November has gone and it’s time to review this month’s cyber landscape.
From a Cyber Crime perspective, November 2012 will be probably remembered for the breach to Nationwide, one of the largest insurance and financial services providers in the US, a breach that has potentially left up to 1 million users exposed. Unfortunately, in terms of massive breaches, this is not the only remarkable event of the month, just at the end Acer India has suffered a massive cyber attack culminated in the leak of nearly 15,000 records. Not comparable with the breach that affected Nationwide, but for sure of big impact.
Also on the cyber-espionage front this month has been interesting: JAXA, the Japan Space agency has been targeted by yet another targeted attack (after January 2012) and Symantec has discovered W32.Narilam, a new destructive malware targeting several nations in Middle East.
The hacktivist front has been characterized by the dramatic events in Gaza, the attacks have reached a peak around the first half of the month (as in the first part, I did not take into consideration the attacks carried on in name of OpIsrael for which I wrote a dedicated timeline), in any case the Anonymous have found another way to mark this month, leaking 1 Gb of documents from the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Last but not least, this month has seen three large-scale DNS Poisoning attacks (against the Pakistani Registrar PKNIC, Inc., GoDaddy, and the Romanian Registrar). A very rare occurrence!
If you want to have an idea of how fragile our data are inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011 and 2012 and the related statistics (regularly updated), and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.
Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).
- 1-15 November 2012 Cyber Attacks Statistics (hackmageddon.com)
- Timeline of Opisrael (hackmageddon.com)
There are really few doubts, this is the most (in)famous hacking collective. There is no new day without a new resounding action. They are Anonymous. They are Legion. They do not forgive. They do not forget. Expect Them.
B like Barrett Brown
Considered one of the early members, Barrett Brown is the alleged spokesperson of Anonymous.
C like Chanology (AKA Project Chanology, AKA Operation Chanology)
A protest movement against the practices of the Church of Scientology by Anonymous. The project (or Operation) was started in response to the Church of Scientology’s attempts to remove material from a highly publicized interview with Scientologist Tom Cruise from the Internet in January 2008 and was followed by DDoS attacks and other actions such as black faxes and prunk calls.
D like DDoS
Distributed Denial of Service (abbreviated DDoS) is the preferred weapon by Hackitivsts, since it does not need particular hacking skills and may also be centrally controlled (with a hive mind who define the target). The preferred tool for perpetrating DDoS attacks is LOIC, although next-gen tools are under development.
E like Encyclopædia Dramatica
A satirical open wiki, launched on December 10, 2004 and defunct on April 14 2011. It is considered one of the sources of inspiration for The Anonymous.
F like Fawkes Guy AKA Fawkes Guido
Guy Fawkes (13 April 1570 – 31 January 1606), also known as Guido Fawkes, belonged to a group of provincial English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot, a failed assassination attempt against King James I of England. His stylised mask designed by illustrator David Lloyd and used as a major plot element in the “V for Vendetta“ Comic Book, is the symbol for the Anonymous. The failure of the Gunpowder plot has been commemorated in England since 5 November 1605.
Probably LOIC is not so safe as it was supposed to be.
Yesterday FOX News (curiously the American province of the Murdoch Empire which had suffered an hacking attack by the Lulz Boat the day before) was the first to report of three FBI Raids at the New York homes of three suspected members of notorious hacking group Anonymous early Tuesday morning. Later on the same day more details came clear, including the fact that the raids were part of a wider ongoinhg operation involving, to date, more than 35 search warrants issued by FBI (for a total of 75 searches to date), after which sixteen suspected members of Anonymous were arrested in Florida, New Jersey and California (more details in the official FBI press release including the names of the arrested individuals).
The arrested individuals were considered responsable for the DDoS attacks against Visa, Mastercards, PayPal and more, after the companies decided to suspend donations for WikiLeaks.
In the same hours, again according to Fox News, officers from the Metropolitan Police’s E-Crime Unit in London arrested a 16-year-old boy in South London Tuesday afternoon, on suspicion of breaching the Computer Misuse Act. The suspected individual could be Tflow, a key member of the infamous hacker group LulzSec, and he has beeen charged of the Infragard hacking, an affiliate to FBI, on June, the 3rd 2011.
If we exclude the arrest of the alleged Lulzsec member, as I already suggested, probably in many cases the alleged Anonymous members are “Would-be” hacker, recklessly involved in hactivism campaigns on the wave of enthusiasm butwithout the necessary skills. This explains the low average age of the teens purportedly involved. As a confirm I found this interesting post on ReddIt in which a family man tells, triggering the predictable comments from taxpayers, of an FBI in his house with a search warrant (20 agents, guns drawn) because they seemed to believe his 13 year old son was an integral part of the ANON ddos attack on Paypal (I must confess that for an European grown with Sci-Fi U.S. Movies like I am, the imagine of 4 cars and a black van filled with FBI agents invading a common house is priceless). It looks like this is not the only example.
No One has ever been arrested for using LOIC? Not anymore…
- No One has ever been arrested for using LOIC (paulsparrows.wordpress.com)
- FBI searches homes of suspected Anonymous hacktivists in New York (nakedsecurity.sophos.com)