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Posting Publicly Available URL Claimed a "Hack" 555

Urban Strata writes "Popular mobile phone community HowardForums.com is being hit with take-down notices from MobiTV. At issue is the fact that a HowardForums community member uncovered a publicly accessible URL for MobiTV's television stream. This URL is not encrypted or authenticated in any way, and yet MobiTV sent site owner Howard Chui a cease-and-desist letter for hosting a forum with the public URL, claiming that doing so is equivalent to hacking their service."
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Posting Publicly Available URL Claimed a "Hack"

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  • Lawyer fees (Score:5, Funny)

    by FatAlb3rt ( 533682 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @12:48PM (#22676612) Homepage
    I wonder how much their lawyer bills each time he has to send out a C&D for posting a link to qtv.mobitv.com/sprintTVlive.mcd.
  • by KublaiKhan ( 522918 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @12:49PM (#22676624) Homepage Journal
    Lookit me! I'm hacking the pentagon! [osd.mil] And the CIA! [cia.gov] And the FBI! [fbi.gov]

    Hold on, one moment--someone's knocking.
  • by AltGrendel ( 175092 ) <ag-slashdotNO@SPAMexit0.us> on Friday March 07, 2008 @12:53PM (#22676694) Homepage
    • Standing outside the HowardForums main offices and throwing rocks.
    • Sticking out their tongues and saying "Nya, nya, nya".
    • Calling their mother and complaining.

    Seriously, this is probably something to draw attention to a service that few people knew about. Any publicity is good publicity, after all.

  • Just FYI (Score:5, Informative)

    by TripMaster Monkey ( 862126 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @12:56PM (#22676744)
    The URLs obtained with this "hack" play just fine in Quicktime as well.
  • by Bovius ( 1243040 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @12:57PM (#22676770)
    I wonder if they decided it simply wasn't worth the development effort to put their content behind encryption? Maybe they thought litigation against improper access would be cheaper, or at least simpler. With the RIAA's successes in court over the lsat few years, there is some precedent for that idea.

    Yes, I know, secure connections are not rocket science. But it's business; the path perceived most profitable is the path chosen.
  • by Trivial_Zeros ( 1058508 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @01:05PM (#22676882)
    This is a classic example of a site trying to be "secure" through obscurity. The correct response would not be issuing a take down notice, thus publicizing the issue. An intelligent response would be to move the service to a secure site that required credentials.

    What exactly is MobiTV trying to claim is their IP? The URL? I didn't think such short addresses were copyrightable. I don't think they realize how the internet works. If I type in a URL in a browser, I'm sending a request for data back. It's up to mobitv what to return. If they don't want us to have access to the data, don't return it. Simple.
  • by Itninja ( 937614 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @01:09PM (#22676976) Homepage
    So I guess this means /.ers will now change their sig from 09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0 to qtv.mobitv.com/sprintTVlive.mcd....
  • by Petey_Alchemist ( 711672 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @01:15PM (#22677084)
    ...when a Second Life user bought land before it went to auction using a non-linked but publicly accessible URL and he was banned and his assets seized.

    http://secondlife.typepad.com/ [typepad.com]

    Some interesting background reading. They settled, but the "hack" question was never answered by the court .
  • by randyest ( 589159 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @01:22PM (#22677172) Homepage
    Did anyone ready the PDF of the letter they sent [] to Howard . . . in Canada . . . citing the DMCA (a US law?) I don't know where HoFo's servers are, or if Canada has a DMCA-like law yet, but that seems pretty silly and maybe Howard should prep a backup server not in the US just in case. Then write the idiots at MobiTV a funny reply like the guys at the pirate bay [thepiratebay.org] do.

    Silly MobiTV -- you can't copyright an URL!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07, 2008 @01:25PM (#22677232)
    channel name="MSNBC" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/1-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="FOX News" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/8-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Discovery" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/3-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="TLC" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/4-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Animal Planet" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/63-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="NBC Comedy" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/1500-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="ESPN Mobile TV" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/4103-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="NBC Sports Mobile" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/1513-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Lipstick Jungle" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/1508-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Maxx Look" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/48-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Toon World TV" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/28-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Access Hollywood" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/1515-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Love Laffs" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/4104-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Bloomberg" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/52-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Tim Gunns Guide to Style" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/1519-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="The Mic Hip Hop" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/910-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="V40 Hot Hits" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/911-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Totally 80s 90s" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/96-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Double Z Country" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/72-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="RandB Jamz" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/425-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Ritmo Caliente" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/97-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Chaos Extreme" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/913-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Shift Alternative" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/912-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="USA Mobile" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/1503-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Bravo To Go" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/1502-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="SCI FI Pulse Mobile" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/1501-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Oxygen" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/58-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Discovery Mobile" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/53-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="A and E Mobile" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/17-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="The History Channel Mobile" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/19-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="NBC News Mobile" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/2-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Fashion TV" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/22-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Comedy Time" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/21-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="MAXX SPORTS" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com/50-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="IGN" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/59-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Bombones" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/74-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="CNET" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/23-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="CSPAN" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/30-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="CSPAN2" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/31-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Soulja Boy Tell Em TV" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/4100-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Ataku" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/83-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="D40 Digital Camera" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/1346-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Bank of America" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/4101-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
  • by Babu 'God' Hoover ( 1213422 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @01:36PM (#22677382)
    If you don't want people looking at your naked ass all day, put your pants on in the morning.
  • by moeinvt ( 851793 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @02:31PM (#22678268)
    123 matches on Google as of 1:28 EST.

    It's going to be fun watching this proliferate.
  • by acvh ( 120205 ) <geek@m s c i g a r s.com> on Friday March 07, 2008 @02:35PM (#22678336) Homepage
    Having downloaded the file, which amusingly is still available, and persued its contents, I have the following question: Who the hell watches Lipstick Jungle on a cell phone? Who the hell watches Lipstick Jungle? What IS Lipstick Jungle? Whose mind is so vacant that they have to get a TV fix on their mobile phone?

    As for the website itself, their complaint is rather like a bank putting all of their customers' account balances on a webserver, and then complaining when someone looks at someone else's account. Yes, the action is dickish at best, but the fact that it can be carried out is dickisher.
  • by Blackeagle_Falcon ( 784253 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @03:18PM (#22679060)
    Did these people learn nothing from the Wikileaks debacle? Or the AACS encryption key mess? Sending cease-and-desist letters and DMCA takedown requests over this sort of information only results in it being distributed more widely and seen by far more people.
  • From TDWTF... (Score:3, Informative)

    by magus_melchior ( 262681 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:56PM (#22681470) Journal
    So You Hacked Our Site!? [thedailywtf.com]

    I think someone should trademark the term "Hacking," as people take it to mean both "trespassing online" and "breaching our illusion of security."
  • by HybridJeff ( 717521 ) on Friday March 07, 2008 @06:52PM (#22682204) Homepage
    I reformatted the links to work in Firefox, am I a l33t hacker now too? Fox News [mobitv.com] MSNBC [mobitv.com] Discovery [mobitv.com] TLC [mobitv.com] Animal Planet [mobitv.com] NBC Comedy [mobitv.com] HD - NBC Comedy [mobitv.com] ESPN Mobile [mobitv.com] NBC Sports Mobile [mobitv.com] Lipstick Jungle [mobitv.com] HD - Lipstick Jungle [mobitv.com] Maxx Look [mobitv.com] HD - Maxx Look [mobitv.com] Toon World TV [mobitv.com] HD - Toon World TV [mobitv.com] Access Hollywood [mobitv.com] HD - Access Hollywood [mobitv.com] Love Laffs [mobitv.com] HD - Love Laffs [mobitv.com] Bloomberg [mobitv.com] Tim Gunns Guide to Style [mobitv.com] HD - Tim Gunns Guide to Style [mobitv.com] The Mic Hip Hop [mobitv.com] HD - The Mic Hip Hop [mobitv.com] V40 Hot Hits [mobitv.com] HD - V40 Hot Hits [mobitv.com] Totally 80s 90s [mobitv.com] HD - Totally 80s 90s [mobitv.com] Double Z Country [mobitv.com] HD - Double Z Country [mobitv.com] RandB Jamz [mobitv.com] HD - RandB Jamz [mobitv.com] Chaos Extreme [mobitv.com] HD - Chaos Extreme [mobitv.com] Shift Alternative [mobitv.com] HD - Shift Alternative [mobitv.com] USA Mobile [mobitv.com] HD - USA Mobile [mobitv.com] Bravo Mobile [mobitv.com] HD - Bravo Mobile [mobitv.com] SciFi Mobile [mobitv.com] HD - SciFi Mobile [mobitv.com] Oxygen [mobitv.com] HD - Oxygen [mobitv.com] Discovery Mobile [mobitv.com] HD - Discovery Mobile [mobitv.com] A&E Mobile [mobitv.com] HD - A&E Mobile [mobitv.com] The History Channel Mobile [mobitv.com] HD - The History Channel Mobile [mobitv.com] NBC News Mobile [mobitv.com] HD - NBC News Mobile [mobitv.com] Fashion TV [mobitv.com] Comedy Time [mobitv.com] HD - Comedy Time [mobitv.com] Maxx Sports [mobitv.com] HD - Maxx Sports [mobitv.com] IGN [mobitv.com]

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire