The hacker group Lulz Security has claimed it has brought down the public-facing website of the US Central Intelligence Agency. The alleged attack on CIA.gov occurred on the same day the group opened a telephone request line so its fans could suggest potential targets. On its Twitter feed, the group wrote: "Tango down - cia.gov - for the lulz". The CIA website was inaccessible at times on Wednesday but appeared to be back up on Thursday. It was unclear if the outage was due to the group's efforts or to the large number of internet users trying to check the site. The CIA would not confirm if it had been the victim of an attack. In a statement, a spokesperson told BBC News: "The CIA's public web site experienced technical issues that caused it to respond slowly for a short time yesterday evening. Those issues are now resolved."
Tag Archives | Hacking
David E. Sanger and John Markoff write in the NY Times:
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WASHINGTON — The International Monetary Fund, still struggling to find a new leader after the arrest of its managing director last month in New York, was hit recently by what computer experts describe as a large and sophisticated cyberattack whose dimensions are still unknown.
The fund, which manages financial crises around the world and is the repository of highly confidential information about the fiscal condition of many nations, told its staff and its board of directors about the attack on Wednesday. But it did not make a public announcement.
Several senior officials with knowledge of the attack said it was both sophisticated and serious. “This was a very major breach,” said one official, who said that it had occurred over the last several months, even before Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the French politician who ran the fund, was arrested on charges of sexually assaulting a chamber maid in a New York hotel.
Hackers claiming to be part of protest group "Anonymous" published on Friday over 10,000 internal emails from the Iranian government's ministry of foreign affairs, as part of an ongoing campaign against the authoritarian regime. The emails were published to torrent file sharing website The Pirate Bay, along with usernames and passwords. Members also claimed they had taken control of the government's servers. In a chat with Raw Story, members of Anonymous on the #OpIran server said they were leading the charge because they want Iranians to know they're not alone in their struggle against the regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They also pointed to a declaration of intent to attack the Iranian government, which they published to YouTube in February.
This is quite a sweet hack. The Telegraph reports:
The cyber-warfare operation was launched by MI6 and GCHQ in an attempt to disrupt efforts by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular to recruit “lone-wolf” terrorists with a new English-language magazine, the Daily Telegraph understands.
When followers tried to download the 67-page colour magazine, instead of instructions about how to “Make a bomb in the Kitchen of your Mom” by “The AQ Chef” they were greeted with garbled computer code.
The code, which had been inserted into the original magazine by the British intelligence hackers, was actually a web page of recipes for “The Best Cupcakes in America” published by the Ellen DeGeneres chat show.
Written by Dulcy Israel and produced by Main Street Cupcakes in Hudson, Ohio, it said “the little cupcake is big again” adding: “Self-contained and satisfying, it summons memories of childhood even as it’s updated for today’s sweet-toothed hipsters.”
It included a recipe for the Mojito Cupcake – “made of white rum cake and draped in vanilla buttercream”- and the Rocky Road Cupcake – “warning: sugar rush ahead!”
[Continues at The Telegraph]
Whatever your view of the ethics of hacking, it’s hard to find much sympathy for the large corporations that have recently been the victims of successful hacks. The International Business Times reports on how corporations are now running scared.
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Hacker attacks, real and fake claims on who hacked and who didn’t, and to top it all, speculation regarding who is going to be the next target. While distressed corporations that have been victims of these virtual hooligans in recent days struggle to restore order and gain back control over the dwindling shares, people across the world debate on the next likely target.
Hours after PlayStation Network was made available after a shutdown which lasted more than a month, Sony’s security system was reported to be breached by the hacker group LulzSec. The group claimed to have accessed over a million user accounts along with passwords stored in servers. The group, in their supposed attempt to reveal the loopholes in Sony’s security system, has made available the data they dug up online from Sonypictures.com.
I’m not sure that they’ll really bomb China, which seems to be where most hacks on American corporations and government originate, but it could be a good excuse for another Middle East intervention. Nate Anderson reports for ArsTechnica:
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The US revealed its “International Strategy for Cyberspace” (PDF) yesterday. It’s mostly blather about how terrific “cyberspace” is, but it gets more specific on a few key issues like national defense. Could our next war start because of a hack? The government says it’s possible.
“States have an inherent right to self-defense that may be triggered by certain aggressive acts in cyberspace,” says the policy. Indeed, such aggressive acts might compel a country like the US to act even when the hacking is targeted at an allied country.
“Certain hostile acts conducted through cyberspace could compel actions under the commitments we have with our military treaty partners,” says the document.
Anonymous is bombing Iran — with code — in a May Day attack started today at 0500 GMT.
The Internet hackers group Anonymous plans to hack Iran on Sunday, according to a press release published on their website. The group wants to use International Workers’ Day, which commemorates the first national general strike in the United States, as an opportunity to reignite last year’s protests in Iran.
Exactly how they intend to “attack” Iran remains to be seen. The sophistication of their previous attacks ranges from the denial-of-service overloading of web servers (this simply knocks a website out) to the exploitation of code and accessing of private data (more like the hacking seen in the movies).
The announcement follows news from the Bahrain News Agency that Iranian hackers had tried to access the Housing Ministry’s database regarding those who benefit from the housing services…
[continues at CNN]
John MacDougall, then 25, was the lonely pamphleteer of lore, only instead of paper and ink he was armed with a 30-foot transmission dish, an electronic keyboard, and a burning objection to HBO's decision in 1986 to begin scrambling its satellite signal and charging viewers $12.95 a month. That move and price had offended MacDougall's sense of fair play — and all but halted the sales being generated by his fledgling satellite dish business in Ocala, Fla. So at 12:32 a.m. on Sunday, April 27, he transformed himself into Captain Midnight by commandeering HBO's satellite transmission signal - interrupting a showing of The Falcon and the Snowman — and putting in its place the above protest message that aired for four-and-a-half minutes. The stunt touched off a nationwide manhunt by law enforcement to unmask Captain Midnight and a media circus that has MacDougall's head spinning to this day. He would be caught, plead guilty to a misdemeanor, and receive a wrist slap of probation and a $5,000 fine.
MOSCOW (AFP) – A Moscow court jailed a Russian hacker for 18 months after he altered an electronic advertising billboard so that it screened a pornographic video, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Thursday. Hacker Igor Blinnikov stopped traffic in January last year by breaking into a computer system and screening a graphic sex video for around 10 minutes on a video billboard beside a busy highway in central Moscow in the late evening. Blinnikov, who comes from the southern Russian city of Novorossiisk, was found guilty late Wednesday of illegally gaining access to information on a computer and distributing pornographic materials. He called the video prank on Moscow's Garden Ring highway a "joke that went wrong"...