Cybersecurity issues have been on the rise for years; keeping companies like RAVENii on their toes. Many “crime drama” TV programs show hackers tapping into local surveillance cameras or corporate databases. The news reports include segments about viruses or phishing scams. Most Americans are familiar with the concept of spyware and hacker-related incidents.
In the last few years, the concern has grown to threat status. Hospitals, corporations, police servers, government databases, and financial institutions were disabled by hackers, or “hacktivists”. Sensitive information was stolen. Websites were defaced or brought down all because of hacktivist. The demand for experts in cybersecurity has increased exponentially.
Hacktivists are now crossing state and national boundaries, so cybersecurity experts must be hyper-diligent due to hackers attacking without regard to geo-boarders. For example: in 2010, Anonymous, one of the largest hacking groups, executed “Operation Tunisia”. They recruited Tunisian hackers and took down eight government websites using DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service Attacks). The attack was to foster support of Arab Spring movements.
Hacktivists attacks are a different bread than the cyber-attacks where systems are disabled until payment is made. Hacktivists are motivated by a desire to pinpoint and call attention to internet censorship and control. Their goal is to challenge and provoke any entity that boasts the ideals the hacktivist opposes. Most cybersecurity experts agree, hacktivist attacks generally show up as virtual political activists. The intent is to cause dissent on digital platforms and mislead or sway the populous opinion in their favor. This type of attack is called “hacktivism”.
Cybersecurity of hacktivism involves both preventative and reactive methods. We know the primary weapons uses are Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) tools and vulnerability scanners. These tools are easy to find on the Internet in underground hacking forums and black markets, or the dark web as you may have heard in TV and movies. The problem is determining if the message of dissension is legitimate or a cyber-attack.
Information for and against various political and economic issues run rampant on the internet. There are legitimate campaigns that land in your inbox or ads that stream on your online platforms, paid for by organizations who wish to get their message out to the public. When the message delivered retrieves personal data or contains viruses designed to halt a system, it is a cyber-attack. Since hacktivism rides on the tails of legitimate messaging, cybersecurity and advance detection becomes critical for corporations, school districts, hospitals, government systems, and any other organization that interacts with the public.
Cybersecurity experts and threat assessors at RAVENii have studied and learned much during the cybersecurity issues our clients and the US has experienced since 2012. Russia openly using hacktivism to effect change in other countries has taken hacktivism into a whole new level of powerful virtual weapon. A weapon that can cause massive disturbances to day-to-day operations for large organizations and for individuals.
Companies, municipalities, and organizations must not overlook or minimalize the impact of hacktivism. Cybersecurity is measures are imperative. Corporations, schools, municipalities, etc. must have processes in place to ensure all IT systems, operating systems, applications, and websites are updated regularly. Having RAVENii as your cybersecurity team helps because with our managed services and continuous audits, we can identify anomalies in network activity and help mitigate threats. Our cybersecurity team also makes sure the appropriate technical controls are applied and your staff are properly educated.
For more information about cybersecurity and hacktivism awareness and training from RAVENii, click here or call (844) 317-0944 today.