Hackers Are Fuckin’ Weird

Well, like the title says, hackers are fuckin’ weird. That’s not intended to be a derogatory, everyone hacks in some way and at varying skill levels. Hacking at its broadest settings means “enthusiast,” though certainly I’m aiming at a particular group of “enthusiasts” in this case.

325732-1I’m a Technical Writer (and sometimes web front end guy, and some times other bits and bobs of code, and, and, and..), and I work with a bunch of computer engineers doing InfoSec work. We do some really amazingly awesome work, but we’re also definitely a bunch of reprobates in one sense or another. But, generally speaking, we’re working towards making the Internet a safer place. Not all hackers are like that.

Today, while writing up an article (not this one though), I spent a ton of time doing research on existing pieces of malware, and man, I have seen some things.

ohhipennThere’s a group of Russian crackers (people who produce malware and compromise system security), that write English that’s nearly indistinguishable from English written by Chinese speakers (mental note: new article idea, accents in writing). What’s particularly.. sad.. is that they’re marketing their malware like it’s actual legitimate software (and to a miniscule degree it is, except the bit where it’s programmed to infiltrate systems by “melding” with innocuous files). They’ve actually gone so far as to market their product as a publicly locate-able subscription service, including an arm twisting subscription rate. The particularly interesting part is where they repeatedly claim on their site that they aren’t “malware” and in their Release Notes where they keep noting that they’re getting turned off and have to do run arounds to get their site and software back up and running.

1200px-shakespeare
William Shakespeare
This, however, was not the strangest item I came across (today). That would be another group that was using a piece of malware to target specific attacks against groups in Europe (particularly government groups and banks). The really odd part with them? When attacking one particular country they would include Old English poetry in memory while the executable was running.

Now I will point out that my pal Will over there to the right isn’t exactly “Old English” and they did include some of his fine works in their code (particularly a bit of Hamlet). But they did also include (translated) actual Old English poems in their code. While no one is actually certain the origin point of the attacks, the inclusion of the poems lends to the idea that they’re from England. Of course the poems could also just be a red herring (heh meta sociological puns FTW!) but there’s no real way to tell until they (eventually) get caught, if they ever do.

Mental note 2: Get screenshots from Hackers, the images are awesomely composed (even if the movie is so bad it’s become good in a retro-sense) and make good inclusion in these articles from a pure irony standpoint.

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3 thoughts on “Hackers Are Fuckin’ Weird”

    1. Thanks Won, and yeah actually I got to thinking about the other group (not the poets) and their linguistic patterns really do seem more honestly Chinese than Russian.

      In the case of the poets, my guess (given their target choices) are mid to Eastern European, with familiarity with governments and an English lit background, but not native English speakers.

      Like

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