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Monday, 19 August 2013

BBC makes a hash of it

In the end, though, it was the Chinese hackers after all, not the schema mis-design, that brought a close to the whole sorry venture. The idiots developing the web interface for the pundit management system had used a plain unsalted hash (italics signifying disbelief) for encoding the session cookies! The Chinese hackers must have thought it was 年節. [Nian, the Chinese equivalent of Christmas- Ed.] So you can guess what happens. Chinese hackers get to hear of trial of strategic pundit management system by ideological arch enemy the BBC. Chinese hackers discover the plain unsalted hash (almost put it in italics again, such is lingering disbelief about stupidity of it) that has been used to encode the session cookies. Chinese hackers take about five nanoseconds to decipher the unsalted hash (not really deciphering, just looking it up in a hash table).  Chinese hackers know huge anti-BBC PR opportunity when they see one. Chinese hackers patiently wait for suitable article to be aired on 'Today', then Chinese hackers switch IP addresses of pundits. Ensuing chaos as follows... 

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