Articles about Hacktivism

Fancy Bear Anonymous bear logo

Fancy Bears' who-takes-what in sports hack list ‘manipulated’ before leak

Hackers may have doctored athletes’ data prior to leaking it, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The "Fancy Bear" hacking group has been releasing details of athletes' Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE*) after breaking into the systems of the fair play enforcement agency, as previously reported. WADA, which …
John Leyden, 06 Oct 2016
Hacker with face obscured, wearing a hoodie,  works in front of a bank of monitors. photo by Shutterstock

Azerbaijani hacktivists leak Armenian security service docs

Azerbaijani hacktivists have leaked the passport details of foreign visitors to Armenia and more after breaking into Armenian government servers. The incident shows that cyber-conflict in cyberspace extends well beyond far more well publicised conflicts between Russia and the Ukraine or India and Pakistan. The self-style Anti …
John Leyden, 02 Sep 2016
Plymouth Hoe, Devon. Pic: Shutterstock

Plymouth 'animal rights' teen admits Florida SeaWorld cyber attack

A British teenager has admitted taking part in cyber-attacks against Florida's SeaWorld theme park and Devon and Cornwall Police. However, the 16 year-old from Plymouth, Devon – who can’t be named for legal reasons – denied sending threatening messages to airlines. During a hearing at Plymouth’s youth court the youngster …
John Leyden, 29 Jun 2016

Smut shaming: Anonymous fights Islamic State... with porn

Elements of the Anonymous hacking collective have switched tactics in a campaign against supporters of the self-style Islamic State by attempting to shame and humiliate jihadists by adding pornographic images to their social media profiles. The smut-smearing follows months of attempting to report jihadist profiles on social …
John Leyden, 16 Jun 2016

Anons 'hack, leak Russian Facebook' boss's personal email

Hacktivists have leaked what could be the email inbox of Boris Dobrodeev – the boss of Russian social network VK, previously known as VKontakte. The personal account dumped online contains letters from 2014 discussing budget negotiations for VK – the Russian language equivalent of Facebook – as well as the proposed agenda for …
John Leyden, 06 May 2016

Costa Rica launches investigation after reports hackers ‘rigged’ 2014 election

Costa Rica is to investigate whether hackers interfered with its 2014 elections. The investigation comes days after jailed hacker Andres Sepulveda claimed he had used black propaganda and other tactics in order to influence many electoral contests across Latin America over a run of eight years for 2005 until 2013. Sepulveda …
John Leyden, 08 Apr 2016
Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Pic: openDemocracy

Did hacktivists really just expose half of Turkey's entire population to ID theft?

Updated A trove of leaked information, purported to be the entire Turkish citizenship database, has been leaked. The leaked info appears to contain names, addresses and ID numbers of more than 49 million citizens. If confirmed, the leak would become one of the biggest privacy breaches, by number of records, ever. Although billed as a …
John Leyden, 04 Apr 2016
Syrian Electronic Army

FBI's Most Wanted: Syrian Electronic Army hacktivists

The FBI has placed suspected self-styled Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) hacktivists on its most wanted list, publicly naming members of the notorious group for the first time. Ahmad Umar Agha (AKA The Pro), 22, and Firas Dardar (AKA The Shadow), 27, were each charged with multiple conspiracies related to computer hacking. Peter …
John Leyden, 22 Mar 2016
Bitcoin is the future of money CC 2.0 by Jonathan Waller

Reformed LulzSec hacktivist joins payments firm

Updated A payments firm has hired reformed LulzSec hactivist Mustafa Al-Bassam (formerly known as tFlow) for a new blockchain research project. London-based payments group Secure Trading has taken on Al-Bassam to help develop a platform that applies the verification benefits of blockchain technology in order to improve the visibility …
John Leyden, 16 Mar 2016
Hacker with face obscured, wearing a hoodie,  works in front of a bank of monitors. photo by Shutterstock

Is this Romanian man really 'GhostShell'? If so, he risks arrest

Members of the security community are nonplussed by claims that a Romanian hacker “GhostShell” has seemingly risked arrest by doxxing himself in a bid to get a job in information security. The man claiming to be a one-time Anonymous-affiliated hacktivist avoided identification and arrest for four years before apparently outing …
John Leyden, 15 Mar 2016

What are you doing to spot a breach?

Technology moves quickly, not just in legitimate business, but in the cybercriminal world too. Advanced attack tools are now available on the black market, lowering the barrier to entry for the average online lowlife. They are happy to target large and small organizations alike, and they only have to be lucky once. Security …
Robin Birtstone, 08 Mar 2016
Indian riot

Cricket can get nasty: India v Pakistan rivalry boils over into cyber-war

The continuing rivalry between India and Pakistan has spilled over into cyberspace, with activity peaking around nationalist holidays and sports fixtures. A study of recent real-world events and hacktivist operations by threat intelligence firm Recorded Future highlights the varied motives behind online malfeasance. Events …
John Leyden, 11 Feb 2016

500Gbps DDoS attack flattens world record

The world's largest distributed denial of service attack has been clocked at 500Gbps, according to Arbor Networks. The attack was reported by a third party and is yet to be analysed, other than in terms of its size. British teen Seth Nolan-Mcdonagh likely held the title for the previous largest DDoS, which came in at 300Gbps …
Darren Pauli, 27 Jan 2016

Cyber-terror: How real is the threat? Squirrels are more of a danger

Comment The UK Chancellor George Osborne last week announced that the British government plans to double cybersecurity spending and establish a single National Cyber Centre. Cybersecurity spending will rise to £1.9bn ($2.87bn) at a time of budget cuts to police and other government departments. More details are expected to come in the …
John Leyden, 24 Nov 2015

Anonymous hack group plans to out anonymous hate group

Persons using the name and iconography of online activist collective “Anonymous” (PUTNAIOOACA) have threatened to out members of the Ku Klux Klan. In a Pastebin post PUTNAIOOACA operatives say “we will be revealing about 1000 of your klan member identities.” The motivation for the campaign appears twofold, with the Pastebin …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Oct 2015

Anons blow Japanese airports off-course in dolphin cull protest

Hacktivist collective Anonymous knocked offline two of Japan's busiest websites in a protest against dolphin killings. Distributed denial-of-service attacks against Tokyo's Narita airport and Nagoya's Chubu airport left each largely inaccessible for about eight hours. Flights at both airports were unaffected, the Japan Times …
John Leyden, 22 Oct 2015
Hacked US CENTCOM Twitter account

Fugitive UK hacker turned ISIS recruiter killed in Syria

Junaid Hussain, the UK fugitive hacker turned ISIS recruiter, has reportedly been killed in a US drone strike in Syria. The former member of hacking group TeaMp0isoN (nickname TriCk) was jailed in 2012 for hacking into the email account of an aide to Tony Blair and subsequently posting contact details and personal information …
John Leyden, 27 Aug 2015

Ashley Madison keeps calm, carries on after hackers expose lives of millions of its users

Infidelity website Ashley Madison has pledged to continue operations after hackers leaked its customer database online. The Impact Team, which claimed responsibility for the hack on Ashley Madison and sister site Established Men, have made good on their threat to publish compromising information on millions of people. Around …
John Leyden, 19 Aug 2015

Adulterers antsy as 'entire' Ashley Madison databases leak online

Hackers at the Impact Team have apparently carried out their threat to publish the customer databases of Ashley Madison – a hookup website designed for those who want to cheat on their partners. In July, the hackers announced that they had successfully scraped the servers of Ashley Madison, and its sister site Established Men …
Iain Thomson, 18 Aug 2015

Hacking Trump: Can we not label web vandalism as 'terrorism', please?

Sysadmin Blog American politics are something of a national sport in Canada. No matter who runs for either side, Canadians throw popcorn at the screen and try to pretend our choices are any better. We debate the relative merits of the boob tube's highest stakes biennial reality TV soap opera. Things can get heated, sometimes, but we enjoy …
Trevor Pott, 03 Aug 2015
Anonymous video screenshot

Canadian government websites hosed, Anonymous takes credit

Canada's government websites and email servers have been knocked offline in a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. The assault was apparently a simple flood-the-pipes operation rather than an attempted data-heist. At 5pm local time, according to Bloomberg (presumably in Ottawa), sysadmins were working to get services …
ISIS Islamists in Iraq

Russia's to blame for pro-ISIS megahack on French TV network

Russians may have posed as ISIS in a high-profile hack against a French TV channel, according to French investigators and security firms. France's TV5Monde TV network was knocked off air for around 18 hours in April in the aftermath of a hack attack that also resulted in the hijack of its website and Facebook page. The …
John Leyden, 10 Jun 2015

Mobile spyware firm mSpy hacked, clients doxxed on dark web

Mobile spyware firm mSpy's database has appeared on the dark web, following an apparent hack on its systems last week. Emails, text messages, payment details, Apple IDs, passwords, photos and location data for mSpy users have all been exposed, according to investigative reporter Brian Krebs, who broke the story about the …
John Leyden, 15 May 2015

DDoSsers use reflection amplification to crank up the volume to 100Gbps+

DDoS attacks have grown in volume yet again with 25 attacks larger than 100Gbps globally in Q1 2015, according to the latest stats from DDoS mitigation firm Arbor Networks. The majority of recent super-sized attacks leverage a reflection amplification technique using Network Time Protocol (NTP), Simple Service Discovery …
John Leyden, 28 Apr 2015
Hacked US CENTCOM Twitter account

IT'S WAR: Hacktivists throw in their lot with spies and the military

Feature Hacktivism has lost its innocence. Once characterised in the early days of Anonymous back in 2008 by assaults against the Church of Scientology, it has now become part and parcel of far darker plans, such as the spread of terrorist propaganda by Islamic militants. Meanwhile, over in the Ukraine, cyber militias of patriot hackers …
John Leyden, 20 Apr 2015

Anonymous unleashes online petition against US info-sharing bills

Activist and hacktivist collective Anonymous has launched an online awareness-raising operation opposing pending controversial US information-sharing bills. Critics from across the political spectrum, including libertarian-minded technologist Robert Graham, argue that the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act sacrifices …
John Leyden, 20 Apr 2015
DDoS image

Obsolete – and IP-baring – Anon tool linked to feminist blog DDoS

A feminist blog hit by a DDoS attack on International Women’s Day has used the attack to its advantage. Amber Gordon, founder of, said although the site is no stranger to Distributed Denial of Service assaults, Sunday's attack differed in being unusually intense. “I think it’s because it’s International Women’s …
John Leyden, 09 Mar 2015

Calling all cybercrooks: Ready-made phone attack rig for sale

Cybercrooks are marketing a hardware-based tool for running denial of service attacks on telephone systems. The Telephone Denial of Service attacks (TDoS) rig is being sold by a group of cybercriminals called “TNT” from Eastern Europe via underground cybercrime forums. The tool, called “TNT Instant Up”, features a special …
John Leyden, 23 Feb 2015
Sad Anonymous

Anonymous loose cannon admits DDoSing social services and housing websites

A middle-aged Briton has admitted running a series of debilitating denial of service attacks against social services, social housing and crime prevention websites. Ian Sullivan, 51, of Bootle, Merseyside, also admitted responsibility for a series of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against private sector firms, …
John Leyden, 10 Feb 2015

Anonymous: Snap on that Guy Fawkes mask, we're marching against child sex abuse

Hacktivist group Anonymous is calling for a day of protest against paedophiles who take advantage of their wealth and power to abuse children. Operation Death Eaters aims to rally people in preparation for a series of street protests, scheduled for Friday, 13 February. The campaign – which references disturbing cases in the UK …
John Leyden, 27 Jan 2015
Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 9M-MRO

Lizard Squad threatens Malaysia Airlines with data dump: We DID TOO hack your site

Infamous hacktivists Lizard Squad are threatening to dump data they supposedly snatched during the process of defacing the website of Malaysia Airlines. Surfers visiting Malaysia Airlines ( website on Monday were confronted by a bragging message from Lizard Squad rather than flight timetables. The …
John Leyden, 26 Jan 2015

It's hacker jihad: Islamist skiddies square up to Anonymous

An online spat is developing between Islamist and pro-Western hacktivists. Sections of infamous hacker collective Anonymous launched #OpCharlieHebdo last week in responses to terrorist attacks that killed 17 in Paris, including 10 cartoonists and journalists and two police constables in and around the offices of French satirical …
John Leyden, 14 Jan 2015

Islamic script kiddies aim killer blow - at Bristol bus timetable website

Bristol residents looking for bus and train timetables were confronted by a message from Islamic militants following a defacement of the TravelWest website. A self-styled "Arab Security Team" called Darkshadow sprayed digital graffiti on Bristol-based travel information website Local reports speculate that …
John Leyden, 02 Jan 2015
Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy book cover

Who is out there waiting to spy on you or steal your data?

The growth rate of digital attacks continues to alarm. According to PwC’s Global State of Information Security Survey 2015, the number of reported incidents rose by 48 per cent this year to 42.8 million, the equivalent of 117,339 attacks a day. Add to those the masses of unreported attacks and you have an awfully messy …
Tom Brewster, 21 Nov 2014
Jade Goody and pals

Anonymous ‪hacks the Ku Klux Klan after Ferguson‬ threats

Hactivist collective Anonymous has taken out the websites and Twitter accounts of white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan following threats by a local chapter of the Klan against protestors in ‪Ferguson, Missouri. Tensions in Ferguson are high in the run-up to a ruling on whether criminal charges will be brought against a …
John Leyden, 18 Nov 2014
Man types something into Mac while sipping a glass of lemon water. Not a brilliant idea. Photo by SHutterstock

BrowserStack HACK ATTACK: Service still suspended after rogue email

Browser testing service BrowserStack has temporarily suspended its services while it recovers from a "hack attack" by someone apparently bent on discrediting the security of the widely used tool. "We did get hacked. Currently sanitising entire BrowserStack, so service will be down for a while. We're on top of it and will keep …
John Leyden, 10 Nov 2014

LulzSec supersnitch led attacks on UK, Australia – report

Hacktivist kingpin turned FBI snitch Hector Xavier "Sabu" Monsegur orchestrated attacks against 30 countries, including systems in the UK and Australia, according to a report that joins the dots between sealed court docs and leaked IRC chat logs. According to the court documents, Monsegur persuaded other hacktivists – among them …
John Leyden, 02 Oct 2014

Russian PM's Twitter hacked to slap down Putin, post fake resignation

The Twitter feed of the Russian prime minister was hacked on Thursday to post false claims that Dmitry Medvedev had resigned to try his hand as a freelance photographer. The Russian-language profile, which boasts more than 2.5 million followers, was also updated with messages criticising Russia's president, Vladimir Putin. …
John Leyden, 14 Aug 2014
Syrian Electronic Army threat tweet

SEA hacks Reuters website widget DESPITE 2FA security

Hacktivists with the Syrian Electronic Army have hit news agency Reuters again. Surfers intending to catch up with the latest news were briefly redirected to a page run by the Syrian Electronic Army. The page (screenshot via HotforSecurity here) berated Western media reports about the conflict in Syria. The SEA has previous …
John Leyden, 24 Jun 2014

Anonymous plans hacktivism against World Cup sponsors

Ragtag hacktivist collective Anonymous is threatening World Cup sponsors as its next hacking target. Hacker Che Commodore made the threat in solidarity with real-world protestors in Brazil who are enraged that funds are being funnelled into building white elephant stadiums for football's showpiece event rather than much needed …
John Leyden, 09 Jun 2014
Syrian iPhone ban

Microsoft charges the FBI $50 for a copy of your private data, claim 'Redmond hackers'

Hacktivists apparently loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have bragged they hacked into Microsoft's internal system that bills US cops and feds for access to citizens' private data. And the hackers have apparently spilled the beans on how much Redmond is paid for servicing those American wiretap requests. The documents …
John Leyden, 21 Mar 2014
A boat full of Fail

Phisherman's friend: Confused hacktivists deface FAKE BANK SITE

Anon hackers have been caught boasting about defacing a counterfeit Yorkshire Bank website. Hacktivist crew Anon Ghost earned coverage on underground security blogs for defacing “Yorkshire Bank, one of the largest United Kingdom bank (sic)”. However, the hackers actually hit "", a Malaysian imitation of the real …
John Leyden, 06 Mar 2014
FBI badge and gun

UK man Lauri Love accused of hacking US Federal Reserve

The US government have laid more hacking charges against a Brit alleged to have hacked into the US Federal Reserve. Lauri Love, 28, of Stradishall, Suffolk, is charged with one count of computer hacking and a further charge of aggravated identify theft over an alleged attack on Federal Reserve computer systems between October …
John Leyden, 28 Feb 2014
Smug ginger tom

Syrian Electronic Army: We hijacked FACEBOOK ... honest, guv

Hacktivists with the Syrian Electronic Army (briefly) meddled with Facebook’s domain on Wednesday night, according to recent reports. The pro-Assad hacking crew claimed to have gained access to an administrative panel at DNS provider MarkMonitor and altered the registrant contact details to point towards Damascus and a Gmail …
John Leyden, 06 Feb 2014

Snowden leak: GCHQ DDoSed Anonymous & LulzSec's chatrooms

British intelligence ran denial-of-service attacks against chatrooms used by Anonymous and LulzSec, according to an investigation by NBC News involving Snowden confidante Glenn Greenwald. Documents leaked by the NSA whistleblower record how a GCHQ unit known as the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group, or JTRIG, used a …
John Leyden, 05 Feb 2014
Dropbox IOS

Dropbox outage was caused by 'buggy' upgrade: DDoS us? You hardly know us...

Pranksters latched onto an outage at Dropbox on Friday to push false rumours of a politically motivated hack. A group calling itself 1775Sec claimed that it had taken advantage of a vulnerability to knock out the widely used sync-and-share service. These claims were reported by sections of the media over the weekend. Dropbox …
John Leyden, 13 Jan 2014

Sabu wasn't the only FBI mole in LulzSec, suggest leaked docs

Leaked search warrants suggest Sabu wasn't the only LulzSec hacker who helped the FBI take down the infamous hacktivist group. The unredacted search warrants for ‪Sabu‬ and ‪LulzSec‬ refer to involvement of three different informants in the investigation, at least two of whom it is implied were members of the organisation. …
John Leyden, 10 Jan 2014

PayPal 13 plead guilty to launching DDoS attacks

Thirteen US defendants last week pleaded guilty to taking part in attacks by Anonymous against PayPal. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) said the accused had all admitted to carrying out a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) cyber-attack against PayPal in December 2010 in protest against the payment processing firm's …
John Leyden, 09 Dec 2013

Anon hacktivists tear through Philippines govt in web graffiti rampage

Government websites were defaced in the Philippines by hackers who claim affiliation with Anonymous amid a protest against alleged corruption. The vandals hijacked sites on Sunday with a message that attempted to rally support for a demonstration against lawmakers' alleged misuse of public money, and demanded the abolition of …
John Leyden, 06 Nov 2013

Cyber-terrorists? Pah! Superhero protesters were a bigger threat to London Olympics

RSA Europe 2013 Protests from groups such as Fathers4Justice were more of a worry to London 2012 Olympic Games organisers than computer hackers, according to the former chairman of London 2012, Lord Sebastian Coe. He said procedures put in place before the Games to guard its IT systems – including Wi-Fi networks in stadiums as well as the main …
John Leyden, 04 Nov 2013