Sunday, December 6, 2009

My Own Article: I Call Bull

UPDATE: 10:00 pm.

It looks as though my article jumped the gun. From evidence I got from GP, it appears that the denial of service was caused by a third party and not by a slash-dot effect.

I wrote an article too quickly and rashly and blew a story.

I was wrong. I offer my apologies to GP.

The internets was ablaze with reports that prominent political blogger Gateway Pundit was attacked by shadowy agents of the Obama White House due to a piece written against the "Safe Schools Czar." Now the report on Kevin Jennings was pretty damning, but still only a rehash copy-and-paste job of a Breitbart B-cast article. So nothing major was broke on Gateway Pundit and a far larger site had the story up first.

Follow that with a hyperventilating GP screeching that his beloved site had come under cyber attack.

There's a couple of problems with the hypothesis. Let's take a look at some famous cases of cyber warfare:

In the aftermath of massive voter fraud in the June 2009 Iranian "elections" sites supporting the Green movement of reformists were attacked. In a highly sophisticated attack, attackers likely emanating from Tehran's technology bureaus attacked Twitter and other sites.

During the August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia, Russian hackers plagued Georgian sites, shutting down much of the Georgian internet system. These hackers also attacked former SSR Estonia with similar tactics.

In June 2009 the government of North Korea attacked South Korean systems. These included high-profile and highly sensitive sites such as banks, the government, and businesses.So in all three of these cases we had a coordinated attacks by governments with attempts to destabilize entire nations. In two cases, Russia itself mobilized to help demoralize and confuse former Soviet blocs. So in order to believe this attack on GP, we'd likely have to see a coordinated effort.

But there are inconsistencies and questions surrounding GP's dubious claims.

Gateway Pundit is a notorious exaggerator. In June of this year GP used one of our satirical pieces as the gospel truth stating that President Obama was going to apologize for US actions in World War II. Rather than admit his fault, he clumsily edited away a link to our story without an update. Fortunately the original link back to GP is still active at Weasel Zippers.

Gateway Pundit's claims were not even original. They appeared first and foremost on a much larger site. Last I heard, there were no massive attacks on any of the Breitbart internet sites. If the government wanted to silence or punish a critic, it would surely attack the largest and most prominent and the originator of the anti-Obama claims.

GP blogs through First Things. Thus, Gateway Pundit itself has no servers to attack or motherboards to fry. In order to pull off an attack, then FT would need to go offline. This would mean that if FT went down for any reason, it could be blamed on a cyberattack. Google often lags or is down for maintenance-- I don't think that when it happens it is a direct attack on Jumping in Pools.

FT is a relatively small blog syndicate. The expose on Jennings likely caused a massive surge of traffic. Doubling or tripling expected traffic numbers could easily cause the servers to temporarily shut down or to lag. This would be an example of the Slashdot effect, and extremely well-known and chronicled event. In other words, GP would have shown up as a "denial of service"... how about that.

Who conducted the cyberattack? We're looking either at A) pesky Obama zombies living in their parents' basements or B) the White House directly intervening. A couple of problems here. A couple of Obama zombies would have to coordinate directly to disrupt FT servers while not attacking the actual source of the information or the dozens of blogs which cited GP. This seems particularly unlikely considering FT's servers and IP addresses would have to be found, identified and summarily hacked. That would require days if not months, but almost miraculously some anonymous hackers reamed the FT motherboard in three hours. Yeah right.

The other option is that someone in the Obama White House actually ordered (or knew about) an attack on the Gateway Pundit blog. Hell, maybe even the President himself ordered it! Not because of criticism on stuff that could ruin the country, but because a blog said that a book the 'Safe School Czar' approved of could cause a high schooler to come out of the closet. My word! No offense, but with 10% employment, two wars, and a deficit of 100% of our tax revenues, Obama and his Cabinet have more to sweat about. Also, the White House has already picked fights with prominent sites such as FoxNews and Politico-- and the worst thing that they did was-- openly criticize them. Politico's a bigger and more influential site than GP and it didn't mysteriously disappear after exposing stories about the White House.In short, there seem to be a lot of holes in GP's story. I don't know this for sure, but it is more than likely that his story is either fabricated or grossly exaggerated in order to reinforce online traffic. I call on GP to retract their story or provide evidence. So far none has come forward. In fact, this is all they showed:

Gateway Pundit blog came under at least two cyber attacks tonight that shut down the First Things website.Truly the photos of nuclear missiles on Cuba or fingerprints of Eric Holder.

This is likely a fraud. Don't fall for it.

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