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Intelligence

British spy unit launches DOS cyber-attack on Anonymous - Snowden leak

5 February 2014, 18:11

Edward Snowden's latest leak reveals that a division of Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) launched a denial-of-service (DOS) attack against chat servers used by hacktivists, particularly Anonymous and LulzSec.

A classified document obtained by NBC News reveals that the British secret service is brandishing a cyber-sword in the guise of the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), an intelligence unit not constrained by domestic or international laws.

A PowerPoint presentation prepared for a 2012 NSA conference called SIGDEV, obviously from the collection of documents obtained by former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, contains information about operation 'Rolling Thunder' targetting Anonymous hacktivists. JTRIG organized a DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack on the internet relay chat (IRC) server used by Anonymous, which reportedly resulted in 80 percent of users quitting internet chat rooms.

In June 2012, administrators of the VoxAnon IRC Network informed their users that a "heavy DOS attack" disrupted their operations.

"#VoxAnon is down due to DDOS. Haters will hate. We won't stop doing what we do best," they said at the time. It's possible that the "haters" were agents of the British spy agency.

The GCHQ division is also responsible for identifying hacktivists who attacked PayPal and government websites, the documents show. Many Anonymous and LulzSec hackers had no idea that the people they were talking to were actually undercover agents.

For instance, Edward Pearson, known online as GZero, was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison in 2012. GCHQ agents had been provided by Pearson with malicious code designed to infect the devices of a certain website's visitors and turn them into botnet zombies that could be used for DDOS attacks.

The same spy unit is also said to have contributed to the arrest and conviction of Jake Davis, aka Topiary, and Mustafa al-Bassam, known as Tflow. Authorities targeted another hacktivists known as p0ke, but did not apparently indict him.

A DDoS attack is a criminal offence in most countries, the US and UK included. For example, in the UK a person found guilty of a cyber attack would be charged in accordance with the Computer Misuse Act, while in the US such illegal activities are prosecuted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

Voice of Russia, NBC News, RT

Source: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_05/ British-spy-unit-uses-DOS-tactics-to-attack- Anonymous-latest-Snowden-leak-7386/



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