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   Jan 24

Warming seas decrease sea turtle basking

By Herp News

Green sea turtles may stop basking on beaches around the world within a century due to rising sea temperatures, a new study suggests. Basking helps the turtles regulate body temperature and may aid their immune system and digestion. By analyzing six years of turtle surveys and 24 years of satellite data, researchers have found the turtles bask more often when sea surface temperatures are lower. This vital behavior may cease globally by 2102 if global warming trends continue.

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Read more here: herpetofauna.com


   Jan 23

Courier no longer ships reptiles in UK

International courier company TNT has announced it will no longer ship live reptiles in the UK for what it calls “health and safety reasons.”

Although the original announcement was made in October of last year, it was made so quietly hat many reptile hobbyists and businesses are only finding out about the change in policy now, when their packages are returned to them the following day by TNT drivers telling them that their depot was “no longer handling reptiles.”

I’m not sure what aspect of the reptile shipping service could be considered unhealthy or dangerous, but then I doubt if this is the real reason for the company’s change of policy. Whatever the reason, to those of us who understand reptile transportation protocols, the decision is crazy. I’ve written several magazine features about transporting and packing reptiles safely based on my experience of shipping many thousands of reptiles over several decades. To me it seems like a dumb decision, whichever way you look at it.

According to a piece in UK pet trade publication PBW News, a TNT spokesman said, “The company has made the decision not to transport any animals due to health and safety reasons. As a result, we are not taking on any new customers in this area.”

In response to queries from Pet Business World about potential health and safety issues with transporting reptiles, Judith Hackitt, chairman of the Health and Safety Executive, said, “I see this time and time again, companies using health and safety as a blanket excuse and it’s got to stop. It is misleading for members of the public to constantly read headlines blaming non-existent health and safety laws for stopping people for going about their everyday business. It detracts from the real business of health and safety.” …read more
Read more here: King Snake


   Jan 23

North Carolina reptile ban hype, not reality

An article about a supposed reptile ban has been making it’s way around social media. It has a headline designed to frighten any herper: “BREAKING NEWS: NC Reptile Ban Legislation! HSUS to Push for Dangerous Wild Animal Legislation in NC; Boas, Pythons and Venomous at Risk.” Sounds really ominous, doesn’t it?

The article was based on information posted on the website of Carolina Tiger Rescue (CTR), stating CTR will join with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to introduce a bill that “bans bears, non-human primates, and wild cats.” It further states this “legislation has nothing to do with farming practices. It is about bears, nonhuman primates, and wild cats. Not pigs. Not chickens. Not cows.”

Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped speculation by voices intent on inflaming the community with messages saying things like “this legislation may cover more than big cats. The HSUS model Dangerous Wild Animal (DWA) legislation, for which they received the stamp of approval from the American Bar Association (ABA) Animal Law Committee in 2014, includes large constrictors (even boa constrictors) and venomous snakes.”

It should be noted that the above referenced model legislation has not been adopted by the ABA; but is merely a recommendation by a committee.

A simple phone call to the executive director of CTR, Pam Fulk, immediately answered the speculation as to whether the legislation included or would include reptiles or amphibians. Fulk responded that such speculation is “absolutely untrue.” She said the legislation is in its final process of review, adding, “People are already making things up.”

When a group has any association with HSUS, USARK is vigilant to verify their statements to us. USARK has mechanisms in place to identify legislation introduced in all 50 states, including amendments to existing laws that would affect the herp community. Let’s not speculate, and waste our energy and activism, when we can verify, and focus our efforts on confirmed threats.
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Read more here: King Snake


   Jan 23

Sea turtle finds her way back to birth beach, but how?

By Herp News

It's a sea turtle mystery that has stumped scientists for decades: How does the female sea turtle, which travels across thousands of miles of open ocean each year, still manage to navigate back to the same beach where she hatched to lay her eggs?

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Read more here: herpetofauna.com


   Jan 23

Turtle freedom

By Herp News

A 22.5-kilo olive ridley sea turtle measuring almost 2 feet long is released in the waters of the Hundred Islands National Park in Alaminos City last Thursday by a team led by Dr. Westley Rosario of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and joined by local and Korean members of the Lions Club. (Jojo Riñoza)

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Read more here: herpetofauna.com


   Jan 23

Warming seas decrease sea turtle basking

By Herp News

Green sea turtles may stop basking on beaches around the world within a century due to rising sea temperatures, a new study suggests. Basking helps the turtles regulate body temperature and may aid their immune system and digestion. By analyzing six years of turtle surveys and 24 years of satellite data, researchers have found the turtles bask more often when sea surface temperatures are lower …

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Read more here: herpetofauna.com


   Jan 23

Rare turtle washed up on Cumbrian beach dies

By Herp News

A rare turtle found washed up on a Cumbrian beach and being cared for at a county aquarium has died.

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Read more here: herpetofauna.com


   Jan 23

Warming seas decrease sea turtle basking

By Herp News

Green sea turtles may stop basking on beaches around the world within a century due to rising sea temperatures, a new study suggests. Basking helps the turtles regulate body temperature and may aid their immune system and digestion. By analyzing six years of turtle surveys and 24 years of satellite data, researchers have found the turtles bask more often when sea surface temperatures are lower …

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Read more here: herpetofauna.com


   Jan 23

Turtle savior is on a mission

By Herp News

Dr. Paul Gibbons, managing director of the Behler Chelonian Center in California, is on a mission to save endangered turtles from extinction.

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Read more here: herpetofauna.com


   Jan 23

Lizard Squad: Our DDoS Attack Service Wasn't Hacked, We Handed Out Customer Passwords

By Herp News

One of the key members of Lizard Squad tells Forbes an insider was to blame for the database leak of an attack service the crew is offering, not an outside hacker, contrary to previous reports. The group was handing out the database, he claimed, indicating customers of the Lizard Stresser service have already had their online accounts comrpromised by the Lizards.

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Read more here: herpetofauna.com


   Jan 23

Lizard Squad: We Weren't Hacked, We Were Handing Out Customer Passwords

By Herp News

One of the key members of Lizard Squad tells Forbes an insider was to blame for the database leak of an attack service the crew is offering, not an outside hacker, contrary to previous reports. The group was handing out the database, he claimed, indicating customers of the Lizard Stresser service have already had their online accounts comrpromised by the Lizards.

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Read more here: herpetofauna.com


   Jan 23

Tortoise Capital Advisors, L.L.C. Announces Release of 2014 Annual Reports for Closed-End Funds (NDP, NTG, TPZ, TTP …

By Herp News

Tortoise Capital Advisors, L.L.C., the adviser of NDP, NTG, TPZ, TTP and TYG announced today the release of 2014 annual stockholders’ reports for each of these funds.

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   Jan 23

Herp Video of the Week: Giant Waxy Monkey Frog Tadpoles Hatching!

Check out this video “Giant Waxy Monkey Frog Tadpoles Hatching!” submitted by kingsnake.com user mjnovy.
Submit your own reptile & amphibian videos at http://www.kingsnake.com/video/ and you could see them featured here or check out all the videos submitted by other users! …read more
Read more here: King Snake


   Jan 23

Herp Photo of the Day: Eastern Painted Turtles!

Eastern Painted Turtles, uploaded by kingsnake.com user nategodin

It’s our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user nategodin!

Upload your own reptile and amphibian photos photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them featured here! …read more
Read more here: King Snake


   Jan 22

Excessive rainfall harms tropical leaf litter frogs

While some species are suffering due to drought, leaf litter frogs are struggling with too much rainfall.

From the University of New Mexico Newsroom:

Using four different species of leaf litter frogs, they replicated and sampled 10 plots per year, using a plot survey technique of total leaf litter removal within each plot. They measured and sampled annual species diversity and community composition once a year during March, during the dry season, at the Organization of Tropical Studies Las Cruces Biological Station in southern Costa Rica.

Their findings were surprising in that strictly terrestrial frog species (i.e., they do not breed in water) can be influenced by extreme rainfall events much like their aquatic-breeding counterparts. The researchers discovered that species diversity and the community structure changed negatively in dramatic fashion from the two pre-La Niña years compared to the onset of the La Niña event in 2010.

The altered community structure due to extreme rainfall lasted for over 20 months. During that time, all four leaf litter frog species declined in number and several measures revealed marked changes in the community structure in terms of both plot diversity and occupancy.

Read more here. …read more
Read more here: King Snake


   Jan 22

Nothing comes between a man and his bush viper

Back in 1970, while scanning a pricelist from Hank Molt, the name Mt. Kenya bush viper, Atheris desaixii, caught my eye. I was familiar with several species in the genus, but A. desaixii was one that I didn’t know.

In those days there was no Google to turn to for information. Even the word computer was seldom heard and if heard it was not thought about as belonging to a magazine-sized entity that would reside in average homes, schoolrooms, backpacks, and vehicles.

But we did have telephones. And back then we dialed the number of the person we hoped to talk with. Since there was no caller ID to alert them that it was a pest calling, they almost always answered the phone. So I called Hank. Hank answered, and a few moments later he was describing a Mt. Kenya bush viper to me. It seems that the snake was primarily black, had yellow tipped scales, and its venom composition was basically unknown. Hank said it was a beautiful snake, really, really pretty.

Sounded pretty to me, so I asked Patti “Do I need a Mt. Kenya bush viper?” She looked at me like I had just stepped off a spaceship, and said “no” (and it was an emphatic no).

So I called Hank back, told him that Patti couldn’t wait to see the viper, and to ship it ASAP. Two days later I was getting acquainted with my first Mt. Kenya bush viper.

And Hank had been right. It was a beauty.
Continue reading “Nothing comes between a man and his bush viper” …read more
Read more here: King Snake


   Jan 22

Herp Photo of the Day: Leucistic Western Hognose!

Leucistic Western Hognose, uploaded by kingsnake.com user motorhead

It’s our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user motorhead!

Upload your own reptile and amphibian photos photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them featured here! …read more
Read more here: King Snake


   Jan 22

Hacking Group Lizard Squad Hit With a Cyberattack on Its Own Network

By Herp News

© Dado Ruvic/Reuters People pose in front of a display showing the word “cyber” in binary code. The hacker cohort Lizard Squad, who gleefully shut down the Xbox Live and PlayStation networks over the holidays, has been hit with a cyberattack on its own network.

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Read more here: herpetofauna.com


   Jan 21

Sundarbans still reeling from effects of December oil spill

By Herp News

Last month, an estimated 350,000 liters of fuel oil spilled into the Sundarbans delta on the Bay of Bengal. An oil tanker that had collided with a cargo vessel on December 9th sank into the Shela River, spilling its oil into a protected sanctuary for the rare and endangered Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) and the Ganges river dolphins (Platanista gangetica).

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   Jan 21

Video: clouded leopards and elephants grace drowned forest in Thailand

By Herp News

Camera trap video from Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary in southern Thailand has revealed an impressive array of wildlife, including scent-marking clouded leopards and a whole herd of Asian elephant. The camera traps were set by HabitatID, an organization devoted to using remote camera traps to prove to government officials that wildlife still flourishes in forgotten places.

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   Jan 21

Video: clouded leopards and elephants grace drowned forest in Thailand

By Herp News

Camera trap video from Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary in southern Thailand has revealed an impressive array of wildlife, including scent-marking clouded leopards and a whole herd of Asian elephant. The camera traps were set by HabitatID, an organization devoted to using remote camera traps to prove to government officials that wildlife still flourishes in forgotten places.

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Read more here: herpetofauna.com


   Jan 21

Climate change threatens 30 years of sea turtle conservation success

By Herp News

A new study is sounding the alarm about climate change and its potential impact on more than 30 years of conservation efforts to keep sea turtles around for the next generation. Climate change is causing sea-level rise, and how coastal communities react to that rise could have dire consequences for sea turtles and other wildlife that rely on an unobstructed beach for survival, researchers say.

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   Jan 21

Climate change threatens 30 years of sea turtle conservation success

By Herp News

A new study is sounding the alarm about climate change and its potential impact on more than 30 years of conservation efforts to keep sea turtles around for the next generation. Climate change is causing sea-level rise, and how coastal communities react to that rise could have dire consequences for sea turtles and other wildlife that rely on an unobstructed beach for survival, researchers say.

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Read more here: herpetofauna.com


   Jan 21

PSN and Xbox Live "Xmas Hackers" Are Hacked

By Herp News

Lizard Squad's “boot-for-hire” service compromised, with more than 14,000 names revealed.

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Read more here: herpetofauna.com


   Jan 21

The superhero salamander who never grows up

Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) are a neotenic aquatic salamander that lives exclusively in central Mexico in Lake Xochimilco and Lake Chalco. Axolotls regrettably are as good as extinct in the wild due to their habitat being highly polluted and many invasive fish being introduced to their lake.

Although listed as as a “critically endangered” species on the ICUN Red List of Threatened Species, it does not do much good if their environment is not protected alongside with the species.

In addition to axolotls’ uniqueness of remaining in larval form their entire lives, they are also known for their regenerative abilities. They can grow back entire limbs, damaged lungs, cut spinal cords, vital organs, and even pieces of their brain.They are also 1,000 more times less likely to get cancer than most mammals. Scientists are investigating a biological technique to introduce these genes to humans in hopes that within the next 20 years we will be able to grow our own new limbs.

Axolotls can easily be obtained in captivity and can come in many different color variations. A single axolotl can be kept quite successfully in a ten-gallon aquarium feeding on earthworms, bloodworms, waxworms, salmon pellets, and occasionally beefheart. They can be a very rewarding, long-lived pet you never have to worry about growing up. …read more
Read more here: King Snake


   Jan 21

Are venomous sea snakes overharvested?

Used in food and folk medicine, Thai fishermen may be catching too many sea snakes.

From National Geographic:

Some scientists are raising concerns about the practice. Little is known about the region’s sea snakes, including what species and how many live there, so it’s not clear whether the harvest is sustainable.

An overharvest, these researchers worry, could jeopardize potential medicinal discoveries. Compounds in venom, once processed and administered in controlled amounts, can be beneficial in treating human ailments like heart disease.

The sea snake catch—a side job for the region’s Vietnamese squid fishers—takes in over 80 tons (73 metric tons) of the marine reptile annually. That’s roughly 225,500 individual sea snakes per year, valued at over $3 million.

Read more here. …read more
Read more here: King Snake


   Jan 21

Winter doesn’t make a difference in Malabar pit viper sighting

The colorful Malabar pit viper, Trimeresurus malabaricus, is one of the most beautiful snakes one can come across in India. Most herpetologists would agree with this. because malabaricus is found in a stunning variety of color morphs including red, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, chocolatey, pink, and grey color forms. Usually malabaricus is found on trees as it is an arboreal pit viper, but some of them are also found on rocks. Most of those are grey in colour and they are called the rock Malabar pit viper.

An adult malabaricus is about 45cm to 105cm in size and usually found in southwestern and southern jungles of India. However, the usual locations where malabaricus is found varies according to the seasons. For example, in summers it’d found on higher branches of trees, whereas during monsoons it’s found on the lower branches a foot or two off the ground, as well as on rocks.

Last weekend I visited a friend in Amboli, a hill station in the Western Ghats, a mountain range that runs almost parallel to the western coast of India, and a paradise for herpetologists who are in search of malabaricus. It was a cold night and I had no intention of herping as I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t find anything, but the area looked so scenic and perfect for herping I couldn’t stop myself and went on a night field trip.

To my good luck I found a malabaricus within 20 minutes. It rekindled my spirit, as this the primary reason that I love snakes and feel a bond with them. It was about 50cm long and green in colour, and it was coiled up on small fallen branch of a tree.

These snakes are active at night and shy in nature, and are sometimes seen during day basking in the sunlight. They are very rare to find in winter, as it is assumed to go into hibernation at that time of year.

Encountering this Malabar pit viper added happiness to my weekend! …read more
Read more here: King Snake


   Jan 21

Herp Photo of the Day: Ball Python!

Ball Python, uploaded by kingsnake.com user ke

It’s our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user ke!

Upload your own reptile and amphibian photos photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them featured here! …read more
Read more here: King Snake


   Jan 21

Tortoise Capital Advisors Announces Tax Characterization of 2014 Closed-End Fund Distributions

By Herp News

Tortoise Capital Advisors today announced the tax characterization of 2014 distributions paid to stockholders of:

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Read more here: herpetofauna.com


   Jan 20

The seeing power of frogs: Frogs can detect single photons of light

By Herp News

A quantum light source demonstrates that light-sensitive cells in frog eyes can detect single photons. Miniature light detectors in frog eyes known as retinal rod cells are directly and unambiguously shown to detect single photons of light — an astounding sensitivity considering that a humble 60 watt light bulb spews out a staggering 1020 photons per second.

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   Jan 20

Virginia Tech Paleontologist Names a Carnivorous Reptile That Preceded Dinosaurs

By Herp News

Paleontologist Sterling Nesbitt's latest addition to the paleontological vernacular is Nundasuchus, a 9-foot-long carnivorous reptile with steak knifelike teeth and bony plates on the back.

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   Jan 20

Aww! Primordial Reptile Fossils Show Mother Caring for Babies

By Herp News

The fossilized remains of a small aquatic reptile surrounded by six babies suggest that the extinct animal was caring for the little ones when they died, a new study finds. The reptile is an extinct species called the philydrosaurus, and likely lived during the Early Cretaceous, a time period that spans about 145 to about 100 million years ago. An anonymous farmer donated the “beautifully …

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Read more here: herpetofauna.com


   Jan 20

Cambodia home to new legless amphibian

Easily confused for snakes, a new type of caecilian, or legless amphibian, has been discovered.

From phys.org:

“The I.cardamomensis species is only the second caecilian species ever discovered in Cambodia. The other is the striped Koa Tao Island caecilian, I. kohtaoensis, which is also found in, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

These discoveries are important to demonstrate that much of Cambodia’s biodiversity remains unknown and unstudied by science, and many more areas need to be searched,” Thy said.

The forested Cardamom Mountains Range represents some of the largest remaining areas of habitat for more than 80 threatened species, including Asian elephant and gaur.

Thy said in recent years the Cardamom region had revealed its extensive reptile and amphibian diversity, including frogs, turtles, lizards and crocodiles.

Read more here. …read more
Read more here: King Snake


   Jan 20

Our house survived a spurred tortoise

Spurred tortoises are living breathing earth-moving machines.

The tortoise, a foot long African spurred tortoise, Geochelone (Centrochelys) sulcata, had been dropped in the tortoise yard. In the morning we had no African spurred tortoise and didn’t really want one, then in the afternoon we had one. Spontaneous turtle and tortoise acquisition had happened to us before, but this was our first unaccounted for spurred tortoise.

We weren’t really surprised. Over the years, a fair number of feral examples of this big Sub-Saharan tortoise had been found in North Central Florida. But because of its burrowing proclivities it was a species that we didn’t particularly want.

Yet here it was and it appeared to be in good condition, so we decided to let it stay for a while. It ate and it grew. 18 inches came and went. It ate more and it grew more. 24 inches! And it wanted more and more food. But at least it wasn’t burrowing. It spent the nights in a big heated (when needed) tortoise house.

Then one day it didn’t come out of the house to forage. Well, it (and we) were entitled to a day off. It didn’t emerge the next day either. On the 3rd day it emerged wearing a huge pyramid of soil on its carapace.

Uh oh.

Time to check, but something intervened and several additional days went by. To check we had to move the big tortoise house and that was always a chore. When we moved the house, I deeply regretted that we had waited. The interior of the tortoise house was almost filled with the dirt from an immense burrow that went far back beneath the foundation of our house. Left to its own devices, it looked like the tortoise was headed for Sydney, Australia and our house wouldn’t be far behind. The sulcata was unreachable. I’d have to await his next emergence, temporarily cage him, then check the burrow and somehow remove smaller tortoises that were assuredly utilizing this haven.

It took some doing, but a day later the big sulcata was surprised while eating, two smaller tortoises were removed from the burrow, and the hole was refilled. And our house still sits solidly on its foundation – I think. Did I mention that we no longer have any sulcata?
Continue reading “Our house survived a spurred tortoise “ …read more
Read more here: King Snake


   Jan 20

Herp Photo of the Day: Nuu Ana Leachianus!

Nuu Ana Leachianus, uploaded by kingsnake.com user MikeRusso

It’s our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user MikeRusso!

Upload your own reptile and amphibian photos photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them featured here! …read more
Read more here: King Snake


   Jan 20

Lizard Squad DDoS-for-hire website compromised, stored passwords in plain text

By Herp News

The Lizard Squad, an Internet mayhem group, has recently been caught with their proverbial pants down when an attacker compromised the customer database of the group’s recently released distributed denial of service (DDoS) for hire service. The service, the “Lizard … Continue reading →

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Read more here: herpetofauna.com


   Jan 20

Frankie Tortoise Tails – Inside Outside

Frankie has been indoors almost every day since Christmas. He is not happy with me.Posted Image
“I hate you, mom.”

His indoor space isn’t very big so he is very annoyed.
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“Something in this gecko room is coming down. Plastic barrier is not going to keep me from ramming garbage can or the humidifier.”

It’s all I can do to keep him occupied and amused.
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“Hello, Steel Stella. I’ve missed you.”

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Newt joins Frankie at each meal. Frankie doesn’t mind sharing at all.

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Playing footsies under the door with Frankie is going to get that cat in a whirl of hurt.

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Frankie gets my constant attention….including 10:00 pm bedtime check.

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“Get outta my way! It’s sunny and I am going outside.”

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Poor Frankie turned into an unmoving shell sculpture in his backyard. He was so cold I had to get help to carry him back inside. Frankie refused to move for thirty minutes. Sorry Frankie. Sunny and 40


   Jan 20

Lizard Squad’s Plaintext Customer List Leaked As Another Member Is Arrested

By Herp News

 The Lizard Squad, the group of hackers credited with taking down Xbox Live and PSN over the holiday, have been compromised and much of their data leaked. Brian Krebs received a listing of the Lizard Squad’s LizardStresser customer database and noted that the group made about $11,000 in bitcoin serving up denial-of-service on demand. At the same time police arrested an alleged member of… Read More

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Read more here: herpetofauna.com


   Jan 19

Lizard Squad Kept Its Hacker-for-Hire Customers' Info in Plain Text

By Herp News

Somebody hacked the Lizard Squad's super stupid DDoS-for-hire service last week, and guess what? The Lizard Squad sucks at cybersecurity. Not only did the hackers leave their so-called LizardStresser service vulnerable, the money-hungry kids left all their customers' data in plain text and $11,000 in bitcoin on the table. Read more…

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   Jan 19

Lizard Squad chased by police, humbled by fellow hackers

By Herp News

Not only have several members of the Lizard Squad hacking group been arrested lately, but their Lizard Stresser client list has leaked all over the web. The post Lizard Squad chased by police, humbled by fellow hackers appeared first on Digital Trends .

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