Fascinating news broke this weekend when security firm Imperva out of Redwood City outlined a report called “The Anatomy of an Anonymous Attack” (outlining details of how the “Anonymous” hactivist group operated in one unnamed attack last year in The Anatomy of an Anonymous Attack.

Alleged YouTube recruiting video for Anonymous attack on the Vatican.

The New York Times then broke the story that the target of that unsuccessful attack was the Vatican which hired Imperva to block and hault the attack.

Adding to the intrigue is that the Times story was co-written by journalist John Markoff of Kevin Mitnick fame (Markoff wrote a series of articles and a book on the takedown of Mitnick the hacker).

Markoff knows the hacker world quite well.

A full read of the Impervis report is recommended, though we found these nuggets about recruiting most interesting:

Two Types Of Volunteers

  • Skilled Hackers — No more than 10 to 15 people who are “quite savvy” with “genuine hacking experience.”
  • Laypeople —  Anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred volunteers who are directed by the Skilled Hackers.

The ratio of Laypeople to Skilled Hackers is usually about 10 to 1.

18 Days Of Recruiting Volunteers Through Social Media

In the alleged attack on the Vatican, Anonymous:

1) Created a Web site rationalizing the attack

2) Twitter and Facebook were used to to drive traffic.

3) YouTube videos were used to further rationalize the attack.




by in Technology