Feeds

UK.gov braces for Anonymous hacklash

Battle lines drawn up in cyberspace

High performance access to file storage

UK government websites have been warned to brace themselves for website attacks in the wake of the arrest of five Britons as part of an investigation into Anonymous this week.

Members of the loosely knit Anonymous hacking collective condemned the arrests, arguing that denial of services attacks are a legitimate protest tactic, comparable with staging a sit-in or picketing. In a statement (one-page PDF/153KB), the group criticised the police operation as disproportionate, describing it as "a serious declaration of war from yourself, the UK government, to us, Anonymous, the people".

Information security agency GovCertUK has taken this implied threat seriously, issuing an advisory urging government websites to prepare defences (two-page PDF/32.7kb) against possible attack.

We would like to make you aware of a threat issued by the Anonymous group in reaction to the five arrests made yesterday by the Metropolitan Police.

The threat was directed towards the UK government in an open letter by Anonymous on their website. This has since been circulated around many open source websites.

In light of this threat we would advise you to be vigilant against any new signs of DDoS activity you may encounter, and to notify us if such activity occurs.

In related developments, the five UK suspects in the case have been released on police bail until April, pending further inquiries. All five remain unnamed.

A Scotland Yard statement warns that those tempted to download attack software in order to participate in further DDoS attacks also risk arrest.

The arrest of five suspected Anonymous members on Thursday was accompanied by raids on the homes of 40 suspects by the FBI and follows a month after a 16-year-old Dutch youngster was arrested over an alleged denial of service attack against Visa and Mastercard in protest against their decision to suspend an account maintained by WikiLeaks. Scotland Yard confirmed it was investigating WikiLeaks last month in the wake of denial of service attacks against entertainment industry websites and others hassling torrent sites and file-sharers.

It's not clear if the latest round of arrests involve attacks on organisations opposed to file-sharers or those seen to be against controversial whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks.

Participants in both sets of attacks were invited to use an attack tool, called the Low Orbit Ion Cannon, which generates waves of junk traffic against targeted sites. By default, the application does nothing to disguise the IP addresses of participants. Logs from attacked servers would record this information, making it a straightforward task for police to request ISPs to disclose the real world addresses of suspects in such attacks. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.