In these days we have witnessed the escalation of operations conducted by the Anonymous group, the hacker group that is espressing a social dissent througth cyber attacks.
The Internet world is profoundly changing, and the threat of hacktivist groups represents one of the major cyber threats. We must consider that the attacks of these groups produced the same effects of those perpetrated by cyber criminals or governments to offend strategic objectives. For these reasons cyber protest actions must be taken into serious consideration in cyber strategies for the defense of a nation, threat that I think has not been taken in the right consideration by many governments, including that of my dear Italy.
The action undertaken by the group Anonymous are honing in effectiveness and the results were not slow in coming.
Let’s see in detail what we’re talking about listing the attacks made by the feared group.
Anonymous group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, the one to FBI in reply to the shut down of Megaupload closure.
<<We Anonymous are launching our largest attack ever on government and music industry sites. Lulz. The FBI didn’t think they would get away with this did they? They should have expected us.>>
The attack type used is always the same, distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack), a large number of participants in the operation in order to make the web service not operative flood it of requests saturating its resources.
In the past, Anonymous supporters have used a program called LOIC allowing them to join in an attack on a particular website, flooding it with unwanted traffic.
Consider also that the famous group has released in the web instructions and videos on how to conduct this king of operations.
In terms of media Anonymous group can be a lesson to many.
However, the latest attack I believe represents an element of further development for the group, although it is always a DDoS type, the method used has profoundly changed in the conception.
The recruitment campaign for the attack has also served major social media being able to engage in this way an impressive number of participants with devastating consequences for victims. Hence the web and social networks like Facebook and Twitter have been flooded by messages of affiliates to the group, a media campaign in style.
When I said that the group has made a quantum leap with this new method I refered to an aspect that we discuss together soon. In many quarters this mode has been condemned just because it might involve users in the non-intentional conduct.
Gentlemen, this is the strength of that operation, for two simple reasons:
This subtle aspect could be stimulus for a wide category of undecided who share the ideology of the fear of incurring legal process by participating in operations.
The web war between governments and groups as Anonymous hacktivist has an important social connotation, popular movements that through technology known their disagreement and fight for the conquest of freedom.
Obvious that these events represent a serious threat to governmental institutions and organizations capable of being de facto powerful offensive, so they must be studied, monitored, prevented. Two opposing currents that are generating turbulent motions in a cyber space for himself in full swing.
While the closure of Megaupload is a strong signal and sends a clear and unequivocal message to other platforms that offer similar services on the other hand the response of Anonymous is irrefutable expression of disagreement with a policy shared by governments and multinational that undermines from deep the concept of freedom of expression.
Anonymous is the social structure, daughter of the technology, with the ability to intervene on the digital infrastructure that support the digital world today. It is an instrument of power of the people and must to be considered as such.
The minds behind Anonymous have the potential to jeopardize the stability of the world, today the government websites have been compromised and what would happen if the next time they were being targeted critical infrastructure?
Update 2012 – 01 -21
I propose you interesting statistics on the number of downloads of the Loic tool used in DDoS attacks during the last attack of the group Anonymous 19/01/2012