Over the long weekend I saw McAfee had predicted that the threat from Anonymous would decline in the new year. The group apparently disagrees and has posted a video boasting of its accomplishments in 2012 and stating emphatically: "We are still here".
The two minute and twenty second video, posted to YouTube, lays out a rather lengthy list of past endeavors including attacks on government websites in the United States, Syria and Israel, as well as on groups such as the Motion Picture Association of America and the infamous Westboro Baptist Church.
Yesterday registrar and web hoster GoDaddy went down for several hours, taking millions of websites along, too. Within an hour, Twitter accounts associated with hacktivist group Anonymous took credit. Today, GoDaddy blames "corrupted router data tables". Meanwhile AnonymousOwn3r claims denial of service attack and hack -- and within the hour publicly posted what supposedly is GoDaddy "source code and database".
Somebody's lying here. But whom?
As I write, domain registrar and web hoster GoDaddy is inaccessible -- and a heap load of websites with it. Typically when sites go dark like this, they are under a direct denial of service attack. Anonymous claims responsibility, via Twitter, but there is yet no official word from GoDaddy as to the cause and whether there might be a security breach.
About 90 minutes ago, GoDaddy tweeted: "Status Alert: Hey, all. We're aware of the trouble people are having with our site. We're working on it". Then 5 minutes ago: "So many messages, can't get to you all... Sorry to hear all your frustration. We're working feverishly to resolve as soon as possible". Well, I guess that confirms Twitter isn't hosted by GoDaddy.
The list of more than a million unique device identifiers (UDIDs) which hacktivist collective #Antisec said it had stolen from the Federal Bureau of Investigation may have originated from publishing company BlueToad Inc., researcher David Schuetz found over the weekend. Following the FBI's initial denial of #Antisec's claims and Schuetz's research, BlueToad on Monday announced it believed its systems were the ones compromised. It is still unclear who compromised Blue Toad's system, and where #Antisec actually obtained the list.
"I’m still not completely clear on all the technical details," Schuetz wrote in his research blog. "Was BlueToad really the source of the breach? How did the data get to the FBI (if it really did at all)? Or is it possible this is just a secondary breach, not even related to the UDID leak, and it was just a coincidence that I noticed? Finally, why haven’t I noticed any of their applications in the (very few) lists of apps I’ve received?"
#Antisec, The loosely-organized black hat security collective formerly known as Lulzsec has released a file containing a million and one (1,000,001) Apple Unique Device Identifications (UDIDs), and their related APNs (Apple Push Notification Service) tokens, as well as a certain amount of personal user information. The group claims the information was not taken from Apple directly, but rather though a vulnerability exploit on FBI Agent Christopher K. Stangl last March.
The group claims there were actually more than twelve million UDIDs on Stangl's Dell Vostro notebook, as well as an incomplete list of zip codes, mobile phone numbers, home addresses, and whatever personal detail fields could be obtained. Antisec said there were no other files in the same folder that mention the list or its purpose.
This week, the loosely connected online activist and hacking community Anonymous began a new "operation": attacking the Ukrainian government.
In retaliation to Ukraine's take down of popular BitTorrent tracking site Demonoid, Anonymous is seeking "revenge against all criminals responsible" in the country's government.
In what the loosely-tied hacker group Anonymous calls #OpSaveTheArctic, over 1,000 email credentials and Hash checks of email passwords from five major international oil giants were released. The companies targeted included Exxon Mobil Corporation, Shell Petrochemical Corp., and BP Global; as well as the Russian based Gazprom Corporation and Rosneft Petroleum Corp.
The data dumped on anonymous text post website Pastebin includes 317 emails and their unsalted MD5 hashed passwords from a hack on Exxon mobil from June. Added July 13th: a further 724 emails and hashed passwords from BP, Gazprom, and Rosneft, and 26 emails with clear-text passwords from Shell Petroleum. Also listed: all of the internal mail system information, detailing routers, operating system type, database details and server hardware vendor. Further detailing of the type of data gained is available at the DC/Nova/Maryland network security blog site NovaInfoSeco.com.
On Monday, hacktivist group Anonymous announced it will be releasing 1.7 gigabytes of private data it has acquired from the United States Department of Justice, in an event it called "Monday Mail Mayhem." The group claimed the act was being done to "spread information, to allow the people to be heard and to know the corruption in their government. We are releasing it to end the corruption that exists, and truly make those who are being oppressed free."
New York-based security company Identity Finder ran an analysis on the data after it was released on Tuesday, and found the file dump actually contained no sensitive personal information, no secret internal documents, and no internal emails.
Streaming music content is too restrictive, believes hacktivists Anonymous. Six members of the group have released Anontune, a web-based application that aims to aggregate streaming music online and place it in a central location. AnonTune currently accesses the catalogs of YouTube and SoundCloud, although the developers plan to add content from other services including Yahoo Music, Myspace Music, Bandcamp and others in the future.
True to the groups name, users will be able to listen to tracks anonymously, and Anonymous itself will not store the tracks. Instead it depends on the catalogs of the services it aggregates, thus leaving the sticky copyright issues to those sites. Recording Industry Association of America's Waterloo, indeed. The next one, if Napster wasn't enough a computing generation ago.
Today, hacktavist group Anonymous put to rest one of the most important debates about Barack Obama. Is he really a US citizen? Only native-born Americans are legally permitted to be president, and early during his 2008 election campaign Obama fought off accusations that he was born in another country and not the great state of Hawaii. The accusations turn out to be true. But his place of origin is farther out. Barack Obama was born on another planet.
Anonymous published the stunning revelatory material to Pastebin, marking its most courageous hack to date. For anyone questioning the group's motivations, the stolen material puts to rest any doubt about being a force of good. Hacktavists obtained emails and other documents from Obama's BlackBerry, along with foiled plans to invade the earth. The White House immediately issued a denial, calling the disclosure a prank.
There are no snow days on the Internet. If you work from home and write online like I do, drudgery never ends. Or does it? This Saturday, Anonymous may change that.
"To protest SOPA, Wallstreet, our irresponsible leaders and the beloved bankers who are starving the world for their own selfish needs out of sheer sadistic fun, on March 31, Anonymous will shut the Internet down", so claims a February 19 Pastebin post.
As if Anonymous didn't have enough to boast about. While cybercriminals accounted for the most breaches, "activist groups created their fair share of misery and mayhem last year as well -- and they stole more data than any other group", according to a report Verizon released today in cooperation with Australian, Dutch, English, Irish and US officials. The study attributes 58 percent of data thefts to hacktivists.
"The most significant change we saw in 2011 was the rise of 'hacktivism' against larger organizations worldwide", Verizon reports. "The frequency and regularity of cases tied to activist groups that came through our doors in 2011 exceeded the number worked in all previous years combined".
Hacktivist group Anonymous has released an audio recording of a January 17 conference call which it claims includes members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the UK's Scotland Yard discussing their latest anti-hacking efforts. We've embedded the 17-minute long clip above.
The participants in the conference call talk about Anonymous, LulzSec, Antisec, CSL Security and other black hat security groups, the evidence they have against such groups, and their progress in arresting suspects.
A week after telling users to disable its pcAnywhere, Symantec says the remote computing software is now safe to use, with a few caveats. First, the app must be upgraded to version 12.5, and a critical software patch applied to plug the hole.
In a statement posted to its website, Symantec says that it had patched all versions of the software back to 12.0. A patch for 12.0 and 12.1 was released on January 27, following a patch that was released for 12.5 on January 25.
It's not often when a developer tells you outright not to use its software, but that is exactly what Symantec is forced to do in light of the theft of source code. Last month, Hacktavist group Anonymous bragged that it had possession of code that powers several applications, including Norton Antivirus Corporate Edition, Norton Internet Security; Norton SystemWorks and pcAnywhere.
Symantec says the code theft originally occurred in 2006. While at first security experts believed the theft to only be a black eye for the company's reputation, it now appears that the incident is far more serious. Symantec recommends users of pcAnywhere stop using the software immediately until there is a solution to address any security concerns.