The independent hackers trying to protect American democracy
On Friday a group of hackers targeted Russia and Iran, disabling equipment in internet service providers and data centers and leaving a note that did not mince words. Alongside a picture of an American flag was the clear message, “Don’t mess with our elections.”
It wasn’t a particularly sophisticated attack, but it had a clear impact. According to the IRNA, Iran’s official News Agency, “The attack apparently affected 200,000 router switches across the world in a widespread attack, including 3,500 in our country.” Speaking to Vice, the attackers made it quite clear why they carried out this attack. “We were tired of attacks from government-backed hackers on the United States and other countries,”
The attack used a vulnerability in certain Cisco systems software to disrupt computer infrastructure in Russia and Iran. As well as exploiting the vulnerability in Russia and Iran, the attackers also claimed to have closed up the vulnerability in the US and the UK, protecting them against similar attacks from foreign actors. “As a result of our efforts, there are almost no vulnerable devices left in many major countries.” Research carried out by Cisco indicates that there are still a lot of machines still vulnerable to this kind of attack, but these guys have certainly been heard loud and clear.
What are your thoughts on the direct action taken by these vigilante hackers?