Intelligence: Hacktivists Without Pity


March 8, 2011: Hacktivists are non-government organizations, or even individuals, who launch attacks in the name of a favorite cause. Sometimes there are ugly side effects. While Wikileaks has shown some care in not revealing information that would get counter-terror operatives (or informants) killed, a similar operation, Anonymous, has not demonstrated any restraint. In an effort to get other hackers to stop pursuing Wikileaks supporters, the Anonymous crew broke into the network of a firm that the did counter-terrorism work (HBGary Federal) and put on the Internet emails revealing how hacking software was used to gain access to terrorist computers and communications. Among the more interesting items revealed was the widespread use of USB thumb drives to gain access to the terrorist computers. Another revelation described how laptop ExpressCard ports could be used as well.

The techniques revealed are not rendered completely useless, just less effective. Islamic terror groups tend to attract the less educated, and people who don't pay attention as much as they should. But for the sharper terrorists, life just got a little easier and safer.




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