Security Brief: WikiLeaks, Attacks on US Banks, Philippines Cybercrime Law

The main events of the week between October 8 − October 14

As each week goes by, we seem to have more and more interesting topics for our security briefs. In the past few days a number of important events occurred in the world of information security, but in this article we’ll focus on three main elements: WikiLeaks, cyberattacks on US banks, and the controversial Philippines cybercrime law.

At the beginning of the week, in light of numerous petitions and online protests, the Supreme Court of the Philippines decided to issue a temporary restraining order against the controversial cybercrime law. However, Anonymous hackers revealed that they would not stop their protests until the bill was completely booted.

Furthermore, when Department of Justice officials asked them to focus their efforts on taking down illegal websites that exploit children, instead of attacking government organizations, the hacktivists said it wasn’t their job.

The cyberattacks against United States financial institutions were picked up by Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters. The more recent targets were Capital One, SunTrust and Regions.

In the meantime, while the hackers plan their future attacks, experts say that authorities haven’t managed to identify or locate the cybercriminals.

This week, Anonymous and WikiLeaks had another one of their disputes. However, this time it appears to be more serious than before.

After the whistleblower website decided to instate a donation paywall for users who wanted to access the secret files, and refused to take it down, some of the hacktivists issued a statement to say that they were turning their backs on WikiLeaks.

Some Anonymous hackers believe that WikiLeaks has become a “one man show” that focuses more on Julian Assange than the fight for the freedom of information.

Another noteworthy event from last week involves Saudi Aramco and the recent cyberattacks that targeted the company. The Saudi Gazette learned from sources close to the investigation that the oil giant traced the origins of the attacks back to Romania.

On the other hand, US officials stated that they were certain Iran was behind the attacks on Saudi Aramco and Qatar’s RasGas.

Finally, the US House of Representatives’ Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence issued a report advising companies not to do business with Chinese communications equipment manufacturers, Huawei and ZTE in particular, because of the security threats they may pose.

The companies, and even the Chinese government, came forward to deny the accusations. On the other hand, the good news for them is that British authorities have no such concerns.

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