In Attack on Vatican Web Site, a Glimpse of Hackers’ Tactics

Posted February 28th, 2012


From The New York Times

Anonymous has carried out Internet attacks on well-known organizations like Sony and PBS. In August, the group went after its most prominent target yet: the Vatican.

The campaign against the Vatican, which did not receive wide attention at the time, involved hundreds of people, some with hacking skills and some without. A core group of participants openly drummed up support for the attack using YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Others searched for vulnerabilities on a Vatican Web site and, when that failed, enlisted amateur recruits to flood the site with traffic, hoping it would crash, according to a computer security firm’s report to be released this week.

The attack, albeit an unsuccessful one, provides a rare glimpse into the recruiting, reconnaissance and warfare tactics used by the shadowy hacking collective.

Anonymous, which first gained widespread notice with an attack on the Church of Scientology in 2008, has since carried out hundreds of increasingly bold strikes, taking aim at perceived enemies including law enforcement agencies, Internet security companies and opponents of the whistle-blower site WikiLeaks.

The group’s attack on the Vatican was confirmed by the hackers and is detailed in a report that Imperva, a computer security company based in Redwood City, Calif., plans to release ahead of a computer security conference here this week. It may be the first end-to-end record of a full Anonymous attack.

For the full skinny go HERE.

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