With coordinated denial-of-service attacks, the Anonymous network of hacktivists took down the websites of the United Kingdom's Home Office and Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), making good on its promise to launch weekly cyberattacks on British intelligence agencies.
The onslaught of Web traffic rendered the websites of MI6 and the Home Office inoperable on Saturday (April 14), The Tech Herald reported. These agencies were targeted as part of Anonymous' ongoing "Operation Trial at Home" campaign, a protest of the planned extradition to the U.S. of three suspected U.K. cybercriminals, including Richard O'Dwyer, the 23-year-old founder of TVShack.net.
Beginning early this month, Anonymous has vowed to levy attacks every Saturday against the Home Office and other British government agencies under the " Operation Trial at Home " banner.
Both the MI6 and Home Office websites are currently back online.
On Sunday, Anonymous switched continents, if not gears, and aimed its digital wrath at the CIA, hitting the website with a denial-of-service attack that kept it offline for more than an hour, The Tech Herald said. A Twitter post from @LulzPirate announced the strike on Sunday at 9:18 p.m. with the usual "Tango Down" message.
Along with Operation Trial at Home, Anonymous is also currently invested in Operation Defense, a protest against the proposed Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a controversial bill that would enable private companies and the government to better share cybersecurity information. Hackers last week hit two trade organizations, TechAmerica and USTelecom, as well as Boeing, with DDoS attacks to voice their opposition to CISPA.
Only one of Anonymous' announced targets, the U.K.'s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), was able to deflect Anonymous' shots this weekend. The website of GCHQ, the government body tasked with protecting other U.K. agencies from cyberthreats, was not impacted by the attacks launched at it.
In an email to SecurityNewsDaily last week, a GCHQ representative said the agency is aware of the weekly scheduled attacks, and has put "reasonable and proportionate information assurance precautions in place."
In other hackers-against-Britain news, last week's arrest of two teenage members of the Team Poison hackers, including TriCk, the group's leader, has sparked the group's remaining activists into action. In a statement posted on PasteBay, the hacking group says it has "lost a fighter for freedom, a fighter against corruption," but that the fight has "just started."
"I ask you, a fellow hacker, as a blackhat, to rise, to unite and to fight," Team Poison wrote. The hackers ended their appeal with a list of directives to its supporters. "Blend in. Get Trusted. Trust no one. Own everything. Disclose nothing. Destroy everything. Take back the scene. Never sell out, never surrender. Get in as anonymous, leave with no trace."
TriCk, along with another Team Poison hacker, was arrested last week in connection with launching a "phone bomb" attack against the MI6 anti-terrorism hotline.
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