Feeds

Hacktivists claim coup against global leaders site

Conflicting reports from the front line

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Hacktivists have been blamed for cutting off access to the Web site of the World Economic Forum (WEF), a talking shop for the world's political and business leaders, over the weekend.

The "denial of service" attack against weforum.org began on the first day of the five-day conference in New York and continued during the course of the meeting, Reuters reports.

Despite the fact organisers were keen to point the finger at Internet vandals, statements to reporters suggest a more mundane explanation - failure to set up the site properly - might be behind the outage.

Reuters reports that spokesman Charles McLean told journalists on Friday that "too many hits on our Web site are shutting it down."

"If it's in fact vandals, that's unfortunate because we are in the dialogue business and dialogue involves communication," he added.

New York's Village Voice newspaper reports that the Electronic Disturbance Theatre, RTMark, and Federation of Random Action have taken credit for staging a "virtual sit in" that crashed the site. Email messages to organisers on Thursday failed to get through, it reports.

According to the Village Voice hacktivists reportedly used a tool to flood the Web site with spurious requests, so denying access to weform.org.

However Reuters quotes unnamed law enforcement officials who said a group called "The Yes Men" used a tool called Reamweaver to redirect users to a parody site.

The site (which incidentally uses the unusual combination of Lotus-Domino/5.0.8 on Windows 2000, Netcraft reports) is now back online.

Last year, a group called "Virtual Monkeywrench" broke into the WEF's site and gained access to data on 27,000 participants, including the credit card details and phone numbers of participants such as Bill Gates and Yasser Arafat.

Critics complain that the WEF, which normally meets annually in Davos, Switzerland but was moved to New York this year as a gesture of solidarity, is controlled by the rich and powerful, who they blame for many of the world's economic and political problems. Anti-globalisation protestors have taken to the streets to protest against the conference; a number of arrests have been made. ®

Related Stories

Activists target bank's Web site in animal rights protest
World Economic Forum hacked
World Economic Forum to decide Net's future
Nike Web site owned by hacktivists

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.