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The Internet Education Government Politics

Republican Aide Tries to Hire Hackers 427

Posted by Zonk
from the hack-it-yourself-like-the-rest-of-us dept.
Noryungi writes "It seems as though a Republican Communications Director contacted Attrition.org, trying to hire hackers to improve his educational records. I don't know what is his dumbest move: (a) contacting Attrition in the first place, (b) using a real name Yahoo email address or (c) speaking at length about what he needed? Kudos to the Attrition crew for posting the whole email dialogue online! A sample from the conversation: 'Jericho: First, let's be clear. You are soliciting me to break the law and hack into a computer across state lines. That is a federal offense and multiple felonies. Obviously I can't trust anyone and everyone that mails such a request, you might be an FBI agent, right? So, I need three things to make this happen: 1. A picture of a squirrel or pigeon on your campus. One close-up, one with background that shows buildings, a sign, or something to indicate you are standing on the campus. 2. The information I mentioned so I can find the records once I get into the database. 3. Some idea of what I get for all my trouble.'"
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Republican Aide Tries to Hire Hackers

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  • Hilarious (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman AT gmail DOT com> on Friday December 22, 2006 @11:50AM (#17338388) Homepage Journal
    todd... no more.. omfg we are SO busted.. fuck fuck fuck FUCK FUCK
    everything was PERFECT until their night noc ran a reverse udp traceroute
    back to one of the hosts we had set up after that, straight DOWNHILL.
    i've already been called twice by my isp asking about unusual activity,
    some other shit about access attempts to a federally monitored system they
    have everything in logs including the rot-26 stuff that finally got me
    access all goes back to your login sorry i really fucked up BAD


    I'm sorry, I keeled over laughing from that part. They really had him strung along with the whole thing. Although, I think he started to catch on after the "bust":

    I was getting
    serious cold feet and going to tell you to abort until
    I saw your last email. To that end, I have spoken
    about this to no one as we agreed and I will not speak
    of it in the future. As a gesture of good faith, I was
    hoping you guys would remove our correspondence from
    your web site. Isn't that risky for all of us to have
    it up there?


    Honestly, the more I see of this stuff, the more I wonder if it isn't time for a congress reform rather than any of the billion other little "reforms" that congress proposes. The original intent of the founding fathers was that regular people would run for office and represent the best interests of their constituents; in the tradition of Cincinnatus [wikipedia.org] They certainly never intended for the "career" politicians we see today. Too much money, organized crime, and generally dispicable people getting into office.

    The only question is, what is the best approach to encourage more honorable folks to run for office? Perhaps the terms of office should be limited? That would certainly help discourage careering. Limits on advertising budgets would be good, but difficult to police. Any other ideas?
    • Re:Hilarious (Score:5, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:02PM (#17338620) Homepage Journal
      The only question is, what is the best approach to encourage more honorable folks to run for office? Perhaps the terms of office should be limited? That would certainly help discourage careering. Limits on advertising budgets would be good, but difficult to police. Any other ideas?

      Yeah, how about congressional salary caps that bring them down to the median income in the US? That way, if they want a raise, they have to improve the quality of life for all people. Mind you, you have to include the unemployed, so that there's a bunch of zeroes in there to bring the average down - to give them motivation to combat unemployment.

      They say that democracies fail when people realize that they can vote themselves entitlements. What about congress? They've been voting themselves entitlements continually, while the minimum wage hasn't kept up with inflation in more than a decade...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) *

        Yeah, how about congressional salary caps that bring them down to the median income in the US? That way, if they want a raise, they have to improve the quality of life for all people.

        That's definitely fair, as long as you allow for various congressional expenses to be charged back to the congressional budget. Expenses such as travel and running their office are too expensive to come out of pocket, and we wouldn't want them running to outside money at the first opportunity. Of course, such an expense account

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PerlDudeXL (456021)
        Actually high wages for parliamentarians are meant to make them less inclined to take bribe money (Theory here!!!)

        • Re:Hilarious (Score:5, Insightful)

          by iluvcapra (782887) on Friday December 22, 2006 @04:00PM (#17342420)
          Actually high wages for parliamentarians are meant to make them less inclined to take bribe money

          That is a good theory, but in the US every 2 or 6 years our parliamentarians are hit with a multi-million dollar liability, known as a "Campaign." The legislators are up to themselves to raise the money for these, and there are no caps on how much they or their opponent can spend.

          If you want to make legislators bribe-proof, you have to make it so that they need for no money in the course of their work, which means paying them well, enough to maintain a domicile in the capital, and strictly capping campaign spending (capping fundraising, and all the exceptions and codicils on that, and the attendant free-expression issues, gets more and more unworkable all the time).

          I would say all campaigns should be publicly funded, private donations forbidden, and equal money to the top 3 primary victors, but most Americans consider a campaign donation a form a free speech, and thus beyond legitimate restraint. (I think this is bullshit, but there we are.)

    • The only question is, what is the best approach to encourage more honorable folks to run for office?

      That's easy. Make it a more honorable calling. Lessen the position's power and profitability, and the sharks will find other waters in which to swim, leaving room for the civic-minded Mr. Smiths. Sadly, that's never going to happen. Tyrants don't yield power willingly.

      In the old days, people had to hire armies and intimidate peasants in order to be major-league thugs with their own little fiefdoms. Now they

    • Any other ideas?

      Yep, approval voting [wikipedia.org], so that voters can select the dark-horse candidate without feeling that their votes are going to waste.

      -b.

    • by Peyna (14792)
      The original intent of the founding fathers was that regular people would run for office and represent the best interests of their constituents

      That's why the common folk were all sitting in Philadelphia writing the Constitution, right?
    • First, require all funds be donated by individuals. No more corporate slush funds. Next, make it illegal to donate to a candidate you can't vote for. No more buying off 51% of Congress. Finally, limit what can be donated by an individual to something the a person making the median income could afford (a couple of grand, adjust for inflation as needed). Toss in some really nasty penalties for violating these crimes. Problem solved.

      Yeah, it'll never happen, but it's a nice though.
    • by Goldsmith (561202)
      My dad was a politician, and while I think career politicians are a big problem, actually being in politics convinced him it's not. His argument is that like anything else, politics takes some time to learn. Thus, you will always have people with more experience than others, and the ability of these more experienced politicians is much greater than that of the rookies. The end result is that people with new representatives are not represented as well as those with seasoned representatives.

      My opinion is t
      • My opinion is that the old politicians simply push around the rookies. He is absolutely right that rookie politicians just can't get as much done.

        Which is not such a bad thing. The market already has plenty of solutions, checks, and balances for just about every ill facing our country. When congress gets involved, all they do is pass laws that f**k up the solutions already in place.

        Ever play SimCity? Did you ever notice that things seem to go best when you're not trying to make major changes to your city ev

  • Republican Aide? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ninjaesque One (902204) on Friday December 22, 2006 @11:50AM (#17338390) Journal
    Is he trying to improve his own records? Isn't this just a case of an idiot who tries to get people to hack their educational stuff for them? I mean, it probably will lead to a congressional scandal, but it doesn't really have much to do with the aide's aide-ness or republican-ness.
    • by pla (258480) on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:25PM (#17338970) Journal
      but it doesn't really have much to do with the aide's aide-ness or republican-ness.

      If a guy gets busted for BBQ'ing a bald eagle, would it make it more, or less, of a story if he worked for PETA?

      Although the last 12 years have made the whole concept into something of a joke, the Republicans tout themselves as the "party of reform". And we just keep seeing scandal after unethical scandal from them.

      No worries, though, in another 12 years we can say the same thing about the Democrats, who apparently didn't learn from the Republicans error and now want to position themselves as the Party-O'-Reform. But, having the same complete and utter lack of ethics as all politicians, they'll start making the same egotistical blunders as the Republicans did, once they take their new seats in January.


      Meet the new boss...
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by SageLikeFool (547462)
        the Republicans tout themselves as the "party of reform".

        Give the Guy a break - he was just trying to "reform" his grades.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by toddhisattva (127032)
      When you read about a violent crime, you're usually safe in assuming the criminal was a Democrat.
    • by spun (1352) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `yranoituloverevol'> on Friday December 22, 2006 @02:06PM (#17340760) Journal
      I'm as liberal as they come: anarcho-syndicalist, it doesn't get more hardcore leftist than that. Normally I am all for anything that makes the Republicans look bad, but this is just dumb. It's like how news stations only mention the race of an alleged criminal if they are non-white. Who cares what race a murderer is, or what party a doofus belongs too? What's that got to do with anything?

      Until I read the summary, I was hoping this was some kind of political hack attempt that would put another big black eye on the Repugnicans, but no such luck, it's just some dumbass trying to get his grades changed. The story is funny enough to warrant being on Slashdot's front page without mentioning the word "Republican" at all.
    • by nathanh (1214) on Friday December 22, 2006 @03:03PM (#17341670) Homepage
      Is he trying to improve his own records? Isn't this just a case of an idiot who tries to get people to hack their educational stuff for them? I mean, it probably will lead to a congressional scandal, but it doesn't really have much to do with the aide's aide-ness or republican-ness.

      Don't worry. When Fox News reports this story the closed captioning will reveal he's become a Democrat overnight.

      I only wish I were joking.

  • Pure comedy gold. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) *
    It's like reading about the guy who tried to hire an undercover cop to kill his wife...The poor joker is so obviously clueless, but trying to play it down. Every time he starts asking real questions, they just bury him in bs, and he buys it...It's so obvious they're screwing with him. At one point they get him to send 'em some snapshots of local squirrels.

    An entertaining read.
  • by CheeseburgerBrown (553703) on Friday December 22, 2006 @11:57AM (#17338536) Homepage Journal
    The real mystery is how somebody this sharp, informed and educated managed to do so badly in college. I mean, the guy's obviously got street smarts and book smarts.

    • by sbaker (47485) *
      The real mystery is how somebody this sharp, informed and educated managed to do so badly in college. I mean, the guy's obviously got street smarts and book smarts.

      You are forgetting that he's a communications director - you couldn't possibly expect him to understand how email and public forums work.

    • by jdgeorge (18767)

      The real mystery is how somebody this sharp, informed and educated managed to do so badly in college. I mean, the guy's obviously got street smarts and book smarts.

      Ah, so well put. If I had mod points, I wouldn't be sure whether I should give you a "Funny" or an "Insightful".

      (Remarkably, it appears that some of the folks who responded to your post may also fit the description you provided. How proud I am to be a member of such an intellectually gifted community.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jafac (1449)
      Well, he was a Republican, so that means while he was in college, (which he paid for, himself), he was also working two jobs, getting paid less than minimum wage, all while serving in the military. Doesn't leave much time for studies.
  • Am I the only one reminded of a very good independant british computer game [uplink.co.uk]?

    Of course, you'd have to bounce your connexion through InterNIC, hack into the International Academic Database, disable the proxy and clear your logs afterwards... :D
  • Those guys even logged lyger's rot-26 hack!

    I tell people all the time though that double rot-13 is much harder to detect than rot-26.

    • I tell people all the time though that double rot-13 is much harder to detect than rot-26.

      Ernyyl? V guvax ebg guvegrra vf fhssvpvrag. Cresbezvat n qbhoyr ebg guvegrra whfg qrpelcgf vg.

  • by sbaker (47485) * on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:06PM (#17338682) Homepage
    It's just hilarious - this guy is supposed to be a Republican Communications Director?! A Communications Director didn't realise he was posting to a public site using his real name?! Yikes!

    When they tell him that the Feds may have busted the operation by cracking their rot-26 encryption I nearly choked on my breakfast (cold pizza of course)! This is a classic.

    On one of the linked sites, the guy is claiming that he was 'under the influence' for the whole exchange and is 'seeking treatment'. So he's claiming he was blind drunk for the entire two weeks? Wow - the Republicans either have better parties than I ever suspected - or they truly are drowning their sorrows after recent election defeats!

    He needs to go to jail for a few years.
    • by b0s0z0ku (752509) on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:15PM (#17338814)
      He needs to go to jail for a few years.


      "Few years" - that's a bit harsh considering nothing illegal was actually accomplished. Keep in mind that for a lot of violent crimes short of murder, the prison time isn't even a "few years." More like *a* year. The best punishment is exposing this guy for a fraud and making sure that he'll lose his job and be a laughingstock boob.


      One more thing: who's to say that this was actually him not a prank designed to discredit the guy? It's not like they check ID before you surf the 'net. Maybe the article has more info, but it's currently slashdotted!


      -b.

  • Yet another. . . (Score:5, Informative)

    by smooth wombat (796938) on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:07PM (#17338696) Homepage Journal
    shining example of the intelligence of people in my party. It's not bad enough we have this yahoo [washingtonpost.com] blocking phones to Democratic numbers used for providing people rides to polls on election day, or this putz [federalnewsradio.com] who embezzled state money, let alone the chimp in charge who has flip-flopped every which way on Iraq, but now this incompetent asshole.


    I know that Sandy Berger (just so no one thinks I'm biased) is a real moron but come on, how much lack of intelligence does one have to have to think that they could get away with this?

  • by genessy (587377) on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:18PM (#17338872)
    ...I'm just proud my representative (or his aide) knew about the Interweb! ;)
  • by zguru (831027) on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:18PM (#17338874) Journal
    This is so funny. You guys will believe anything posted on the Internet! :)
  • by hellfire (86129) <(deviladv) (at) (gmail.com)> on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:27PM (#17338992) Homepage
    This reminds me of a Hilarious West Wing scene:

    [CJ is mad at Josh for posting to the message board of a Josh Lyman fansite]
    C.J. Cregg: If you ever post anything on that website again, I will shove a motherboard so far up your ass... What?
    Josh Lyman: You DO know I outrank you, right?
    C.J. Cregg: SO FAR UP YOUR ASS...
  • by Animats (122034) on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:30PM (#17339074) Homepage

    There's a classic comment that A people hire A people, but B people hire C people. Bush has not exactly been known for great job appointments. If you actually follow his appointments, it's embarrassing, even if you're a Republican. They're loyal, but often not very good. (It's not just that lightweight at FEMA, "Mr. Torture" at Justice, and the economic advisers from Enron; there's a long, painful list of bad high level hires.)

    Once you get the institutional idea that each level hires dumber people below them, a few steps down the food chain, people like this turkey are getting jobs.

  • "Heckuva job, Schriby!"

  • by SnappingTurtle (688331) on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:51PM (#17339450) Homepage

    Todd's punishment is going to be uniquely modern... or will it?

    The punishment is that this is going to go viral. It's just too darn interesting seeing people doing something they shouldn't. For the rest of his life people will be reading about this. It's not yet mentioned in Denny Rehberg's Wikipedia page [wikipedia.org], but it will. Todd will probably get his own Wikipedia page [wikipedia.org] [dead link as of this moment but we'll see how long that lasts]. There will probably be a Snopes article too.

    In other words, Todd will be publicy humiliated. It'll be like having to wear a big red letter...

  • The aide was pretty young. Prossibly saw a loty cheating in school and just carried it into work life. In the real world you get caught more of the time.
  • RFC 1149 (Score:3, Funny)

    by TranscendentalAnarch (1005937) on Friday December 22, 2006 @02:02PM (#17340708)

    type of access required to access the systems (internet? LAN? dialup? carrier pigeon?)
    I'm going to submit an addendum to RFC 1149 requesting that the pigeons be trained to release their excrement on moronic, unsuspecting members of congress during transmission.
  • by netbuzz (955038) on Friday December 22, 2006 @02:54PM (#17341508) Homepage
    Press aide who tried to hire hackers has been fired.
    http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/1001 5 [networkworld.com]

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