Security Brief: Anonymous, PRISM

The main events of the week between June 10 and June 16

We’ve seen a lot of interesting stories over the past week, but most of them are related to the Anonymous movement and, of course, the NSA’s PRISM.

Anonymous Africa has taken center stage this week. What appeared to be just another small operation attracted the attention of international media.

The hacktivists launched DDOS attacks against several high-profile organizations, including some news websites, the African National Congress and the Zimbabwe Ministry of Defense. The hackers say they’re on a mission against Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his supporters.

Other Anonymous hackers have published a video statement to announce the start of an operation against the Greek government in response to the shutdown of the state broadcaster ERT.

OpGabon has also been reinitiated. The hacktivists behind the campaign are determined to raise awareness on the corruption in the country’s government.

A hacker of Anonymous Philippines leaked three phone numbers that allegedly belonged to the country’s President. Presidency representatives have not confirmed nor denied the allegations, but a few hours after the leak, the numbers were not working.

Another Anonymous-affiliated hacker claimed to have leaked the email addresses and passwords of Mozilla employees. Mozilla has responded to the claims, saying that the codes leaked by the hacker are not passwords and they can’t be used to access any accounts.

Finally, Anonymous hacker “ItsKahuna” has pleaded guilty to hacking several police-related websites and agreed to spend three years in prison.

As far as the NSA’s controversial PRISM program is concerned, the notorious leaker Edward Snowden has revealed that the agency has been hacking China since at least 2009, in an attempt to steal classified information.

Snowden’s reports confirm an earlier story about a secretive NSA office that has been hacking organizations from all over the world for the last 15 years.

In response to the recent news, internauts have launched Op Troll the NSA. They plan on sending out a large number of communications containing “terror” words to troll the agency.

In the meantime, they disrupted the NSA’s official website by launching a DDOS attack against it.

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Union officials have revealed that they plan on questioning US officials regarding the PRISM program and its impact on German, respectively European, citizens.

And since we’re speaking about government surveillance, CBS News has confirmed that the computer of correspondent Sharyl Attkisson was hacked in late 2012.

Since the story came to light at around the time when news broke out about the US Department of Justice monitoring AP and Fox News reporters, many believed that this might also be the work of the government.

However, both the Department of Justice and CBS have denied it.

In related news, the Pentagon wants to spend almost $23 billion (€17 billion) on cybersecurity in the next 5 years.

Here are some other interesting stories, in case you’ve missed them:

Hackers around the world continues with Hmei7 of Indonesia

PayPal makes some improvements to bug bounty website

Video: Vulnerability in iOS 7 Beta allows anyone to bypass lock screen and access photos

OWASP Top 10 – 2013 officially released

LulzSec hacker Ryan Cleary will be released, but Anonymous hackers believe he’s working with the feds

Linux exploit ported to Android

Washington Free Beacon hacked and abused to distribute malware

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