Global Payback Gone Awry: Brazilian Hackers Mistake NASA for NSA; McCain Writes for Wrong Pravda

Friday, September 20, 2013

What does a Republican senator from Arizona have in common with computers hackers in Brazil? They both missed their targets of political payback.


In the Brazilian case, a group of hackers upset over the recent revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) had spied on their country decided to infiltrate a U.S. government website.


Only it wasn’t the NSA’s website that got hacked—it was NASA’s (short for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration).


The cyber protesters left messages on several NASA sub-domains that read: “Stop spy [sic] on us,” and, “The Brazilian population do not support your attitude!” Among the pages hit were those for the Center for Astrobiology and the Office of Planetary Protection.


The hackers weren’t the only ones who focused on the wrong recipient while speaking out.


Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) didn’t appreciate it when Russian President Vladimir Putin published an opinion piece in The New York Times urging the U.S. to go slow on attacking Syria over chemical weapons.


So McCain penned his own Op-ed and published it on the Russian news website


It turned out, however, that McCain got the wrong Pravda.


He really wanted his article to appear in the Pravda [Truth] that’s been around for a century and functioned at one time as the mouthpiece of the Soviet government (and now is the voice of the Russian Communist Party).


Instead, he published his rant (“Russians Deserve Better Than Putin”) on, a privately-owned publication which is not associated with the older Pravda and has only been around since 1999.


Nevertheless, McCain told the Russian people: “I am pro-Russian, more pro-Russian than the regime that misrules you today.”


He also accused Putin’s government of punishing dissent, imprisoning political opponents, rigging elections and controlling the Russian media.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

McCain Publishes Opinion Piece in Pravda – But Not the One He Wanted (by Leslie Bentz, CNN)

Hackers Attack NASA's Website to Protest NSA (by Steven Nelson, U.S. News & World Report)

Angry Brazilian whacks NASA to put a stop to ... er, the NSA (by John Leyden, The Register)

Brazil Data Plan Aims to Keep US Spies at Bay (BBC News)

NSA Documents Imply U.S. Spied on Brazilian Oil Company (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 

NSA Hacked into Emails and Phone Calls of the Presidents of Mexico and Brazil (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)                      


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