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Hacktivism against states grows after the annulment of Roe v. Wade

Hacktivism against states grows after the annulment of Roe v.  Wade
Written by ga_dahmani
Hacktivism against states grows after the annulment of Roe v.  Wade

State and local governments must prepare for and respond to a new round of cyberattacks from groups claiming to be protesting the overturning of Roe v. Wade of the Supreme Court last Friday.

June 27, 2022 •

dan lohrman

DevOps Connection: DevSecOps @ RSAC 2022

Activists at the Los Angeles protest leaked Supreme Court documents that would overturn Roe v. Wade in May 2022. The court ruled on the issue in June.

Shutterstock/Matt Gush

As both protests Y accelerated celebrations over the weekend in cities across the country after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, June 24, heated debates also arose on social media and numerous websites and other outlets.

But not all of the activity was peaceful or legal, both offline and online. Consider this LinkedIn report by Michael McLaughlin, a trusted cyber intelligence leader who i have interviewed in the past:

A ransomware group has breached US anti-abortion state governments to foment unrest in a possible new front in Russia’s misaligned influence campaign. SiegedSec, a ransomware group that burst onto the scene days before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has made rapid progress in lethality as the volume of victims from the announced group has increased in recent months.

Today, SiegedSec announced on its public Telegram dashboard that it has breached the state government servers of Arkansas and Kentucky in response to the US Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade: “Time for some H4CKTIVISM!”

Like many, we are also in favor of abortion, you should not be denied access to abortion. As additional pressure on the US government, we have leaked many internal documents and files retrieved from the Kentucky and Arkansas government server. These documents have a lot of employee PII and much more.

“THE ATTACKS WILL CONTINUE! Our primary targets are any pro-life entity, including government servants in states with anti-abortion laws.”

ANALYSIS OF CYBER ATTACKS

At the time of this blog writing (Sunday afternoon June 26), there has been no public verification of these cyberattacks by Kentucky or Arkansas state government officials. However, given the reliable sources of this information from the intelligence community, I have no doubt that these pronouncements are real. The extent of the data breaches remains to be seen, but I expect more cyberattacks to materialize in the coming days and weeks.

You can learn more about this situation by reading DarkOwl’s featured article on SiegedSec here: https://lnkd.in/gFdfjpgB

MORE BACKGROUND ON THIS TOPIC OF HACKTIVISM

No, this is not the first time something like this has happened with regards to hacktivism, abortion rights and state governments. Last October, Rolling Stone magazine
Here is an excerpt:

For several hours on September 11, 2021, just over a week after the most restrictive abortion the ban came into force in the country: the Texas The GOP website was packed with an army of lovable amphibian Pokémon. Scroll a little further down the home page and you’ll find a Rick Astley music video, a mission statement attributed to the “Fuck Women Republican Party,” and a joke about US Senator Ted Cruz as the Zodiac Killer.

A button at the top encouraging visitors to “Join Operation Jane” redirected to Twitter, where a splinter group from the hacktivist collective Anonymous was documenting guerrilla efforts to roll back Texas’ six-week abortion ban. (Before targeting the Texas Republican Party, for example, the group encouraged its supporters to flood ProlifeWhistleblower.com, a site designed for users to anonymously report abortion providers who violate SB 8, with bogus advice and Shrek porn).

Other related articles include East of political earlier this month: “‘Block It Right Now’: Abortion Rights Advocates Brace for New Wave of Digital Security Threats”. Here is an exception:

Abortion-rights groups are using privacy-protecting software and honing other strategies to combat digital threats that they expect will worsen in the postwar period.Roe world. …

The question is whether the tools and strategies that abortion-rights groups have developed will be enough for what advocates and cybersecurity specialists say is likely to become a more sophisticated and widespread surveillance operation in states that restrict abortion if the Supreme Court overrules Roe, as a draft opinion obtained by POLITICO indicates that you plan to do so.

Abortion rights groups have for years clashed with anti-abortion activists who shut down their websites, stole provider and patient information, and used phone location data to advertise anti-abortion materials to people who visit family planning clinics. Prosecutors have also relied on online searches and patient data to report abortion-related arrests.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I want to echo Michael McLaughlin’s thoughts that regardless of where you stand on the recent Supreme Court decision, we need to be vigilant and aware of foreign influence operations trying to hijack this moment and further divide us as a nation. Before liking a post, sharing content, or commenting, ask yourself if the source is verifiable or a troll looking to sow division.

Also, beware of attempts to trick you. The misinformation and false claims, which are rampant online right now, come from enemies abroad who want to tear our country apart.

We must learn from the mistakes of recent years, which are full of fake news. State and local governments must take action to protect our networks, systems, and most of all, our people from further cyberattacks. East CISA Shields Up website can also help.

cyber securitystate government

dan lohrman

Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist, keynote speaker, and author.

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*** This is a syndicated Security Bloggers Network blog from Lohrmann on cybersecurity written by Lohrmann on Cybersecurity. Read the original post at: https://www.govtech.com/blogs/lohrmann-on-cybersecurity/hacktivism-against-states-grows-after-overturn-of-roe-v-wade

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