Hackers Trigger Seizures on Epilepsy Board

Griefer group posts flashing images to harm users
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2008 3:16 PM CDT
Hackers Trigger Seizures on Epilepsy Board
The incident may be the first time a digital attack has inflicted physical harm on its victim.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Hackers infected an epilepsy message board last week, posting messages designed to induce seizures and migraines, Wired reports. The Epilepsy Foundation shut down its forum as reports rolled in. One woman said she suffered her worst episode in a year: “I don’t fall over and convulse, but it hurts,” she said. “I couldn’t move and couldn’t speak.”

At first, the Internet griefers posted animated gifs, but a day later added flashing graphics to attack photosensitive and pattern-sensitive epilepsy sufferers. “Everyone who logged on, it affected to some extent,” said one victim, who experienced a day-long migraine. About 50 million people have epilepsy worldwide, and roughly 3% suffer seizures at the sight of flashing lights. (Read more hackers stories.)

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