Hacktivist collective Anonymous has been a persistent pain to government agencies and private companies alike for the past few years; after a 2011 full of attacks, that trend doesn’t appear to be slowing. To learn more about how Anonymous works, we spoke with Rob Rachwald, Director of Security Strategy at Imperva.
Attacks by Anonymous are often simple Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS) where they overload a server with requests, causing it to either crash or slow to the point that the website is effectively offline. There are also more advanced hacktivists within Anonymous who attempt to steal data before DDoS attacks for a variety of reasons. In contrast to most hackers, profit is not among these reasons.
Rob Rachwald talks with Chris Dorobek – 1 by cdorobek
There are some key differences between attacks by Anonymous and hackers who are searching for profit. First, a for-profit hacker will often use malware during their attacks, while there hasn’t yet been a documented case of Anonymous using malware during their attacks. Second, Anonymous will announce their targets before the attacks begin to build a movement around the attack, unlike for-profit hackers. IT departments can set up a Google Alert with their organization name and anonymous to help track whether or not an attack is likely.
Rob Rachwald talks with Chris Dorobek – 2 by cdorobek
What other advice could be given to an IT department looking to preempt an Anonymous attack?