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WikiLeaks knocked offline in ongoing feud between OurMine hacking gang and Anonymous

You would be wrong to think that all the hackers, hacktivists, internet anarchists and members of the computer underground out there get along fine. Many of them cannot stand each other, and it’s not uncommon to stumble across any number of spats and turf wars taking place between them.

Sadly, some times, innocent people and websites get caught up in the battle – with unfortunate results.

Today it seems that it’s the turn of the WikiLeaks whistle-blowing and secret-sharing site to find itself embroiled in a fight of which it wanted no part.

The notorious OurMine hacking gang, fresh from breaking into the social media accounts of celebrities such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Oculus, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, has turned its unwanted attention in a new direction.

wikileaks-down

 

OurMine has launched a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack against WikiLeaks, preventing internet surfers from reaching the site to view and download its content.

That’s not great news for WikiLeaks which just this week published over 1200 of Hillary Clinton’s emails related to the Iraq war.

The Saudi-based OurMine gang, which has tried recently to present itself as a security outfit that offers its services to targets, is thought to have launched today’s internet attack against WikiLeaks in the latest chapter of a long-running feud with the Anonymous collective.

As The Next Web reports, Anonymous criticised OurMine for a DDoS attack against WikiLeaks last December.

anonymous-tweet

Source: Twitter

There was no love lost between the two factions in the first place, after OurMine claimed to have defaced a website run by Anonymous. Which probably meant that there were few who were surprised when Anonymous followed their accusatory tweet by ‘doxxing’ OurMine.

Anonymous published the personal details of who it believed were OurMine details. OurMine denied that Anonymous’s information was accurate, and although the original data has now been removed from Pastebin, it can still be found in internet archives:

ourmine-doxx

Source: Pastebin

According to The Next Web, OurMine is “out for revenge” – angry that one of the account holders of Anonymous’s has continued to level abuse at the Saudi-based gang.

Although difficult to prove with certainty, it seems quite plausible that OurMine is responsible for the current attack against WikiLeaks in an attempt to infuriate the Anonymous hacktivist collective.

Launching a tidal wave of unwanted traffic against a website to bring it down, or clogging up its resources, is hardly the most sophisticated type of internet attack and appears to be well within the reach of the OurMine gang which has more recently made a name for itself exploiting the poor password security of high profile individuals.

Easy as it often is to instigate, a denial-of-service can cause considerable disruption to unprepared websites and companies who have not put sufficient defences in place. In other words, it can be a simple attack but still have a significant impact.

You can’t help but think the world would be a better place if everyone just took a breath and grew up a little. But sadly, I suspect the feud between OurMine and Anonymous will run and run.

About the author

Graham CLULEY

Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, researcher and public speaker. He has been working in the computer security industry since the early 1990s, having been employed by companies such as Sophos, McAfee and Dr Solomon's. He has given talks about computer security for some of the world's largest companies, worked with law enforcement agencies on investigations into hacking groups, and regularly appears on TV and radio explaining computer security threats.

Graham Cluley was inducted into the InfoSecurity Europe Hall of Fame in 2011, and was given an honorary mention in the "10 Greatest Britons in IT History" for his contribution as a leading authority in internet security.

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  • That's why people fight for hundreds of years. Religious factional fighting is the most satanic thing ever devised by, well, Satan.

  • It is clearly as shady as it can get and very confusing as to why they have targeted high profile social media accounts but what OurMine has on it's mind will hopefully be revealed sooner than later. There is clearly a massive difference in the agendas of both Anonymous and OurMine. If only OurMine is doing all this to bring to notice of people, the poor security standards that even people like Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichhai maintain, then it surely is working. In the meantime, the only thing we can do is learn from these hacks and clearly not make the same mistakes of being over-confident of our security solutions. A CLEAR WAKE-UP CALL!

    https://cyware.co/journal/cyber-security-lessons-from-ourmine/

  • Yes, it's hard to tell whether we should see OurMine as whitehats or hacktivists or just some bunch of nerds having fun by targeting famous people. But one thing that comes out of this is that there are lessons to learn for all of us to protect our social media accounts better.
    The below article covers the topic nicely with some tips-
    https://cyware.co/journal/cyber-security-lessons-from-ourmine/