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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

WikiLeaks website defaced by OurMine hackers group

After having targeted top tech executives and companies, OurMine group defaced WikiLeaks’ website.

tech Updated: Aug 31, 2017 17:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Defaced WikiLeaks website
Defaced WikiLeaks website(@turtleboy )
         

WikiLeaks on Thursday suffered an embarrassing cyber attack by a Saudi Arabia-based hacking group called OurMine. WikiLeaks’ official website, wikileaks.org, redirected to a page created by the hackers group. The website was restored minutes after the attack and seems to be fully functional when this report was filed.

OurMine claimed that the attack was in response to WikiLeaks’ challenge to hack the latter’s website. The defaced web page read, “Hi, it’s OurMine (Security Group), don’t worry we are just testing your…. blablablab, oh wait, this is not a security test! Wikileaks, remember when you challenged us to hack you?”

“Anonymous, remember when you tried to dox us with fake information for attacking WikiLeaks? There we go! One group beat you all! #WikileaksHack lets get it trending on twitter!” it further said.

Hackers used a very old and easier technique, known as DNS (Domain name System) poisoning, to conduct the attack. The process involves changing the official DNS to hacker-controlled server. DNS is essentially the service that is responsible for converting a website’s name to the logical IP address on the web.

According to The Guardian, hackers managed to convince DNS servers that wikileaks.org was running on a server managed by OurMine. According to reports, the hacking group wasn’t able to breach the WikiLeaks servers and website. OurMine, however, succeeded in hijacking the WikiLeaks domain “wikileaks.org.”

Even though the latest cyber attack was a low-key affair with bare minimum damage, but it has to be an embarrassing incident for WikiLeaks, Julian Assange’s data-leaking platform known for taking on security agencies like CIA.

“In pure technology and damage terms, this is not a big deal but to be able to do this is a big reputation blow for WikiLeaks,” Ankush Johar, Director of BugsBounty.com, told Hindustan Times.

It is not the first time WikiLeaks has been targeted by the hackers. The whistleblower group suffered a major Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack in December 2015. Just a few months later, the group suffered a major cyber attack. OurMine in the past has targeted top technology executives like Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

Hacking groups and cyber criminals have continued to target the big corporate houses and celebrities across the world. Just recently, a hackers’ group managed to breach HBO servers and sought a ransom of $6.5 million in Bitcoin to stop the leaks. Mr Smith, the group behind HBO hack, later claimed that they had sold the data to deep web buyers and made over $3.2M of the total ransom.

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 17:48 IST

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