Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

Anonymous Targets Russian Sites For Putin Protest

Kremlin's public-facing website knocked offline; In separate series of attacks, Anonymous Norway dismisses claims it helped Norwegian police.

Anonymous: 10 Facts About The Hacktivist Group
Anonymous: 10 Facts About The Hacktivist Group
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Reinstalled Russian President Vladimir Putin's March election and Monday inauguration have drawn the ire of more than just Russian political opponents and protestors.

Hacktivists claiming allegiance to Anonymous launched a series of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks this week against Russian government websites, under the banner of "OpDefiance."

"kremlin.ru - TANGO DOWN ... #OpDefiance #Anonymous #d4th #DDoS #WIN," read a tweet posted via the Anonymous Op_Russia account. It included links to screenshots showing the targeted websites suffering increasingly longer response times.

[ Online anonymity can lead to dangerous situations, but it also has its advantages. Read more at Has Anonymous Ruined Online Anonymity?. ]

The Kremlin's press service acknowledged the attacks, which briefly knocked the Kremlin's public-facing website offline. "We received threats from Anonymous several days ago but we can't confirm it's exactly this group that attacked the Kremlin.ru website. At the moment we can't establish who's behind the attack. Unfortunately we live at a time when technology security threats have mounted, but we have the means to resist them," read a statement released by the Kremlin.

The Russian Federal Security Service website was also experiencing intermittent outages Wednesday, reported the English-language Russian news channel RT.com

Anonymous previewed the attacks last week. In a Pastebin post and YouTube clip, Anonymous said the attacks were meant to support the country's protests against alleged vote tampering during the March elections, which led to Putin being elected to serve another six-year term as president.

"We are going to support the protest by taking down the lying government information resources, the first of which will be the official site of the Russian government, said government having been assembled by way of lies and electoral fraud," read a statement released by Anonymous.

The call to arms designated two more Russian government websites--gov.ru and government.ru--as targets, including the times they should be attacked, presumably using DDoS tools. But according to RT.com, while those sites were attacked Monday, they didn't go down.

In other hacktivist news, Norway's National Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) said that it's arrested two teenagers on charges of launching DDoS attacks against numerous financial institutions as well as Britain's Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA), which has investigated alleged illegal activity by Anonymous and LulzSec members. The SOCA website was most recently knocked offline by DDoS attacks last week.

The Norwegian teens, who haven't been named, are 18 and 19 years old, and police said they launched the attacks over a period of several weeks. Local news reports identified some of their targets as the Norwegian security police service PST, along with DnB bank, the Norwegian Lottery, and Germany's tabloid newspaper Bild. If convicted, the pair could face up to six years in prison on charges of aggravated criminal damage.

But investigators said they're still pursuing more suspects. "We have arrested the two people we believe were most central to these attacks, but we are still hoping to speak to more people," said prosecutor Erik Moestue, reported in the English-language Norwegian newspaper The Local. "We have not yet discovered a motive for the attacks, so we're assuming that they're doing it to get a kick or to destroy things for others. They're a gang of boys."

The Local also reported that police were aided by the Norwegian branch of Anonymous, which disclosed the identities of the suspects, who they said were part of "a group of 14- to 16-year-olds with very limited computer skills." Published information reportedly included the suspects' names, addresses, mobile phone numbers, email addresses, and social network identities.

But a message posted Wednesday on the Anonymous Norway (anonnorway.org) website said such news reports were incorrect: "We at anonnorway has nothing to do with the ongoing investigation NCIS conducts about DDoS attacks against various websites. We have neither 'outed' nor exposed people, and we have not been in contact with law enforcement authorities at all. Any article that claims the opposite is sadly misinformed."

InformationWeek is conducting a survey to get a baseline look at where enterprises stand on their IPv6 deployments, with a focus on problem areas, including security, training, budget, and readiness. Upon completion of our survey, you will be eligible to enter a drawing to receive an 16-GB Apple iPad. Take our InformationWeek IPv6 Survey now. Survey ends May 11.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
How SolarWinds Busted Up Our Assumptions About Code Signing
Dr. Jethro Beekman, Technical Director,  3/3/2021
News
'ObliqueRAT' Now Hides Behind Images on Compromised Websites
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  3/2/2021
News
Attackers Turn Struggling Software Projects Into Trojan Horses
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  2/26/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: George has not accepted that the technology age has come to an end.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-26814
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-06
Wazuh API in Wazuh from 4.0.0 to 4.0.3 allows authenticated users to execute arbitrary code with administrative privileges via /manager/files URI. An authenticated user to the service may exploit incomplete input validation on the /manager/files API to inject arbitrary code within the API service sc...
CVE-2021-27581
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-05
The Blog module in Kentico CMS 5.5 R2 build 5.5.3996 allows SQL injection via the tagname parameter.
CVE-2021-28042
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-05
Deutsche Post Mailoptimizer 4.3 before 2020-11-09 allows Directory Traversal via a crafted ZIP archive to the Upload feature or the MO Connect component. This can lead to remote code execution.
CVE-2021-28041
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-05
ssh-agent in OpenSSH before 8.5 has a double free that may be relevant in a few less-common scenarios, such as unconstrained agent-socket access on a legacy operating system, or the forwarding of an agent to an attacker-controlled host.
CVE-2021-3377
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-05
The npm package ansi_up converts ANSI escape codes into HTML. In ansi_up v4, ANSI escape codes can be used to create HTML hyperlinks. Due to insufficient URL sanitization, this feature is affected by a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability. This issue is fixed in v5.0.0.