As some readers know, I am Washington correspondent for Dispatch International, a new weekly newspaper that appears every Thursday in English, Danish, Swedish and German. Our motto from Thomas Jefferson is our raison d'etre: "Freedom of the press cannot be limited without being lost." Thus, the paper -- helmed by journalist and free- speech-hero Lars Hedegaard of Denmark and the equally strong journalist Ingrid Carlqvist of Sweden -- is committed, indeed, came into exstence to print news the rest of media will not. These include stories about Islam, government corruption, immigration, crime and other urgently important features about our life and times that the MSM seek to ignore and deny.
This helps explains why severe and massive cyber attacks on Dispatch International are originating in part from MSM organizations in Sweden!
Here is an excerpt from a letter Dispatch International's Henrik Raeder Clausen sent out today:
Dear Friends of Freedom,
In the current state of affairs, starting a new and honest newspaper would seem the perfect antidote to the political correctness that poisons the established media, which is why we started Dispatch International. We had expected that to be quite a fight, and we certainly got our share of MSM condemnation and Denial of Service attacks we had anticipated. What we did not expect, however, was the combination of the two - the latest Denial of Service attacks have in part been traced to several established media houses Sydsvenskan, Norrköpings Tidningar, Värnamo Nyheter, Swedish Television SVT and Tredje Statsmakten Media AB.
The names of these Swedish MSM outlets are not familiar to most American readers, but their role as obstacles to the free flow of information in postmodern democratic society, alas, is.
Over the last two weeks, we have had several novel and advanced attacks on our servers, which brought them to a halt despite our top-rated security measures. The attacks have been reported to the police, who is actively investigating the matter. While there is no indication whatsoever that the leadership of the Swedish media houses are implicated, they remain responsible for what is done from their networks. Most likely, a single expert devised the attack, after which a loosely connected network of leftwing radicals have executed it, using whatever computer networks have been at their disposal, including apparently computers at their workplace.
What to do? If you have a website or Facebook page, publicize this attack on free speech in "civilized" Europe. I am also urging readers to consider subscribing to Dispatch International, not only to support its mission and gain vital news in return, but to ensure that this mission in liberty's name isn't derailed by the totalitarian cyber-mob that fights to kill free speech.
Here are the recent reports on the ongoing war to shut down Dispatch International. I have reproduced them in full since the website remains subject to crippling attack.
November 29, 2012
Massive hacker attack against Dispatch International
By Maria Celander
Dispatch International is under attack. During the last week we have been bombarded by attempts to overload the web site, rendering it inaccessible to our readers.
”This is no ordinary Denial of Service attack, that anybody can carry out. The people responsible know what they’re doing and have reasonably high skills,” says Dispatch International’s head of internet security.
A number of experts on IT security have gone through the logs from the 24 hour period when the attack was at its most intense, around November 22. And they have drawn several conclusions, of which the most interesting is that computers belonging to the newspapers Sydsvenskan, Värnamo Nyheter and Norrköpings Tidningar, the radio production company Tredje Statsmakten Media AB and Swedish state television SVT took part in the attack.
“Most of the computers used in the attack have random, dynamic IP addresses. So, these media houses certainly stand out,” says one of the security experts.
Even if there is no way to be sure that persons from these companies have participated actively in the attack, the experts believe is the most likely scenario.
”The alternative is that these major corporations have been hacked, and that would mean this is a very high profile attack. That is very is unlikely. An attack at that level could have wreaked complete havoc with the system, and that didn’t happen this time.”
By the skin of their teeth, Dispatch International’s security team managed to keep the web page online during most of the attack, but the publication of last week’s web paper was severely delayed. If one were to calculate how much money an attack like this is worth in overtime and damage to the paper’s reputation, one would end up with a six-figure amount. Dispatch International has of course reported the attack to the police, who are now investigating suspicions of hacking.
November 29, 2012
Editorial: "The Infallibles" in panic over Dispatch International
By Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard
Dispatch International has struck fear in Swedish mainstream media, to the extent that people linked to several media organizations, among them the daily Sydsvenskan and Swedish Television, are trying to take down our website. Last week we noticed that it was under heavy attack – of a magnitude that is normally used if you want to shut down a small country or a major organization.
We withstood the attack and our setup is such that we plan to survive any attack in the future.
The most interesting aspect concerning the onslaught was that people associated with several Swedish media organizations took part in it. Our analysis of the hackers shows that among the culprits were people connected to the dailies Sydsvenskan, Norrköpings Tidningar, Värnamo Nyheter, Swedish Television and a production company associated with Radio Sweden, Tredje Statsmakten Media AB.
The latter produces the program “Medierna i P1” (Media in P1) for Radio Sweden – a weekly show intended to scrutinize Swedish media.
Ever since Dispatch International got started, Sydsvenskan has been heaping abuse on our newspaper. On 23 November Sydsvenskan’s cultural editor Rakel Chukri claimed that Dispatch International is spreading hatred against people of color. She was of course unable to point to a single instance of Dispatch International doing such a thing.
It now turns out that people with access to computers at Sydsvenskan are not satisfied with merely vilifying us, but are engaged in an attempt to wreck us by illegal means.
There is no way the recent attack can be due to an honest mistake or construed as a bungled attempt to access our content. The hackers have carefully entered a complex code that can have no other purpose than demolishing our operating system. The attack must have been carefully planned and coordinated.
Regardless of how the attack was organized, the media organizations that have been hosting this unprecedented attempt to wreck a fellow media are legally responsible and they have all been reported to the police.
Swedish journalists have made no secret of their decision to stop calling us what we are, i.e., Islam critics. Instead they have tainted us with the absurd epithet: an “anti-Muslim newspaper”. Last week Daniel Sandström, editor-in-chief of Sydsvenskan, explained to Medievärlden his decision to call us “anti-Muslim”.
– The Free Press Society and Dispatch International often present themselves as Islam-critical, but if you look closer at them, you will see that it is not only about criticism of religion. It is about a broader and more aggressive view on Muslims’ right to live and work in the West. So Islam-critical is not an adequate word. Readers have responded to the choice of words and these reactions have been useful to us.
The idea seems to be that an "anti-Muslim" newspaper may more easily be accused of "racism" and "xenophobia".
Deplorable as the wrecking attempt is, we take it as confirmation that Dispatch International has a necessary role to play – a role that is evidently acknowledged by the Swedish media. Otherwise they would not have gone to this length to destroy us.
The mainstream Swedish media, aka “The Infallibles” or the “Guardians of the Faith”, never miss a chance to profess their allegiance to free speech, but when a new media such as Dispatch International appears on the scene, they are not satisfied with merely defaming it. Some gentlemen of the press won't shy away from using criminal methods to silence inconvenient voices.
We are aware that totalitarian states such as China, Cuba and North Korea do their utmost to quell all dissent. Until now we have never heard of news media in a democratic state that have tried to emulate the likes of the Chinese Central Committee, the rulers of Communist Cuba or the “dear leaders” of North Korea.
This behavior attests to a very sorry state of affairs in Sweden. But “The Infallibles”, our so-called colleagues in the media, may rest assured that their efforts to destroy us will come to naught. They will not succeed in preventing Dispatch International from starting regular weekly publication in January 2013. They will not stop us from gaining a mass readership. And they will not prevent us from writing the truth that is so lamentably absent from the Swedish mainstream media.
All that the hackers have succeeded in doing is to highlight the importance of Dispatch International. We can think of no better reason why every democratic and freedom-loving Swede should take out a subscription to our newspaper.
We will not surrender and we will not allow the enemies of freedom to have their way.
We are sure you won’t either.
SUPPORT SWEDEN’S ONLY FREE NEWSPAPER!
If you feel as sick as we do about how Swedish mainstream media behave, this is your chance to help influence history. Take out a subscription to Dispatch International today, buy an Honest Press Certificate or give them away as Christmas presents! Your support will help us survive and flourish and forever disarm the hypocritical “Infallibles”.
December 1, 2012
More on the cyber attack against Dispatch International
The Swedish newspapers Sydsvenskan and Norrköpings Tidningar have strenuously denied that persons with access to their computers have taken part in a criminal attack on Dispatch International (see our reports here and here).
As we have already made clear, we have not accused management of these media of having condoned or ordered the attack. However, we have incontrovertible evidence that persons with access to their systems have been involved.
As the two newspapers pretend not to understand what we have been trying to tell them, let us repeat the facts:
During November 22 and 23 we were exposed to an attack that was not a normal Denial of Service-attack. Its objective was not to overload our server – as is the case with a normal DOS-attack. It was constructed in such a way that it sent a specific and invalid request, which caused one of the services driving our website to crash.
The code used in the attack consists of our web address followed by several numbers and symbols. The likelihood that a great number of people may have entered this complex code by mistake time and again (a large number of IP addresses apart from those that can be traced to Sydsvenskan and Norrköpings Tidningar were used in the attack) must be deemed extremely remote.
There is every indication that someone with specialist hacking knowledge has constructed the code with the intent of damaging our website.
Here are the screen shots of the logs relevant for Sydsvenskan and Norrköpings Tidningar. For obvious reasons we have omitted the code used in the attack. We have, however, given it to the police.
An interesting aspect of the attack is that when the code had been constructed, the master hacker could simply disseminate it and encourage people to click on it – precisely as we were ready to send out our weekly online paper.
As we have been subjected to attacks ever since we got started, we maintain a high level of security. In recent days our website has been read via automated tools such as Acunetix, Nessus, Qualys and Nikto. Their purpose is to detect potential weaknesses or gain detailed information about how our system is constructed.
We have also noticed a great number of attempts over the past week to inject PHP webshells and SQL-injects (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_injection). Fortunately we have been well prepared for these types of attack and they have failed.
We urge Sydsvenskan, Norrköpings Tidningar and the other organizations whose servers have been used to commit cybercrime against Dispatch International to find out what persons in their organizations have participated in the crime.
And we reiterate that Sydsvenskan, Norrköpings Tidningar and the other organizations that harbor people willing to engage in criminal activity remain legally responsible for hacker attacks emanating from their servers.