Feeds

Global DNS takedown plotters disowned by Anonymous

Alleged power grid threat also cobblers, say hacktivists

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Anonymous has distanced itself from a plot to knock out critical systems in the backbone of the internet.

Documents posted on Pastebin and elsewhere warn of a planned attack against the main DNS root servers on 31 March as part of a protest against SOPA and other hated copyright enforcement measures. If successful, the attack would disable the core components of internet's systems for domain name to IP address lookup, hobbling web surfing and email delivery in the process.

"On March 31, anonymous will shut the Internet down. In order to shut the Internet down, one thing is to be done. Down the 13 root DNS servers of the Internet," according to a memo outlining the proposed assault, dubbed Operation GlobalBlackOut.

"By cutting these off the Internet, nobody will be able to perform a domain name lookup, thus, disabling the HTTP Internet, which is, after all, the most widely used function of the Web. Remember, this is a protest, we are not trying to 'kill' the Internet, we are only temporarily shutting it down where it hurts the most."

Established individuals associated with Anonymous have distanced the group from the plan.

"GlobalBlackOut is another Fake Operation. No intention of #Anonymous to cut Internet," an update to the @Anonops Twitter account on Tuesday states.

Anyone can declare themselves as members of Anonymous and use the groups's banner as a flag of convenience. In the absence of official spinners, let alone any recognised hierarchy, Twitter accounts and blogs act as the best guide for what's going on with the collective.

These accounts correctly predicted that there would be no attack on Facebook, so El Reg reckons Operation GlobalBlackOut - which doesn't make much sense in the first place - is a non-starter.

A minority of members of Anonymous have shown themselves prepared to leak the personal details of consumers in order to expose the insecurity of corporations in the past, but taking out the root DNS of the net is not the group's style. After all, such a action would throw a spanner in the works of the hacktivists' favourite playground.

In other Anon-related news, National Security Agency director Gen. Keith Alexander has warned the White House that Anonymous "could have the ability within the next year or two to bring about a limited power outage through a cyberattack", the Wall street journal breathlessly reports.

Various members of Anonymous denounced this warning as scare-mongering geared towards creating a climate in which Congress allows the passage of the 2012 cyber-security bill despite objections by Senate Republicans. They say it gives federal authorities too much power over private-sector infrastructure firms.

"We're pretty sure, that cyber bill is the reason for the renewed NSA fear-mongering," AnonymousIRC retorted. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
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
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
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.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.