CIA website brought down – were Anonymous attackers responsible?

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

The CIA’s website was brought down for some hours last night by what appears to have been an internet distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.

A post made from an Anonymous-affiliated Twitter account announced that the site had been attacked using the phrase “CIA Tango Down”, although a later tweet left ambiguity as to whether the hacktivists were claiming responsibility for the attack.

Of course, this is one of the challenges when trying to get a sense of what actions can be attributed to Anonymous or not.

Anonymous doesn’t have members, isn’t a group in a conventional sense, and has arguably no official channels of communication. Without a defined hierarchy, anyone can claim to represent Anonymous if they wish, which means that even Anonymous itself can’t actually claim that they did or did not launch an attack.

It’s more a case of individuals bandying together to launch attacks, some of which they may choose to launch under the Anonymous banner even if it isn’t…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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