Anonymous has done it again. The group successfully hacked into the Central Intelligence Bureau (CIA) for the second time. Traditionally known as F*ckFBIFriday, this weekend?s eve turned into F*ckCIAFriday. ?At approximately 3:10 p.m. Eastern time one of twitter accounts related to the hackers’ group announced “cia.gov DOWN. #UMAD?#Anonymous.”
?”CIA TANGO DOWN: https://www.cia.gov/ #Anonymous,” this was another Tweet by the hacker group confirming the nine hour shut down of the CIA. It seems that the CIA is less prepared for fighting Anonymous than other agencies. If the dhs.gov website was revived in mere minutes, the CIA’s site was still down even hours after the attack.
Anonymous has become synonymous with DDoS. The technique is a concentrated effort by multiple individuals to make a network busy to its intended users. The end results in a server overload.
Even though DDoS attacks are a violation of the Internet Architecture Boards?s proper use policy, it has become an effective tool for Anonymous to spread online mayhem.
JUST FOR A LAUGH
“We do it for the lulz,” One of the twitter accounts affiliated with Anonymous explained the reasons of the attack?referring to the popular online abbreviation “for laughs”.
?It was done for the fun of it?? a US military veteran told Arabian Gazette on condition of anonymity over the phone. “These guys hacked into one of the most powerful intelligence agencies in the world for laughs? Well I?m sure the Russians would be laughing at us now. The world definitely was lot safer before computers.
?I still cannot understand how a couple of kids can infiltrate such high security network and make the CIA a laughing stock again,? ?another senior citizen spoke to Arabian Gazette from Boston. ?If such a highly acclaimed agency cannot keep its intelligence safe, it makes me wonder if anyone else is ever safe!?
This is not the first time Anonymous took down cia.gov website. In June, as part of a 51-day-long hackathon, the Anonymous affiliated group LulzSec took down the CIA’s site for a few hours. The reason was the same as today: “For the lulz”.
?Well I guess once bitten, twice shy, does not work for the CIA? Nick Travis, a security consultant working in Dubai, told Arabian Gazette. ?This is the second time the CIA has been infiltrated, once it can be understood, a second time shows a complete lack of security and intelligence.?
“We are aware of the problems accessing our website, and are working to resolve them,” the CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood told the press on Friday night.?By early Saturday morning, the website was back.
After all the mayhem caused, Anonymous released another Tweet which confused many experts. @YourAnonNews, the Twitter account believed to be associated with the hacker group, announced: ?We’d remind the media that if we report a hack or ddos (distributed denial of service) attack, it doesn’t necessarily mean we did it…FYI.”
?Anonymous is just trying to clear its name before the media pins another hacking to it,? Mary Anne Luis, a PR consultant from Abu Dhabi, told Arabian Gazette. ?They are just casually reminding the media not to jump the gun.?
?I?m confused; I don?t understand why Anonymous made the FYI statement,? Travis commented.
According to some unconfirmed reports, the FYI statement released by Anonymous means the world must expect to see more hacks into highly security agencies. It is also expected that no hacking group would claim responsibility, thus the blame would automatically fall onto Anonymous. To safeguard itself from future problems, it seems Anonymous wants to make clarifications at the present.
The hacking group apparently has conducted multiple hacks on the same day. CIA is not the only website which had been breached. Websites of Mexico?s mining ministry and the US state of Alabama.
The Alabama Department of Homeland Security said in a news release that information was ?compromised? during a hacking attempt on Alabama state website.
“We are aware of the current situation regarding individual(s) claiming responsibility for hacking into state of Alabama public website,” Spencer Collier,?Alabama Department of Homeland Security Director, said in a press release.
Jack Doane, director of Alabama’s Information Services Division, told CNN that state technology experts “are conducting a forensic analysis to determine what if any information has been compromised.”
In Mobile, Alabama, hackers got personal information of more than 46,000 people who were part of a court amnesty for overdue traffic tickets and other fines, city officials said. The hackers said the data included names, Social Security numbers, date of birth, home addresses and phone numbers, license plates and criminal records.
A web page that included Anonymous’ signature tag line stated the hacking was in response to Alabama’s “recent racist legislation in an attempt to punish immigrants as criminals” – referring to a legislation signed last June aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration in the state.
The?Mobile Register, an Alabama website, reported?that the data “was not securely segregated from the Internet, nor was it properly encrypted” and that the hackers released a sample of the records, with most details redacted. “This release is only meant to show the Citizens of the state of Alabama the amount of incompetence that is taking place within the state government in Alabama,” Anonymous said in a statement. “We mean no harm by releasing this redacted information. … we do not intend to use this data, nor will we be saving any of it. We do not intend to use this data, nor will we be saving any of it.”
“You complain about immigrants costing the state money, however, you do not care about spending the same money to protect your own legal citizens,” the Anonymous release added.
Mobile city spokeswoman Barbara Drummond said Utah authorities alerted officials Thursday night about a possible attack. She told the Associated Press that the city shut down its computers to avoid the attack.
MEXICO MINE EXPOSED
“Hello Mexican Chamber of Mines,” a related Twitter post by Anonymous read. “Want to see your emails exposed?”
The Mexican mining ministry’s website — which is distinct from the Chamber of Mines, or Caminex, a trade association — appeared to be down early Friday evening.
?A decade ago, we were fighting for the rights of miners, whales and dolphins the old fashioned way,? Fathima, a green peace activist based in Abu Dhabi, told Arabian Gazette. ?Now a hacking group like Anonymous has bought more attention to the Mexican miners than the ground activists could ever imagine.?
Sources: BBC, CNN, AFP, Reuters