Update on the AXANAR attempted hacking…

Earlier today, I reported that an attempt had been made to hack into the AXANAR YouTube channel…pointing out that the prime suspect(s) was/were most likely one or more detractors.

Very quickly, one of my readers, JOE DIAZ, forwarded me the following tweet from one of the people managing the channel…

Other comments on my previous blog entry were now pointing to this tweet as proof that there was no hacking attempt. Naturally, if I’ve misreported something, I need to issue a retraction. But I first needed to verify that I had, in fact, misreported it. So I contacted ALEC PETERS and the aforementioned THE REAL STOGGY to ask what happened.

Here, as far as I can piece together, is the order in which things happened…

December – After uploading a series of quick “Axanar -Live” update videos shot with a cell phone over the previous months, Alec began posting higher-quality Axanar updates to YouTube, generating tens of thousands of views. One update from December 27 is currently up to 96K views.

January 5 – With the videos being so popular, Alec decided to create two YouTube channels: Axanar and Ares Studios. Actually, there had already been an Axanar YouTube channel, but it had been mostly dormant for a long while. Last night, three volunteers were given Manager status (Alec remained the channel owner), and began adding videos to the channel. There was a LOT of activity.

January 6, 8:43am EST – The two channels were suddenly shut down by YouTube. The only manage working on them at the time was the aforementioned Stoggy, who had pulled an all-nighter, and panicked when he was suddenly locked out. Here’s what he told me…

I was on the site and I thought I did something wrong when the termination window popped up. I thought, based on the best information that I had and my knowledge of YouTube mechanics, that I f*cked something up. It was about 8:43 in the morning when I contacted Alec that something went wrong.

January 6, 10:01am EST – With the channels still down, and Stoggy still feeling responsible, he sent out the above tweet correcting a comment by ROB BURNETT, who conjecturing about the reason for the termination of the account. Stoggy explained his reasoning…

The way the system works, it isn’t about the “now”—it is about the cumulative actions in a window of time. We managers all got added near around the same time. It was reasonable to think the system thought us hackers (in my mind). We are all in different locations with different IP’s, and 12 hours prior, none of us was on the site. Now we were and making changes all over and answering messages, etc. It was an explosion of life on an otherwise dead account. That isn’t normal to a pattern-based security algorithm standing in for human oversight.

January 6, about 11:30am EST – Whether or not it was the sudden flurry of activity that caused the account “termination,” it was not permanent. As soon as Alec returned home and logged into his YouTube account as owner, the channel and all of the videos were restored automatically. He didn’t receive any communications from YouTube/Google explaining why the channels had been deactivated and reactivated, although he has reached out to them since and hasn’t yet heard back

January 6, 5:06pm EST – Alec received the following alert from Google:

While it’s uncertain whether the channel shutdown was the result of hacking attempts or a misunderstanding by an automated algorithm, the above message clearly shows what looks like an attempt to hack the account using Alec’s e-mail and password. How they got his password is unknown, but I did ask Alec if perhaps it was one of his new managers (either accidentally or on purpose)…

No, they don’t have my password. No one does except me. Each manager uses their own unique login name and password. I don’t know their passwords, and they don’t know mine. This was an attempt to log in using my personal account.

And there you have it…the story so far as best I can verify it. You all can decide what you think is happening, although to me, it looks like—at least in the latter half of the day—Alec had an actual hacking attempt…perhaps inspired by the shutdown and subsequent reactivation of the channels.

And before anyone asked why I included the image at the very top (“MOVE ALONG – NOTHING TO SEE HERE”), it’s an attempt at levity on my part. The image is from the TOS episode “The Return of the Archons” on the morning after Festival. The past twelve hours had been utter chaos, and now it’s time for everyone to get about their business calmly and orderly. Whether or not that happens with Axanar and its YouTube channels is anybody’s guess.

But we can at least hope!

43 thoughts on “Update on the AXANAR attempted hacking…”

  1. Why isn’t Alec jumping up and down? Why isn’t he posting furiously on FB, Twitter… anywhere… that this is a deep dark conspiracy from those evel haterz?

        1. Wow…did you really get spanked that hard by Hinman that you now have to constantly challenge Jonathan?

    1. Good lord… Don’t the Axanar people have 2 short films to make? Why is crap like this considered “newsworthy”? Whether you “love” Axanar” or “hate” Axanar, all this crap is silly and distracting. I donated $250 to see Axanar. It would be great to see the 2 short films, and not read silly fluff like this day after day.

  2. Honestly, it is a bit funny. The Channel went down, everybody was thinking what could have happen. Hacks? Copyright?

    And then, it’s just youtubes own security-mechanics because the Channel become extremly more active with more channel managers 😀

    Glad it was only somethign like that, but I must admit I had a little giggle reading this post. Best stories still came from Real life ^^

      1. woo, glad to hear 😀 (And I really should really remember to hit the box for “notify me of follow-up comments”, have seen your answer only now… :/)

  3. My wife got a similar note about her Gmail login being compromised and blocked by Google. I went into a frenzy of computer scans etc finding nothing amiss. But, for what it’s worth, the sign-in attempt notice is the same or very similar to what we saw not so long ago.

  4. Well done, Nathan. Thank you for presenting facts and updating as you get more facts. I’m old school, well ancient school by modern standards, in that, I liked Walter Cronkite’s factual style. So, I guess as Walter would say, ” . . . and that the news . . .”

    Sincerely & Respectfully,

    Charles R. Williamson Jr.
    EW1(SW/MTS) USN(Ret.)
    A.F. & A.M., L.M.I.P

    1. Just wanted to mention that the “Jo” is kinda mandatory in “Jonathan.” Otherwise, you have Nathan Lane. And while he’s one of my favorite actors, I would never want to take his place! 🙂

    1. Oh, I stand behind that comment 100% because it’s true. 🙂

      I’m not saying the detractors are totally to blame if Axanar never gets made. I’d also blame CBS and Paramount, and to an extent, Alec for making certain decisions along the way that proved (in hindsight) to have been the wrong decisions. But even Alec admits to some of those…like he should have simply filmed at Retro Studios in upstate New York. But saying that the detractors–with their constant efforts to deride, ridicule, criticize, and even sabotage Alec and Axanar–have NO part whatsoever in creating headwinds for the project…well, that’s just stupid.

      1. Trying to pin any blame on detractors and/or CBS & Paramount if Axanar doesn’t get made ignores a simple fact:

        Between the end of the Kickstarter in August 2014 and the filing of the lawsuit in December 2015, Alec had about fifteen months to complete the promised movie and didn’t shoot a single frame. There weren’t many detractors at the time and CBS/Paramount hadn’t taken any steps to stop it. Alec had the cast, crew and all the money he needed to get it done. Once filming had been completed, all CBS/Paramount could do was act against future fan films since Axanar would have been a fait accompli.

        But, nothing was done. Nothing at all. Instead, Alec wasted his time traveling around and trying to get even more publicity and money, marketing shirts, coffee, etc. Fifteen wasted months with nothing stopping him or even slowing him down. In the Facebook donor group, Alec’s reaction to impatient donors who asked about the delay was to insult and ban them from the group, regardless of how much money they had put toward the project.

        So, don’t try to spread the blame around to detractors and CBS/Paramount when Alec Peters wasted fifteen months of his golden window of opportunity to make the movie and instead spent his time selling merchandise, giving interviews and trying to pass himself off as the defender of Star Trek fandom.

        The person responsible for Axanar not getting made is Alec Peters and no one else. If it never gets made, Alec Peters is still the only one responsible because he didn’t get to work when there was nothing standing in his way.

        1. Duane, I’m really curious why you need to create an alternate universe where “nothing was done” (no bridge set, no Vulcan scene, no Klingon costumes, no transoprter set, no captain’s quarters, no green screen, no sound proofing, no permit gathering, no track lighting grid, no electrical system, no casting calls, no production team assembling, no storyboarding, no VFX animatics, no additional crowd-funding…only selling coffee) in order to try to prove a point which is so obviously a lie?

          It’s what I hate most about most of you detractors. You can’t win an argument based on facts, so you simply change them or ignore them completely. It’s one of the many reasons there are still thousands and thousands of Axanar supporters out there and only a few dozen detractors. I really should just ignore you guys completely, as you’re pretty much meaningless. Maybe I will do just that—it’ll certainly let me get more work done not having to constantly correct your delusions like I just did today.

          Consider yourself schooled, Duane.

        2. Wow….that’s a lot of bad information all in one post. Not even Condon tried to pass off such nonsense as fact!

  5. Wow…what a rollercoaster.

    The Axanar detractors will stop at nothing to deride Alec’s hard work.


    1. No worries. Amusingly, someone else just called me Nathan Lane earlier today. It’s only ever happened once in my life before this (in South Carolina in 1992), and now it’s happened twice in two days! Weird. 🙂

    1. I’m officially staying out of the conflict between Alec and Rob. I know them both well, and they’ve each shared confidential information with me that I intend to keep confidential. With the potential of actual litigation coming, I’ve been advised by people much smarter than I am to not get myself or Fan Film Factor involved in any way.

  6. To the Anti-Axanar team…
    By God !!, I really do not understand it! .. What is the plan ?, what do you expect to get them? … suppose they get away with it (whatever it is), and do not Axanar is filmed … Are you going to show off that? Do you expect Star Trek fans to thank you for the effort to take away a good story? Are they so self-satisfied that they do not see beyond their noses? They really believe that they are rescuing us from some terrible danger by seeing Axanar? ,,,,, They are beyond my comprehension, seriously, “If you do not like it, do not look at it” as simple as that …..

    1. “They really believe that they are rescuing us from some terrible danger by seeing Axanar?”

      Actually, yes, I believe they do feel they are somehow doing the lord’s will by ganging up on Alec Peters. I mean, I’m not a religious person, but I doubt any universal deity would be applauding the detractors in any way. That said, they’re not sucking up to Universal; they’re sucking up to Paramount and CBS. (See what I did there?) 🙂

  7. Jonathan,
    My comment, “do you have proof to the contrary” was to a comment espousing that what you posted was not factually true. I was basically telling them to put up, or STFU.

    Sincerely & respectfully,


    1. Ah. Remember, Charles, when responding to a specific comment or post, click on the “Reply” button under the comment you wish to respond to. Otherwise, your reply just appears at the very bottom of the page…which could be anywhere by that point.

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