So Bill O'Reilly's web site was hacked in response to his attacks on the people who hacked Governor Palin's e-mail a little earlier this week.
From Wikileaks (where the proof was posted)...
The file provides proof that the Fox News demagogue, Bill O'Reilly, has been hacked.
Wikileaks has been informed the hack was a response to the pundit's recent scurrilous attacks over the Sarah Palin's email story--including those on Wikileaks and other members of the press. Hacktivists, thumbing their noses at the pundit, took control of O'Reilly's main site, BillOReilly.com. According to our source, the security protecting O'Reilly's site and subscribers was "non-existent".
One of the ongoing themes on this blog is the idea that it's very important to think through exactly what the end result of your actions is going to be. On that note I'd again encourage the folks doing this hacking to consider what they're trying to accomplish and ask themselves "Does what I'm doing accomplish that?"
Does this hurt Bill O'Reilly?
Not Really. The screen shot shows there were 205 subscribers to the site which, at $50 a year, comes out to about $10,250 total. Assuming every one of those people turns around and leaves the site it still wouldn't mean much to O'Reilly being he makes $9 million per year.
You could say it was an embarrassment to him and that might be slightly true. But lets look at the end result of things. He'll have to apologize which everyone will pretty much accept because "being hacked" has become one of those things that people accept these days. What he'll get in return is a huge audience tuning in to see how he reacts and a chance to endlessly plug the fact that "he was right" and that these evil hackers are "the scum he said they were" (see more on this below in "Does this hurt the Hacking Community?").
Does this hurt the Hackers obvious Political Agenda?
Yes, to be blunt it does. This, and the hacking of Governor Palin's e-mail earlier, has nothing but a positive effect on the victims of the hacking.
First, it will hurt the Democratic cause (who will be unfairly grouped with the people who did this hacking) by giving Republican's something to flame on. Mark my words, in the coming weeks Mr. O'Reilly will go on and on about how "liberals are immature" and "this is just proof of that" while using all that to support "do you really want these people running your country?"
I don't think I need to tell you a lot of people will answer "No" to that questions
Second, it generates sympathy for those being hacked. Maybe not O'Reilly because he's so loud and belligerent but definitely for Palin (which this hacking refers back to and hence reminds people of). I'd bet that sympathy will be worth a bump.
Does this hurt the Hacking Community?
Yes. This type of hacking used to have a noble goal. It was to demonstrate to the world that pretty much all current computer security is woefully unprepared. It was a calling and while I didn't agree with the people doing it I respected them for doing what they thought was necessary.
But the O'Reilly thing is just petty. "He called me names so I ruined his website" comes across as childish and greatly diminishes the reputation of the people doing it (and all those who get grouped with them).
Moreover, it actually does damage to the cause of computer security. As more and more of these little hacks take place the end result is to diminish them. Now "being hacked" has become synonymous with "being in an Earthquake" or "being his by a hurricane."
People don't blame the victim anymore in a hacking and that's the exact opposite of what they should be doing (since it was the security of the so-called victim that lead to the hacking in the first place)
What's My Point?
My point is a simple one. These people set out to hurt Bill O'Reilly and maybe hurt Conservatives while they are at it but in turn ended up doing exactly the opposite. More importantly, had they given the end result of all this a little thought they would have seen that for themselves.