A hacking group calling itself “KittenSec” claims it has struck authorities and personal sector laptop methods in a number of NATO nations over the previous month, justifying its assaults by arguing that it exposing corruption.
The assaults by KittenSec are the newest in a string of teams hacking authorities and personal targets world wide as a part of an general enhance in hacktivism. KittenSec claims its assaults are motivated by a need to show corruption, however their ideological stance is troublesome to articulate in any element, and lots of of their assaults appear motivated by an anything-goes mantra of breaking methods for the sake of breaking them.
“We’re principally concentrating on something we will see,” a consultant of the group instructed CyberScoop.”We don’t care how arduous it’s. We at all times handle to pwn something we see and wish. However principally due to corruption.”
On July 28, KittenSec claimed in a Telegram put up to have hacked a number of Romanian authorities methods and posted a file containing roughly 36 gigabytes of knowledge, together with emails, paperwork, contracts, and healthcare-related information. The group claimed to have scrubbed “any private information as a result of that’s out of our motives” and stated the Romanian breach represented “only the start” of their operations.
In subsequent weeks the group has adopted via, posting hyperlinks to information apparently stolen from targets in Greece, France, Chile, Panama, Italy after which France once more. CyberScoop has not examined every particular person information itemizing, however altogether, in response to the claims posted by the group, the information launched by the group pertains to greater than 13 million individuals.
KittenSec representatives instructed CyberScoop over a sequence of on-line messages that the group is new — though they acknowledged connections to different hacktivist teams, together with ThreatSec and GhostSec — and claimed that it’s composed of roughly a dozen members. The group has hit targets whose governments it perceives as corrupt, however KittenSec’s representatives stated they “don’t affiliate with any nation!”
Requested in early August why the group selected to focus on Romania, a KittenSec consultant stated, “Why not?” Romania, this particular person stated, “was a simple goal.” And since the group “needed to battle the corruption and the lies from the federal government,” KittenSec “determined to assault them.”
The group didn’t specify which “lies” motivated the assault, however added that Romania’s NATO membership “has nothing to do with this, nevertheless we plan on attacking many extra NATO nations sooner or later.”
The Romanian embassy in Washington, D.C., didn’t reply to a request for remark.
It’s price taking KittenSec’s claims with a grain of salt. “Within the ever-shifting menace panorama, hacktivist teams are redefining themselves, with their motives intertwined and agendas blurred,” stated Tom Hegel, a senior menace researcher at SentinelOne. “These teams at the moment are instruments within the palms of nation states, concealing their operations behind hacktivist facades.”
Teams like KittenSec, Hegel stated, search public notoriety, and whereas they search to attain change, “their influence usually falls quick” of their objectives — which in KittenSec’s case are troublesome to outline.
KittenSec’s assaults on Romania — which shares a border with Ukraine and has performed a key function in NATO’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine — increase questions on whether or not it is likely to be a Russian entrance group.
However KittenSec has stated it’s not motivated by the battle, and in contrast to many different Russian hacking teams, KittenSec’s messaging, whereas broadly anti-NATO, has not engaged with rhetoric extra particular to the battle in Ukraine. The assault on Romania, a consultant of the group stated, “has nothing to do with the struggle between Russia and Ukraine” and is in “retaliation in opposition to the nations of NATO for his or her assaults on human rights.”
And in contrast to another cybercriminal teams working on Russia’s behalf, KittenSec doesn’t look like making a lot cash off its assaults. The group claims it solely leaks information free of charge and has shared the deal with to a cryptocurrency pockets within the hopes of soliciting donations. “There isn’t any monetary motivation,” a consultant stated. “If there was we’d black mail them and preserve every thing hidden from the general public.”
KittenSec’s spate of latest assaults and their hyperlinks to different established hacking teams make them emblematic of an more and more numerous hacktivist panorama.
SiegedSec — one of many teams KittenSec says it’s linked to — lately claimed duty for an assault on a NATO info sharing platform and has carried out assaults on U.S. states in search of to restrict gender-affirming healthcare or abortion entry. A SiegedSec consultant beforehand instructed CyberScoop that its members “focus extra on the message than the cash,” that they think about themselves “extra blackhat than hacktivists” and that “cash shouldn’t be our principal aim, more often than not we simply wish to have enjoyable and destroy stuff.”