverage and decided to take it out on the ABC by hacking its subdomain and posting moderator and user details.

A Pastebin post linking to the freshly posted details reads:

Australia's ABC subdomain hacked for giving Geert Wilders a platform to voice anti-Islam anti-Muslim hatred. #OpWilders

ABC Radio 774 Melbourne sent out a tweet — first spotted by TechGeek — that says ABC Corporate couldn't confirm the legitimacy of the leak, adding that IT is investigating the alleged breach.

We've only scanned the leaked information so far, but from the looks of things it includes everything from email addresses, usernames and passwords and even suburbs and postcodes of where relevant users live.

We'll update you if we hear more. [OpWilders]



    The executor of free speech will be hackers. You can say what you like, so long as you don't disagree with any hackers.

    Next week ABC could run a program supporting islamic immigration and get hacked because some idiot with a keyboard (who says he represents Anonymous) has the opposite view to Mr. Phr0zenMyst.

    Grow up.

    Last edited 27/02/13 11:29 am

      Exactly. This doesn't make sense as Anon's normal crusade for "justice". This is a hacker compromising the details of innocent users of a forum hosted by the website of a company who publishes a show, which interviewed a foreigner who happened to have controversial opinions.

      The chain of blame here is so far from base it doesn't make any sense whatsoever. That's not justice, nor a good way to bring attention to an "issue". The victims and most people who find out are going to be on the defensive - they aren't going to empathise with the point that is trying to be made. Why not go after Wilders or even another section of the ABC?

      Too much power for people who don't know what to do with it.

        Exactly! Right on!

      +1 Well said

      I don't really care for what Geert has to say, but I think its important for the ABC to report it. I don't like the idea of the media deciding which opinions are valid.

        I'd argue that this already happens a lot - Fox News is the first one that comes to mind.

        I don't like the idea of some douche hacker deciding which opinions are valid, either.

        Note I didn't say 'Anonymous'. This doesn't seem to fall under their usual MO. Aren't they usually all about free speech? Seems like people are using the Anon label to try and get attention / sympathy for their efforts when most likely they have no affiliation to the loose coalition who could more or less legitimately call themselves Anonymous.

      I'm not up on the opinions of Geert or Anonymous but any freedom implies a responsibility. Having a freedom of speech does not mean one can and should say whatever one likes. In Australia we have libel laws and, for example, telling a hells angel to eff off is also a wrong way to exercise your freedom.

    Interesting that they are tracking the following (using data from one of the users in the dump):

    user_latitude_min: -33.9112
    user_latitude_max: -33.8959
    user_longitude_min: 151.242
    user_longitude_max: 151.271

    Why would a forum need this kind of information?

      It's to help the next communist government to profile and round up any citizen who voices opinions opposing their policy, they'll probably be sent to Christmas Island or something.

      So they can aggregate it and map out where their user base is.

      Generally the reason why stuff that might not seem to have any use gets stored is more a matter of 'why not'. Until you start running into capacity or performance issues it's better to store everything you can in the off chance you later need it, rather than not storing it and then finding out later you do need it but can't get it.

      'Maybe I shouldn't store this in case it leaks' is rarely a consideration.

    I foresee a lot of trouble for the 49,990 of those people who use the same password for everything else!
    And for this reason, this is unarguably more irresponsible than giving Geert Wilders a voice.

      So you agree with Anon's policy of pro free speech as long as you agree with us then? Only people who agree with you should be alowed to speak? Sounds a lot like many of the dictatorships around the world, past and present.

      Is that Anon's goal? a worldwide dictatorship ruled by these chicken shit keyboard wariors?

    This is getting ridiculous (if it wasn't already).

    What exactly do they think they've accomplished here? They haven't protested against injustice or demanded social revolution. They've just annoyed and compromised 50,000 people who aren't involved in any of this. :\

      If you read the interview you'd be surprised how ridiculous it is. Tony Jones clearly was not in support of Geert Wilders's ideas (and fact-checking), despite trying to be objective.

      Here are a couple of quotes: "why don't you exclude from your annoyance, your anger, moderate Islam, which is very different to what you seem to be describing?"
      "I will have to interrupt you on that point as well, because in fact, one of your own ideas is to ban the Koran in the Netherlands. So apparently you're as intolerant as you believe the other side to be?"

      My point is, this interview was pretty unlikely to convince anyone to suddenly join with an anti-Islam group. But this script-kiddie made it look like there's a conspiracy to censor anti-Islam groups, which could make more support for them. Craziness

    So no one's allowed an opinion now?

      No, unless you agree with me :P

    I can't see how this is an effective protest by Anonymous. It won't bother the ABC, they'll just ask members to change their passwords, but it will affect a lot of innocent people who had nothing to do with the incident in question.

    I've changed my password already.

    Anonymous were cool at one point, but they try way too hard now.

      It's probably the wrong way to see Anonymous as one group of people doing all of anon's operations. I would guess rogue hackers run their own ops for their own reasons under anonymous' banner as a shield for protection or to change anon's reputation.

        Bill probably has it completely right here. This has, in no way, the stamp of Anonymous on it except that the hacker himself claims to be of Anonymous. This speaker is treated like a paria by many business and media outlets, so ABC giving him time to speak is actually something Anon would normally applaud.
        To me, this sounds more like someone just claiming the name Anon without understanding anything about what Anon stands for.

    Isn't free speech meant to allow the discussion of topics you may not agree with or find palettable? Methinks this "Anonymous" fool is just that...a fool.

      As far as anon is concerned they fight for freedom of speech as long as you agree with them. If you don't agree then you don't get to have free speech.

    every day I seem to be losing more and more respect for anon... they are just going down the path of an annoying rabble now...

      They are now and always have been nothing more than cowards hiding behind their computer monitors. Real activists get out and actualy do something. Picket the mine gate. chain themselves to a tree. The way anon work, you cut a tree down, they hack you. Tomorow you go and cut another tree down, what are they going to do about it?

    Digital activists, causing colateral damage. Or internet guerillas? How many innocents are getting pulled into these charades? Slowly they are alienating people around the globe.
    One day, they may just poke a rather nefarious group, with the skills to turn the tables on them and not just DDoS.

    I think of it this way. Treason is any crime deemed an assault on the state - irrespective of your citizenship. So Charge of Treason and Death Penalty for Resisting Arrest under charge of Treason for every one in Anonymous. You burned your own bridges, Dumb asses.


      1. ABC is not "the state". It is a broadcaster that is owned by the state, but it's not part of the government.
      2. Treason is an extreme act against one's own sovereign or nation. American people attacking the Australia government aren't performing treason.
      3. Death penalty? For hacking a public forum and releasing passwords? Really?

    Anonymous is synonymous with crying whinging babies. Ignore the lot and they'll go back to their colouring books and crack pipes

    Liberals only like freedom and free speech so long as you don't disagree with them.

      And Conservatives only like freedom and free speech so they can spread hatred and bigotry.

    What the hell does leaking user info or defacing a ABC website even achieve:

    - Will the ABC lose funding because people get pissed off from the hacks? No, because the Government has to fund the ABC regardless.

    - Will the Journalists or news stations react to this? No, because such a reaction means they are writing critically enough to strike a nerve, probably telling them to continue making more of the same story.

    - If the ABC's story of Islam was critical, what does this hack say to them? That the hack was orchestrated by Islam sympathisers, who resort to vandalism and intimidation to get their message across rather than civilised channels of debate. If anything it proves Geert Weiders is right.

    So well done anon, you've made sure that the ABC got the 'right' message.

    So... are these "hacktivists" got anything to say or do about fundamental Islamic rule where free speech/ women's rights are virtually non-existent?
    ... didn't think so.

      the thing is, islamic rule isn't a thing in Australia, so why come here to preach hatred about it?

        Because most of us do not support the notion of any religion or politically motivated movement that may demote our equal rights in charge of an extremist conservative ideology. We are merely exercising our right to express our opinions about it. This can only be a good thing and sure you might come across a bigot or two but people mainly want to debate its worth in our society. We do it for pretty much everything and islam as a faith needs to respect that if it wants its place in our society.

    According to TV Tonight, the ABC site hit was "Making Australia Happy".

    I'm guessing that if someone had the time and skills to do this stuff, then it would be quite easy do this stuff and claim to be "Anonymous" there are reasons why things happen, and there are real reasons why things happen. Sometimes I like to think what the so called hacktivist group "Anonymous" is doing is noble and worthy of praise. But when your freedoms are lost with draconian laws as a result of some of there outlandish and somewhat childish pranks then it makes me wonder who are they really pleasing ?
    For all the attention they've had, have they really disrupted much ? in years to come, Wikileaks and anon will be seen as a false flag that snared many... just my opinion, hope I'm wrong !!

    All religions must be criticised, and where neccesary, thoroughly lampooned.

    Those religions that are confident in themselves and are above the criticism, should be cherished.

    But those religious leaders/followers that respond by threatening or inciting violence against person or property (either directly or indirectly) must face immediate prosecution.

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