strange hacker logins

Looking through the firewall logs on my backup machine, I discover that someone from a computer in the State administration of Utah ( has been trying to break in here. That makes a change from the usual Bulgarians and untraceable Far Eastern suspects. But what was really unusual were the logons they tried: after the usual %(loony)”test, guest, admin”% and %(loony)user% came the following sequence: %(loony)”umbro nike canon brother”%

Canon and Brother I can sort of understand: they are printers, which have a natural connection to a computer. But Nike? Do people log their shoes in? And I don’t even know what Umbro makes. Can any smarter readers help?

Update: I complained to the tech contact at the State of Utah and got a reply back within two hours: %(sane)Yes it looks as though this host is contaminated.. Behind our backs andon the week end this host was taken over by an outside host…We will lock it out of the net and clean it before we let it back so it should not be doing any more harm…% So, sometimes, things work as they should.

This entry was posted in Net stories. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to strange hacker logins

  1. It’s the Umbro reference that gives the game away. There’s no way anyone working in Utah knows who they are: they make most professional football strips.

  2. acb says:

    OK, so why is it looking for logins in these strange sporty names? Has something else been wandering round the net setting up such acounts?

  3. Rupert says:

    Perhaps the answer lies in the very high level of brand awareness among certain sectors of society? A Darwinian would think that the informed cracker would use those passwords found to work best in the past; an economist, that this information would have sufficient value to be traded across cultural boundaries where the words lose their other contexts.

    There is a sniff of an interesting column here, especially when one adds ideas like this. At the least, a modern Treasure Island…


  4. acb says:

    Oh, I like the treasure island idea. But these wern’t passwords. They were login names, which is what I found odd.

    I carry cryptic clues to my various passwords around with me in Ecco. I don’t think anyone would guess them who did not know me very well indeed. Of course, they could be cracked by anyone who was able to interrogate me for long enough; in that case I would have worse problems than strangers reading my email.

Comments are closed.