The term Hactivist is quite the buzz word lately, with
everything from groups promoting social change to comic books and radio
stations dedicated to this trendy word, people are beginning to lose sight of
the dangers behind these activities.
defines hactivism as “the practice of gaining unauthorized access to a computer
system and carrying out various disruptive actions as a means of achieving or
With groups out there like Anonymous, touting thousands of
followers who are claiming to pursue and combat political and social
injustices, it’s important to understand the difference between activism and
hacking – with the hactivism trend that line is becoming more and more blurred.
What organizations and agencies need to remember is that a
hack is a hack is a hack. The fact that hacking has become the trendy thing to
know/do has created a serious security problem. Unlike even just a few years
ago, hackers no longer need to be IT experts in order to execute their
breaches. All someone needs to know is some basic computer skills and have the
ability to watch a few online videos that will help with the rest. With this
capability now in the hands of everyone who wants it, for whatever means they
deem “important”, it’s vital that organizations, both small and large,
understand how to protect their sensitive corporate and customer data.
In February 2012* the group Anonymous, in an attempt to
expose alleged corporate misconduct, hacked the Strategic Forecasting system
and leaked some 5 million emails. Included in these emails were some 60,000
credit card numbers and the personal information of roughly 860,000 customers.
This hack was not just embarrassing for the organization; it
was harmful to their customers and put a lot of people at risk.
Antivirus and anti-malware programs alone are not going to
stop these Advanced Persistent Threats and highly-targeted cyber attacks.
Organizations need to consider more advanced measures of protection, like
whitelisting reinforced with managed administrative privileges and file origin
tracking in order to lock-down and continuously monitor their environments
against both internal and external threats.
If you have a few minutes, take a look at this Webinar with Viewfinity CEO, Leonid Shitlman and featured Gartner
Analyst Neil MacDonald: "Application
Control Gains Adoption By Providing Tighter Control Against Advanced Persistent