Attacks/Breaches
7/7/2011
05:15 PM
50%
50%

Italian Police Arrest Alleged Anonymous Hackers

Authorities in Switzerland also crack down on members of the loosely organized hacking collective known as Anonymous.

Strategic Security Survey: Global Threat, LocalPain
Strategic Security Survey: Global Threat, Local Pain
(click image for larger view and for full slideshow)
Authorities in Italy and Switzerland are cracking down on members of the loosely organized hacking collective known as Anonymous.

Earlier this week, Italian police arrested 15 people and performed more than 30 searches across the country, according to la Repubblica, Italy's second-largest daily newspaper. All of the individuals arrested were between the ages of 15 and 28 years old, and five of them were under the age of 18.

The arrests were made by the country's postal and telecommunications police, who handle communications-related investigations, including hacking, credit card fraud, and child pornography.

At the behest of Italian authorities, police in Switzerland also arrested an Italian man, 26, and seized his computers. Authorities allege that he led the group of Anonymous participants arrested in Italy, directing their activities via Facebook, Twitter, as well as chat sites, and then launching distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) via servers--some leased--located outside Italy. Antonio Apruzzese, director of Italy's postal and telecommunications police, told la Repubblica, that the group's actions had created serious economic damages, having targeted a number of Italian businesses, including power companies Eni and Enel, multinational conglomerate Finmeccanica, media group Mediaset, and broadcaster RAI.

Shortly after the arrests, hackers released a data dump of administrator usernames, passwords, as well as tax codes, for 18 Italian universities, reported la Repubblica. Authorities said it was unclear whether the incident was meant to serve as revenge for the Anonymous arrests.

As the arrests illustrate, while there have been numerous Anonymous-driven attacks against websites based in the United States, participants also have been busy at work abroad. Indeed, the Italian crackdown follows last month's arrests in Spain of three suspected Anonymous members who are accused of launching attacks against Sony--prior to the PlayStation Network hack--as well as financial institutions and government agencies. According to Italian authorities, the Anonymous members in Italy and Spain had been supporting each other's attacks.

The loose-knit Anonymous hacking collective initially coalesced to battle groups perceived to be opposed to WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. At one point, a website devoted to the group described it as "an anonymous, decentralized movement which fights against censorship and copywrong." Offshoots of the group have included LulzSec, which gained notoriety for a 50-day attack spree that hacked businesses and government agencies using well-known Web application vulnerabilities, as well a botnet-driven DDoS attacks. In addition, many recent attacks have been carried out under the banner of Antisec, formed by Anonymous and LulzSec, before it faded away.

While some Anonymous participants have been arrested for their participation in online attacks, Assange has managed to avoid charges related to WikiLeaks publishing massive troves of confidential documents leaked from governments and businesses. But he is still fighting extradition to Sweden, where he faces charges of rape and sexual assault. While Assange had inked a reported $1.5 million "tell all" book deal, which he said was critical for funding his legal defense fund, on Thursday, the Guardian quoted anonymous sources who said that the deal, at least in its current form, had fallen through over Assange's fears that what he said in the book might be used against him by U.S. prosecutors eager to charge him with terrorism offenses.

Black Hat USA 2011 presents a unique opportunity for members of the security industry to gather and discuss the latest in cutting-edge research. It happens July 30-Aug. 4 in Las Vegas. Find out more and register.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: just wondering...Thanx
Current Issue
Security Operations and IT Operations: Finding the Path to Collaboration
A wide gulf has emerged between SOC and NOC teams that's keeping both of them from assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT systems. Here's how experts think it should be bridged.
Flash Poll
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
The transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.