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posted by janrinok on Friday December 12 2014, @12:38PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the opening-Pandora's-box dept.

Lily Hay Newman reports at Slate that Sony is counter-hacking to keep its leaked files from spreading across torrent sites. According to Recode, Sony is using hundreds of computers in Asia to execute a denial of service attack on sites where its pilfered data is available, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. Sony used a similar approach in the early 2000s working with an anti-piracy firm called MediaDefender, when illegal file sharing exploded. The firm populated file-sharing networks with decoy files labelled with the names of such popular movies as “Spider-Man,” to entice users to spend hours downloading an empty file. "Using counter-attacks to contain leaks and deal with malicious hackers has been gaining legitimacy," writes Newman. "Some cyber-security experts even feel that the Second Amendment can be interpreted as applying to 'cyber arms'.”

[Ed's Comment: As I understand it, the Second Amendment only applies in the United States or in its territories overseas — it doesn't give Americans the right to bear arms anywhere else in the world.]

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  • (Score: 2) by jimshatt on Friday December 12 2014, @01:30PM

    by jimshatt (978) on Friday December 12 2014, @01:30PM (#125440) Journal

    [Ed's Comment: As I understand it, the Second Amendment only applies in the United States or in its territories overseas — it doesn't give Americans the right to bear arms anywhere else in the world.]

    It's shocking that you even feel the need to point that out...

    • (Score: 3) by cmn32480 on Friday December 12 2014, @02:12PM

      by cmn32480 (443) <{cmn32480} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday December 12 2014, @02:12PM (#125447) Journal

      If the editor is not from the US, and he is pointing this out for readers from other countries, while it seems obvious to those of us who live here, it may not be obvious to those who live elsewhere.

      --
      "It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear" - Norm Peterson
      • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Friday December 12 2014, @04:55PM

        by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Friday December 12 2014, @04:55PM (#125512) Journal

        Sony has yet to realize that they picked a fight they cannot win - and are now escalating.

         

        There are millions of folks out there who will kick Sony to the electronic curb now. Just because of the gall.

         

        --
        You're betting on the pantomime horse...
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12 2014, @02:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12 2014, @02:26PM (#125453)

      Yes, especially as the bill of rights doesn't give Americans any rights. It prevents congress from taking rights away.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by janrinok on Friday December 12 2014, @03:46PM

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 12 2014, @03:46PM (#125489) Journal

      I understand your concern, but the reasoning behind my statement is this. The US, or companies in the US, do NOT have the right to carry out DDOS attacks against computers elsewhere in the world whether the Second Amendment is applicable to 'cyber-weapons' or not. The US Govt may elect to conduct military or other government sponsored attacks anywhere it feels it can, but such acts are usually interpreted as an act of war by someone who is in the target country or on the receiving end of such acts. I know of no such law, treaty or other obligation that permits civilian companies to carry out any attack that it chooses. There ARE laws in place, however, which forbid such acts.

      For someone to say, as they do in the article, that this might be justified by the Second Amendment is a matter of crass ignorance, IMHO. Cyber-security experts they may be - but they are idiots at international law. There are already international legal treaties in place covering crimes that are conducted between players who are located in 2 or more different countries. If SONY has evidence which identifies the culprits of the attack, then they should be taking action using such legal means. If this action is being taken by SONY then I hope that those on the receiving end fight back using whatever legal means are at their disposal.

      The fact that the majority of the readers of this site appear to be American sometimes skews arguments rather more than it should. My comments are directed at the small minority of Americans who think that might is right - not the vast majority of intelligent folk who make up the remainder.

      --
      It's always my fault...
      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12 2014, @04:52PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12 2014, @04:52PM (#125511)

        Also, I think that even in the U.S. the right to bear arms doesn't imply the right to use them against any target you want. Try shooting at the windows of a nearby building that is not yours, and then try to justify it with your second amendment rights. I don't think you'll be very successful with that argumentation.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12 2014, @04:58PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12 2014, @04:58PM (#125516)
        Sue them. Use their previous root-kit thing to establish a pattern of misbehaviour.
        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Friday December 12 2014, @08:57PM

          by HiThere (866) on Friday December 12 2014, @08:57PM (#125590) Journal

          That might work, if you can trust your local legal system to be fair with an individual complaining against a major corporation.

          --
          Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
  • (Score: 2) by ticho on Friday December 12 2014, @01:41PM

    by ticho (89) on Friday December 12 2014, @01:41PM (#125441) Homepage Journal

    Begun, the Cyber War has.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Arik on Friday December 12 2014, @01:49PM

    by Arik (4543) on Friday December 12 2014, @01:49PM (#125442) Journal
    An interesting point to make. And an interesting way to phrase it, specifically.

    Of course US law only applies *to* the United States - I am not at all sure that it was intended to have affect only *in* the United States however. The US government does act outside of its borders - and at least in some cases it does so legitimately - but surely the Constitution must still apply to it regardless of *where* it is acting?

    In the broader sense, the Second Amendment, like the First, only acknowledges an inherent human right and prohibits the US government from violating it. It cannot prohibit another government from violating the rights of its own people (because <force|=jurisdiction>) but neither do human rights go away or change at borders, so if you believe in the Second Amendment as the founders did, you also believe that it is *morally* wrong for any government to disarm its own people, whether it is *legal* or not.

    --
    If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12 2014, @02:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12 2014, @02:23PM (#125450)

      To your point. I still have all my rights anywhere in the world. HOWEVER, only the US gov is legally obligated to back them up. So if I visit another country I follow their laws unless I like jail.

      What most people miss with the constitution is it is a subtractive document. We the people have all the rights (ALL). The government is the one being restricted in the document. It limits the government not the people. It does not grant rights to people. We already have them.

      Our supreme court actually screwed up on the distinction that somehow our gov can do whatever it wants outside our boarders. That is not true. No where in that document does it say this is only in effect for our land. It is in effect for our government.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by jmorris on Friday December 12 2014, @05:21PM

        by jmorris (4844) on Friday December 12 2014, @05:21PM (#125523)

        Exactly. The U.S. was truly a Revolutionary government. It's Founding Documents assert that Rights are 'self evident Truths' and that every human who has ever drawn breath possesses those Rights. Most are unlucky enough to live in unfree hellholes with oppressive States that deny some or all of those inherent Rights.

        Personally I'm a bit wobbly of late on some of those founding concepts. If these Rights are so damned 'self evident' why did it take thousands of years for anybody to notice their existence? And why did the Republic they created fall into a standard issue Empire within a Century?

        • (Score: 2) by tathra on Friday December 12 2014, @05:59PM

          by tathra (3367) on Friday December 12 2014, @05:59PM (#125534)

          If these Rights are so damned 'self evident' why did it take thousands of years for anybody to notice their existence?

          because power vacuums attract sociopaths and sociopaths hate freedom for anyone but themselves. the only reason we lost our self-evident rights is because we have power-hungry fucktards actively suppressing them.

          • (Score: 1) by Anal Pumpernickel on Friday December 12 2014, @09:10PM

            by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Friday December 12 2014, @09:10PM (#125593)

            It's still taking too long for people to notice that I have the inherent right to free computers. How do I know I have such a natural right, you ask? Because I consulted the magical rights fairy, of course!

            • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Saturday December 13 2014, @05:33AM

              by jmorris (4844) on Saturday December 13 2014, @05:33AM (#125703)

              You will be waiting a very long time. The American system was designed around negative rights. What the State can't do. This new 'Rights' bullcrap where people are now supposed to be entitled to other people's stuff ain't even close to being American; it is Progressive. Those ideas derive from the French and Russian revolutions and should have no place here. But of course they do.... now.

              • (Score: 1) by Anal Pumpernickel on Saturday December 13 2014, @02:02PM

                by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Saturday December 13 2014, @02:02PM (#125750)

                The American system doesn't matter. My rights are natural, inalienable rights. Sure, I can't scientifically prove that they exist, and I couldn't prove exactly what rights someone has even if I could prove that natural rights existed, but believe me, my rights are what I say they are.

        • (Score: 2) by Arik on Saturday December 13 2014, @04:29AM

          by Arik (4543) on Saturday December 13 2014, @04:29AM (#125694) Journal
          "Exactly. The U.S. was truly a Revolutionary government. It's Founding Documents assert that Rights are 'self evident Truths' and that every human who has ever drawn breath possesses those Rights."

          Indeed. The first US Revolution is sometimes criticized as not a real revolution - unlike the French, it did not aim to tear the social fabric to bits and weave it into a new and better form at the directions of the capital. In some ways it was the opposite of the French Revolution indeed. It aimed instead to reassert,to defend, to secure the traditional rights of free men under common law against a despotic colonialism.

          But in its own way it was no less radical than the French Revolution, and in a way they are very similar. After a millenia during which Europe was ruled by kings of 'divine right' these two Revolutions challenged that concept openly.

          The detractors may point out that the U.S has failed, from the very first, to live up to its promise. They would be correct, but still, to some degree at least, missing the point. It's better the set high standards and fail than to set your standards lower than our fail point and call that success, no?

          "Personally I'm a bit wobbly of late on some of those founding concepts. If these Rights are so damned 'self evident' why did it take thousands of years for anybody to notice their existence?"

          The concept of morality itself occupies a rather rarified 'altitude' on the scale of abstractions. It's not surprising that it should take time to arise, and more time to become generally acknowledged. It's not surprising that acceptance of it should have crests and troughs. It's not surprising that brute will-to-power should leave us only very slowly, kicking and screaming, then playing dead before exploding into resistance again.

          Unfortunate, but not surprising.

          --
          If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
      • (Score: 2) by Arik on Saturday December 13 2014, @04:37AM

        by Arik (4543) on Saturday December 13 2014, @04:37AM (#125696) Journal
        "To your point. I still have all my rights anywhere in the world. HOWEVER, only the US gov is legally obligated to back them up. So if I visit another country I follow their laws unless I like jail."

        Eh, that sounds right *in theory*.

        In practice, you can be executed on the street in the US while well within your rights (having black skin does make this easier but it's not required,) and in many other countries you can more or less openly ignore at least *some* of the laws that violate your rights without much worry, so it's less clearcut than that.

        --
        If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
    • (Score: 2) by sjames on Saturday December 13 2014, @06:43AM

      by sjames (2882) on Saturday December 13 2014, @06:43AM (#125713) Journal

      That is something that is frequently mis-understood, including deliberate mis-interpretations by our government. The Bill of rights is a set of restrictions on our government. They apply directly to our government. They are not limited to citizens or to any particular place. In addition, where our government is prohibited to do something, it is ALSO prohibited to have some other entity to do it on their behalf.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 13 2014, @05:14PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 13 2014, @05:14PM (#125788)

      The bill of rights (and other amendments to the constitution) is not considered fundamental to humanity, by the founders or any informed american. The constitution was specifically a founding document to govern the specific citizens of the new country. The Declaration of Independence was a separate document that laid out the reasons for the separation from the rule of Britain including what the founders considered to be certain self-evident and unalienable rights. I think when you refer to something *morally* wrong for any government to do, you may be thinking of these. The bill of rights and amendments to the constitution, and the constitution in general, are not included in these self-evident and unalienable rights that the founders would have considered morally wrong for any government to contravene.

      The declaration says, we find these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

      While the second amendment to the constitution is considered to be important to many americans, and some may even consider it to be self-evident and inalienable, it's not generally believed by either the founders or leaders today, or the population in general.

      Aside from that, I agree with another post above that notes there is a big difference between bearing arms and acting with them, so the reference to the second amendment is not really applicable.

      Regarding the editor's statement, [Ed's Comment: As I understand it, the Second Amendment only applies in the United States or in its territories overseas — it doesn't give Americans the right to bear arms anywhere else in the world.]:

      Although I agree with you to some extent in your explanatory post in the comments, I'd prefer that you keep your personal politics out of the news section, even when couched in hesitant and ambiguous language such as this.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by E_NOENT on Friday December 12 2014, @01:52PM

    by E_NOENT (630) on Friday December 12 2014, @01:52PM (#125444) Journal

    I'm sure this'll end well.

    Some company with infinite truckloads of money is going to go around DDOS'ing everyone they think might be sharing their content.

    That won't fan any flames, no sir!

    --
    I'm not in the business... I *am* the business.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12 2014, @02:18PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12 2014, @02:18PM (#125448)

    Looks like the streisand effect in full force.

    I wish sony engineers the best of luck with putting all the tootpaste back in the tube, but this is a futile effort that likely works in the opposite way that they want it to

    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Friday December 12 2014, @02:36PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Friday December 12 2014, @02:36PM (#125458) Homepage Journal

      I wish sony engineers the best of luck with putting all the tootpaste back in the tube

      Not me, I was a victim of XCP. I wish all Sony employees sickness and pain. I'd love to see that company die.

      --
      Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
      • (Score: 2) by Tork on Saturday December 13 2014, @05:27AM

        by Tork (3914) on Saturday December 13 2014, @05:27AM (#125701)

        I wish all Sony employees sickness and pain. I'd love to see that company die.

        Wow, I had no idea people hated Spiderman 3 that much!

        --
        Slashdolt Logic: "23 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
      • (Score: 2) by sjames on Saturday December 13 2014, @06:47AM

        by sjames (2882) on Saturday December 13 2014, @06:47AM (#125714) Journal

        Personally, I hope Sony gets wiped out by a gang of well armed bears.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Sir Garlon on Friday December 12 2014, @03:14PM

    by Sir Garlon (1264) on Friday December 12 2014, @03:14PM (#125478)

    One problem with the gun analogy is that, even if you concede that taking some of Sony's intellectual property is the equivalent of going on shooting spree at the corporate headquarters (and I most certainly do not conceded that point!), Sony's response is not self-defense, it's retaliation after the fact. It's one thing for a security guard to return fire against a shooter at headquarters, and quite another to arm up a death squad and go do some drive-by shootings all over the shooter's neighborhood the day after his attack.

    Even in Texas, I am pretty sure the law doesn't say you can do _that_.

    --
    [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12 2014, @03:23PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12 2014, @03:23PM (#125480)

    I've been reading about this and they are not doing a "denial of service" attack. All they are doing is running bittorrent peers that serve corrupt data when asked. It is a really big stretch to say that responding to someone else's request with a bogus response qualifies as denial of service - nobody made them come to you with their hand out in the first place.

    • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Friday December 12 2014, @03:36PM

      by Nerdfest (80) on Friday December 12 2014, @03:36PM (#125483)

      If Microsoft someone was doing that to torrents of Linux distros there might be legal consequences. It's certainly attempting to disrupt services.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12 2014, @04:01PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12 2014, @04:01PM (#125491)

        > there might be legal consequences.

        Sure there might be, it would probably be tortious interference. But you can't have a contract for something that is illegal so not applicable here and still not denial of service anyway.

      • (Score: 2) by Tork on Saturday December 13 2014, @05:37AM

        by Tork (3914) on Saturday December 13 2014, @05:37AM (#125704)

        If Microsoft someone was doing that to torrents of Linux distros there might be legal consequences. It's certainly attempting to disrupt services.

        Given that Microsoft does not own Linux it wouldn't be particularly relevant to this conversation.

        --
        Slashdolt Logic: "23 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
    • (Score: 2) by M. Baranczak on Friday December 12 2014, @09:21PM

      by M. Baranczak (1673) on Friday December 12 2014, @09:21PM (#125596)

      I've been reading about this and they are not doing a "denial of service" attack. All they are doing is running bittorrent peers that serve corrupt data when asked. It is a really big stretch to say that responding to someone else's request with a bogus response qualifies as denial of service - nobody made them come to you with their hand out in the first place.

      You're right, it isn't a DOS attack. So what sort of attack is it? It seems conceptually similar to DNS spoofing, but of course it doesn't involve DNS.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by pTamok on Friday December 12 2014, @03:32PM

    by pTamok (3042) on Friday December 12 2014, @03:32PM (#125481)

    Isn't DDOSing an illegal, if not criminal act in many, if not most jurisdictions?

    Even if SONY employees are not executing the DDOS attacks themselves, wouldn't they be liable to criminal conspiracy charges if the DDOS attacks are being carried out on SONY employee's orders?

    The law, as it applies in England&Wales is explained in the links below, and I expect similar considerations apply in the USA and other places.

    http://www.out-law.com/page-9592 [out-law.com]
    http://legalpiracy.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/ddos-attacks-and-the-law/ [wordpress.com]

    The law on conspiracy in several jurisdictions is summarised here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_%28criminal%29. [wikipedia.org]

    I think it would be remarkably ill-advised of SONY to have any hand in retaliatory DDOS attacks.

           

    • (Score: 1) by BananaPhone on Friday December 12 2014, @04:09PM

      by BananaPhone (2488) on Friday December 12 2014, @04:09PM (#125495)

      Sony is acting as if it is a sovereign country declaring war.
      It's a question of time before multinationals demand a seat at the UN

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12 2014, @04:57PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12 2014, @04:57PM (#125514)

        It's a question of time before multinationals demand a seat at the UN

        Why would they? They just buy sufficiently many UN delegates to vote the way they want. That way they are not visibly involved in the decisions, and therefore can evade being held responsible for them.

      • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Friday December 12 2014, @04:59PM

        by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Friday December 12 2014, @04:59PM (#125517) Journal

        Who needs a UN, when you have it all sewn up in GATT and TPP?

        --
        You're betting on the pantomime horse...
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 13 2014, @07:06AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 13 2014, @07:06AM (#125716)

    Where can I find these torrents. HACK TEH PLONET!