#CyberFLASH: The Face of Operation Anon Down

ff_anonymous_fAfter a cagy meal of cheap Chinese — suspiciously eyeing diners showing any interest in our conversation — the man who has been the faceless face of Anonymous during this summer’s campaign of leaked secret government documents opens a fortune cookie: “People find difficult to resist you persuasive manner,” its broken English reads.

“I hope so,” he quips. He wants to persuade, although his tools and tactics are infinitely controversial.

This meeting was inordinately difficult to arrange. It required encrypted communication on various platforms, code words and passwords, trust and promises, travel to an undisclosed location, difficult logistics and strict technical requirements.

The result, however, is the only in-person interview with the spokesman for a cell of a secretive global hacktivist group engaged in a furious protest over July’s fatal RCMP shooting of an Anonymous protester in British Columbia.

The shooting brought a headline-grabbing vendetta: cyber attacks on police websites, demands for charges against officers, threats to reveal private information about investigators, allegations of gross misconduct by a public figure, heated rhetoric on social media and — most notably — the release of actual federal Cabinet secrets.

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#CyberFLASH: Toronto police website shut down in string of cyber attacks across Canada

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 6.26.53 PM.jpgThe Toronto Police website has been restored after being taken offline Sunday by a cyber attack.

Toronto Police have confirmed that the attack took place over the weekend after a Twitter user threatened to hack it. The police website is the latest victim of a string of recent cyber attacks in Canada.

According to police, the site was the subject of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. A DDoS attack floods a website with access requests in an attempt to overload the server, causing the website to crash. But the attacks cannot infiltrate the sites themselves.

A Twitter user with the handle @AerithTOR claimed responsibility for the incident.

The user, whose Twitter account says is based in Turkey, claimed to be connected to international “hacktivist” syndicate Anonymous.

The user has also posted a message to an online forum threatening to hack the Conservative Party of Canada and the Parliament of Canada websites. The same user also claimed responsibility for crashing the websites of the Ottawa Police, the Canadian Parliament, and the Supreme Court with DDoS attacks over the weekend.

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#CyberFLASH: Online fundraising campaign for alleged Anonymous hacker and asylum seeker Matt DeHart mysteriously shut down

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An online legal defence fundraising campaign for Matt DeHart, the former U.S. airman and Anonymous hacker seeking refugee protection in Canada, has been shut down without explanation.

Tor Ekeland, a New York-based lawyer specializing in technology and privacy issues, is part of Mr. DeHart’s defence team and started the campaign on GoFundMe.com to help defray his pro bono expenses.

Shortly after launching Friday, the funding page was deleted by the crowdfunding site, Mr. Ekeland said.

An email to Mr. Ekeland from GoFundMe’s “Customer Happiness” department says only that the campaign was removed “due to a violation of our terms and conditions,” but his inquiry on which term or condition was allegedly violated has gone unanswered, he said.

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#CyberFLASH: Anonymous offshoot claims it has uncovered ‘one of the largest stock market frauds ever conceived’

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Anonymous made its name as a “hacktivist” collective, meting out its own form of vigilante justice to governments, religious organizations and anyone else that had rubbed its members the wrong way — from companies like MasterCard and Sony to child pornographers. But on Tuesday one of the group’s divisions shook up traders when it issued an analyst report that seemed to be more about short-selling shares than about enforcing community justice.

Anonymous Analytics may be a comparatively less-flamboyant branch of the controversial hacktivist posse, but it has the ability to move markets. Following what it called extensive due diligence and field research, it went public with claims it had uncovered “overwhelming” evidence that Chinese lubricants maker, Tianhe Chemicals Group, “is one of the largest stock market frauds ever conceived.”

In a 67-page document posted on the Anonymous Analytics website, the group alleges that Tianhe, which went public earlier this year on the Hong Kong stock exchange, tried to burnish its image through a range of illegal or unethical practices, such as creating “fake” regulatory filings, failing to disclose that some of its biggest customers were related parties, and overstating profitability.

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Hacktivists, masked in anonymity, may be Web’s greatest threat

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MONTREAL — Digital dissenters known as hacktivists have developed a track record for disruption and attracting attention and are now considered one of the three main groups of attackers online, says security software company Websense.

Websense prefers not to talk specifically about hacker groups like Anonymous or Lulzsec, but highlighted the general rise of these groups in recent years.

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Anonymous collective the new face of online hacktivism: CSIS report

OTTAWA – Canada’s spy agency says the online collective Anonymous isn’t just a thorn in the side of the powerful, but the new model for digital hacktivism.

Anonymous has carried out cyber-attacks against governments, corporations and others in the name of free speech, Internet liberties and, more so in the last year, anti-capitalist causes.

A newly declassified report from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service says although hacktivism — a blend of hacker smarts and social activism — has existed for years, it is only now that conditions have allowed such groups to bloom.

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Vulnerabilities in Canadian IT systems are nothing to joke about

OTTAWA – When a federal cyber-security expert gave his colleagues a rundown of the hacktivist collective Anonymous, his coworkers were impressed with his expertise – so impressed they jokingly became suspicious.

“Seems like Ken is awfully knowledgeable about the inner workings of Anon.,” reads a Feb. 3 email to Luc Beaudoin, chief of cyber operations at the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre (CCIRC). “Should we turn him in?”

The jokes about Anonymous do not abate there, but amid the jokes contained in hundreds of pages of emails and reports released to Postmedia News are details of the potential vulnerabilities in Canadian IT systems, from government websites to heating and cooling systems, and how some system designers haven’t considered security in their designs.

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Canada Says ‘Anonymous’ May Attack Energy Firm Computers

CANADA — Canadian security agencies have warned energy companies such as Imperial Oil Ltd. (IMO) their computers may be attacked by the Anonymous hacker group because of the industry’s work developing Alberta’s oil sands, government documents show.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, public safety department and Communications Security Establishment Canada all investigated threats against the industry between the start of 2011 and mid-March, according to documents obtained this month by Bloomberg News under freedom of information laws. The RCMP conducted a threat assessment after the hacker group that calls itself Anonymous issued a press release in July 2011 accusing oil-sands companies of being greedy and harming the environment.

“The Canadian law enforcement and security intelligence community have noted a growing radicalized environmentalist faction who is opposed to Canada’s energy sector,” the RCMP’s assessment said. “Corporate security officers should verify that security testing has been performed on public facing web servers and mail servers.”

The hackers are attracted to high-profile projects such as TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would ship Alberta crude to the U.S., said Thomas Dean, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Queen’s University.

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