Hackers' posts on epilepsy forum cause migraines, seizures


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.

**That sort of behaviour is despicable :mad: I wonder whether the hackers knew that epilepsy, if sufficiently severe, can kill ? ****There are no depths to which human beings cannot sink :frowning: **

follow-up from Wired:

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There’s really only one bit of new information in the report. Apparently the FBI is now investigating the attack.
That’s interesting because, assuming the Bureau is able to find some of the culprits, it could lead to the first federal prosecution under an anti-cyber terrorism provision passed in 1996 as part of the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act.
**The law created a new crime of attacking a computer to cause “physical injury to any person.” Some of us laughed at that provision at the time, and as far as I know it’s never been used. But in this case it just might fit.

Man, that’s just plain ugly! I hope they catch’em. This is no joking matter. Roanoker

Such sickos should be locked up until they are 120, and they should never be allowed to have any electronic or electrical device to use while they are locked up, not even a light bulb , let them live in solitary with just a candle.

This is so awful. Why would anyone do this except to be a jerk? What does the hacker “get” out of this?

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