Risk
7/18/2013
11:40 AM
50%
50%

Anonymous To FEMA: Shall We Play A Game?

Offended by FEMA's portrayal of fictional hacktivists as anti-American and easily defeated, Anonymous strikes back with data dump.

Anonymous: 10 Things We Have Learned In 2013
Anonymous: 10 Things We Have Learned In 2013
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
"Hello FEMA, Anonymous here, shall we play a game?"

So read a Wed. communication from the hacktivist group Anonymous, which appears to be catching up on unfinished business in the form of a data dump -- aka dox -- of a database obtained from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The dox, posted to Pastebin late Wednesday, has since been deleted. But according to a mirrored copy of the post, it appeared to include numerous names, mailing addresses, email addresses, MD5-hashed passwords and database ID numbers associated with people who were designated by FEMA to respond to national emergencies. "Anonymous has purposefully redacted logins, passwords, SSNs and other details that might genuinely endanger the United States from this document, our intent is not to harm, merely to issue a firm warning," read the Anonymous post.

[ FBI and Homeland Security tried to slow attacks by sharing IP addresses of suspected Chinese hackers with U.S. service providers. Read more: Feds Shared Chinese Hacker Data With Service Providers. ]

The delayed impetus for the dox was a "Cyber Capabilities Tabletop Exercise" conducted in May 2012 by FEMA, involving what organizers said were "three dozen Federal Government departments and agencies, 10 states and territories, scores of private sector companies and trade associations, and four international partners." The exercise simulated a series of online attacks by a fictional group known as "The Void," which targeted critical infrastructure and private businesses' systems. "This cyber scenario based exercise ... is designed to increase understanding of cyber threat alerts, warning, and information sharing across sectors, and to test and evaluate government-private sector coordinating structures, processes, and capabilities regarding cyber event response and recovery," read FEMA's description of the war-gaming exercise.

Anonymous said it objected to the fictional hacktvist group in the FEMA exercise being portrayed as anti-American, and for having attempted to transfer funds from a breached business into an overseas account. "We are not against any one country or corporation. However if you are an enemy of anonymity, if you oppose free speech, you are our foe, it is as simple as that," the group said. Seemingly not one to miss a trick, the Anonymous message even included a quote from philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: "If you look long enough into the void the void begins to look back through you."

The group also appears to have been offended by the ease with which the hypothetical hacktivist group was dispatched by federal defenders, with the help of a "turncoat informant." "Good thing Anonymous is a little more persistent than a shoddy knockoff group dreamed up by corporate shills for the sole purpose of being thwarted by an apparently unassailable US government and one of their many highly paid corporate bootlickers," they said.

The hacktivists behind the dox also noted that the FEMA exercise was organized by security consulting firm Obsidian Analysis. "It should shock nobody that former FEMA chief of staff Jason McNamara has since joined Obsidian's executive management team as vice president," said Anonymous.

Beyond the dox being meant as a warning against future "oblique and cowardly implied threats" against Anonymous, the group also lodged a demand: "Please return to us Barrett Brown, we are asking nicely. Pretty please, with sugar on top." Brown, a former Anonymous spokesman, was charged in Dec. 2012 in a 12-count indictment that included accusations of access device fraud, ID theft and possessing stolen credit card numbers.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
UberGoober
50%
50%
UberGoober,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/19/2013 | 2:44:27 PM
re: Anonymous To FEMA: Shall We Play A Game?
Wow... Anonymous vs FEMA? Kinda like al Qaeda vs Bashar Asad, you regret the war but its a pity that either would win.
davidhoffman
50%
50%
davidhoffman,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/19/2013 | 7:14:01 PM
re: Anonymous To FEMA: Shall We Play A Game?
+1
davidhoffman
50%
50%
davidhoffman,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/19/2013 | 7:19:30 PM
re: Anonymous To FEMA: Shall We Play A Game?
Anonymous took the exercise too personally. When you run gaming and training scenarios you have to come up with these composite fictional groups and people to get through the training in the time allocated. A lot of times the "government" or the "good guy" loses. The training participants learn from both "wins" and "loses".
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-2188
Published: 2015-02-26
The Authentication Proxy feature in Cisco IOS does not properly handle invalid AAA return codes from RADIUS and TACACS+ servers, which allows remote attackers to bypass authentication in opportunistic circumstances via a connection attempt that triggers an invalid code, as demonstrated by a connecti...

CVE-2015-0594
Published: 2015-02-26
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the help pages in Cisco Common Services, as used in Cisco Prime LAN Management Solution (LMS) and Cisco Security Manager, allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified parameters, aka Bug IDs CSCuq54654 and CSCun1...

CVE-2015-0632
Published: 2015-02-26
Race condition in the Neighbor Discovery (ND) protocol implementation in Cisco IOS and IOS XE allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service via a flood of Router Solicitation messages on the local network, aka Bug ID CSCuo67770.

CVE-2015-0651
Published: 2015-02-26
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in the web GUI in Cisco Application Networking Manager (ANM), and Device Manager (DM) on Cisco 4710 Application Control Engine (ACE) appliances, allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users, aka Bug ID CSCuo99753.

CVE-2015-0882
Published: 2015-02-26
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in zencart-ja (aka Zen Cart Japanese edition) 1.3 jp through 1.3.0.2 jp8 and 1.5 ja through 1.5.1 ja allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted parameter, related to admin/includes/init_includes/init_sanitize.php an...

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.