Yesterday on the last full day of WOS3, I was sitting in the cafeteria getting a little help from Marcell, to get a connection between my laptop and my bluetooth phone. During a routine google search marcell’s machine uddenly returned this instead of the normal google front-end. Turns out, that a flock of, in my humble opinion, frankly immature and annoying, hackers were staging a “24 hour dotcom” event.

In just 24 hours they coded and deployed the dozomo meta-search engine, including a front-end, a mozilla/firefox search plugin and a safari keywords file. So far so good. A good effort, a neat conference event, and a decent hack (although the search front-end is pretty buggy and flawed.
That they extensively (some would say exhaustively) documented the whole thing on-line, and went ahead and offered a pseudo-IPO on ebay was actually quite a clever hack.

UNFORTUNATELY, in a time-honored tradition of young geeks and adolescents, they then preceeded to scream for attention in a rude and obnoxious way, Using the in-conference proxy server they started redirecting http requests to google, msn and other major search engines to their own page . This is sort of like a kid baking bread to impress his/her parents and then proceeding to intentionally plaster the entire kitchen with wet dough, just to be completely certain that they were heard.

That the proxy hack actually managed to break their own brainchild (when clicking on page 2 of a search result page from google, the proxy hack would redirect that httpo request and return you to the dozomo frontpage), just made it even more pathetic.

I’m sorry guys, but there were a lot of people at the conference trying to get some work done, and it’s not ok to force your shite on them against their will, even for the sake of a conference art event. hand out flyers next time, and you’ll probably get a lot more friends.

Personally, like Wendy Seltzer [Wendy’s Blog: Legal Tags: WOS: Dozomo], I was lucky enough to be running the Tor anonymizing proxy, and wasn’t affected by this particular hack. (thanks to robert guerra, roger dingledine and their hands-on privacy workshop.

4 thoughts on “WOS3: hack-attack

  1. I am really sorry for the problems our “marketing”/hacking department created. They got a bit too excited hyping the dotcom. I wasn’t too happy about it either, it was fun the first 5 minutes but then got out of hand, my Firebird Google bar sent me to this lousy designed interface of ours.

    My problem was that everything got out of control, the designers created strange art, the slashdot crowd spammed (!) my paypal account with money, my email inbox was flooded with questions and job applications, so I really had a hard time controlling things.

    I am really sorry, I didn’t want to the abuse power like we did. The WOS3 conference covers really important things so it shouldn’t be taken too lightly.

    / Adam Wern

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