05 Aug 2011

Homeland Security says Anonymous hackers not very sophisticated

In a recent cyber security bulletin, The U.S. Department of Homeland Security called the high-profile hacker group Anonymous a collective of “script kiddies” that does not possess the technical capability to thwart computer security systems and cause serious harm.

While Anonymous has achieved notoriety for hacking high-profile targets like Amazon and PayPal, DHS characterized its intrusion methods as “rudimentary” exploits typical of “script kiddies,” who use already-developed scripts and programs to bypass computer security protocols. DHS warned that Anonymous has identified the critical infrastructure/key resource sector as a target, but said the group has not shown it has the prowess to cause damage beyond harassing targets and defacing websites.

DHS said LulzSec, a hacker group associated with Anonymous, combines intrusion methods to compromise multiple networks, executing more complex and creative hacks. However, DHS indicated the media has focused attention on the two groups primarily because they are good at promoting their exploits via social media websites, not because their hacks have been especially damaging.

Earlier this summer, Anonymous and LulzSec announced a joint campaign against government and corporate websites called AntiSec. As part of this campaign, the groups recently hacked the websites of more than 70 U.S. law enforcement agencies.