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seizure-inducing hackers


By sonia2 - May 8, 2008, 11:07 AM
Post #1 of 3

Hackers try to cause seizures on epilepsy site
Web forum bombarded with links to pages with rapidly flashing images

SAN FRANCISCO - Computer attacks typically don't inflict physical pain on their victims.

But in a rare example of an attack apparently motivated by malice rather than money, hackers recently bombarded the Epilepsy Foundation's Web site with hundreds of pictures and links to pages with rapidly flashing images.

The breach triggered severe migraines and near-seizure reactions in some site visitors who viewed the images. People with photosensitive epilepsy can get seizures when they're exposed to flickering images, a response also caused by some video games and cartoons.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24510864/wid/11915829?GT1=40006

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Re: seizure-inducing hackers

By eeka - May 8, 2008, 10:13 PM
Post #2 of 3 [In reply to]

1. Did they actually "hack"? It sounds like they just posted lots of posts with embedded images, probably using a robot to do so, but not getting into any part of the site they shouldn't have been accessing.

2. Since the article didn't give much background: People with photosensitive epilepsy are about 2% of people with epilepsy, and most can largely control it with strategies like not using the TV or computer in a dimly lit room, turning the refresh rate on their monitors down, and looking away if they start to feel a headache or similar come on. There are some people for whom it comes on more quickly, but this is quite uncommon. It's much more common to get strobe-light seizures when inside an amusement ride or a movie theatre where it's dark and it's harder to look away (interestingly, most people will still be triggered through closed eyes, because it's the rate of the flash, not the intensity of the light, that does it). So yeah, I'm sure the story is right that some people were triggered by the lights, but even on an epilepsy site, it wouldn't have been many people at all.

3. I actually find this kind of funny in a twisted sort of way, and I have epilepsy (but not strobe light type!).

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Re: seizure-inducing hackers

By sonia2 - May 8, 2008, 10:47 PM
Post #3 of 3 [In reply to]


In Reply To
3. I actually find this kind of funny in a twisted sort of way, and I have epilepsy (but not strobe light type!).


I don't have epilepsy, and I think so too :)

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