Hacking group Anonymous has carried out a series of attacks against websites belonging to the Ukrainian authorities in retaliation against the take-down of BitTorrent site Demonoid by its ISP. This has prompted fear among those that use the site for illegal file sharing that their activities may be exposed.
While Demonoid’s site was inaccessible as of last week, reports only emerged this week in the local newspaper that told of the authorities’ involvement. Colocall – the ISP – confirmed that it had received “several requests” from the authorities, but said to the BBC that ”the decision to terminate the contract with Demonoid has been made without participation of the Ministry”.
It was later revealed that Ukraine’s Division of Economic Crimes only became involved after they were contacted by Interpol.
Once all this became clear, members of Anonymous announced on AnonPR – a website publicising the group’s campaigns – that the hacking collective planned to attack “those responsible for the interruption”.
What followed was a series of DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks affecting webpages belonging to the Ukrainian Anti-Piracy Association, the Ukrainian Agency for Copyright and Related Rights, and the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine. All of these became unavailable for a time.
Describing the effect of such hacks, Alan Woodward – from the University of Surrey’s Department of Computing – said: ”such attacks are an annoyance more than anything else – the sites haven’t been hacked as such… DDoS attacks are fairly easy to do and seem to be Anonymous’ preferred tactic. There is no damage to the data held by the organisations affected per se, although there is a loss of service and a potential effect to their reputation.”
Has a site you’ve ever needed to access been unavailable due to the actions of Anonymous or any other hacking group? We’d like to hear your stories. Please leave a comment below.