Anonymous Hackers plan to launch Cyber attacks on EU referendum day

Hackers affiliated with Anonymous plan to attack financial institutions during the Brexit vote on 23/6.

A referendum is being held on Thursday, 23 June, to decide whether Britain should leave or remain in the European Union. Several hackers discussed in an anonymous associated IRC channel (part of the hacktivists “Operation Icarus” or “OpIcarus”, which are primarily aimed at attacking banks), the possibility of attacking financial institutions, including stock exchanges on the day of the referendum, in addition to the Euro 2016 games.

The hackers claim that the public will be distracted, which will ensure that and attacking is straightforward. In addition, the hackers discussed refraining from Denial Of Service (DS) attacks, claiming that they are not useful. Instead, they considered utilising email attacks, which suggests phishing attacks.

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Intsights Cyber Intelligence analysts discovered that the hackers do not intend to implement a Denial Of Service attack, which is inconsitent from typical hacktivists’ operations.

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This suggests that the hackers are not aiming to simply crash websites, but to cause more substantial damage to the targeted institutions, such as obtaining and leaking customer details.

One of the forementioned hackers, for instance, claimed that he has uploaded a shell to the website of a French bank which will enable him to access the site at a later date. In addition, the hacker states that he is scanning the site of the International Monetary Fund for vulnerabilities. Both actions require advanced technical capabilities and indicate a malicious intent.

Alon Arvatz, VP intelligence at Intsights has highlighted the unique nature of the hackers’ discussion, due to the hacktivists’ unusal levels of awareness regarding financial events, and their intentions of exploiting them, a practise usually reserved for solely political or public events. It will be interesting to see if said hackers will actually manifest their threats and succeed in causing the intended damage to targeted institutions.

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