Monday, February 24, 2014

Big Brother Is Watching...But Who's Watching The Watchers? Jim Thomas

Over the last 8 years, The Anderson Shelter and Taxi Leaks blogs have been subject to a number of cyber attacks. 

These have ranged from simple comment abuse (mass comments from the same IP address, slating both sides of the argument, designed to stir up trouble) to more sophisticated attacks, hacking into the blog and change content. 

Around the time the IDs were about to be introduced, our team noticed certain patterns in comments which purported to come from both suburban drivers and all London drivers. Using a simple checker program attached to blogger we were able to source comments and found they came from the same IP address.  

That IP address, happened to be part of a wifi network given the name of a Taxi representative group. 
As I have long since lost the evidence I won't name the Org involved, but I did write an article at the time, which was published in an early copy of UCG News.

Shortly after this misuse of our comment section, my attention was bought to certain content appearing on the blog, which seemed to be sailing close to the wind and was highly libellous. 
As we always keep a back up of posts, we were able to replace most of the offending material before complaints were received. 
But the fact was, we had been hacked. 

Even though we changed to uncrackable passwords, because the offender was permanently signed in, they were able to carry on changing the odd post. In the end it was easier to close down the blog and start again.
Taxi Leaks now has a more secure sign in process, but we still get reports from Google of mass password attempted sign-ins. 

Starting again has been hard, we'd built up a large and loyal audience. But after just a couple of years, we have now surpassed the readership of The Anderson Shelter.

Our team of contributors have also been the victim of constant attempts of email account hacking, the latest attack being last night.

      Latest crude attempt to steal email password.

About a year ago, it was revealed in a leaked memo that the editor's twitter time line was being printed off and circulated to certain individuals at Palestra and Windsor house...this we have kept proof of.

Notice that Helen Chapman used her personal email account and not her TfL account to send this screen shot to John Mason, who then sent it on to other staff at Palestra.

After the above email was fired off, the sender realised the person being observed had been mistakenly copied in.
A number of attempts were then made to try to retrieve the email. But it was took late. It had already been recieved and opened.


So big brother is's just a shame they are not watching what's going on outside clubs and bars and putting their skills to better use.

The attacks continue.
The latest casualty to fall foul of a hacking attempt has been the RMT email client, which has had to be taken down after being hacked into. 



Darren said...

Wasn't John Mason banned from the forum for using his position at TfL, to get pro boards to take down a post about him having a drunken fight with a member of staff in a pub.
Didn't a female employee get a slap as well?

Anonymous said...

I got the same email last night Jim, when I clicked on the link, it asked me to confirm my email password..

Gerald Coba said...

With what's going on at TfL, it's no wonder they are paranoid about militancy within the ranks of the taxi trade.

Obvious corruption at high level started with the sale of PH roundels, sold by SGS officials which was then defended by the Director of TPH as someone just doing a favour for a friend.

We've also seen the acquisition of wholesale amounts of licence variations to be used by companies who only operate from satellite offices, totally against TfL policy.

But TfL policy is only enforced when it comes to the taxi trade, PH have a free hand to do what they like.

The current situation regarding the suburban review is a smoke screen to take the heat of what's going on at TfL. Since it was published just over a week ago, not a peep about licence renewals, not a peep about the fare rise atrocities, not a peep about the Law Commission new proposals.

This trade has been dealt a death blow and the drivers are too distracted to realise what's happening.

Anonymous said...

Bring it on hackers!

We are ready.

Anonymous said...

Think John Mason spends his day on face book now

John said...

Doing a little bit more thank going on Facebook but thanks for your concern!

Get A Life said...

'Big issue, Big Issue'

Anonymous said...

Get A Life...
Your wrong mate, John is now a corner stone in the transport field :)