An English-language image board website used for posting pictures and discussion of the Japanese manga and anime, 4chan was launched on October 1, 2003 by a bored 15-year-old student from New York City named Christopher Poole. Since users of the website can post anonymously, experts believed that its users were able to pull off the highest collective actions in the history of the internet. One of their victims includes Hal Turner, who was raided with DDoS attacks and prank calling in his radio show from December 2006 to 2007. Later that year, the private Yahoo!Mail account of Sarah Palin, who was running as a Republican vice presidential candidate in the 2008 US presidential election, was hacked by a 4chan user, resulting in criticisms in using private email accounts for government work.
Despite the country reputation for being an IT and software powerhouse, India has reported 13,301 cyber security breaches in 2011. However, the biggest cyber attack that the country has faced occurred on July 12, 2012 where hackers penetrated the email accounts of 12,000 people, which include high officials from Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Ministry of External Affairs.
Iran was subjected to cyber attacks on June 2010 when its nuclear facility in Natanz was infected by Stuxnet, a cyber worm that was believed to be a combined effort of Israel and the United States, though no one claimed responsibility for its inception. The worm destroyed Tehran’s 1000 nuclear centrifuges and set back the country’s atomic program by at least two years, as it spread beyond the plant and infected over 60,000 computers as well. The Iranian government was also accused of its own cyber attacks to the United States, Israel and other countries in the Gulf Arabs, including their alleged involvement in the hacking of American banks in 2012.
A coordinated cyber attack by anti-Israel groups and individuals, #opiIsrael is a DDoS assault that was timed for April 7, 2012, the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day with the aim of erasing Israel from the internet. Websites targeted by these hactivists include financial and business sectors, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, newspapers, and privately-owned businesses in Israel.
Yahoo was also subjected to cyber attacks that originated from China in an action called ‘Operation Aurora.’ This operation was conducted by the Elderwood Group, which was based in Beijing and has ties with the People’s Liberation Army, using advanced persistent threats that began in mid-2009 to December 2009. This was disclosed in a blog posted by Google on January 12, 2010 and has been aimed at a number of organizations besides Yahoo, which also include Rackspace, Juniper Networks and Adobe Systems to gain access and modify their source code repositories.