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GCHQ reportedly infiltrated and attacked hacktivist groups

Lucian Constantin | Feb. 6, 2014
Leaked documents suggest the agency used denial-of-service tactics and assisted law enforcement in identifying Anonymous members.

The GCHQ slides also mention an operation code-named Rolling Thunder that disrupted an Anonymous IRC server by using denial-of-service techniques. One chat between Anonymous supporters included in the slides suggest the server was hit by a SYN flood — a type of denial-of-service attack involving a flood of SYN requests — which resulted in downtime of over 30 hours.

JTRIG agents also sent messages that read "DDOS and hacking is illegal, please cease and desist" to Anonymous supporters via Facebook, Twitter, email, Skype and other instant messaging applications, NBC News reported, citing a slide that is not among those published. The outcome of this type of activity, which GCHQ calls "information operations," was that 80 percent of those messaged did not show up in Anonymous' IRC channel one month later.

 

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