The Snowden Effect

Edward Snowden, the defected NSA employee, revealed mid-October several “evidences” regarding the US wiretapping top European leaders, including Germany’s Angela Merkel. As we’ve seen in past Snowden leaks, there is almost always a surge in Hacktivist (Political Activist) attacks against US government sites following such releases. The Hacktivists, as usual, use mainly DDoS and SQLi tools, with the intention to embarrass the US by Denial of Service or Defacements. Such was the case in September, when South American Hacktivists went after several high-profile US government sites, as retaliation for the US wiretapping and hacking Brazilian and other South-American leaders and Telecom companies. In October , at the same week the Merkel wiretapping was revealed, the NSA’s site suffered a six-hour outage. While the NSA claimed it was due to maintenance, Anonymous and other Hacktivist groups declared it was their doing. Additionally, in a perhaps related incident, an Indonesian Hacktivist/Sensationalist targeted many US Foreign Affairs Office and embassies sites worldwide. The attacks included basic defacement tactics and were short in duration.

In accordance with CIAC’s assessments, we witnessed a surge in such attacks, which lasted several days, did not include any elaborate or advanced techniques, and started to “fade” fairly quickly. We assume that this “drill” will continue in the near future, and with any new Snowden leak we will see such attacks on US government high-profile sites.

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