Hackers’ posts on epilepsy forum cause migraines, seizures
Computer attacks typically don’t inflict physical pain on their victims.
But in a rare example of an attack apparently motivated by malice rather than money, hackers recently bombarded the Epilepsy Foundation’s Web site with hundreds of pictures and links to pages with rapidly flashing images.
The breach triggered severe migraines and near-seizure reactions in some site visitors who viewed the images. People with photosensitive epilepsy can get seizures when they’re exposed to flickering images, a response also caused by some video games and cartoons.
The attack happened when hackers exploited a security hole in the foundation’s publishing software that allowed them to quickly make numerous posts and overwhelm the site’s support forums.
Within the hackers’ posts were small flashing pictures and links _ masquerading as helpful _ to pages that exploded with kaleidoscopic images pulsating with different colors.
“They were out to create seizures,” said Ken Lowenberg, senior director of Web and print publishing for the foundation.
The next time somebody asks me why a merciful God would create Hell, I’ll tell them it’s for jerks who would do something like this.