This application anatomy-of-an-anonymous-attack-laid-bare-by darshan joshi and edited by manthan desai discuss a detailed analysis of an attack by Anonymous on one of its customers, providing new insight into how the hacktivist group operates, and highlighting the need for better application layer security.
The attack, which did not adversely affect the site or compromise any user data, consisted of three distinct phases:
The first, described as “recruitment and communication” involved drumming up support using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to suggest and justify an attack.The second, dubbed “reconnaissance and application layer attacks,” involved a small number of professional hackers, using common vulnerability assessment tools to probe for security holes and launch application attacks, like SQL injection, to attempt to steal data from the targets.
When these data breach attempts failed, the skilled hackers elicited help from so-called “laypeople” to carry out a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.
The attack by Anonymous mimics the approach used by for-profit hackers. The group of 10 to 15 professional hackers used off-the-shelf tools such as Havij, Acunetix and Nikto to check for vulnerabilities and attempt SQL injection attacks.
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