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Introduction to Hacktivism


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Short high level introduction to hacktivism and hacktivist groups in May 2013 to a taught course at a UK university.

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Introduction to Hacktivism

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  2. 2. The policy or action of using vigorous campaigning tobring about political or social change.3
  3. 3. “Use ofTechnology over large distances to effect change.”“Grassroots activists using networked technologies for socialand political change campaigns.”“Goal of Political or Social Change + DigitalTechnology.”4
  4. 4.  Maps & Maptivism QR Codes File-Sharing Media Hijacking Trend a hashtag Search EngineOptimisation Livestreaming Check-Ins Self-Surveillance Flash Mobs5
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  6. 6. Digital Activism is separated from Hacktivism by Computer Crime Computer Crime is well defined:▪ UnauthorisedAccess to computer material▪ Unauthorised access with intent to commit further offences▪ Unauthorised acts with intent to impair the operation of a computer▪ Making, supplying or obtaining article for use in computer misuse offencesHactkivism is separated from CyberTerrorism byTerrorism Terrorism in this context is well defined▪ Anything designed to interfere with or seriously disrupt an electronic systemand▪ Use or threat to influence government or intimidate the public and▪ Use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political or ideologicalcause8
  7. 7.  Software distribution Website mirroring Defacements Typosquatting Redirects Denial of Service Attacks (DOS) Web Sit-ins Email Bombs Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDOS) Opt-In Botnets Malware Botnets Doxing SWATting9
  8. 8. Denial of Service An attempt by an attacker to deny a victimsservices to it’s users.1. Exploit that causes victim to fail2. Resource exhaustion:▪ Network Bandwidth▪ Computing Power▪ Memory11
  9. 9. Distributed Denial of Service A Dos launched simultaneously from multiple points Usually a resource exhaustion attack Attackers now build networks (Botnets) of compromised computers(zombies or loads) from which to launch their attacks Large Botnets are now available for hire or to buy for pocket money.121000 Loads 5000 Loads 10,000 LoadsWorld Mix $25 $110 $200EU Mix $50 $225 $400DE,CA, GB $80 $350 $600USA $120 $550 $1000
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  14. 14. First known Hacktivism recorded in 1989 Worms Against Nuclear Killers Australian Hacktivists InfectedVMS DECNet systems18
  15. 15. Formed in 2003 from the4chan /b/ messageboardSince 2004 4chan is aforced anonymouscommunityThe Btards Initiallyfocused onpranks, trolling andgriefing19
  16. 16.  Anonymous were ‘politicised’ in 2008 following aseries of actions involving the Church ofScientology. Actions inlcuded: Physical protests▪ Guy Fawkes masks Prank calls Black faxes DDoS attacks▪ Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) IRC channels used to coordinate attacks.20
  17. 17. Operation Payback (2010) DDoS attacks on the Pirate Bay byMPAA & RIAA Expands to include other copyright-related targets Attacks on Paypal, Matercard andVisarelated toWikileaksOperation Darknet (2011) Targeted child pornography sites on theTor network Release usernames from the site “LolitaCity”21
  18. 18.  Angry Chaotic Constantly changing International Broad themes not specific goals Uncoordinated Unfinanced Differences in philosophy and undefinedsubgroups No long term vision22
  19. 19.  A splinter group formed in 2011 as a result ofOperation Darknet known as Lulzsec 50 day rampage Anti-Sec Movement “Demonstrating insecurity to improvesecurity”23
  20. 20.  Pro-Syrian Regime Hacktivists First seen May 2011 Targeting major news organisations BBC Associated Press Guardian CBS News NPR Also activists Columbia University Human RightsWatch And oddly … FIFA Sepp Blatter 2014World Cup24
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  22. 22. The underground community has learnt lessonsfrom Lulzsec They have reviewed the evidence presented incourt Developing guidance: Create a cover Work on the legend Create sub-aliases Never contaminate Produced the “10 Hack Commandments”27