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HACKING&TROLLING
THECHANGINGFACE
OFHACKTIVISMIN
THEDISINFORMATION
AGE
iDefense Threat Intelligence
Mei Nelson
December 11, 2019
© 2019 Accenture.
ACCENTURE SECURITY
Accenture Security helps organizations build resilience from the inside out, so they can confidently focus on
innovation and growth. Leveraging its global network of cybersecurity labs, deep industry understanding
across client value chains and services that span the security lifecycle, Accenture protects organizations’
valuable assets, end-to-end. With services that include strategy and risk management, cyber defense, digital
identity, application security and managed security, Accenture enables businesses around the world to defend
against known sophisticated threats, and the unknown. Follow us @AccentureSecure on Twitter or visit us at
www.accenture.com/security.
This document is produced by consultants at Accenture as general guidance. It is not intended to provide
specific advice on your circumstances. If you require advice or further details on any matters referred to,
please contact your Accenture representative.
The opinions, statements, and assessments in this report are solely those of the individual author(s) and do not
constitute legal advice, nor do they necessarily reflect the views of Accenture, its subsidiaries, or affiliates.
LEGAL NOTICE & DISCLAIMER
Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
WHO AM I
3
Copyright © 2019 Accenture Security. All rights reserved.
Mei Nelson
Security Principal
Geopolitical and Strategic
Intelligence Team
iDefense Threat Intelligence
Accenture Security
Accenture
HACKER – HACKTIVIST – HACKTIVISM
Copyright © 2019 Accenture Security. All rights reserved.
Using hacking skills to spread a specific message and bring attention to a political
or social cause
or
The use of malicious cyber activities by non-state actors for ideological purposes
(iDefense)
Hacktivist
Hacker + Activist
Combines traditional activist tactics with hacking techniques
Hacktivism
Hacker
5
HACKTIVISM
Decline?
Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
The Cult of the Dead
Cow - the Dead Cow
Died?
Source: cDC
Source: Google
6
HACKTIVISM
Changing Face?
Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
Source: Wikimedia
7
THE CHANGING FACE OF
Hacktivism
Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
Non-state Actors
State Actors
8
THE CHANGING FACE OF
Malicious Cyber Activities
Breaking into No Breaking into
Systems Systems
Hacktivism
Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
HACKTIVISM
&
THEDISINFORMATION AGE
Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
Disinformation
Propaganda
Misinformation
10Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
INFORMATION OPERATIONS
THREE TYPES & THREE DIMENSIONS
DISINFORMATION OPERATIONS
GOALS: THE “D” WORDS
11
DIVIDE DISCREDIT DISTRACT DENY
Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
DISINFORMATION OPERATIONS
METHODS
12
“WHITE” METHOD
Broadcasting one’s
message openly
through state
media
“GRAY” METHOD
Placing information in
other sympathetic
media
“BLACK” METHOD
Using hackers,
trolls, and
honeypots
Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
13
• Flooding the media with multiple versions of a story to
confuse the audience
• Publicizing scandalous information to discredit a critic
or adversary
• Distracting world opinion from negative information,
by highlighting or even creating some other crisis or
scandal
• Using inauthentic social media profiles to inflame real-
world violence by publicizing rallies of rival groups
Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
DISINFORMATION OPERATIONS
TACTICS
14
CYBER-ENABLED INFORMATION OPERATIONS
Broadly
Any information operations taking place in
cyberspace, including in online media and social
media
Narrowly
Information operations leveraging offensive
cyber threat activity such as subverting secure
system
Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
15
CYBER-ENABLED INFORMATION OPERATIONS
Hacktivism
Non-state actors for
ideological purposes
State-controlled
hacktivism using false
personas
Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
State-encouraged
hacktivism trolling
16
CASE STUDY: #MACRONLEAKS (PART I)
• Disinformation campaign: rumors,
fake news, forged documents
• Offensive network intrusion:
computers of Macron’s campaign
staff
• Spreading stolen data using trolls
and bots
Source: Reuters
Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
CASE STUDY: #MACRONLEAKS (PART II)
17
• Spear phishing campaign
• Hacktivist personas
• Social media bots
• Imagery board: 4chan
SNAKEMACKEREL (APT 28)
Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved. Source: Fancy Bears’ Hack Team website
18
SKATE
Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
CASE STUDY: ENDLESS MAYFLY & OPERATION
NEWSCASTER
1. Used typo-squatted domains to create
inauthentic websites
2. Promoted these domains on social
media platforms using inauthentic
personas
3. Hosted malicious mobile applications
4. Leveraged “ephemeral disinformation”
– Burn After Reading
18
CASE STUDY: CYBER-NATIONALISM TO FANDOM
NATIONALISM
19
Cyber-nationalism
Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
Born with
nationalistic and
patriotic
sentiment
State-influenced
“Striking-back”
principle: “we will
not attack unless
we are attacked”
Following key
historical dates
and international
events involving
in state’s
interests
CASE STUDY: CYBER-NATIONALISM TO FANDOM
NATIONALISM
20
Fandom Nationalism
Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
Born with
nationalistic and
patriotic
sentiment
State-influenced
“Striking-back”
through social
media
Following
international events
involving in state’s
interests
CASE STUDY: CYBER-NATIONALISM TO FANDOM
NATIONALISM
21
Diba Expedition
Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
Actor:
Warriors/Crusaders
Weapon:
Emoji packs
Battlefield:
Social media
platforms
Goal:
National unity?
WHEREISTHIS
HEADING?
22Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
23
This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY
This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY
HACKING
A FOREVER WAR OF DECEPTION:
DEEPFAKES EMERGE
24
25
SUGGESTIONS
• Follow geopolitical events
• Set social media policies
• Filter inauthentic accounts
• Verify claims
• Investigate information sources
Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
HACKING&TROLLING:THECHANGINGFACEOFHACKTIVISMINTHEDISINFORMATIONAGE

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HACKING&TROLLING:THECHANGINGFACEOFHACKTIVISMINTHEDISINFORMATIONAGE

  • 2. © 2019 Accenture. ACCENTURE SECURITY Accenture Security helps organizations build resilience from the inside out, so they can confidently focus on innovation and growth. Leveraging its global network of cybersecurity labs, deep industry understanding across client value chains and services that span the security lifecycle, Accenture protects organizations’ valuable assets, end-to-end. With services that include strategy and risk management, cyber defense, digital identity, application security and managed security, Accenture enables businesses around the world to defend against known sophisticated threats, and the unknown. Follow us @AccentureSecure on Twitter or visit us at www.accenture.com/security. This document is produced by consultants at Accenture as general guidance. It is not intended to provide specific advice on your circumstances. If you require advice or further details on any matters referred to, please contact your Accenture representative. The opinions, statements, and assessments in this report are solely those of the individual author(s) and do not constitute legal advice, nor do they necessarily reflect the views of Accenture, its subsidiaries, or affiliates. LEGAL NOTICE & DISCLAIMER Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
  • 3. WHO AM I 3 Copyright © 2019 Accenture Security. All rights reserved. Mei Nelson Security Principal Geopolitical and Strategic Intelligence Team iDefense Threat Intelligence Accenture Security Accenture
  • 4. HACKER – HACKTIVIST – HACKTIVISM Copyright © 2019 Accenture Security. All rights reserved. Using hacking skills to spread a specific message and bring attention to a political or social cause or The use of malicious cyber activities by non-state actors for ideological purposes (iDefense) Hacktivist Hacker + Activist Combines traditional activist tactics with hacking techniques Hacktivism Hacker
  • 5. 5 HACKTIVISM Decline? Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved. The Cult of the Dead Cow - the Dead Cow Died? Source: cDC Source: Google
  • 6. 6 HACKTIVISM Changing Face? Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved. Source: Wikimedia
  • 7. 7 THE CHANGING FACE OF Hacktivism Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved. Non-state Actors State Actors
  • 8. 8 THE CHANGING FACE OF Malicious Cyber Activities Breaking into No Breaking into Systems Systems Hacktivism Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
  • 9. HACKTIVISM & THEDISINFORMATION AGE Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
  • 10. Disinformation Propaganda Misinformation 10Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved. INFORMATION OPERATIONS THREE TYPES & THREE DIMENSIONS
  • 11. DISINFORMATION OPERATIONS GOALS: THE “D” WORDS 11 DIVIDE DISCREDIT DISTRACT DENY Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
  • 12. DISINFORMATION OPERATIONS METHODS 12 “WHITE” METHOD Broadcasting one’s message openly through state media “GRAY” METHOD Placing information in other sympathetic media “BLACK” METHOD Using hackers, trolls, and honeypots Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
  • 13. 13 • Flooding the media with multiple versions of a story to confuse the audience • Publicizing scandalous information to discredit a critic or adversary • Distracting world opinion from negative information, by highlighting or even creating some other crisis or scandal • Using inauthentic social media profiles to inflame real- world violence by publicizing rallies of rival groups Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved. DISINFORMATION OPERATIONS TACTICS
  • 14. 14 CYBER-ENABLED INFORMATION OPERATIONS Broadly Any information operations taking place in cyberspace, including in online media and social media Narrowly Information operations leveraging offensive cyber threat activity such as subverting secure system Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
  • 15. 15 CYBER-ENABLED INFORMATION OPERATIONS Hacktivism Non-state actors for ideological purposes State-controlled hacktivism using false personas Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved. State-encouraged hacktivism trolling
  • 16. 16 CASE STUDY: #MACRONLEAKS (PART I) • Disinformation campaign: rumors, fake news, forged documents • Offensive network intrusion: computers of Macron’s campaign staff • Spreading stolen data using trolls and bots Source: Reuters Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
  • 17. CASE STUDY: #MACRONLEAKS (PART II) 17 • Spear phishing campaign • Hacktivist personas • Social media bots • Imagery board: 4chan SNAKEMACKEREL (APT 28) Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved. Source: Fancy Bears’ Hack Team website
  • 18. 18 SKATE Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved. CASE STUDY: ENDLESS MAYFLY & OPERATION NEWSCASTER 1. Used typo-squatted domains to create inauthentic websites 2. Promoted these domains on social media platforms using inauthentic personas 3. Hosted malicious mobile applications 4. Leveraged “ephemeral disinformation” – Burn After Reading 18
  • 19. CASE STUDY: CYBER-NATIONALISM TO FANDOM NATIONALISM 19 Cyber-nationalism Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved. Born with nationalistic and patriotic sentiment State-influenced “Striking-back” principle: “we will not attack unless we are attacked” Following key historical dates and international events involving in state’s interests
  • 20. CASE STUDY: CYBER-NATIONALISM TO FANDOM NATIONALISM 20 Fandom Nationalism Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved. Born with nationalistic and patriotic sentiment State-influenced “Striking-back” through social media Following international events involving in state’s interests
  • 21. CASE STUDY: CYBER-NATIONALISM TO FANDOM NATIONALISM 21 Diba Expedition Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved. Actor: Warriors/Crusaders Weapon: Emoji packs Battlefield: Social media platforms Goal: National unity?
  • 22. WHEREISTHIS HEADING? 22Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.
  • 23. 23 This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY HACKING
  • 24. A FOREVER WAR OF DECEPTION: DEEPFAKES EMERGE 24
  • 25. 25 SUGGESTIONS • Follow geopolitical events • Set social media policies • Filter inauthentic accounts • Verify claims • Investigate information sources Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved.