Feeds

Planned SMUT TSUNAMI fails to wreak havoc on UK.gov email

Flaccid response to Anonymous' call to Goatse arms

Build a business case: developing custom apps

UK government agencies were warned to batten down their hatches on Monday after elements of Anonymous threatened to flood email inboxes with smut in a protest against controversial net-filtering plans.

Participants in “Operation Pornstorm” were encouraged to flood several hundred government and county council email addresses with their "favourite porn film/s or image/s" from midday on 29 July.

The effort was organised by elements of Anonymous as a response to proposed government plans to introduce legislation which would compel service providers to apply network-level filters, enabled by default, to home internet connections in order to block pornographic content under the rationale of protecting children.

The threat was taken seriously enough to prompt an official warning from the UK government's security response team, which a reader forwarded to El Reg (extract below):

The Government Emergency Response Team have advised us of a potential attack on our email system. This is scheduled to start from midday today, Monday 29 July.

The hacktivist group “Anonymous” are encouraging participants to flood several hundred Government and County Council email addresses with their “favourite porn film\s or image\s”. This is in response to proposed Government plans to introduce legislation which would compel service providers to block pornographic content by default and to filter the results returned from certain search terms.

Their intent is to overwhelm email servers with a large volume of traffic which would result in them being unable to send or receive legitimate emails. Essentially causing our email system to stop.

El Reg has asked the Government Emergency Response Team for a response, but they had not yet replied at the time of publication.

Early indications are that the operation failed to attract a great deal of support. A dedicated website set up for the campaign quickly became unavailable, possibly because it was blocked. At the time of writing there is no indication that the “campaign” got off the ground, or that it had any effect on the government's ability to send and receive email.

Anonymous types seem to be more interested in the ongoing controversy of controversial NSA-run surveillance programs such as PRISM and the fate of Wikileaks source Bradley Manning than Operation Pornstorm, which hasn't even created that much of a ripple on Twitter.

Last week the website of Claire Perry MP, a Conservative politician who campaigned against access to pornography, was defaced to show smutty images. Prime Minister David Cameron praised the HomeSafe filtering system used by TalkTalk as a model for other ISPs to emulate. It later transpired that the system was operated by Chinese telecommunications company Huawei.

It later emerged that the TalkTalk system logs data on every URL customers visit, even in cases where the customer has opted out of the system. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
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.