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Thread: Internet Security/Malware/Spam

Author Image Gerry Patterson. The world's most humble blogger
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too -- I'll see you on the dark side of the moon! -- Pink Floyd

Hacked - When Will They Ever Learn?

Chronogical Blog Entries:

Date: Wed, 29 Jul 2009 00:31:42 +1000

Recently, the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) has been experiencing a considerable amount of political pressure. First there was a request from the Chinese Console to drop one of the scheduled screenings, a A documentary on the exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer. When the festival organisers refused to comply, two Chinese directors announced that they would pull their films. Next Ken Loach, announced that he was withdrawing his film "Looking For Eric", as a protest concerning Israeli funding.

Then on Sunday, it was announced that the MIFF websit had been hacked.

Of course by the time your humble blogger got round to check the site, all evidence had been removed. Looking for the official site in Google brings up a link to

Images of the hack show an almost polite political message under a Chinese flag.

A quick investigation of the MIFF site revealed that it identified itself as a Microsoft-IIS/6.0 server powered by ASP.NET

And herein lies the problem. If one is going to setup a website and start with the poor choice of Microsoft IIS, it is probably not a good idea to compound the problem by not putting it behind a heavily defended (Unix based) firewall.

And if you are determined to carry on with the suicidal course of running such a website, you would be well advised not to upset the Chinese. Although the per-capita computer use in China may not be so large, the total number of computer users is the second largest in the world. And the a lot of those users know about hacking Microsoft systems. In fact when it comes to expertise in hacking Microsoft systems, China may be a world leader.

So if you still think Microsoft IIS is the right system for your weakly defended website, it might be diplomatic to avoid any content that might be construed as offensive to China.

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