When Anonymous attacked Children's Hospital

WBUR reports on lessons the hospital learned from the attack, over the Justina Pelletier case.

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    They weren't attacking just the Web site

    By on

    Read the article. Anonymous isn't that stupid - they were trying everything from port testing to spear phishing to get employees to reveal passwords on more sensitive systems.

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    Discussing something

    And implying that it was a good thing are two different things.

    It is actually possible to talk about things in a rational manner. Good things, bad things, complicated things. Mention and endorsement are not equivalent, although too many people just don't talk about stuff because they have been led to believe that bad things will Just Go Away if they are never talked about.

    (shakes head)

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    14 year olds from 4chan

    14 year olds from 4chan running a computer program "for the lulz" behind scary messages is not noble, but the media sure loves to talk about it and clueless people that want to be contrarian praise them for it and make them look like heroes of the downtrodden

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    Nice scarecrow

    By on

    The members who accomplish the most aren't the 14-year olds.

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    Disrupting a hospital's

    Disrupting a hospital's website and publicly posting personal private information while hiding behind the veil of anonymity sure is an accomplishment.

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    Must have me confused

    By on

    I took exception to your statement that this was just a bunch of 14-year olds. I never condoned them swarming after Children's.

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    No, I'm not implying this was a good thing

    By on

    I was simply stating that Anonymous wasn't just a bunch of script kiddies going after a Web site; that they were trying to pull off some rather sophisticated attacks against the hospital's internal systems.

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    This hospital computer expert

    By on

    This hospital computer expert can tell you this: When DDoS attacks overwhelm the hospital servers, all web-facing (external) apps are slowed, disrupted, and it may even impact patient safety. When you're not sure your purchase goes through on Amazon, no biggie. When your pediatrician is not sure his critical lab request and clinical details didn't get to the lab, there could be health-harming delays for your kids.

    When critical results are being called about by staff, instead of being sent electronically, and going through the usual multiple eyeballs, things can now fall through the cracks. When routine results are being sent by fax (or god forbid, mail), excessive paper reports can fall behind a machine that is mostly used for backup. Sounds silly, but don't think it hasn't happened.

    Even something as simple as the deactivation of the email system...a specialist whose name you knew was just an email away: and her name was her email. Well, good luck if you didn't exchange personal numbers in advance. It will be nigh impossible to wade through reception when they're flooded with calls from parents, about stuff that could have been handled automatically through internet apps usually.

    Everyone is lucky Children's is as high-performing as it is and trains for hypotheticals, as all internet-reliant organizations should. Its staff, inside and out, and the affiliated pediatricians and their staff are just so dedicated, so you don't notice what a *hitstorm things were or could have been. This is basically a taste. It could happen again, elsewhere. And we'll have to hope they'll be just as prepared. Or else we won't be so lucky that no one is permanently hurt or killed.

    Something that I wish was

    By on

    Something that I wish was much more widely reported? There is a tremendous disparity between Children's ability to discuss the Pelletier case and the Pelletier family's. Patient confidentiality laws are such that Children's can say almost nothing in its "defense".

    So I doubt any of of have a very clear notion of what has actually happened, that would include Anonymous, they seem kind of low-clue high-energy, a bad combination.

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    Yes and no

    By on

    It's a bad combination when it's targeted poorly (part of the "low clue" quotient), but they've had some wins from being targeted at some real degenerates (usually involves animal abuse cases posted online).

    So, as a whole, I feel like they provide some value even if they occasionally rally behind poorly chosen causes.

    Vigilantism

    By on

    We shouldn't celebrate vigilantism, regardless of whether it's a mob with pitchforks or some nerds with computer skillz; and regardless of whether the target is some supposed 'degenerate' or otherwise.

    Probably not

    By on

    Most of the time their "vigilantism" is more mayhem/prank than anything else. When they get serious about something, they invoke the correct authorities in order to gain justice. Of course, those aren't usually the stories that gain popular media attention though when it comes to Anonymous.

    I'm more inclined to believe

    I'm more inclined to believe that someone randomly comes up with an altrustic reason behind attacking something but 99% of the people that do the attack are just in it for the mayhem as an excuse.

    Did the doctors, DCF, Mass. law and courts all work properly?

    By on

    What has not been proscribed is the limits of the authority of doctors to appeal to DCF to petition for custody of minor patients in lieu of parents, or the facts and evidence required in order for a judge to grant it.

    In other words, under what conditions does it make sense for doctors to ask DCF to petition courts for custody? Are our laws written in a way to limit abuse of this power? Was this power abused in the case of Justina? If so, when and how? Or were mistakes made? When and by whom?

    This case is calling out for a post mortem. And this question is just as important as what hospitals can learn from the consequences of pissing off Anonymous. I really want Doctors and DCF to step up and hash it out. The public deserves some answers..