You would be wrong to think that all the hackers, hacktivists, internet anarchists and members of the computer underground out there get along fine. Many of them cannot stand each other, and it’s not uncommon to stumble across any number of spats and turf wars taking place between them.
Sadly, some times, innocent people and websites get caught up in the battle – with unfortunate results.
Today it seems that it’s the turn of the WikiLeaks whistle-blowing and secret-sharing site to find itself embroiled in a fight of which it wanted no part.
The notorious OurMine hacking gang, fresh from breaking into the social media accounts of celebrities such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Oculus, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, has turned its unwanted attention in a new direction.
Because it is WikiLeaks has been hit by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) today, seemingly instigated by OurMine, preventing internet surfers from reaching the site to view and download its content – such as the more than 1200 Hillary Clinton emails related to the Iraq war which WikiLeaks published this week.
The Saudi-based OurMine gang, which has tried recently to present itself as a security outfit that offers its services to targets, is thought to have launched today’s internet attack against WikiLeaks in the latest chapter of a long-running feud with the Anonymous collective.
As The Next Web reports, Anonymous criticised OurMine for a DDoS attack against WikiLeaks last December.
There was no love lost between the two factions in the first place, after OurMine claimed to have defaced a website run by Anonymous. Which probably meant that there were few who were surprised when Anonymous followed their accusatory tweet by ‘doxxing’ OurMine.
Anonymous published the personal details of who it believed were OurMine details. OurMine denied that Anonymous’s information was accurate, and although the original data has now been removed from Pastebin, it can still be found in internet archives:
According to The Next Web, OurMine is “out for revenge” – angry that one of the account holders of Anonymous’s has continued to level abuse at the Saudi-based gang.
Although difficult to prove with certainty, it seems quite plausible that OurMine is responsible for the current attack against WikiLeaks in an attempt to infuriate the Anonymous hacktivist collective.
Launching a tidal wave of unwanted traffic against a website to bring it down, or clogging up its resources, is hardly the most sophisticated type of internet attack and appears to be well within the reach of the OurMine gang which has more recently made a name for itself exploiting the poor password security of high profile individuals.
Easy as it often is to instigate, a denial-of-service can cause considerable disruption to unprepared websites and companies who have not put sufficient defences in place. In other words, it can be a simple attack but still have a significant impact.
You can’t help but think the world would be a better place if everyone just took a breath and grew up a little. But sadly, I suspect the feud between OurMine and Anonymous will run and run.