Homeland Security warns of pending Anonymous attacks

By Lee Kaelin on

The US Department of Homeland Security released a warning bulletin today regarding the planned activities of Anonymous. The DHS National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) used the bulletin as an opportunity to inform financial institutions about Anonymous' attempts to "solicit ideologically dissatisfied, sympathetic employees."

Although largely unsuccessful, Anonymous has made previous attempts via Twitter to coax usernames and passwords out of disgruntled financial workers. The bulletin noted that "unwilling coercion through embarrassment or blackmail may be a risk to personnel."

The bulletin was marked unclassified and addressed openly to those in charge of cybersecurity and other critical infrastructure and also detailed tools they believe Anonymous plan to use in the immediate future.

Apache killer is one of two tools specifically highlighted. It works by exploiting a vulnerability in Apache allowing the intruder to remotely execute attacks on a server. It's said to force machines to consume huge amounts of RAM and CPU usage with a fairly modest number of requests.

The second tool is the much-publicized #RefRef script, which Anonymous says will be ready for the planned September attacks. Although various scripts claiming to be by-products of #RefRef have surfaced in the wild, its damage potential remains unknown.

The bulletin goes on to confirm Anonymous' previously publicized events over the next three months. The Occupy Wall Street attack is planned for September 17 with similar rallies in the financial districts of Madrid, Milan, London, Paris and San Francisco also scheduled.

Operation Facebook will supposedly protest the social networking giant's alleged privacy violations on November 5, though various sources believe this is an overly-exaggerated hoax.

Project Mayhem is scheduled for December 21, but few details are known about what is planned.

If you haven't caught the gist yet, it's unclear how severe the attacks will be or if some of them will even unfold. Likewise, it's unknown whether recent high-profile arrests of alleged Anonymous members will hinder or embolden the group's efforts.

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.