I'm curious about this "hacker defacement contest," that's been showing up in the news. I wasn't able to find the "official website" for this "contest" (though I didn't try very hard). The one URL I did come across was inaccessible when I'd tried a day or two ago. Perhaps it's been swamped due to all the media coverage. [On July 5, I was able to bring up the site. (When I did my suspicions grew.) You can go there now (send some more traffic his/their way) and see that it was a publicity stunt: defacers-challenge.com]
[July 17 NOTE/UPDATE: I had my suspicions about this contest, and was rather suprised about how much publicity it was getting (hence my commentary titled 'No "Real" Virus on My Mac in 20 Years', below). It's clear now that this so called "Defacement Challenge" was in actuality a hoax, leveraging FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) that the news media ate up and spewed out. You'll find a link to a page that has all the details on this hoax on my more recent entry here, titled Hackers Defacement Challenge: a Hoax.]
Here's what they're saying:
A hacking contest slated for this weekend could produce a rash of Web-site defacements worldwide, according to a warning issued Wednesday by security companies and government Internet security groups.
The hacker defacement contest is expected to kick off on Sunday. The contest supposedly will award free hosting services, Web mail, unlimited E-mail forwarding, and a domain name of choice for the triumphant hackers, according to a Web site promoting the contest.
Web-site defacement points will be awarded based on the type of operating system running the Web site. Defacement of Web sites running Windows will only win a single point, while sites running Linux, Unix, and BSD are each worth three points. Sites running AIX, IBM's version of Unix, are worth three points, while sites running HP-UX, Hewlett-Packard's version of Unix, and Apple's Macintosh computers are worth up to five points, according to the contest Web site.
No "Real" Virus on My Mac in 20 Years
It sounds like hacking a Mac is a bit more difficult for these hackers. This comes as no suprise, seeing how as I've never once come across a "true" virus on any of my Mac's in the past 20 years.
That's not to say there's zero threat. Perhaps I've just been lucky.
My First "Virus"
Back in the mid-eighties I do remember coming across something that I'd thought was a virus, but was quickly humbled by readers who'd seen the "virus alert" message I'd posted to a Washington (state) based BBS (bulletin-board system) [dialed-in over Sprint's "BBS Express" (or some similarly-named unlimited point-to-point nationwide dial-in "bridge" service) from the Bitteroot Valley in Montana, no less]. I think they called me an alarmist. I think they were right.
Read the Information Week article here.
Read the Mac News Network article here.