Feeds

Anonymous releases sample of Australian telco's data

Video offers motive for attack, data release, threatens further action

Seven Steps to Software Security

A campaign using the name and much of the iconography of activist group Anonymous has released data it hopes will embarrass the Australian Government into backing away from even considering data retention laws.

Data has been posted to a number of file sharing sites and appears to have been released at around 2:00AM Sunday AEST.

The Register has visited three of the sites and the data concerned is far from explosive as it lists the addresses of government agencies and foreign embassies in Australia. Some lines of data reveal the first names of individuals. Some record hobbies. A field for mobile phone numbers and phone numbers that will reach individuals in the evening is also present in many records.

The group has described the attack and its motives in a blog post and video in which the group justifies the release by describing it as a “proof of concept attack” that used “the very same methods your government uses on the Australian population.” Those methods, Anonymous or those using that name assert, could mean any data held by the Australian Government could be exposed in similar ways, to the detriment of individuals' liberty and privacy.

The attack is said to have exploited a flaw in an un-patched and forgotten AAPT ColdFusion server hosted at a third party, Melbourne IT. How that represents a method Australia's government uses is not explained.

The speech accompanying the video diverges from the written text, and at around 2:25 in the video issues a threat of further action:

Do not underestimate what a nation settled by convicts can do. You must keep the people happy. Do that and there is no drama. Otherwise, you'd better expect us.

The soundtrack to the video is spoken in a mock Australian accent that even some anons, in a chat room the Anonymous' Op_Australia twitter feed has promoted as a reliable source of information on its antipodean activities, found risible.

The decision to claim the video is spoken by a member of the Australian public is also noteworthy, as some people in the chat room appear not to reside in Australia. One has told The Reg he or she resides in France. Others keep hours that indicate they either have very unusual sleeping patterns or reside in time zones beyond Australia.

Chat in the room also indicated the group had difficulty preparing the data for release, as the size of the stolen data - 40 gigabytes and several hundred database tables – presented technical challenges. Banter also seemed to indicate that different opinions about what to release were being debated among activists. Some argued that AAPT's confirmation of data loss achieved the group's aims and that the eventual release therefore did not need to make additional revelations.

The eventual decision preserved some column headers, but the majority of cells are replaced with the word “NULL”.

On Saturday the blog post above was also, for a time, removed from the AnonPR.net site. Chat in the group also suggested activists were attacking the web site of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
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
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
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.
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.