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

WikiLeaks Botnet Continues Attack On MasterCard Site

"Hacktivists" say their denial of service assaults aren't intended to steal personal financial data, rather to raise awareness of companies that stopped doing business with WikiLeaks.

How Firesheep Can Hijack Web Sessions
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: How Firesheep Can Hijack Web Sessions
The pro-WikiLeaks attacks against companies that stopped doing business with the whistle-blowing organization continued over the weekend, with the MasterCard Web site suffering sporadic bouts of downtime. Likewise, Moneybookers.com, which stopped doing business with WikiLeaks in August, saw some downtime.

The pro-WikiLeaks botnet appears to be powered solely by volunteers who download and run the attack code -- dubbed Low Orbit Ion Cannon -- in manual, server-controlled, or JavaScript versions. While the JavaScript version runs directly in a browser, which makes counting the number of installations or executions difficult, the other versions of the software have so far been downloaded more than 67,000 times.

Unlike traditional botnets, which aim to steal financial information, the pro-WikiLeaks botnet relies on volunteers, calling themselves the Anonymous Group, who willingly install the software on their computer. But that may change.

According to Tal Be'ery, Web research team lead at Imperva, "by monitoring back-channel communication, we have found recommendations to create a [denial of service] utilizing JavaScript that can be run from [the] browser with no installation required. The Anonymous Group plans to camouflage the JavaScript behind appealing content -- such as pornographic images -- to entice users into unknowingly executing attacks."

Given that maliciously oriented botnet operators already use such techniques, "it isn't surprising that hacktivists are using similar techniques," said Imperva CTO Amichai Shulman.

But a statement released on Friday, reportedly from the Anonymous Group, was careful to differentiate the group's activities from criminal enterprises that aim to steal people's personal information. "Anonymous is not a group of hackers. We are average Internet Citizens ourselves and our motivation is a collective sense of being fed up with all the minor and major injustices we witness every day. We do not want to steal your personal information or credit card numbers."

The group also said it was purposefully targeting companies' Web sites, rather than their critical infrastructure -- such as MasterCard or PayPal's ability to process payments. "Our current goal is to raise awareness about WikiLeaks and the underhanded methods employed by the above companies to impair WikiLeaks' ability to function."

On a related note, on Friday, WikiLeaks issued a statement saying that it's not affiliated with the Anonymous attacks, which it neither endorses or criticizes. "This group is not affiliated with Wikileaks. There has been no contact between any Wikileaks staffer and anyone at Anonymous," according to a spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson. "We neither condemn nor applaud these attacks. We believe they are a reflection of public opinion on the actions of the targets."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Navigating Security in the Cloud
Diya Jolly, Chief Product Officer, Okta,  12/4/2019
4 Tips to Run Fast in the Face of Digital Transformation
Shane Buckley, President & Chief Operating Officer, Gigamon,  12/9/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Our Endpoint Protection system is a little outdated... 
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-4245
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
Orca has arbitrary code execution due to insecure Python module load
CVE-2013-4593
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
RubyGem omniauth-facebook has an access token security vulnerability
CVE-2013-6495
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
JBossWeb Bayeux has reflected XSS
CVE-2013-7370
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
node-connect before 2.8.2 has cross site scripting in methodOverride Middleware
CVE-2019-18935
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
Progress Telerik UI for ASP.NET AJAX through 2019.3.1023 contains a .NET deserialization vulnerability in the RadAsyncUpload function. This is exploitable when the encryption keys are known due to the presence of CVE-2017-11317 or CVE-2017-11357, or other means. Exploitation can result in remote cod...