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Devil’s Night: A Night of Hacktivism


For the Electronik Tribulation Army culture, Independence Day was called Devil’s Night. On the eve of July 4th, we would declare our freedom from the power and control of the ruling 1%, the tyrannical justice system, and don't forget those pesky cyberbullies.

It was a night of empowerment, as we raged against the powers and demonstrated that we refused to simulate and would not be controlled. We turned wrongs into rights, frustrated incompetent sysops, and flexed our cyber power as a multi-faced group of black hats.

Historically, Devil’s Night occurs the evening before Halloween. It first appeared in the early 1940s as a night of mischief, petty criminal activities, and tasteless pranks. Later in the 1960s to the 1990s, it evolved into a night of vandalism and arson, depicted in the 1994 film, The Crow.

Currently, Devil’s Night essentially has ceased to exist.

As functioning black hat hackers, way back in 2008, The Fixer and I both were fans of The Crow and were fascinated by the concept behind the holiday. Naturally, as hackers, The Fixer felt the holiday needed an adjustment. Needless to say, Devil's Night truly was The Fixer's holiday.

We wanted to modify the reason behind the night and repurpose it for the ETA culture. Therefore, we reassigned the traditional July 4th, Independence Day holiday to Devil’s Night. Don’t worry. I’ll explain shortly.

Though I appreciate the historical background of Independence Day, the facts behind that day bear no practical value in modern times. Not when Americans are living under the umbrella of

an oligarchy, with a tyrannical justice system and an excess of government powers, which in my mind is the antithesis of true and practical freedom. It’s still functional freedom, but not quite like the freedom envisioned by this nation’s founders.

Devil’s Night was the night that the “devils” of society would be forced to pay their dues at the hands of the People. It was a night when we celebrated independence in an expression of hacktivism.

The Naughty List

We published a list of targets that were put on notice for the concerted cyberattacks scheduled to launch that night. This means that anyone could petition a member of the ETA to request a target. I would research the reasons behind targeting a person or entity. This was necessary because people usually have agendas, and hackers offering free attacks usually attract people looking to settle petty scores.

Most of the targets were either cyberbullies or government domains. Ironically, back then, the security of both was pretty much the same. Since Windows XP and Windows Server 2000 through 2003 were still the industry standard, it wasn’t a matter of if one of us could break-in, but when.

We were pulling a decent botnet pool, in addition to the massive botnet we used from an allied group. Beyond merely controlling bots, members performed a variety of scans to discover weaknesses in the security of our targets.

We had a small team of people proficient at web application exploitation, which made our operations less time-consuming than an army of people who are only familiar with hacking network protocols. We were a group with a lot of variety, so everyone played a critical role, no matter great or small.

As interesting as all this might appear, Devil’s Night survived two years before I was carted off to jail on June 26th, 2009 in preparation for Devil’s Night. Alas, the story end’s here.

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