Wall Street Journal Attacked by Anonymous, Could Keep Setting Sights Higher
The Wall Street Journal has been one of the most reliable news sources for a great number of years. Readers turn to the Journal on a daily basis for news, entertainment, business, and crosswords. However, they too have managed to find themselves in the target sights of hacker group Anonymous. Wall Street Journal operates a number of Facebook pages for their various publications, and nearly all of those pages were the target of a comment flash mob on Tuesday, claimed by Anonymous. This comment flash mob occurred just hours after the Journal published a report that said the hacker group was becoming more powerful. This attacks also comes in on the heels of an announcement by the National Security Agency that Anonymous may be able to control the US power grids within the next one to two years.
The Anonymous Kollektiv, a subsection of the main Anonymous group that is believed to be based somewhere in Germany (hence the different spelling of “collective), told participants to copy the following message on Journal sites:
“Dear editors of the German Wall Street Journal, You equated Anonymous with al-Qaeda in your February 2012 article and the related coverage. With this type of coverage you may be able to stir up fear in the United States, but not in the land of poets and thinkers! With this comment, we would like to oppose the deliberate dissemination of false information and express our displeasure with your lobby journalism. We are Anonymous. We are millions. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us!”
The Wall Street Journal report featured opinions and quotes from many certified security officials who share the same fear perpetuated by the article. It warned, much like the announcement made by NSA Chief General Keith Alexander, the hacker group may have the technical expertise to attack the U.S power grid within the next fear years, causing temporary blackouts, if they so chose. In hindsight, the potential damage of an attack on the power grid could be much more catastrophic. One official was quoted as saying that foreign enemies may even try to hire Anonymous to launch a cyber attack on the United States, which would also be devastating.
Until now, the main focus of Anonymous has been to target government web sites and sites of large corporations or businesses. The Web sites go down for a period of time, but then go back up and continue to operate normally. They have also leaked sensitive information, such as a call made by the FBI to other national police agencies, but the damage was limited.
Luckily, they have made no such indications or public announcements that they seek to attack the power grid any time soon. However, there is a rumor circulating based on a message that they may be planning to “take down the Internet” on March 31. Some officials say that Anonymous may soon have the capabilities to pull off a large scale attack.
“A near-peer competitor [country] could give cyber malware capability to some fringe group,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said at a hearing last week, the Journal reported. “Some hacker, next thing you know, could be into our electrical grid. We have to get after this.”