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Rincewind
26-10-2009, 07:14 PM
Cyber attacks smite atheist websites (http://www.theage.com.au/technology/security/cyber-attacks-smite-atheist-websites-20091021-h7ul.html)


David Nicholls, president of the AFA, said it was not yet clear whether the attacks were motivated by religion or conservative Christian groups' anger at the AFA's lobbying for a more secular society.

However, the fact that two separate atheism-related websites were hit suggested the attack was targeted at atheists.

"We have been informed that the Atheist Foundation of Australia and the Global Atheist Convention sites were the specific target of the attacks," Nicholls said, adding he had reported the incident to the Australian Federal Police.

"This may not be just an attack on atheism, but an attack on freedom of speech."

Spiny Norman
26-10-2009, 07:26 PM
"This may not be just an attack on atheism, but an attack on freedom of speech."
:lol:

Adamski
26-10-2009, 07:45 PM
Cyber attacks smite atheist websites (http://www.theage.com.au/technology/security/cyber-attacks-smite-atheist-websites-20091021-h7ul.html)


David Nicholls, president of the AFA, said it was not yet clear whether the attacks were motivated by religion or conservative Christian groups' anger at the AFA's lobbying for a more secular society.

However, the fact that two separate atheism-related websites were hit suggested the attack was targeted at atheists.

"We have been informed that the Atheist Foundation of Australia and the Global Atheist Convention sites were the specific target of the attacks," Nicholls said, adding he had reported the incident to the Australian Federal Police.

"This may not be just an attack on atheism, but an attack on freedom of speech."There is no evidence at all that any theist group was behind these atacks.

Spiny Norman
26-10-2009, 07:51 PM
There is no evidence at all that any theist group was being these atacks.
If I wanted free publicity for my convention, I'd find it trivially easy to organise a denial-of-service attack against my own site. So before everyone smears the theists (even the nutter variety ones), lets wait and see whether a police investigation turns anything up. Can anyone spell "publicity stunt"? Forgotten balloon boy already? :lol:

Rincewind
26-10-2009, 08:12 PM
If I wanted free publicity for my convention, I'd find it trivially easy to organise a denial-of-service attack against my own site. So before everyone smears the theists (even the nutter variety ones), lets wait and see whether a police investigation turns anything up. Can anyone spell "publicity stunt"? Forgotten balloon boy already? :lol:

Have you forgotten Anonymous vs Scientology already? That is surely a more analogous case.

Rincewind
26-10-2009, 08:15 PM
There is no evidence at all that any theist group was behind these atacks.

My theory is you and TSK cooked up the whole thing - a couple of christian uber-nerd with way too much free time. ;)

Adamski
26-10-2009, 08:22 PM
My theory is you and TSK cooked up the whole thing - a couple of christian uber-nerd with way too much free time. ;)Free time? I wish! still tired after a fun day filming in Manly and the Circular Quay area for "The Pirates of Penzance", being put on in Nov by the Manly Musical Society. (See www.manlymusical society.com.) Add that to organising Aus Champs, lots of work at work and preaching this Sunday at my church and no way I'd have time to "cook up" this! Nor TSK - seen some of the hours he works? Chess Chat is comparatively relaxing. But must away to work on that sermon!

Desmond
26-10-2009, 08:33 PM
If I wanted free publicity for my convention, I'd find it trivially easy to organise a denial-of-service attack against my own site. So before everyone smears the theists (even the nutter variety ones), lets wait and see whether a police investigation turns anything up. Can anyone spell "publicity stunt"? Forgotten balloon boy already? :lol:You don't really think that; you're just saying it to get attention.

Rincewind
26-10-2009, 08:36 PM
Regarding the publicity stunt conjecture: Since the gold pass tickets have already sold out I don't think the organisor are desperate enough to risk criminal prosecution for a bit of publicity.

Kevin Bonham
26-10-2009, 10:09 PM
So before everyone smears the theists (even the nutter variety ones), lets wait and see whether a police investigation turns anything up. Can anyone spell "publicity stunt"? Forgotten balloon boy already? :lol:

How about before you smear the atheists by the insinuations above (which frankly remind me of Axiom's preoccupation with false flags), you wait and see whether a police investigation turns anything up in that regard?

Supposing a Christian organisation was crying foul about a similar attack on one of their websites, I doubt you would be at all pleased if someone wrote:

So before everyone smears the atheists (even the nutter variety ones), lets wait and see whether a police investigation turns anything up. Can anyone spell "publicity stunt"? Forgotten balloon boy already? :lol:

Assuming I'm correct then this goes to the do-as-you-would-be-done-by line of moralising that I'm led to believe your faith is generally rather keen on.

I'm more than happy in such cases to smear the nutters with the suggestion that they could have been responsible. It's actually not a smear at all, because some nutters on both sides are already known to be capable of much worse. We should keep an open mind, but that shouldn't involve dropping heavy-handed insinuations that it could well have been a false flag style inside job with no evidence even pointing to such a conclusion, or even that those semi-accused of doing so are the sort of people who would do it.

I am well familiar with the pattern of blame and counter-blame because of the Tasmanian forestry debate. Now and then vandalism of logging machinery (or in a recent case Gunns boss John Gay's house) occurs, and what typically happens is that one side blames the other then the other denies blame and claims it was an inside job. In the case involving Gay recently it appears (though it is before the courts) that it was actually a drunken prank by youths who probably weren't all that politically connected either way. Likewise in the case of the atheist DOS attacks we can't rule out people hacking for the sake of it.

Spiny Norman
27-10-2009, 04:56 AM
How about before you smear the atheists by the insinuations above (which frankly remind me of Axiom's preoccupation with false flags), you wait and see whether a police investigation turns anything up in that regard?
Aw, come on KB, can't we all have some fun here? An outpost of atheists at the arse end of the world (Australia, in case we'd all forgotten) getting all hot under the collar about a cyber attack. This sort of thing goes on all the time. IMO there's nothing at all here even worth reporting ...

Spiny Norman
27-10-2009, 05:00 AM
The more I think about this case, the funnier it gets ... :lol:

e.g.

Q. how do the atheists know that people were involved in the attack?
A. its obvious ... they detected the actions of an intelligent agent.

Unfortunately for them, that isn't a properly scientific answer (since every atheist knows that design detection is unscientific).

So they are working now on a multiverse theory, in which every possible attack happens in some universe somewhere, and this just happens to be the one where two atheist sites got attacked simultaneously (pure chance you see).

After all, if this weren't the universe where such things just happened by chance, we wouldn't be here to see it! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Rincewind
27-10-2009, 07:00 AM
The more I think about this case, the funnier it gets ... :lol:

And perhaps related, the more you talk about it the sillier you appear.

Desmond
27-10-2009, 08:53 AM
The more I think about this case, the funnier it gets ... :lol: To me that is just sad. I'm not a christian but if someone burns down a church I feel bad for them. I don't laugh about it. Cyber crime is no different.

Capablanca-Fan
27-10-2009, 09:14 AM
To me that is just sad. I'm not a christian but if someone burns down a church I feel bad for them. I don't laugh about it. Cyber crime is no different.
Agreed. But the analogy would be saying, as per the initial post, "it was not yet clear whether the arson was motivated by atheist groups' anger at the church's lobbying for a less secular society."

Kevin Bonham
27-10-2009, 09:37 AM
Aw, come on KB, can't we all have some fun here?

Only if you are happy for me to have some "fun" the next time an outpost of theists at any end of the world gets all hot under the collar about pretty much anything.


Q. how do the atheists know that people were involved in the attack?
A. its obvious ... they detected the actions of an intelligent agent.

Unfortunately for them, that isn't a properly scientific answer (since every atheist knows that design detection is unscientific).

Shoddy analogy. It is established fact that questionably intelligent agents of the sort proposed in the cyber attack case (humans) exist and can conduct cyber attacks, and there is no proposed alternative method with any grounding whatsoever. Almost exactly the inverse of the ID scenario in which the type of intelligent agent proposed is unverified and a philosophical basket-case and the non-agent explanation has extensive evidentiary support to at least establish its plausibility.

Igor_Goldenberg
27-10-2009, 12:14 PM
It is established fact that questionably intelligent agents of the sort proposed in the cyber attack case (humans) exist and can conduct cyber attacks, and there is no proposed alternative method with any grounding whatsoever.
Why not? Maybe a sequence of bytes mutated over time (all processes in cyberspace are much faster, unless Windows Vista is involved) into a deadly virus that attacks random Web sites. :lol: :lol:

Desmond
27-10-2009, 12:26 PM
Why not? Maybe a sequence of bytes mutated over time (all processes in cyberspace are much faster, unless Windows Vista is involved) into a deadly virus that attacks random Web sites. :lol: :lol::hmm: I think we already have computer viruses.

Igor_Goldenberg
27-10-2009, 12:45 PM
:hmm: I think we already have computer viruses.
But we erroneously assumed they were created by human beings (i.e. intelligent design). I am saying it's a delusion and it fact they evolved from simple bits. I don't know how single bit multiplied itself and became a byte yet, but we ought to accept it because we have huge body of evidence.
Denying the evolution of bytes in unscientific and really reeks of middle-age beliefs that the Earth is flat.

I wonder which magazine I should send in to? Is "Social Text" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_affair) still in circulation?

Rincewind
27-10-2009, 01:00 PM
To me that is just sad. I'm not a christian but if someone burns down a church I feel bad for them. I don't laugh about it. Cyber crime is no different.

I agree with the sentiment although I think there is a difference in terms of the scale of damage of launching a DDoS bringing down a site for a few days and burning down a church, including the possible loss of life as well as the probable loss of historical artifacts, works of art, etc.

Desmond
27-10-2009, 01:01 PM
But we erroneously assumed they were created by human beings (i.e. intelligent design). I am saying it's a delusion and it fact they evolved from simple bits. I don't know how single bit multiplied itself and became a byte yet, but we ought to accept it because we have huge body of evidence.
Denying the evolution of bytes in unscientific and really reeks of middle-age beliefs that the Earth is flat.Oh I see, so you got tired of getting smacked down in the other thread so thought you'd try to continue the debate on fairer shores.

Rincewind
27-10-2009, 01:10 PM
But we erroneously assumed they were created by human beings (i.e. intelligent design). I am saying it's a delusion and it fact they evolved from simple bits. I don't know how single bit multiplied itself and became a byte yet, but we ought to accept it because we have huge body of evidence.
Denying the evolution of bytes in unscientific and really reeks of middle-age beliefs that the Earth is flat.

Actually the analogy is not a silly as you seem to think and while the spontaneous evolution of a computer virus from nothing is unknown. Virus "mutating" through errors in data copying is a distinct possibility opening up the idea of an evolution of computer virus.

Conventional wisdom is computer operating systems, the environment in which computer viruses live, propagate and potentially mutate, are too brittle. This means that any mutation is so unlikely to be beneficial that natural selection has nothing to work on. However, some research suggests that such environments may not be as brittle as once thought, opening up this as a possibility and a challenge for computer security.

Desmond
27-10-2009, 01:28 PM
I agree with the sentiment although I think there is a difference in terms of the scale of damage of launching a DDoS bringing down a site for a few days and burning down a church, including the possible loss of life as well as the probable loss of historical artifacts, works of art, etc.Yes, no doubt. Although I don't think the humour is to do with the scale but rather with the recipient; "Tragedy is when I cut my finger; comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die."

Igor_Goldenberg
27-10-2009, 02:23 PM
Actually the analogy is not a silly as you seem to think and while the spontaneous evolution of a computer virus from nothing is unknown.

That's OK. Editors of Social Text after publishing Sokal hoax were saying that he's article not as silly as Sokal claimed.
I can't even dream to be able to write something as neat as Sokal's hoax, but, to be honest, I didn't expect anyone to be duped.

Igor_Goldenberg
27-10-2009, 02:25 PM
Conventional wisdom is computer operating systems, the environment in which computer viruses live, propagate and potentially mutate, are too brittle. This means that any mutation is so unlikely to be beneficial that natural selection has nothing to work on. However, some research suggests that such environments may not be as brittle as once thought, opening up this as a possibility and a challenge for computer security.

A brilliant piece!! I didn't know you have such a robust sense of humour. :clap: :clap:

Igor_Goldenberg
27-10-2009, 02:30 PM
To me that is just sad. I'm not a christian but if someone burns down a church I feel bad for them. I don't laugh about it. Cyber crime is no different.
I am not a Christian either, but I'd feel equally bad.
Compromising someone's website does not rank as bad, but is not acceptable either.

Rincewind
27-10-2009, 02:38 PM
A brilliant piece!! I didn't know you have such a robust sense of humour. :clap: :clap:

It wasn't your piece that had much to do with it. It was the research of Australian scientist Paul-Michael Agapow who has considered the possibility of evolution of computer virus that I have described. So it was more a case of out of the mouth of babes...

Regarding your self-comparison with Sokel. That is a laugh. :lol:

Igor_Goldenberg
27-10-2009, 02:42 PM
Regarding your self-comparison with Sokel. That is a laugh. :lol:
Did I compare myself with Sokal? If you think so, work on your comprehension skills.

Rincewind
27-10-2009, 03:20 PM
Did I compare myself with Sokal?

You clearly compare your "hoax" with the famous Social Text hoax. You then have the audacity to suggest that I have been duped when in my original reply I prefixed my comments with ...


Actually the analogy is not a silly as you seem to think...

You obviously thought you were being very clever and witty but in reality you had stumbled on an idea which is not as far-fetched as you thought when you wrote your "hoax".

Again your attempts at entrapment have left you with egg all over your face. Well done Igor, you truly are the Inspector Clouseau of online debate. :clap:

Igor_Goldenberg
27-10-2009, 03:58 PM
You clearly compare your "hoax" with the famous Social Text hoax. You then have the audacity to suggest that I have been duped when in my original reply I prefixed my comments with ...


Actually the analogy is not a silly as you seem to think...

You obviously thought you were being very clever and witty but in reality you had stumbled on an idea which is not as far-fetched as you thought when you wrote your "hoax".

Again your attempts at entrapment have left you with egg all over your face. Well done Igor, you truly are the Inspector Clouseau of online debate. :clap:

My initial two-liner was obviously a joke. You absurd reply turned out to be serious. That's why I compared you with Social Text editors. But at least they had extenuating circumstances.
Try to be a politician. Even being full in s..t you still hold your head proudly.
I even remember you saying that you stand proud by your remark about "racist interpretation being racist".
Actually, I'll take it back. Even politicians usually have half the brain to admit obvious gaffe.

Garrett
27-10-2009, 04:57 PM
However, some research suggests that such environments may not be as brittle as once thought

I would like to read this research as my initial reaction would be that such environments are very brittle.

cheers
Garrett.

Rincewind
27-10-2009, 08:36 PM
I would like to read this research as my initial reaction would be that such environments are very brittle.

You could look up Agapow's research for his work. I believe comparison were made between computational and biological systems. But it is not my area and I could be wrong. Reference is...

Parallel Problem Solving from Nature PPSN IV
International Conference on Evolutionary Computation The 4th International Conference on Parallel Problem Solving from Nature Berlin, Germany, September 2226, 1996 Proceedings
Book Series Lecture Notes in Computer Science
Publisher Springer Berlin / Heidelberg
ISSN 0302-9743 (Print) 1611-3349 (Online)
Volume Volume 1141/1996
DOI 10.1007/3-540-61723-X
Copyright 1996
ISBN 978-3-540-61723-5

Spiny Norman
02-11-2009, 04:57 AM
There's a contra example of hacking of an ID site mentioned in passing over at Uncommon Descent:


Despite the attacks on the web page and the attempts to jam their phone lines, the conference was very well attended.

I think this is almost as funny as the example mentioned in the first post of this thread. Why people would go to the trouble of hacking an ID site and trying to disrupt their conference is just as mystifying. All it does is draw further attention to the subject and make it look as though closed-minded people don't want the subject discussed.

So here's me laughing again. :lol: The only reason its not as funny as the first example is that in the former they immediately leapt to a conclusion that some intelligence was involved in the hack attacks, thus lending weight to the case of their opponents that design is detectable.

Kevin Bonham
02-11-2009, 12:01 PM
The only reason its not as funny as the first example is that in the former they immediately leapt to a conclusion that some intelligence was involved in the hack attacks, thus lending weight to the case of their opponents that design is detectable.

It's rather hard to tell if you're being serious or facetious with this nonsense. I'm hoping it's the latter. Of course human agency (I hesitate to describe these sorts of hackers as "intelligent") is inferrable in cases in which human agency has already been established as a cause of effectively identical attacks by others and there is no alternative hypothesis. In both these regards the case differs massively from the spurious ID analogy, and your analogy with it is equally spurious.

antichrist
02-11-2009, 03:35 PM
How ........... of it.

Watch what you say about the Gunns coz he is a Lebo mate of mine (all Lebos are mates), as is Joe Hockey and (mad) Katter, Obeid (of NSW Parliament (infam...) and (controversial) Sam Haddad of NSW Planning Dept - we breed them mad and bad