‘British secret service carried out Ddos attacks on Anonymous chat rooms’

The British secret service GCHQ used DDOs attacks to disrupt communication between Anonymous members. That reports an American channel based on documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden. Many Anonymous members would have been deterred by this.

The DDOs attacks were allegedly carried out by a unit of the British secret service called the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group, NBC News writes. Servers running Anonymous chat rooms were attacked with DDOs attacks; as far as is known, this is the first time that a Western government has launched DDOs attacks.

Together with the use of other techniques, eighty percent of the members in the Anonymous chat rooms would have been deterred. Furthermore, agents were allegedly deployed in the chat rooms to impersonate hackers, trying to gain the trust of the users.

In one case, an agent tricked a hacker into clicking a link, which enabled the agent to find out the IP address of the VPN the hacker was using. He was able to find out the identity of the hacker via the VPN; exactly how that happened is unclear. The VPN provider denies having cooperated. The NSA also allegedly approached hacktivists via social media, e-mail and chat clients to make it clear that ‘ddos’ and hacking is illegal.

With the techniques, the British managed to arrest several hackers, including Anonymous spokesman Topiary. However, critics note that the vast majority of chat room members did not hack themselves. By disrupting communication in the chat rooms, freedom of expression was violated, they say.