Monday, May 28, 2012

Indian firms under Anonymous attack.... extreme inarchy!

Posting without comment... 

#op NewSon
This is a different one.... FBI warning to a number of top firms to expect an attack, starting May 25, and the list includes Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). I learned about this earlier through our commercial Security Threat Intelligence services and was trying to find someone at RIL to pass the information. Unfortunately could not connect with anyone and gave up trying after the start of the attacks on May 25.

This is the list of top firms identified by FBI:

UPDATE: this was a failure... but they have not yet given up.

Anonymous announcement of their attack on various Indian sites / companies. One of them was Relaince Communications and started the day before. People using the RCOMM network for internet access were presented with a page carrying a message from Anonymous.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Shape of things to come- Internet Inarchy

Anarchy, move over - it is time for INarchy. 

They tweeted: “Namaste #India, your time has come to trash the current government and install a new one. Good luck.” 
A YouTube video (May 15) by user Sen0nymous, titled ‘Operation India Engaged’, issued a call to action for fellow hackers. The video stated, 
“It has been known that the government of India and its ministers are committing aristocracy. The idea of democracy remains an idea only.”

“We were and are watching closely all activities of the government and its ministers. Many ministers were and are charged with severe cases of corruption. They do not care. They do not care for the injustice happening. They do not care for the freedom being snatched.”

“The government has been covering up its activities and hiding the facts from its citizens. It has imposed the IT Act which allows it to censor the internet as it seems fit. None other than the DoT needs to be blamed. One can’t block on purview of security concerns.” 

So Anonymous does not like the moves made by the Indian government and they start firing all cannons. They had started off protesting against the US, Swedish and the UK government actions regarding Wikileaks and that sort of hacktivism was cool. Now, and with other actions (anti SOPA etc) is this morphing into a sort of conscience keeper for the world ?

And for the moment the actions are just defacing websites and pulling any data that is bagged in the operation - so how long before this activity turns more malicious. Or how long before there is another few groups that do not have morals or have some sort of hate driven objectives. We do not have to search too far to find psychos !

We can dump all the international treaties and cooperation programs aside - a cyber-war or cyber-terror scenario is so easy to conjure ... just a handful of faceless people from anywhere in the world meet over time in a chat room and put together their bag of tricks. And, they let loose.

They can attack, plant an APT, steal data, commandeer weapons ... in short, they can do a lot. Or they can just choose to poison an information source like a satellite. Let your internal criminal out and let your imagination run wild, soon you will have enough zillion doomsday scenarios that an asteroid hit will be child's play

After that, all the king's men can spend their lifetimes to find who did it. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

License to Surf .. the shape of things to come

Internet Commerce, Presence and the Shape of Things to come

The internet has evolved dramatically since conception ... inception and I do not believe that the founding fathers of would have imagined it in it's present form. 

Like all things "free", the world has used, misused and abused the internet as it is continues to be a self governed network, owned by no one. Organizations like ICANN, IETF, W3C do their bit in controlling or running this worldwide network. 

When I started an online business in the mid-nineties, I realized that there are no taxes in cyberspace - the seller in country A was not selling in the domestic market so there was no tax liability... and the buyer in country B was buying (retail for personal use) from overseas so there was no domestic transaction ! Cool.. a lot of people made a lot of tax free money.

Email, tweets, networking, websites, graphics, content ... et al - everything is "free" on the internet. Or so it seems. We in India, and many other countries, are yet to face the whiplash of IP theft or have an organization like SOPA follow an IP address to prosecution and penalty. 

All that we pay for is internet access and once on the information highway, one just let loose. There are no rules - one site leads to another, check out recipes or people, post stuff online or make your sites. 

We are leading to an Internet which will be paid for and with the amount of wild west type shootings and lawlessness, pretty soon we shall have to have a "License to Surf". A license which will uniquely identify me and allow me to visit a certain set of websites. 

Governments are already creating tough laws to rein in the lawlessness and the new breed of criminals. Websites, service providers and law enforcement agencies are increasingly tracking every move / keystroke made online for their own purposes. Technology is advancing towards a more connected life, towards blurring the  difference between online and offline persona. 

ISPs are already 'shaping' traffic and can start offering 'bundled' internet access much like a cable service. Websites will consolidate services and will charge a small fee when you visit and this will be charged from the ISP - based on time. Emails will start costing money and so will tweets and social network posts - quite possibly the ISP will have to share a part of their revenue here too or pay an annual license fee.  

The "free" internet is slowly fading - there is an Internet Interpol proposed, international treaties coming up, international cooperation among law enforcement agencies, global takedowns and many other such related activities happening. On the other hand, botnets owners, spam-masters, cybercrime gangs and such criminals use free resources and cyberspace anonymity to wreak havoc on the global user community.

Maybe this will be a good thing because it will protect us from the paedophiles and other cyber criminals. A small price to pay for the protection and personal safety on the internet but a very high price when one considers the surrender of privacy and the 'freedom' of an unfettered cyberspace.