May 8, 2013
Hackers Behind OpUSA Meet With Very Little Success
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Yesterday was meant to be hell on earth for many US banks and government agencies. OpUSA, an operation against these high profile organizations, was meant to block access to critical websites and even bring a few websites down with DDoS (or Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. Yet Tuesday came and went with very little success for Anonymous´ OpUSA, save a few websites which had been merely defaced rather than brought down completely.
“We will now wipe you off the cyber map," reads the Anonymous manifesto for the May 7 attacks. This statement called out government websites for the White House, Department of Defense and more than one hundred banks.
"Do not take this as a warning. You can not stop the internet hate machine from doxes, DNS attacks, defaces, redirects, ddos attacks, database leaks, and admin take overs."
For all the talk posted to Pastebin, the hackers seemed more focused on smaller websites in the US and elsewhere, leaving behind very little damage in their wake.
According to Information Week, a group of hackers known as the Tunisian Hackers Team claimed responsibility for dumping an SQL database for the Blood Bank of America. This resulted in nearly 3,000 usernames and hashed passwords belonging to innocent people being dumped across the Internet.
Other hackers claimed to have broken in to an unnamed online store and walked away with credit card numbers complete with security codes and expiration dates. This group then posted this information online, along with some social security numbers, routing numbers and the answers to the credit card holders´ security questions.
The inherent trouble with groups like Anonymous is a lack of unity. Though the campaign for OpUSA earned plenty of attention in the days leading up to the 7th of May, those attacks which were launched were seemingly random. According to USA Today, many of those sites which actually were targeted were located outside of the US, including Europe and China.
President of Corero Network Security Marty Meyer told USA Today that those few attacks which were launched yesterday were poorly coordinated and may have only been loosely affiliated with Anonymous.
"This does not seem to be a very well-coordinated effort and seems to be a disparate group of individual hackers who are probing and looking for web apps that have vulnerabilities," said Meyer. "There is also a good possibility that the attacks are only loosely linked to Anonymous in order to generate attention."
There´s even evidence to suggest that as hackers were working to build attention for OpUSA, the US government was merely alerted, not alarmed. In a confidential document obtained by security expert Brian Krebs, the Department of Homeland Security acknowledged there could be attacks, but said they would be “nuisance level attacks,” which would “likely will result in limited disruptions.”
“Independent of the success of the attacks, the criminal hackers likely will leverage press coverage and social media to propagate an anti-US message.”
The general flop of OpUSA is the second of its kind in two months. The group of hackers tried to launch a similar “operation” against Israel last month. Following this attack against Israeli websites, the hackers claimed they were successful in taking Israel “off the cyber map,” but officials refuted these claims, saying the nation´s cyber infrastructure faced little “real damage” following the attacks.