Feeds

Anonymous reverse ferrets on CIA.gov takedown

'We blacked out website merely reported the outage'

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Loosely connected hacking collective Anonymous claimed responsibility for making the CIA's website inaccessible on Friday - but later said it was just reporting the event.

The apparent distributed denial of service attack against the spy agency's web presence follows a week after the release of a recording of a conference call between the FBI and British law enforcement officials discussing the progress of various cases against alleged members of Anonymous and LulzSec.

A Twitter account associated with the activists' movement claimed credit for the takedown before backtracking and saying it was merely "noting" that the cia.gov site was inaccessible.

The initial statement "#Anonymous takes down main CIA website cia.gov; site is still down | goo.gl/UL2ij" was followed by "We'd remind media that if we report a hack or ddos attack, it doesn't necessarily mean we did it... FYI" from the same YouAnonNews Twitter account a day later.

The conflicting statements have created a certain amount of confusion about who was responsible for the outage.

A CIA representative confirmed problems with the agency's website without commenting on the reasons for the downtime, saying: "We are aware of the problems accessing our Web site, and are working to resolve them."

The cia.gov site returned to normal operation on Saturday. The site (which essentially serves as an online brochure for the spy agency and an outlet for public relations material) has been the target of hacktivists in the past, including a June 2011 attack by LulzSec.

Other elements of Anonymous launched attacks against the Mexican Senate and Interior Ministry websites, in a protest against proposed Mexican anti-piracy laws that hacktivists compared to the SOPA legislation north of the border.

And in a further attack against US law enforcement, other hacktivists posted (partially redacted) information swiped from police and government servers in Alabama.

Hackers claimed they had obtained highly sensitive personal information on 46,000 Alabama residents, including names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, criminal records, and license plate numbers from insecure state government servers. A censored version of a sample of the hacked data was uploaded to PasteBin.

Anonymous said the hack was in protest against controversial Alabama state immigration laws. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.