Anonymous and sympathetic hacktivist groups were busy over the weekend, hitting various government and law-enforcement sites around the world.
were busy over the weekend, targeting Websites belonging to various governments
and law-enforcement agencies around the world. Their efforts haven't let up
with the new week.
collective Anonymous appeared to claim responsibility for the Central
Intelligence Agency's Website being down for a few hours Feb. 10. "CIA
TANGO DOWN: https://www.cia.gov/ #Anonymous," posted @YourAnonNews. The
account posted several links to media reports claiming an Anonymous-led
distributed denial-of-service attack had knocked the CIA site offline.
posted what sounded like a disclaimer shortly after. "We'd remind media
that if we report a hack of ddos attack, it doesn't necessarily mean we did
it," according to the post on Twitter.
Website was down for about nine hours Feb. 10, and again for a short period on Feb.
11. It was unavailable again for periods of time Feb. 13.
aware of the problems accessing our Website, and are working to resolve
them," a CIA spokesperson said.
Anonymous is not an organized group or defined hierarchy, it is difficult to
figure out what actions can be attributed to the group.
can claim to represent Anonymous if they wish, which means that even Anonymous
itself can't actually claim that they did or did not launch an attack,"
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, wrote on the Naked Security
have been lumped in with the larger Anonymous brand because they've indicated
some solidarity with the collective. For example, Interpol's Website went down
Feb. 11, and a group that calls itself @BlackTuesdayHG claimed responsibility.
On its Twitter feed, the group claimed to not be part of Anonymous. "Yeap,
we support their ideas, but we have own ideas at all!" BlackTuesdayHG
actually needs one person to claim that the CIA attack was done by Anonymous
and, well ¦ it's hard to prove that it wasn't," said Cluley.
Along with the
CIA outage for which it may or may not have been responsible, various
Anonymous-related accounts on Twitter reported attacks on other high-profile
sites. The U.S. Census Bureau was hit by Team Inj3ctor Feb. 11, with names of
database tables obtained from the agency's Web server posted on Pastebin
. Another group,
@AnonymousMexico dumped 730MB of emails and other information from Mexican
Chamber of Mines on Pastebin.
took down a number of Greece's government and police Websites Feb. 13 to
coincide with the protests within the country. The collective has so far
claimed responsibility for taking down Websites for TV stations, the Prime
Minister, National Police and the Ministry of Finance.
hacker group EvilShadow took over Microsoft's online store in India Feb. 12 and
posted an image of a person wearing the Guy Fawkes mask, popularized by
Anonymous. The team may have stolen the store's database of user names and
passwords, according to a report on WP
, a blog devoted to Windows Phone-related news.
appears to have regained control of the site as of Feb. 13, as the site now
reads, "The Microsoft Store India is currently unavailable. Microsoft is
working to restore access as quickly as possible."
information, including dates of birth, Social Security numbers and criminal
records, for 46,000 state residents may have been stolen from the state of Alabama
Websites, according to the Alabama Department of Homeland Security. It is
unclear what sites had been compromised. The attackers, CabinCr3w, claimed the
Alabama breach was in opposition to the state's immigration law that was passed
no harm by releasing this redacted information," the attackers said,
claiming it wasn't properly stored or encrypted in the first place.
also harvested personal information of more than 150 police officers from a
Website for the West Virginia Chiefs of Police Association on Feb. 6 and may
have been behind a similar attack on a Salt Lake City police Website. Phone
numbers, addresses and email addresses of police officers, as well as
information on drug operations, suppliers, and license plate numbers were
stolen in the Salt Lake City incident.
Casi from a
group Team P0ison uncovered a long list of SQL injection vulnerabilities on the
United Nations' Website Feb. 9 and posted the list on text-sharing site Pastebin
. No data was leaked, but it is
clear from what was posted that the team had breached the United Nations
experts predict that hacktivists will be very active in 2012, with
cyber-vigilantism, data breaches and DDoS attacks against both government and