Columbia's Group for Experimental Methods in the Humanities
about events impact projects lab-culture people

#feminism action defense OpSec

Following the turmoil of #gameragate our friends at hashtagfeminism.com are getting hacked. It is our duty as citizens of the internet to protect free speech online. Action Defense is first, an all-nighter code-fest to move #feminism to a secure, static, hacker-proof platform and second, the attempt to articulate online security basics for the wider activist community.

Online Security for Activists

During the initial meeting our group identified several potential vectors of attack. We’ve closed down vulnerabilities and took steps to harden the site’s publishing platform. These included: deleting default administrator accounts, restricting database user privileges, and limiting code execution. Most importantly, we found and eliminated a number of unauthorized users with administrator privileges.

To further minimize security risks we explored the possibility of moving #feminism to may first/people link, an internet service provider that specializes in hosting infrastructure for progressive mission-based organizations. Finally, we’ve recreated the website using a static site generator to evaluate a hostless solution, which would radically reduce the number of potential attack vectors.