DDoS Archive

15/05/2012

Information Commissioner’s Office’s website appears to be latest target of hacktivists

Privacy watchdog appears to be under Distributed Denial of Service attack

Update: The ICO has just released this statement about the DDOS attack it is suffering.

ICO spokesperson said:”Access to the ICO website has been disrupted over the past few days. We believe this is due to a distributed denial of service attack.

“The website itself has not been damaged, but people have been unable to access it. We provide a public facing website which contains no sensitive information.

“We regret this disruption to our service and we are working to try to bring the website back online as soon as possible.

“As mentioned it seems to be intermittently available at the moment and our web team our working to resolve the problem.”

Hackers appear to have launched a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack against the website of the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The site is currently offline and when we called to verify if this was the case, a representative for the ICO told us at 9.55am that it was going into a meeting to discuss the situation. The privacy watchdog said it would release an update when it had some news.

However we were told that it was hoped that the site would be back online soon.

If it is indeed a DDOS attack, it is not known who may behind it or why. But the last week has seen a spate of these attacks including those against internet service providers’ (ISPs) sites, including Virgin Media and Talk Talk, which have been targeted recently by strands of the Anonymous group.

They were protesting against the ISPs blocking customer access to file-sharing site The Pirate Bay.

André Stewart, President International at Corero Network Security said: “The takedown of the Information Commissioner’s Office website by an apparent Distributed Denial of Service attack is, once again, evidence that Government organisations need to be better prepared for the growing threat from cybercrime carried out by politically or ideologically motivated hacktivists.”

Source: http://www.computeractive.co.uk/ca/news/2174709/information-commissioners-office-website-goes-offline-suspected-ddos-attack

Published: 14 May, 2012, 20:00

Businesses have suggested it. The government has all but confirmed it. And according to one alleged member, they both might very well be right. A hacker tied to Anonymous says the loose-knit collective may be the most powerful organization on Earth.

“The entire world right now is run by information,” Chris Doyon tells Postmedia News from an undisclosed location in Canada. “Our entire world is being controlled and operated by tiny invisible 1s and 0s that are flashing through the air and flashing through the wires around us. So if that’s what controls our world, ask yourself who controls the 1s and the 0s”

“It’s the geeks and computer hackers of the world,” says Doyon.

In a world where the most critical of information isn’t locked up in vaults but instead encoded in easily obtainable binary, Doyon says that crackers like those in Anonymous are in possession of some of the most powerful knowledge known to man.

Doyon, who is reported to be in his late 40s, was charged last year for partaking in a Distributed Denial of Service attack on the website for the county of Santa Cruz, California. Since February, however, he has resided in Canada after using what he says is the new “underground railroad” to escape persecution for alleged computer crimes in the States.

Authorities say that, under the handle of Commander X, Doyon acted as a ringleader of sorts of the Anonymous collective, an operation described by its own participants as one that lacks leadership altogether.

“If you are asking me if he’s an activist and tried to change the world for better. Yes, he did. I don’t know if that makes him a member of Anonymous, but he is certainly an activist working on social change for the betterment of mankind,” his attorney, Jay Leiderman, told Cnet in September.

“Yes, I am immensely proud and humbled to my core to be a part of the movement known as Anonymous,” Doyon reportedly told reporters upon leaving a California courthouse last year.

Regardless of if he can actually be linked to the organization — and to what degree — Doyon says that the group is capable of more than one might imagine.

“Right now we have access to every classified database in the US government. It’s a matter of when we leak the contents of those databases, not if,” says Doyon.

It wasn’t computer nerds slaving over codes to help crack the system uncover that info either, says Doyon.

“You know how we got access?” asks Doyon. “We didn’t hack them. The access was given to us by the people who run the systems. The five-star general (and) the Secretary of Defense who sit in the cushy plush offices at the top of the Pentagon don’t run anything anymore. It’s the pimply-faced kid in the basement who controls the whole game, and Bradley Manning proved that. The fact he had the 250,000 cables that were released effectively cut the power of the US State Department in half. The Afghan war diaries and the Iran war diaries effectively cut the political clout of the US Department of Defense in half. All because of one guy who had enough balls to slip a CD in an envelope and mail it to somebody.”

“There’s a really good argument at this point that we might well be the most powerful organization on Earth. The entire world right now is run by information,” he adds.

Doyon landed in hot water after he allegedly launched a DDoS attack against authorities the Santa Cruz website after the county imposed a ban on outdoor camping. According to authorities, Doyon engaged in the assault in December 2010, nearly a year before the Occupy Wall Street movement encouraged protestors to camp outdoors in public spaces from coast to coast. In September 2011 he was formally charged in the DDoS attack and fled to Canada five months later. Had he stayed in the US, he would have been prohibited from using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as chatroom clients that connect to IRC networks.

“They’ve taken away my freedom of speech,” he explained to the Santa Cruz Sentinel at the time.

Today Doyon says he is safe north of the border but is awaiting another move abroad. “[W]e’re in negotiation with several countries in Europe to try to get a permanent political asylum situation set up for myself as well as for any other Anons and information activists who might need it,” he tells Postmedia. “It’s too bad Canada will not find the political courage to protect information activists from America like they did in the ‘60s with the draft dodgers. That’s the reality of it, but they will probably not actively seek to track me down.”

Source: http://rt.com/usa/news/anonymous-us-doyon-world-219/

TechWeekEurope learns an Anonymous splinter group took down Theresa May’s website, whilst targeting the ICO and the Supreme Court

On May 14, 2012 by Tom Brewster

Home secretary Theresa May saw her website taken down last night, in what TechWeekEurope understands was part of a widespread distributed denial of service (DDoS) campaign carried out by an Anonymous splinter group this weekend.

May’s website (tmay.co.uk) was down from around 9pm last night until approximately 10am this morning, it is believed.

Websites of the Supreme Court and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) were down for large chunks of Sunday afternoon and evening too, although neither would confirm whether their sites were out of action due to a DDoS.

“We believe the website was targeted with a distributed denial of service. Mrs May treats threats of disruption to her website very seriously,” a spokesman for Theresa May said.

“Access to the ICO website was not possible yesterday afternoon,” an ICO spokesperson said. “We provide a public facing website which contains no sensitive information.”
Agent Smith talks…

The “voice” of a UK-based Anonymous group calling itself the ATeam told TechWeekEurope it had targeted and successfully taken down all three sites as part of the  campaign against the UK’s attitude to extradition.

Talking over Skype, the spokesperson, going by the name of Winston Smith, said the attack on the Theresa May website was part of OpTrialAtHome, which is protesting against the UK’s extradition treaty with the US. In particular, Smith pointed to the case of Gary Mckinnon, who remains in limbo over whether he will be extradited to the US on hacking charges.

The government has come under fire for leniency to the US. The debate over the extradition treaty was given a fresh lease of life in March, when the home secretary approved the extradition of British student Richard O’Dwyer, who is facing charges of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and criminal infringement of copyright for his role in the TV Shack website.

“The Computer Misuse Act should be applied at the location of the crime, not at the alleged source,” he said. “The US-UK judiciary change source and location application of the law when it suits them. That was one aspect of the protest”

As for the ICO, the ATeam claimed it hit the data protection regulator because of a “failure to protect privacy.” “The ICO are not equiped, nor have the motivation to ensure that we are protected,” Smith said.

The hacktivist collective is also protesting the Leveson Inquiry, which it believes has not worked effectively in punishing the media for hacking offences. Smith said Leveson was a “complete failure”.

Smith, who claimed to be a former investment banker, said the ATeam, also known as the Anonymous Team, consisted of 10 people who were “the best in the world.” The group does not directly work with other Anonymous cells.

He said the average age of the group was around 40, making it different from the other Anonymous groups, which consist largely of “children” who “cause more harm than good” and have “no understanding of what they are doing”.

“There are many  anons who are actual extremists hiding behind the mask,” Smith added. “We believe the mask has to come off.”

Smith said another key protest will focus on the draft Communications Data Bill, which was announced in the Queen’s Speech last week. Via a source within government, TechWeekEurope exclusively revealed the Coalition was already believed to be backing away from one of the key aspects of the bill – the black boxes in which citizens’ comms data would be stored within ISPs.

In the coming weeks, the ATeam hopes to take down more websites, including those of the Leveson Inquiry, the Home Office and the Supreme Court.

Smith and Anonymous have been linked with previous hits on the Home Office websites, as well as attempts on GCHQ.

Anonymous has had another busy year. Earlier this month, the group took responsibility for hits on ISPs TalkTalk and Virgin in protest at the Pirate Bay ban they were forced to impose. However, the Pirate Bay posted a public notice denouncing the use of DDoS as a protest tool.

UPDATE: This afternoon, the ICO website has been experiencing further problems, with its website inaccessible at the time of publication. The same Anonymous team told TechWeekEurope it had hit the watchdog’s site, whilst the ICO said it was looking into the matter.

“We are reviewing the underlying causes for the website being down with the providers of our web hosting,” an ICO spokesperson said.

Smith said the group had targeted the ICO as part of a protest against the Leveson Inquiry. “The information commissioner has failed to address the multiple data protection breaches of citizens by the media,” he added.

 

Source: http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news/anonymous-strikes-down-theresa-may-website-in-extradition-protest-77894

Could face six years’ porridge

By Carly Page
Thu May 10 2012, 10:58
TWO NORWEGIAN TEENAGERS have been arrested on suspicion of carrying out online attacks, including one on the UK Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) web site.The 18 and 19 year-olds have been arrested by Norway’s National Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) for suspected involvement in a number of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, including last week’s attack on the SOCA web site.

“We have arrested the two we think are most important in these attacks, but we still want to talk to more people,” said NCIS prosecutor Erik Moestue.

The agency did not specifically refer to any particular attack, but Moestue added that the attack on SOCA was one of the attacks it is investigating.

He said, “We know SOCA was recently attacked, as well as Norwegian and American sites, and that is one of the things that we are looking into.”

The country’s largest financial services group, its police security service and national lottery recently have been hit by DDoS attacks.

If found guilty of the offence under Norwegian law the two could face maximum six year jail sentences.

No further details were given regarding the two youths’ identities or group affiliations, but F-Secure analyst Sean Sullivan said he thought it unlikely that they are affiliated with the Anonymous hacktivist collective.

“Doesn’t really sound like Anonymous or copycats to us. It also doesn’t seem to have been for the ‘lulz’ based on the current information,” Sullivan told The INQUIRER.

SOCA was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.

Source: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2173752/teens-arrested-following-soca-attack

By David Meyer , 9 May, 2012 09:11

Hackers associated with Anonymous forced Virgin Media’s website offline for at least an hour on Tuesday, but the file-sharing service whose blockage sparked the protest has condemned the attack.

In an operation dubbed OpTPB, Anonymous hackers apparently subjected Virgin’s site to a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that began at 5pm. Twitter messages referring to OpTPB suggested that it was a response to Virgin Media’s blocking of The Pirate Bay (TPB), which began last week after a court ordered it.

Although Virgin admitted to an hour-long downtime, the site was still not working at the time of writing, around 16 hours after the attack began.

“DDoS and blocks are both forms of censorship,” The Pirate Bay told followers on its Facebook page, referring to “some random Anonymous groups [having] run a DDoS campaign against Virgin Media and some other sites”.

“We’d like to be clear about our view on this: We do NOT encourage these actions,” TPB said. “We believe in the open and free internets, where anyone can express their views. Even if we strongly disagree with them and even if they hate us. So don’t fight them using their ugly methods.”

The file-sharing service went on to suggest that those wanting to help it could set up a tracker, join or start a local Pirate Party, write to their political representatives or develop a new P2P protocol.

According to the BBC, Virgin said in a statement that it has to comply with court orders, but believes that “tackling the issue of copyright infringement needs compelling legal alternatives, giving consumers access to great content at the right price, to help change consumer behaviour”.

“Copyright defenders, including the British recorded music industry body BPI, have argued that illegal copies of films, books and music made available on file-sharing sites destroy creative industry jobs and discourage investment in new talent,” the ISP added.

The court order followed a ruling in February which established that TPB was infringing on copyright by providing a service that people use to unlawfully share copyrighted material.

TPB was not itself represented at the hearing that led to that ruling, but the judge, Mr Justice Arnold, argued that there was little point in trying to get the site’s proprietors into court when even the authorities in Sweden, TPB’s home country, had failed to do so.

Virgin Media was the first ISP to carry out the block ordered last week, but others covered by the same court order include Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk and O2. BT is not yet subject to the order as it has requested more time to assess the implications.

Source: http://www.zdnet.co.uk/blogs/communication-breakdown-10000030/pirate-bay-condemns-virgin-media-hack-10026118/