Beware of Hacktivist Group 'Anonymous'

Anonymous Hacktivist GroupThe hacker group referred to as 'Anonymous' has recently launched a cyber attack, this time targeting a pair of trade associations in the area of technology.  The attacks took the form of a distributed denial of service, a technique that can make web sites inaccessible.  The group, which is considered a ‘hacktivist’ organization because its attacks generally relate to policy aims rather than the theft of personal information, was protesting legislation currently before Congress.  The legislation would serve to encourage businesses to share information about the threat environment with government officials.

The two trade associations targeted were TechAmerica and the United States Telecom Association.  'Anonymous' publicized its role in the attack by posting a YouTube video.  The video provided details of the attack as it was in progress.  In the end, both sites were brought down for a period of about 24 hours. 

Walter McCormick, Jr., CEO of US Telecom, released a statement about the attack and the role Anonymous played in it: "As an industry in the business of facilitating communications, we respect the right of those calling themselves 'Anonymous' to express their views and engage in lawful political advocacy.  But by launching a cyber attack in an effort to coerce, intimidate and stifle speech, members of 'Anonymous' are acting contrary to the very freedoms and internet norms that they espouse."

The incident demonstrates the ongoing importance of a managed services approach for information technology.  The nature of managed services model means that remote monitoring is provided on a 24/7 basis so that successful intrusions will be less common and a company's data assets and web presence will be continuously safeguarded.

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