Security: Anonymous, Hacktivists Try to Break the Internet: A Recap
The Websites of the NASDAQ and BATS stock exchanges as well as the Chicago Board Options Exchange were knocked offline for parts of Feb. 13 and Feb. 14. The DDoS attacks did not affect trading systems, just the public-facing nasdaq.com, nasdaqtrader.com, batstrading.com and cboe.com. "LONGwave99" claimed credit for "Operation Digital Tornado" although some believe the group is involved with Anonymous.
With various groups launching attacks against a wide range of targets to express their displeasure, hacktivism has gone mainstream. While it's easy to lump all the attacks under the Anonymous banner, it's not entirely accurate. The easy availability of a wide range of tools that can launch distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS) means practically anyone with any type of motivation can start their own online protest. While many of the groups that have popped up claim to be Anonymous sympathizers, many insist on not being grouped with the hacktivist collective. BlackTuesdayHG, a group behind the Feb. 11 outage of Interpol's Website, posted on Twitter, "Yep, we support their ideas, but we have own ideas at all!" Just as there are multiple groups, there are multiple motives. Some are still doing it for fun, some have strong political opinions, and others are angry about what they perceive as abuses or unfair treatment. Government officials and security experts believe that these kinds of data dumps and cyber-vigilantism will continue to grow in 2012. Here, eWEEK looks at some of the attacks around the world that hit governments, law enforcement and businesses in just the first two weeks of February.