#OpTrialAtHome Anonymous Distributed Denial of Service attack on GCHQ website - who will fail first ?

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Last weekend there were some suspiciously timed Distributed Denial of Service attack against the Home Office website (offline for about 12 hours until Sunday morning) and to a lesser extent the Ministry of Justice and the Prime Minister's Number 10 Downing Street (about an hour's disruption each, on and off) .

None of these websites are vital to the running of the country, especially not on a Saturday evening on a Bank Holiday weekend, when nobody is visiting them, but they are symbolic targets.

The organisers of this supposed "hactivism" were some self appointed faction under the hydra headed #Anonymous twitter hive mind.

See the Twitter hashtag #OpTrialAtHome

The "justification" they claimed was to somehow "support" the controversial Extradition cases of Gary McKinnon, Richard O'Dwyer and Chris Tappin, something which they have not achieved..

Nevertheless these people declared the event a success and then, on the Sunday, they threatened to do the same to the GCHQ website , starting at 8pm GMT on Saturday 14th April 2012.

This "news" has been reported by IT trade publications and picke dup by the national newspapers and broadcast media, especially following the arrests of a couple of teenagers in the West midlands, who may be the vaguely associated with the #teampoison attacks on the Metropolitan Police Anti-terrorism hotline.
(misreported by the "hackers" and far too many other online "news" sources as somehow being MI6 the Secret intelligence Service, who have nothing to do with any public hotlines whatsoever)

As with MI5 and the MI6/SIS websites, only http://www.gchq.gov.uk is valid, not http://gchq.gov.uk on its own

A few hours before the announced attack time, the default GCHQ web page started to be re-directed down a level to:

http://www.gchq.gov.uk/Pages/homepage.aspx

At about 19:40 BST i.e. 18:40 GMT British Telecom , on whose servers this public website appears to be running, put a temporary 302 redirect to e.g.

http://213.121.151.40/TPpRO/c3aba573/43de84c1/www.gchq.gov.uk/

instead of the previous IP address of http://195.171.165.115 which was advertised ahead of time on a Twitter Twitpic graphic:

gchq_ddos_graphic.jpg

http://twitpic.com/97d6yn

Note the ambiguous slogan: "Fight Online Privacy" - are the anonymous organisers / manipulators behind this DDoS attack actually on the same side as GCHQ - both of them appear to be fighting against your right to online privacy.

Note also the inevitable confusion - many of the "script kiddies" and gullible journalists will not have read the announcement properly and will assume that 8 PM British Summer Time is somehow the same as 8pm Greenwich Mean Time. (9pm BST)

Much more seriously, the published comment on this web page is actively encouraging the "hactivists" to download a scritpt kiddy "point and click" Denial of Service attack tool called "High Orbit Ion Cannon" - hence the "pew pew pew - fire your Laz0rs" instructions to the exploited cult followers.

There are no warnings whatsover about the fact that participating in this DDoS attack or even just downloading the HOIC tool is a criminal offence in the UK, with up to ten years and two year in prison respectively.

See the control freak Labour government's amendments to the Computer Misuse Act 1990 which came into force in October 2008 and which claims worldwide legal jurisdiction:

The timing of these DDoS attacks appears to have been deliberately (or utterly incompetently) chosen to minimise any political impact on the Government or civil servants i.e. on a Saturday evening when nobody in the Government department concerned is likely to have anyone ringing up to complain that their website is unavailable, and well past the print run deadlines for the Sunday newspapers.

If people want to protest by accessing a Government website, then they should be able to, but they must also be made aware of the risks of legal prosecution and potential punishments.

The fact that the organisers of these attacks have not done so, smells of Entrapment by Agents Provocateurs, perhaps like the notorious #Sabu, who are under the control of an intelligence or law enforcement agency and who are actually helping to jusify the repressive Communications Capabalities Development Programme being promoted by the securocrats in Whitehall to the bumbling Coalition politicians.
.

20:05 BST - the GCHQ website seems to be running smoothly


11 Comments

21:25 BST, no sign of any disruption to the http://www.gchq.gov.uk website so far

22:05 BST GCHQ website still online and untroubled

Some CSS loading problems with the Home Office website, but it is still up

22:35 BST - it looks as if Iain Lobban, the Director of GCHQ, will keep his job tomorrow, after the "reasonable and proportionate" precautions to protect the non-business critical (especially on a Saturday night)

https://twitter.com/#!/Stone_SkyNews/status/191260824826941440/photo/1

GCHQ public website has suffered no noticable disruption at all.

#OpTrialAtHome DDoS is over for now, with no noticable effect on its target http://www.gchq.gov.uk

There are public YouTube extracts of the extraordinary "live internet radio" broadcast of some of the DDoS attackers bemoaning the fact that GCHQ seemed to have switched IP addresses on them or had multiple servers load balancing their website

http://www.spreaker.com/user/anonfamily/14_04_2012_optrialathome

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnVeaSP2zFs

What were they thinking ? Even before GCHQ's alleged cyber defence expertise and IP address tracing legal powers, they have decades of experience in classifying and analysing distinctive regional accents and choices of vocabulary. They can also use tools like picking up the mains electricity grid induced "hum" in televeison or radio programmes or music played in the background and get a good idea of which region the audio recording / live stream was mmade.

The frustrated criminals then tried to get their cult followers to switch their "Laz0rs" to aim at one of last week's planned targets

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk

They managed to cause an initial slow down, which led to Cascading Style Sheet loading problems (which probably remained in their browser caches) leading to the Home Office website looking rather "text only" for a short while, but remaining online.

With no prior publicity or managment of mainstream media expectations about this target switch, late on a Saturday night, these people were fooling themselves if they expected any positive political impact whatsoever.

As with last week, these cyber bullies also picked on the totally irrelevant, low traffic volume political constituency website of Theresa May, the Home Secretary. They did succeed in getting it to disply HTTP 500 error codes, perhaps because the limited disk quota on a shared web server was filled up by the web server logfiles.

http://tmay.co.uk

As a political target this was completely ineffectual - nobody visits politician's personal constituency websites on a Saturday night.

Given the quasi-judicial role which the Home Secretary has in Extradition cases, how does annoying her, even slightly, help Gary McKinnon or Richard O'Dwyer or any soon to be arrested #OpTrialAtHome DDoS participants ?

What can we expect now ?

At a guess, various other factions under the #Anonymous umbrella will seek to disassociate themselve (unsuccessfully) from these "lame" script kiddies.

If and when any of them get arrested, they will claim that these are not "real" Anons and they will do nothing to really support them i.e. with money, legal advice or sympathetic media articles, direct legal lobbying of politicians etc.

Will any of the #OpTrialAtHome cheerleaders turn out to be #Sabu style Agent Provocateurs, being blackmailed by the police or intelligence agencies to gather intelligence on their associates and / or to provide a propaganda excuse for the securocrats to help convince our gullible politicians that they need bigger "cyber defence" budgets and even more repressive "catch all" snooping laws ?

The #Anonymous cultists acting as puppet masters on #OpTrialAtHome appear to renewing their misguided efforts to get their cult followers to DDoS attack http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk

Even if they succeed, the mainstream media and therfore political impact of doing this on a Sunday will be zero.

Is the fact that this webiste is (unpatriocically) hosted on an IP address allocated to the USA based savvis.net, significant ? (the other targetes such as GCHQ or the Ministry of Justice or Theresa May's non-governmental constituency MP website are UK based) ?

Given the way in which the USA claims legal juridiction over any internet packets passing through their terrirory, and their truely evil propensity for using illegal (in the UK) Entrapment and Agent Provocateurs, will any of the exploited #Anonymous HOIC monkeys end up facing Extradition to the USA themselves ?


PA: Man held over May cyber-attack

http://www.heraldseries.co.uk/uk_national_news/10029603.Man_held_over_May_cyber_attack/

4:46pm Tuesday 6th November 2012

A man has been arrested and bailed over a cyber attack on the websites of the Home Office and the Home Secretary, Scotland Yard said.

The 41-year-old was held at his home in Stoke-on-Trent on suspicion of encouraging a distributed denial of service attack on the sites.

He allegedly targeted the Home Office and Theresa May's constituency websites and urged others to take part in the attack online.

Distributed denial of service attacks are designed to overwhelm websites so they crash.

The man was arrested on suspicion of assisting or encouraging crime contrary to the Serious Crime Act 2007 and later bailed until mid-December.

Scotland Yard said material including computers, telephones and media storage devices were seized from his home.

Detective Inspector Jason Tunn said: "Assisting and encouraging cyber crime is a serious matter and I would advise all persons to consider their actions and any possible future consequences prior to posting any material online."

The use of the Serious Crime Act 2007 against stupid amateur wannabe #Anonymous hackers is the most worrying aspect of this case

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  • wtwu: The #Anonymous cultists acting as puppet masters on #OpTrialAtHome appear read more
  • wtwu: #OpTrialAtHome DDoS is over for now, with no noticable effect read more
  • wtwu: 22:35 BST - it looks as if Iain Lobban, the read more
  • wtwu: 22:05 BST GCHQ website still online and untroubled Some CSS read more

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UK Legislation

The United Kingdom suffers from tens of thousands of pages of complicated criminal laws, and thousands of new, often unenforceable criminal offences, which have been created as a "Pretend to be Seen to Be Doing Something" response to tabloid media hype and hysteria, and political social engineering dogmas. These overbroad, catch-all laws, which remove the scope for any judicial appeals process, have been rubber stamped, often without being read, let alone properly understood, by Members of Parliament.

The text of many of these Acts of Parliament are now online, but it is still too difficult for most people, including the police and criminal justice system, to work out the cumulative effect of all the amendments, even for the most serious offences involving national security or terrorism or serious crime.

Many MPs do not seem to bother to even to actually read the details of the legislation which they vote to inflict on us.

UK Legislation Links

UK Statute Law Database - is the official revised edition of the primary legislation of the United Kingdom made available online, but it is not yet up to date.

UK Commissioners

UK Commissioners some of whom are meant to protect your privacy and investigate abuses by the bureaucrats.

UK Intelligence Agencies

Intelligence and Security Committee - the supposedly independent Parliamentary watchdog which issues an annual, heavily censored Report every year or so. Currently chaired by the Conservative Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Why should either the intelligence agencies or the public trust this committee, when the untrustworthy ex-Labour Minister Hazel Blears is a member ?

Anti-terrorism hotline - links removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

MI5 Security Service
MI5 Security Service - links to encrypted reporting form removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

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Secure Your Fertiliser - advice on ammonium nitrate and urea fertiliser security

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Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure - "CPNI provides expert advice to the critical national infrastructure on physical, personnel and information security, to protect against terrorism and other threats."

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Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

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Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

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Serious Organised Crime Agency - have cut themselves off from direct contact with the public and businesses - no phone - no email

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Defence Advisory (DA) Notice system - voluntary self censorship by the established UK press and broadcast media regarding defence and intelligence topics via the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee.

Foreign Spies / Intelliegence Agencies in the UK

It is not just the UK government which tries to snoop on British companies, organisations and individuals, the rest of the world is constantly trying to do the same, regardless of the mixed efforts of our own UK Intelligence Agencies who are paid to supposedly protect us from them.

For no good reason, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office only keeps the current version of the London Diplomatic List of accredited Diplomats (including some Foreign Intelligence Agency operatives) online.

Presumably every mainstream media organisation, intelligence agency, serious organised crime or terrorist gang keeps historical copies, so here are some older versions of the London Diplomatic List, for the benefit of web search engine queries, for those people who do not want their visits to appear in the FCO web server logfiles or those whose censored internet feeds block access to UK Government websites.

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us - UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

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FreeFarid.com - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
Data Retention is No Solution - Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

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Open Rights Group

The Big Opt Out Campaign - opt out of having your NHS Care Record medical records and personal details stored insecurely on a massive national centralised database.

Tor - the onion routing network
Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

Tor - the onion routing network
Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor - useful Guide published by Global Voices Advocacy with step by step software configuration screenshots (updated March 10th 2009).

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Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

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BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

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Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team."

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Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

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Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

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Icelanders are NOT terrorists ! - despite Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling's use of anti-terrorism legislation to seize the assets of Icelandic banks.

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No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV

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I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !

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Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign

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Cracking the Black Box - "aims to expose technology that is being used in inappropriate ways. We hope to bring together the insights of experts and whistleblowers to shine a light into the dark recesses of systems that are responsible for causing many of the privacy problems faced by millions of people."

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Open Rights Group - Petition against the renewal of the Interception Modernisation Programme

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WhistleblowersUK.org - Fighting for justice for whistleblowers