Let The Hacker Wars Begin

Anonymous with Guy Fawkes masks at Scientology...

There seems to a be split in the hacker community as a splinter group (or individual) goes its own way and takes down sites once considered friendly. (source: Wikipedia)

An odd thing happened this week. At about the same time, on the same day, Wikileaks and Pirate Bay were the victims of DDoS attacks. It’s odd because these sites are usually considered friendly by hackers, who tend to go after governments and corporations they don’t like.

Why would Anonymous, the loosely knit group of hackers go after sites previously considered friendly? Well, it could be that the the group is splintering, and some members have to decided to go their own way.

According to a post on ZDNet, the attacks were the work of someone who goes by the name AnonNyre. This person bragged about the attacks and sent out a couple of hate-filled invectives to announce his or her work. It’s impossible to know if this is really the work of one individual or many, but it appears that there may be some serious splits in the hacker community (if any conclusions can truly be drawn from one day’s actions).

As we have seen over the last year, Anonymous or whoever it might be can take down sites with DDoS attacks almost at will. They usually do it as a form or retribution. For instance, at the end of 2010, they took down Visa after they felt it behaved wrongly in the wake of the WikiLeaks  cable documents release, part of a series of attacks dubbed Operation Payback.

We have seen these groups go after law enforcement, even going so far as to hack a conference call between US and UK law enforcement officials to discuss Anonymous. Boy, was that embarrassing.

Just this week in fact, the main group known as Anonymous took down the Indian government as retribution for a crackdown on…wait for it…Pirate Bay. So you have one group of hackers punishing a site for censoring Pirate Bay and you have a rival taking down Pirate Bay itself.

What exactly is going on here?

Whatever it is, it seems no company, government or law enforcement web site is safe from attack and it’s got to be making many an IT Pro uncomfortable wondering if their company will be next.

We have a splinter group (or individual) calling out the mainstream group and it makes me wonder if this is the beginning of a hacker war of sorts. If the hackers are attacking each other, what does that mean for you?

It’s hard to say if that makes the world a safer place or less safe because even sites that were once considered off limits, no longer are.  It likely leaves IT pros more insecure than ever.

If we do have a hacker war though, it’s going to get interesting out there. Is the enemy of your enemy your friend, or just another thing to worry about? That’s the question.

4 Comments

  1. Я. Adrián Lamo says:

    As I’ve stated elsewhere, a lot of people seem to be taking this claim of responsibility at face value with little-to-no evidence backing it.

    It strikes me as highly convenient, and at the same time unlikely. While I have no particular love for Wikileaks for Anonymous, this claim of responsibility strikes me as a contrived false-flag operation contrived to create dissent and infighting.

    While I support any efforts to maintain order for the general and legitimate populace of the Internet within the boundaries of recognized human rights, that support does not come at the expense of the truth. I strongly suggest that reporters and editors take a hard look at fact-checking before covering this issue further.

    • Ron Miller says:

      Adrian:
      I wrote this based on published reports, but I get what you’re saying. We really have no way of knowing who was responsible, and I alluded to that in the post. We don’t know if it’s an individual or a group. There are lot of unknowns here, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth writing about. Regardless of who is responsible, clearly something is going here when hackers go after what were once previously friendly sites.

  2. randomDude says:

    are you kidding? this article is ridiculous and couldn’t be more out of touch. First off only thing you really got right was AnonNyre and pirate bay. Jester has been DDOs’ing Wiki for about 2 years now and this entire activity has been going on for a hot minute.

    https://twitter.com/#!/th3j35t3r

    I half expect your next article to be about “trolls” as if that’s new, or perhaps how remarkable it is that there are Cats on the internet….

    • Ron Miller says:

      Random Dude,
      Good idea. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>