What type of attack was launched on DOJ?
The type of attack involved in the attack was hacking. The hackers accessed the U.S. Sentencing Commission website and they were able to bring it down. They defaced the website and made it editable. This means that anyone could alter the contents of the site (Brumfield). In addition, the hackers changed the site’s home page and they instead put a video explaining their actions. The hackers
What was compromised or breached?
The hackers were able to acquire sensitive data and information from the site. However, the agency makes most of its information known to the public. The information on the site contains guidelines on how the federal courts in the country should conduct their ruling. Anyone who accessed the site could get raw programming code used by the agency (Brumfield). The group threatened to release the key codes that would unlock encrypted files. They made the website inaccessible for some time. The hackers exposed some of the information they had accessed such as personal information of the staff members (Paganini).
How was the attack accomplished if known?
No one knows the specific details of how the hackers were able to access and deface the site. The hackers first attacked the site on Friday evening and then they attacked it the next morning. The second attack was more successful than the first. They were able to get encrypted files and they distributed them. They also encouraged anyone who could to distribute the files. The hackers changed their tactics when they attacked the second time. They turned the entire site into a gaming site where those who accessed the site played the game of asteroids.
Your own analysis and feedback about the attack
It is clear that the department of justice website is vulnerable to attacks. The hackers have managed to vandalize the site on several occasions. They managed to attack the site twice in a span of less than twenty-four hours. By that time, the authorities had already learnt of the attack and they had taken measures to prevent continued attacks. Therefore, the fact that the hackers were able to access the site for a second time and change the contents of the site shows that they did not do well the first time. The department needs to invest in quality resources, including human personnel to ensure that, it is able to prevent such attacks from happening in future, and that it is able to deal with them as soon as they occur. There is a need for the department and other state agencies to change their encryption frequently and to manage it to ensure that they remain ahead of the hackers.
The hackers did not reveal any damning or secret information that would have affected the department on a massive scale. This is despite the fact that they had threatened to release the juicy information they had obtained to the media, which would in turn make more people aware. They were motivated by revenge since one of the hacktivists had committed suicide because of the pressure he had faced after he was arrested for hacking. The attack on the department was symbolic considering their reasons for doing so. The message they posted on the site stated that they were aware of the prosecutors’ ability to deceive citizens into accepting their guaranteed right at fair trial (Lennard). This was in light of what the dead hacktivist had had to endure.
Brumfield, Ben. “Anonymous Threatens Justice Department Over Hacktivist Death.” CNN. 27 Jan. 2013. Web. 25 Mar. 2015
Lennard, Natasha. Anonymous Hacks US Sentencing Commission Website For Aaron Swartz. 28 Jan. 2013. Web. 25 Mar. 2015
Paganini, Pierluigi. US Retaliation Strategy against Hackers. 4 Mar. 2013. Web. 25 Mar. 2015
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