Hacktivism is an umbrella term for political and social activists who utilize computer technology to make a statement or draw attention to an issue they believe in.
State and local governments have seen an uptick in hacktivist attacks over the last several years. These cyber assaults can disrupt business operations for short periods, including revenue collection and driver's license renewals.
What is Hacktivism?
Hacktivism is a type of social activism that utilizes computer technology to make an ethical or unethical statement. The goals and methods employed by the activist will determine its legitimacy.
Hacktivism can be employed for various purposes, such as protests and sit-ins. However, it's more about disruption than disobedience because hackers typically break into secured computer systems to access personal information or influence people or organizations' behavior.
Activists use hacking techniques to achieve their objectives, whether motivated by religious, political, social, or anarchist reasons. These goals may range from disclosing sensitive information to altering societal perceptions.
Who Do Hacktivists Target?
Hacktivists frequently target public figures, government agencies, or other groups they don't agree with. They may aim to send a message or effect change - often at the expense of profit motives.
These hackers use DDoS attacks to disrupt websites and services. Sometimes they steal sensitive or embarrassing information about political adversaries and post it online - this practice is known as doxing.
Hacktivism comes in many forms, but all share one common objective: To draw attention to a cause or issue that matters to them. This could include social justice issues, government censorship, or religious perspectives.
In 2010, WikiLeaks published a large number of classified military documents. These records included intelligence on airstrikes that harmed civilians. Their goal was to promote transparency and access to information.
WikiLeaks may be the most well-known hacktivist group, but they're far from alone. Several other groups have also gained notoriety and are now famous worldwide.
In 2008, Anonymous targeted the Church of Scientology with a video manifesto calling them to cease engaging in Internet censorship.
Some of the most renowned hacktivist organizations are Anonymous and GhostSec, known for their daring attacks against government institutions and companies. Furthermore, these groups have gained notoriety through their involvement with WikiLeaks, which has garnered much media coverage.
Common Forms Of Hacktivism
Hacktivism is the use of computer technology to further social or political causes. It can encompass a range of methods and objectives, though most hacktivists focus on corporate or government targets.
Hacktivism is a worldwide practice, with thousands of individuals worldwide engaging in it for various reasons. Some seek respect from other hackers, money, or fame, while others take action due to political or religious convictions.
Hacktivism is often manifested as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, which overwhelm a targeted website with so much traffic that it temporarily ceases operations. Other techniques used for hacktivism include data theft, website defacement, and taking over social media accounts.
Hacktivists frequently utilize RECAP, which permits individuals to view documents that would otherwise require payment to read. It serves as a method of furthering the freedom-of-information movement and eliminating an obstacle many believe should never exist in the first place.
One tactic that activists, whistleblowers, and journalists use is anonymous blogging. This tactic allows them to express their opinion without revealing their real names, which protects them from prosecution and provides for an objective approach when speaking out on an issue.
Hacktivists also utilize the geolocation feature of YouTube videos to display where political prisoners or human rights activists are held, known as "geo-bombing." This relatively new technique often serves to advance a hacktivist's message further.
Other forms of hacktivism involve doxing, which consists in gathering sensitive information about an individual or group and making it public. They may also use bots - programs running on computers that send messages to the Internet.
How to Prevent Hacktivist Attacks?
Hacktivists utilize cyber-attacks to further their cause, whether political, social, or religious. To spread their message, they employ tactics such as doxing and DDoS attacks; additionally, they utilize social media and other online channels to share their news with the public.
These types of attacks can cause significant destruction to an organization, so it's essential to take preventive measures against them. The first step in protecting against hacktivists is understanding their intentions and tactics.
Another step is educating infrastructure users on cybersecurity best practices. This involves ensuring all systems are secured and using safe log-in credentials to access them. Furthermore, installing security software that can prevent threats from entering the system in the first place will help ensure a more secure system overall.
Businesses should conduct vulnerability assessments on their network infrastructure to detect potential flaws that cybercriminals could exploit. Conducting such audits helps reduce the risk of cyberattacks since they give cybersecurity professionals a chance to see and address issues before they cause harm to an organization.
Additionally, businesses should implement multifactor authentication systems to bolster the security of their login credentials. Doing so can reduce the chances of phishing attacks - a popular means hackers gain access to sensitive information. Finally, companies should develop and implement an incident response plan to be ready for any cyber-attacks that arise.