Hackers assault epilepsy patients

You can read it on Wired, and you’ll be able to read on more news protals going ahead. A short recap is:

Hackers attacked Epilepsy Foundation forums with a script that created hundreds of posts with blinking animation and javascript code to do more flashing. This, in turn, caused headaches and seizures for a lot of readers. The forums were closed for removing the images and securing.

I think there are two important point to note here:

First, it was the first physical attack done via a computer. It really did hurt someone without any special means, just a computer display. It travelled through Internet.

Rembeber the exploding computers in “Live free or die hard”? It all lookes childish – come on, how can a computer explode? And all those movies about viruses spreading into people’s minds through computer / TV networks. Well… here we go – one way was already found.

Second, epilepsy arguments were often used in web standards discussions, as to why we should not use blinking text and sharp colors in animations. I hope this lesson will be learned and we won’t hear “oh come on, how can a <blink> tag hurt someone?” anymore.

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