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What is Hacktivism ?

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  • Last Updated : 15 Jun, 2022
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Hacktivism is often associated with the term Cyberwar, and is sometimes associated with “Cyber Terror”. A DIR server is an Internet Service Provider or Internet access provider that provides a website with free Internet resources, as well as computer programs and/or software. So Hacktivism basically means an act of hacking or breaking into a computer system for some purpose be it political or social. The person who performs this is called a hacktivist. 

You can also refer to the article: Types of Hackers to read more about Hackers.

Purpose of Hacktivism:

The main purpose of Hacktivism is to leak an organization’s information and aim to send messages through the organization’s activities, that are considered bad by the hacker. But which the intention of this practice comes under the criminal act. 

Types of Hacktivism:

There are numerous types of hacktivism, and some of the common ones are listed below:

1. DDoS or DoS attack: DDoS or DoS attack is a threat that requires active measures by the operators, which are mostly the Internet service providers, to keep the traffic from getting routed to the adversary’s server. In such cases, the attack can be attributed to a large-scale denial of services attack, also known as a distributed denial-of-service (DDOS).

Please refer to the article Denial Of Service DDoS Attack to read more details.

2. Replicating Website: This technique aims at duplicating a legitimate website with a slightly different URL, in order to get around the censorship on that site. The attacker duplicates the site to a different URL so the content is still visible.

3. Defacement of Website: The attacker manipulates the code and software of the website to show an error, this may be threatening and present the attacker’s point of view to the visitors.

4. Data Breach: In this situation, an insider who has access to sensitive information of the organization, may sense a negative image of the entity in the minds of users and make that information public.

5. Doxing: This involves gathering sensitive information about a person or organization information, through methods like Social Engineering, and making it public.

Examples of some Hacktivist groups

1. Anonymous: Anonymous is a random group of hackers who come together to achieve various goals. It is not limited to any particular sector or type of right. The group operates on the dark web, which is not accessible to the public. The group is not limited to cybercrime either. They are also known for being active in fighting corruption and supporting freedom of expression.

2. LulzSec: Five members of the Anonymous group started LulzSec in 2011. The most significant attack of this group was on taking down the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s website (FBI) in 2011. 

3. WikiLeaks: This group was started by Julian Assange in 2006 to host the leaked documents The first documents released on their site were around 80,000 documents of the US war in Afghanistan in 2010 and were followed by another 4,00,000 documents of war in Iraq. 

Prevention from Hacktivism:

  • Investing in security software.
  • Regularly performing audits of the environment.
  • Making the staff and contractors aware of secure storage of data, managing them, and deletion.
  • Implementing policies in case of an attack.
  • Implementing multi-factor authentication on the systems.
  • Regularly updating the software.
  • Constantly monitoring the vulnerabilities of the system and resolving them.
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