The notorious cyber group OurMine is back at it, and it has now infiltrated Julian Assange’s notorious whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.
The hack was made to send a message to WikiLeaks, showing them that as much as they pride themselves on being tech savvy, the site still carries loopholes and vulnerabilities.
The hack was a retaliatory measure by OurMine after WikiLeaks challenged the group to try and penetrate through any of their systems some time back.
While WikiLeaks was under the hackers’ control, anyone who visited the website was redirected to another web page displaying a message that the site had been hacked by OurMine.
Reports indicate the hack was facilitated by a DNS attack.
By definition, this method of hacking is a type of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, wherein the attackers utilize the vulnerabilities present in the Domain Name System (DNS).
This particular hack was incredibly embarrassing to WikiLeaks because it negated their previous bragging points about having strong security measures in their systems to prevent any sort of hack.
What’s more, WikiLeaks will often challenge hacking groups to try and infiltrate their systems.
That is precisely what has happened in this recent case—OurMine stepped up to the challenge and succeeded.
Fortunately for WikiLeaks though, this type of short-lived hack is minor in scope and is virtually harmless for the time being.
Apart from redirecting visitors to a page claiming the site had been hacked, no other damage was done. Neither the WikiLeaks servers nor emails were hacked.
And therefore, one can conclude that the hack was minor even though it proved the existence of minor vulnerabilities in WikiLeaks’ DNS.
During the process, the DNS directed traffic to the servers controlled by the OurMine instead of that by WikiLeaks.
Now, it’s worth providing some context that this is not the first time OurMine has hacked Assange’s site.
Just last year, the group also orchestrated a cyber attack on WikiLeaks which implies that OurMine may have planned to hack the whistleblower site once again in the future.
The 2016 hack on WikiLeaks caused a feud between the notorious Anonymous group and OurMine.
Anonymous is well known to support Julian Assange and his activities, and it is for this reason that they warned OurMine from facilitating any further attacks against WikiLeaks.
During that time, OurMine successfully managed to facilitate a DDoS attack.
After this, reports surfaced that claimed Anonymous was able to dox OurMine. However, this information was ultimately uncorroborated, perhaps due to the confidentiality of the matter.
The hacking saw OurMine claim that its members were at times harassed by those of Anonymous.
Now that the minor hack has transpired, it is possible to note that the feud between the two notorious cyber gangs will grow.
The two groups operate in different modes of operation, seeing as how the activities they undertake are completely different.
OurMine is well known within cyber circles.
The group has successfully managed to hack social media accounts of prominent personalities such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai, and Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Marissa Meyer of Yahoo, just to mention a few.
Other bigger hacks conducted by OurMine include a massive YouTube hack which saw accounts of major YouTubers compromised. There was no damage to the account such as deleting videos or pictures.
The only thing altered was the name of the YouTube videos. They claim they were just testing the security of the system and would love to make it better.
The most recent hack facilitated by OurMine was on Home Box Office (HBO) back in mid-August.
In collaboration with other hackers, the group managed to gain access to the company’s social media accounts as well as unreleased episodes of the network’s popular show Game of Thrones.
HBO was further requested to pay for the leaked episodes to remain discrete, which the company declined.
Also in August 2017, OurMine facilitated a hack into the databases of one of the largest entertainment companies, The Play Station Network (PSN).
WikiLeaks is well known within U.S. intelligence circles, mainly due to the nature of activities they undertake. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the body affected by the dossier released by WikiLeaks.
The whistleblower website, in a dossier dubbed Vault 7, exposed the methods used by the intelligence agency to gather information and spy on its targets.
It further states the mode of operation in which the activities are carried out, and how the CIA has managed to gain preeminence over the National Security Agency (NSA).
Assange stated that the issue of whether the CIA has more capacity than its constitutional mandate should be put to question because the agency has hundreds if not thousands of tools to facilitate their activities.
What’s more is that they have thousands of employees and hackers in their ranks.
It is surprising that in the Vault 7 leaks, the CIA is said to have spied on its counterparts such as the NSA.
They use the method of installing malware, Trojans, viruses and spyware that can monitor the devices used by their targets.
By conducting system upgrades, the CIA can then successfully install the malware.
This fact is ironic because the two bodies are tasked with ensuring the safety of the citizens of the United States.
But, instead of working hand-in-hand, one party is engaging in underhand tactics in order to outwit the other.
Due to the nature of activities conducted by the CIA, it is no wonder why WikiLeaks decided to expose the organization as they believe the activities carried out by the CIA are against the law since the privacy of an individual is disclosed.
And since OurMine seeks to market itself as being among the best in the industry, it is no doubt the reason why they had to initiate a hack on WikiLeaks is to prove their dominance and expertise.
Some netizens have pointed out that the superiority wars among the parties involved are likely to fuel cyber attacks in the future as the era of digital advancement is continuing to take shape.