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A New Age of Hacktivism

A New Age of Hacktivism

Feb 22, 2024 Hacktivism / Information Warfare
In the past 2 years, we have observed a significant surge in hacktivism activity due to ongoing wars and geopolitical conflicts in various regions. Since the war against Ukraine began, we have witnessed a notable mobilization of non-state and state-backed actors alike, forming new groups or joining existing hacker collectives.  We understand hacktivism as a form of computer hacking that is done to further the goals of political or social  activism 1 . While  activism  describes a normal, non-disruptive use of the Internet in order to support a specific cause (online petitions, fundraising, coordinating activities),  hacktivism  includes operations that use hacking techniques with the intent to disrupt but not to cause serious harm (e.g., data theft, website defacements, redirects, Denial-of-Service attacks). Cyber operations that inherit a willingness or intent to cause harm to physical property, severe economic damage or loss of life would be referred to as  cyberterrorism, 2, 3  Th
Hacktivist Group Anonymous (#OpISIS) Takes Down Islamic State (ISIS) Social Media Accounts

Hacktivist Group Anonymous (#OpISIS) Takes Down Islamic State (ISIS) Social Media Accounts

Feb 09, 2015
The hacktivist group Anonymous has launched a massive cyber attack against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — the radical Islamic terrorist group who were  responsible for the terrorist attack against the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo . With huge social media presence, ISIS is the most active terror group on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram accounts. But unluckily, over dozens of Facebook and Twitter accounts linked to ISIS has recently been taken by the Anonymous group. In a video appeared on Youtube, Anonymous group and RedCult announced the operation  #OpISIS  and claimed to have carried out cyber attack against hundreds of Twitter and Facebook accounts used by ISIS for its own propaganda and to recruit new members. According to the video, Operation  #OpISIS  is coordinated by "Muslims, Christians, Jews"  alike and a masked individual discusses the aim of the campaign. They are " hackers, crackers, Hacktivist, phi
SaaS Compliance through the NIST Cybersecurity Framework

SaaS Compliance through the NIST Cybersecurity Framework

Feb 20, 2024Cybersecurity Framework / SaaS Security
The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity framework is one of the world's most important guidelines for securing networks. It can be applied to any number of applications, including SaaS.  One of the challenges facing those tasked with securing SaaS applications is the different settings found in each application. It makes it difficult to develop a configuration policy that will apply to an HR app that manages employees, a marketing app that manages content, and an R&D app that manages software versions, all while aligning with NIST compliance standards.  However, there are several settings that can be applied to nearly every app in the SaaS stack. In this article, we'll explore some universal configurations, explain why they are important, and guide you in setting them in a way that improves your SaaS apps' security posture.  Start with Admins Role-based access control (RBAC) is a key to NIST adherence and should be applied to every SaaS a
Researchers Identify 3 Hacktivist Groups Supporting Russian Interests

Researchers Identify 3 Hacktivist Groups Supporting Russian Interests

Sep 26, 2022
At least three alleged hacktivist groups working in support of Russian interests are likely doing so in collaboration with state-sponsored cyber threat actors, according to Mandiant. The Google-owned threat intelligence and incident response firm  said  with moderate confidence that "moderators of the purported hacktivist Telegram channels 'XakNet Team,' 'Infoccentr,' and 'CyberArmyofRussia_Reborn' are coordinating their operations with Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU)-sponsored cyber threat actors." Mandiant's assessment is based on evidence that the leakage of data stolen from Ukrainian organizations occurred within 24 hours of  malicious wiper incidents  undertaken by the Russian nation-state group tracked as  APT28  (aka Fancy Bear, Sofacy, or Strontium). To that end, four of the 16 data leaks from these groups coincided with  disk wiping malware attacks  by APT28 that involved the use of a strain dubbed  CaddyWiper . APT28 , a
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Are You Vulnerable to Third-Party Breaches Through Interconnected SaaS Apps?

websiteWing SecuritySaaS Security / Risk Management
Protect against cascading risks by identifying and mitigating app2app and third-party SaaS vulnerabilities.
Anonymous Hacktivist 'Barrett Brown' Released From Prison

Anonymous Hacktivist 'Barrett Brown' Released From Prison

Nov 30, 2016
Barrett Brown , a journalist, formerly served as an unofficial spokesman for the hacktivist collective Anonymous, finally walked free from prison on Tuesday morning after serving more than four years behind bars. The Dallas-born investigative journalist was arrested in 2012 from his home while he was in the middle of an online chat after posting tweets and YouTube video threatening revenge against an FBI agent. Brown, 35, initially attracted the law enforcement attention in 2011 when he shared a hyperlink to an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channel where Anonymous members were distributing stolen information from the hack at security think tank Strategic Forecasting or Stratfor. The hack allegedly exposed 200 gigabytes of data, which included email addresses and credit card information from Stratfor clients, including the US Army, US Air Force, and Miami Police Department. Originally facing sentence to more than 100 years in prison, Brown was convicted in January 2015 under
Anonymous Declares War On Donald Trump — #OpTrump

Anonymous Declares War On Donald Trump — #OpTrump

Dec 12, 2015
After targeting the Islamic State (ISIS) group in the wake of Deadly terror attacks in Paris, hacktivist group Anonymous has now turned its attention to controversial US presidential candidate Donald Trump . The hacktivist group has declared war against Donald Trump following his recent radical speech stating he wanted to ban Muslims from entering the United States. Anonymous vs. Donald Trump On Wednesday, Anonymous slams Trump by posting a YouTube video in which a man in a Guy Fawkes mask says: "Donald Trump, it has come to our attention that you wish to ban all muslims from entering the United States. Muslims and Islam are not the problem. This policy will have grave impact and will serve only to fuel the emotions that ISIS uses to recruit muslims. Certainly ISIS will use this to their advantage in their social media campaigns. Instead of focusing on the innocent, the focus should be set on ways to protect them from the radicalized individuals they flee. Dona
Researchers Uncover Connection b/w Moses Staff and Emerging Abraham's Ax Hacktivists Group

Researchers Uncover Connection b/w Moses Staff and Emerging Abraham's Ax Hacktivists Group

Jan 26, 2023
New research has linked the operations of a politically motivated hacktivist group known as Moses Staff to another nascent threat actor named  Abraham's Ax  that emerged in November 2022. This is based on "several commonalities across the iconography, videography, and leak sites used by the groups, suggesting they are likely operated by the same entity," Secureworks Counter Threat Unit (CTU)  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. Moses Staff, tracked by the cybersecurity firm under the moniker  Cobalt Sapling , made its  first appearance  on the threat landscape in September 2021 with the goal of primarily targeting Israeli organizations. The geopolitical group is believed to be  sponsored  by the Iranian government and has since been linked to a string of espionage and sabotage attacks that make use of tools like  StrifeWater RAT  and open source utilities such as  DiskCryptor  to harvest sensitive information and lock victim data on infected hosts. The cr
Anonymous hacktivist Barrett Brown's Mother faces Prison for hiding Evidences

Anonymous hacktivist Barrett Brown's Mother faces Prison for hiding Evidences

Mar 27, 2013
The mother of alleged Anonymous hacktivist Barrett Brown has pleaded guilty to helping her son hide two laptop computers from federal investigators. Brown's mother, Karen McCutchin , pleaded guilty last week to a charge of obstructing the execution of a search warrant. She faces a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison and a $100,000 fine. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled. On March 6, 2012, officers with the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Brown's Dallas, Texas apartment in an attempt to execute a search warrant for computers that could contain information involving hacktivist group Anonymous and LulzSec. The feds hadn't found all the computers they were looking for during a search of Brown's apartment that morning and Brown, located at his mother's house, refused to volunteer them. Karen McCutchin Plea Agreement Barrett Brown is expected to stand trial in September, at which point he will have spent an entire year behind bars witho
Tesla Ransomware Hacker Pleads Guilty; Swiss Hacktivist Charged for Fraud

Tesla Ransomware Hacker Pleads Guilty; Swiss Hacktivist Charged for Fraud

Mar 19, 2021
The U.S. Department of Justice yesterday announced updates on two separate cases involving cyberattacks—a Swiss hacktivist and a Russian hacker who planned to plant malware in the Tesla company. A Swiss hacker who was involved in the intrusion of cloud-based surveillance firm Verkada and exposed camera footage from its customers was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) on Thursday with conspiracy, wire fraud, and identity theft. Till Kottmann (aka "deletescape" and "tillie crimew"), 21, of Lucerne, Switzerland, and their co-conspirators were accused of hacking dozens of companies and government agencies since 2019 by targeting their "git" and other source code repositories and posting the proprietary data of more than 100 entities on a website called git[.]rip, according to the indictment. Kottmann is alleged to have cloned the source code and other confidential files containing hard-coded administrative credentials and access keys, using th
Hacktivist Group GhostSec Compromises 55 Berghof PLCs Across Israel

Hacktivist Group GhostSec Compromises 55 Berghof PLCs Across Israel

Sep 12, 2022
A hacktivist collective called  GhostSec  has claimed credit for compromising as many as 55 Berghof programmable logic controllers ( PLCs ) used by Israeli organizations as part of a "Free Palestine" campaign. Industrial cybersecurity firm OTORIO, which  dug deeper  into the incident, said the breach was made possible owing to the fact that the PLCs were accessible through the Internet and were secured by trivially guessable credentials. Details of the compromise first came to light on September 4 after GhostSec shared a video on its Telegram channel demonstrating a successful login to the PLC's admin panel, in addition to dumping data from the hacked controllers. The Israeli company said the system dumps and screenshots were exported directly from the admin panel following unauthorized access to the controllers through their public IP addresses. GhostSec (aka Ghost Security), first identified in 2015, is a self-proclaimed  vigilante group  that was initially formed
Anonymous Hackers not responsible for attack on Dahabshiil

Anonymous Hackers not responsible for attack on Dahabshiil

Jul 22, 2012
There was an incident that a group claiming to be the cyber hacker or hacktivist group Anonymous has threatened Dahabshiil an international funds transfer company and the leading bank in Somalia, but the international funds transfer company based in the Middle East, says Anonymous was not responsible for the attack on its banking systems. According to the report, The group alleged it was the hacktivist group Anonymous, and threatened to destroy Dahabshiil within two months if the company did not stop what the group alleged as supporting terrorist organizations and terrorists in Somalia and across the world. A group claiming to be Anonymous published thousands of account numbers, names and details online. The hackers claimed it had installed " cyber bombs " within financial institutions around the world and threatened to trigger them if the Dahabshiil did not confess within two months. In the statement the Anonymous group released, the group alleged that it was investigatin
 "Mysterious Team Bangladesh" Targeting India with DDoS Attacks and Data Breaches

"Mysterious Team Bangladesh" Targeting India with DDoS Attacks and Data Breaches

Aug 03, 2023 Cyber Attack / Data Safety
A hacktivist group known as  Mysterious Team Bangladesh  has been linked to over 750 distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and 78 website defacements since June 2022. "The group most frequently attacks logistics, government, and financial sector organizations in India and Israel," Singapore-headquartered cybersecurity firm Group-IB said in a report shared with The Hacker News. "The group is primarily driven by religious and political motives." Some of the other targeted countries include Australia, Senegal, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Ethiopia. In addition, the threat actor is said to have gained access to web servers and administrative panels, likely by exploiting known security flaws or poorly-secured passwords. Mysterious Team Bangladesh, as the name indicates, is suspected to be of Bangladeshi origin. "We are working to protect Our Bangladesh Cyberspace," the group's Intro on Facebook  reads . The group has an active social media pre
Both Sides in Russia-Ukraine War Heavily Using Telegram for Disinformation and Hacktivism

Both Sides in Russia-Ukraine War Heavily Using Telegram for Disinformation and Hacktivism

Mar 04, 2022
Cyber criminals and hacktivist groups are increasingly using the Telegram messaging app to coordinate their activities, leak data, and spread disinformation, as the Russia-Ukraine conflict enters its eighth day. A new analysis by Israeli cybersecurity company Check Point Research has  found  that "user volume grew a hundred folds daily on Telegram related groups, peaking at 200,000 per group." Prominent among the groups are anti-Russian cyber attack groups, including the Ukraine government-backed IT Army, which has urged its more 270,000 members to conduct distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against Russian entities. Other hacktivist-oriented Telegram groups used to coordinate the attacks on Russian targets via DDoS, SMS or call-based attacks are Anna_ and Mark_, Check Point researchers noted. That said, there may be more to these attacks than meets the eye. "It seems that many of the hacktivist groups are more focused on building self-reputation and recei
Anonymous Hacks Swedish Government in Revenge for 'Pirate Bay' Takedown

Anonymous Hacks Swedish Government in Revenge for 'Pirate Bay' Takedown

Dec 17, 2014
An online "hacktivist" group that calls itself Anonymous has claimed responsibility for hacking into email accounts of Swedish government in response to the seizure of world renowned The Pirate Bay website and server by Swedish police last week. Apart from Sweden government officials, the Anonymous hacktivist group also claimed to have hacked into the government email accounts of Israel, India, Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico, and revealed their email addresses with passwords in plain-text. The Anonymous group also left a message at the end of the leak: " Warning: Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to all!! Bye :* " The hack was announced by Anonymous group on their official Twitter account. The tweet also shared a link of Pastebin where leaked data has been dumped with the list of the emails. The tweet reads: " BREAKING: Emails from Swedish government were hacked in retaliation for the seizure of servers of The Pirate Bay https://pastebin.c
Microsoft Blames Massive DDoS Attack for Azure, Outlook, and OneDrive Disruptions

Microsoft Blames Massive DDoS Attack for Azure, Outlook, and OneDrive Disruptions

Jun 19, 2023 Network and Cloud Security
Microsoft on Friday attributed a string of service outages aimed at Azure, Outlook, and OneDrive earlier this month to an uncategorized cluster it tracks under the name  Storm-1359 . "These attacks likely rely on access to multiple virtual private servers (VPS) in conjunction with rented cloud infrastructure, open proxies, and DDoS tools," the tech giant  said  in a post on Friday. Storm-#### (previously DEV-####) is a temporary designation the Windows maker assigns to unknown, emerging, or developing groups whose identity or affiliation hasn't been definitively established yet. While there is no evidence that any customer data was accessed or compromised, the company noted the attacks "temporarily impacted availability" of some services. Redmond said it further observed the threat actor launching  layer 7 DDoS attacks  from multiple cloud services and open proxy infrastructures. This includes HTTP(S) flood attacks, which bombard the target services with a
Go Beyond the Headlines for Deeper Dives into the Cybercriminal Underground

Go Beyond the Headlines for Deeper Dives into the Cybercriminal Underground

Jul 18, 2023 Cybersecurity / Cyber Attacks
Discover stories about threat actors' latest tactics, techniques, and procedures from Cybersixgill's threat experts each month. Each story brings you details on emerging underground threats, the threat actors involved, and how you can take action to mitigate risks. Learn about the top vulnerabilities and review the latest ransomware and malware trends from the deep and dark web. Stolen ChatGPT credentials flood dark web markets Over the past year, 100,000 stolen credentials for ChatGPT were advertised on underground sites, being sold for as little as $5 on dark web marketplaces in addition to being offered for free. Stolen ChatGPT credentials include usernames, passwords, and other personal information associated with accounts. This is problematic because ChatGPT accounts may store sensitive information from queries, including confidential data and intellectual property. Specifically, companies increasingly incorporate ChatGPT into daily workflows, which means employees may disclose
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