June 4th, 2011
(KurtNimmo) – On the heels of the Pentagon warning it will respond militarily to the threat of hackers, NATO has released a report stating it will respond to efforts by the “hive-mind” hacking collective known as Anonymous.
Anonymous is described as a leaderless group of “hacktivists” said to be responsible for cyber attacks on government and corporate networks in response to persecution of Wikileaks.
In December, Anonymous is said to have staged cyber attacks on the websites of Amazon, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and others accused of withdrawing services to WikiLeaks.
In February, the amorphous group claimed responsibility for posting 78,000 confidential corporate emails allegedly grabbed from the defense contractor HB Gary Federal. The mysterious group came to prominence after a series of hacks on Scientology websites were attributed to it.
In late May, the defense contractor Lockheed Martin claimed its computer network was attacked by unspecified hackers.
“I guarantee you every major defense contractor is on double alert this weekend, watching what’s going on and making sure they’re not the next to fall victim,” Josh Shaul, chief technology officer at New York-based database security company Application Security, told the BBC on May 30 following the alleged attack.
NATO General Rapporteur Lord Jopling said the group is becoming “more and more sophisticated” and has the potential to hack important government or military sites, according to a report submitted to the NATO Parliament Assembly.
“Virtual communities operating online provide new opportunities for civil society, but they have also increased the potential for asymmetrical attacks,” the report states. “Apart from causing harm, destruction or conducting espionage, most recent cyber attacks have also been used as a means to reach a rather different goal. ‘Hactivism’ is a relatively recent form of social protest or expression of ideology by using hacking techniques.”
The NATO report dovetails with efforts in the United States to deal militarily with hackers and other perceived threats. On Thursday, Secretary of State Clinton announced the FBI will investigate alleged attacks by Chinese hackers against Google.
Sec. of State Clinton blames Chinese hackers for alleged hacker attacks.
Google operates as an intelligence community asset. The corporation works closely with the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency. It is rumored it also cooperates with the NSA, the mega-spy agency involved in massive surveillance of the American public.
News reports indicate the British government plans to recruit hundreds of people into a new task force aimed at fighting cyber-attacks. “The statement associated with this action didn’t indicate exactly who the adversary is but it might be easy enough to infer who the first target could be,” reports Myce.
In March, the Pentagon said it had requested an investigation into Anonymous’ reported cyber threat against a military base used to hold Private Bradley Manning, a U.S. soldier suspected of giving documents to WikiLeaks.
Late last month, the Pentagon announced that computer intrusions from abroad are to be considered acts of war against the United States and will be answered with conventional military force.
CNN report on Pentagon policy on cyber threats.
Unclassified sections of a Pentagon document revealed the Pentagon believes the Laws of Armed Conflict are applicable in cyberspace as in traditional warfare.
NATO has yet to indicate if it will also respond militarily to perceived hacker threats.