In a slightly embarrassing event, WikiLeaks, a company which prides itself on technical competency, has apparently lost control of its own website to a notorious hacker group called OurMine. The attack saw visitors to WikiLeaks.org redirected to a page created by OurMine, which claimed that the attack was a response to a challenge from the organization to hack them.
The Verge says that the homepage of the WikiLeaks website was replaced with a message that read:
“Hi, it’s OurMine (Security Group), don’t worry we are just testing your . . . . blablablab, oh wait, this is not a security test! Wikileaks, remember when you challenged us to hack you?
Anonymous, remember when you tried to dox us with fake information for attacking wikileaks [sic]?” the message continues. “There we go! One group beat you all! #WikileaksHack lets get it trending on twitter [sic]!”
At the time of writing the story, the website was revived again. Though it’s a big deal that WikiLeaks’ website was compromised, it was apparently a low-tech affair, which The Guardian explains as “the digital equivalent of spray-painting graffiti on the front of a bank then claiming to have breached its security.” ALSO READ: Apple denies WikiLeaks’ claim of CIA hacking its products
Reportedly, the OurMine group carried out an attack known as “DNS poisoning”, in which rather than attacking WikiLeaks’ servers directly, they convinced one or more DNS servers that are responsible for turning the human-readable “wikileaks.org” web address into a machine-readable string of numbers that tells a computer where to connect and alter their records. For a brief period, those DNS servers told browsers that wikileaks.org was actually located on a server controlled by OurMine.
Interestingly, this is the third time OurMine has gone after WikiLeaks, after twice launching a DDoS attack against the organization, in December 2015 and July 2016. OurMine is the same group of hackers who hacked into HBO and Game of Thrones social media accounts earlier this month, they hacked Pokémon Go servers last year in July, the ones who hacked into Mark Zuckerberg’s Pinterest account, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s Quora account. Earlier this year, OurMine also hacked into Indian low-cost airline IndiGo’s Twitter account. ALSO READ: Julian Assange offers job to fired Google employee; says ‘Censorship is for losers’