“For the past decade, those who used the Internet to report the news might have assumed that the technological edge was in their favor. But online journalists now face more than just the standard risks to those working in dangerous conditions. They find themselves victims of new attacks unique to the new medium.
Ronald Deibert and Nart Villeneuve of the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, in partnership with computer security consultants at the SecDev Group, have conducted some of the most detailed postmortems of online attacks on the press, including the malware sent to Chinese foreign correspondents, and a forthcoming examination of Burma’s DDOS incidents. Their academic work firmly states that they cannot connect such events directly to the Chinese or Burmese states. Deibert says the evidence they have collected does show, however, that both attacks utilized techniques and strategies common to petty cyber-criminals, including individual “hackers” who work simply for the thrill of bringing down a highly visible, but vulnerable target.”
Posts tagged “DDoS”
“2010 was a big year for Internet crime with botnets and targeted attacks becoming headline news on an almost weekly basis. The public disclosure of international organizations such as Google, Adobe, Juniper Networks and many others succumbing to what would eventually be labeled as “Operation Aurora” kicked off the year and revealed that “sophisticated”, “advanced” and “persistent” malware were now every-day inclusions of the criminals toolkit.”
Read from Damballa
“ROME — Software hacker group “Anonymous” launched attacks Sunday against the Italian government’s website citing political grievances, ANSA news agency reported.
“Anonymous” announced its distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) assaults earlier in the day, saying they were launched because “the political and economic situation in Italy has become unstable.”
DDoS attacks are efforts to overload websites with so many simultaneous requests that computer servers can’t handle the load and freeze or crash.”
“The online group Anonymous said Wednesday that it had paralyzed the Egyptian government’s Web sites in support of the antigovernment protests.
Anonymous, a loosely defined group of hackers from all over the world, gathered about 500 supporters in online forums and used software tools to bring down the sites of the Ministry of Information and President Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party, said Gregg Housh, a member of the group who disavows any illegal activity himself. The sites were unavailable Wednesday afternoon.
The attacks, Mr. Housh said, are part of a wider campaign that Anonymous has mounted in support of the antigovernment protests that have roiled the Arab world. Last month, the group shut down the Web sites of the Tunisian government and stock exchange in support of the uprising that forced the country’s dictator, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, to flee.”
From The New York Times
“The repercussions of Tunisia’s strict online censorship reached an apex in the Arab country this week as multiple DDoS attacks continue to target the government. Hackers known collectively as the Anonymous group took down at least eight government websites beginning on January 2, according to the New New Internet. In their online manifesto, the group cites government censorship as their primary reason for launching their series of attacks which has brought multiple Tunisian administrative sites this week, including the Ministries site and the Tunisian Industry Portal.”
From OpenNet Initiative
“A portion of 4Chan’s denizens have taken it upon themselves to attack Tunisian government websites.
The attack follows a decision by the Tunisian government to block access to WikiLeaks cables. Given the widespread use of censorware technology in Arab nations, we strongly suspect the Tunisian government is not alone in making this move, but it seems to have become the focus of a DDoS assault, which unsurprisingly floored targeted websites including those of Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and the government’s official website. Net security firm Sophos reports.”
From The Register
From cyber attacks on Google, to the Distributed Denial of Service attacks on Wikileaks, Nart Villeneuve has put together an extensive review of the prominent cyber crime incidents of 2010. This year, Villeneuve was one of the lead researchers on the malicious Shadow Network and the Facebook botnet “Koobface”, both research projects of the Citizen Lab’s Information Warfare Monitor. Describing trends of politically and economically motivated cyber attacks, Villeneuve provides his expert analysis.
Read Villeneuve’s 2010 Cyber Crime Review here
“On Tuesday, after reports of brutality and a lawsuit against Zimbabwe’s Standard newspaper started to circulate on IRC, a small group of people decided to protest. It wasn’t long before there was a complete takedown of the ZANU-PF website, the Zimbabwean government portal, and the Zimbabwean Finance Ministry website.
By Thursday afternoon, the Zimbabwe African National Union (Patriotic Front) was partially online, after more than 40 hours of downtime. The government portal, www.gta.gov.zw, was still offline, and the Finance Ministry website had returned, but was unavailable to the public.”
From Tech Herald
“Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is an increasingly common Internet phenomenon capable of silencing Internet speech, usually for a brief interval but occasionally for longer. In this paper, we explore the specific phenomenon of DDoS attacks on independent media and human rights organizations, seeking to understand the nature and frequency of these attacks, their efficacy, and the responses available to sites under attack.”
“Belarus is holding an election today. This election is particularly important because Aleksandr G. Lukashenko, sometimes referred to as the ‘last dictator of Europe,’ has allowed a fair degree of freedom throughout the campaign, including giving free airtime on national TV to opposition candidates, during which they were allowed to criticize him without censorship.
However, it appears that Belarus is continuing in its mixed record of allowing free access to opposition Internet sites during elections. I am getting reports from a digital activist whom I trust of DDoS attacks against a number of sites, which is common during times of crisis in authoritarian countries.”
From Hal Roberts