Categories: SecurityWorkspace

Ministry of Justice Hack Claimed By Lone ‘Security Consultant’

A hacker claiming to be a security consultant has taken responsibility for the hit on the Ministry of Justice website over the weekend.

The hacker, who contacted TechWeekEurope today,  goes by the Twitter handle of @On3iroi, and claims to be a supporter of Anonymous, but not part of the main group. On3iroi had issued a tweet at 10.26pm reading: “Target Down: Ministry of Justice.” The MoJ confirmed yesterday that disruption on the site started at 10.30pm.

The Anonymous Operations Twitter account, which has the handle @Anon_Central and was widely cited as a source for announcing attacks on UK Government sites over the Easter weekend, confirmed On3iroi was behind the attack on the MoJ. Separately, the Home Office and the Prime Minister’s websites were hit as part of widespread strikes.

DoS not DDoS

On3iroi said the attack was not a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) but a denial of service (DoS) hit. The site was taken down due to a common Apache vulnerability, the hacker said. “At 370 threads, rotating thru tor [the anonymity network], the site became unreachable for two hours,” a Twitter message read. The MoJ said the disruption only lasted for 30 minutes.

At the time of publication, the MoJ had not confirmed or denied whether the details of the hack were accurate.

On3iroi is a security consultant currently studying to attain a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) accreditation, he (or she) told TechWeekEurope. The hacker also claimed to be a “lone wolf” and not part of Anonymous, but supported some of its aims. “I’m not always in support of Anon, but do offer aid if I agree with an operation,” On3iroi said.

“Outside of that, I down Jihadist websites, other hacker group sites (LulzSec, etc) and spammers.

“Not all are limited to denial of service, however. Database breaching, SQLi [SQL injection] & ftp-related hacks are not displayed here unless it is relevant to the operation and no one is in any type of physical danger or monetary loss.”

As for their motivation, the hacker said they supported Anonymous’ calls for altered extradition laws. The government has faced criticism for handing over too many suspects to the US, including Richard O’Dwyer,  a British student accused of copyright infringement across the pond.

This would not be the first time a security worker has been involved in hacktivism. When the FBI issued warrants for people it suspected of being involved in LulzSec in March, it emerged one of them was working for a non-profit in Ireland dedicated to making websites more secure.

Anonymous has been hammering government websites across the globe. Its latest attacks were on the UK and China.

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Thomas Brewster

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

View Comments

  • Interesting that the "lone Wolf" is studying to be a Certified Ethical Hacker and considers themselves a security consultant. So it sounds like they actually consider themselves a security professional of sorts.

    Maybe one day the penny will drop that they have actually broken the law, attacked Government infrastructure and violated everything that the white hat Ethical hacker stands for.

    At the very least, if exposed (and I hope they are as good a 'hacker' as they think they are or they will be), they will be unemployable in infosec circles forever more.

    Respectable business has no need for criminals to represent their organisations when there are plenty of trustworthy and skilled consultants out there, of which the UK already has top talent. On3iroi will probably do a decent stretch so will be lucky if they can get a career flipping burgers when they get out of prison.

    There are ways to get respect and recognition as a top notch security expert, and DoS'ing a government webserver is definitly not one of them!

    I think On3iroi will live to regret this silly move.

  • "Anonymous" may once have been a homogenous band of high-minded hacktivist heroes working selflessly for the greater good. But sadly, that ship has sailed.


    "Anonymous" has been occupied. And no longer just by web warriors laying waste to websites of the wicked, computer wizards worming their way into the iPhones of "Internet Security" frauds, or digital do-gooders doxing Congressional dolts and other corporate-controlled degenerates.

    Like Al Qaeda, Anonymous is no longer a band. Like Al Qaeda, Anonymous is now just a brand. Like Al Qaeda, Anonymous is the boogeyman. What "Al Qaida Terrorism" did for the corporate cartel controlling America's Military Industrial Complex, "Anonymous Hacktivism" will do for that same corporate cartel's Terrorism Industrial Complex, the vastness and taxpayer cost of which - if ever disclosed - would certainly defy comprehension:

    And like "Al Qaida Terrorist", "Anonymous Hacktivist" is well on its way to becoming synonymous with "stateless enemy", a label we've seen loosely and liberally applied to any and all willing to fight back against the global corporate fascist perpetual war-for-profit machine when it illegally crosses sovereign borders to immorally massacre millions of their innocent wives and mothers, sisters and brothers, and others whose only crime was refusing to become another corporate fascist puppet by compromising their principles in exchange for power or personal gain. And once that label is applied, given AUMF 2001 and now NDAA 2012, the fascist puppet regime in Washington DC can use whatever measures it deems necessary to make the troublemaker disappear - including arresting and detaining indefinitely without charge or trial an unarmed American citizen on American soil:

    Also sobering is the ease with which sovereign governments, corporate conglomerates and the global elite who control them can now conduct false flag cyber-ops to advance their agendas and blame them on the brave band of brothers and sisters behind all those virtual Fawkesian masks. Consider, for example: When the FBI penetrated Lulz Security, was their aim merely to probe the hackers, or to impact their agenda? Were all of the federal websites hit in recent weeks hacked by democracy-minded dissidents, or were some of them targeted by Shangdong saboteurs from one of China's six TRBs (technical reconnaissance bureaus)? And what was the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) recruiting hackers for, if not to hack?

    Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer for Finnish online security company F-Secure, answers with this:

    "Anonymous is like an amoeba, it's got too many different operations run by truly different people which might not share a single person with another operation, but they use the same branding - they are part of the Anonymous brand, just like al-Qaida. Its just a brand nowadays, nothing else. It's run the same, so that, like al-Qaida, anyone can credit an attack to Anonymous and no one's there to say otherwise."

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