Also known as Skywiper and Flamer, Flame is a modular computer malware that was discovered in 2012 as a virus used to attacks computer systems in Middle Eastern countries that run on Microsoft Windows as their operating system. Used by hackers for espionage purposes, it infected other systems over a local network (LAN) or USB stick including over 1,000 machines from private individuals, educational institutions, and government organizations. It also recorded audio, including Skype conversation, keyboard activity, screenshots, and network traffic. It was discovered on May 28, 2012 by the MAHER Center of Iranian National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), the CrySys Lab and Kaspersky Lab.
July 2009 Cyber Attacks
These were a series of coordinated attacks against major government, financial websites and news agencies of both the United States and South Korea involving the activation of botnet. This involved a number of hijacked computers that caused servers to overload due to the flooding of traffic called DDoS attack. The numbers of hijacked computers varied depending on the sources and include 50,000 from the Symantec’s Security Technology Response Group, 20,000 from the National Intelligence Service of South Korea, and more than 166,000 from Vietnamese computer security researchers as they analyzed the two servers used by the invaders.
Canadian Government Hacking
The Canadian government has revealed in news sources that they became a victim of cyber attacks in February 2011 from foreign hackers with IP addresses from China. These hackers were able to infiltrate three departments within the Canadian government and transmitted classified information back to themselves. Canada eventually cut off the internet access of the three departments in order to cut off the transmission towards China.
Paypal became a victim of cyber attack in December 2010 after it permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks to raise fund, citing their violation of the Acceptable Use of Policy as their reason. However, it did not only result in multiple boycotts from individual users but also caused hackers to move in.
The biggest protest movement against the Church of Scientology was conducted by Anonymous, a leaderless group of internet-based hacktivist that originated from 4chan. The Project Chanology originated from the church’s attempt to remove the material from the highly-publicized interview of Tom Cruise, a prominent member of the church, in the internet in January 2008. It started with a YouTube “Message to Scientology” on January 21, 2008 and was followed by distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS), prank calls, black faxes and other methods due to their views of internet censorship implemented by Scientology.