HACKING group Anonymous is planning to target Australian banks after penetrating the security walls of a Sydney council.
After a spate of high profile attacks on companies including Sony, Bank of America as well as the CIA’s public website, the group chose to hack the website of Mosman Municipal Council on Tuesday.
Kevin Nonweiler, IT Manager at the council said while the attack was confusing, it was also a waste of time.
“At this stage we’re still investigating, but the information we received was that it was the group Anonymous.” Mr Nonweiler said. “We’re not sure if they left anything behind, but we believe at this point that they didn’t inject anything back into our system.”
“They went to a lot of effort to hack what was already publicly available,” he added.
The Council confirmed that four website databases were leaked in the incident, with the group posting a link on Twitter allowing anyone to download a file containing the council’s information.
Known for their irreverence and a fondness for naval metaphors, the group last week declared war on all governments and banks, marking the start of what they dubbed “Operation Anti-Security.”
Speaking on behalf of the big banks, Steven Munchenberg, Chief Executive of the Australian Bankers Association said that they were well aware of the threat – but had put adequate measures in place to bolster their security.
“Bank customers should not be concerned because banks are constantly monitoring for any IT security risks.” Mr Munchenberg said.
“Security and protection of customers’ funds are the bedrock of any banking business, so protection and prevention against threats of attack are issues with which banks are accustomed to dealing.”
On the 25th of June, fellow hacking body LulzSec tweeted that their hacking spree had come to an end.
“Our planned 50 day cruise has expired, and we must now sail into the distance, leaving behind _ we hope _ inspiration, fear, denial, happiness, approval, disapproval, mockery, embarrassment, thoughtfulness, jealousy, hate, even love.”
A tweet from Anonymous shortly after LulzSec’s “retirement” mentioned that all LulzSec members were accounted for, suggesting the groups had banded together and hadn’t gone into hiding.
A tweet from the group read, “Yes, my fellows. We may be not quite as funny, but we can assure you: We sail in the same spirit. LulzSec = Anonymous.”
Paul Duckin, Head of Technology at online security provider Sophos compared the actions of the international hackers to a “bully in the school yard”.
“My understanding of the group as a whole they go and embarrass people.” Mr Duckin said.
“They retrieved 4 databases from a small community council which consisted of web pages which had already been on a public website. Really brave of them.” he added.
“If people are worried about what anonymous could do to the banks, the banks are fighting pretty strongly simply as it is.”
Yes, it’s a little concerning, but these guys are just bullies who only talk about their successful hacks and not the ones where they fail.”