Apple, Fox News Targeted in Hacker Attacks
Tuesday, July 05, 2021 10:53 AM

Tech giant Apple was the latest victim of a security attack after one of its servers was broken into, and user details including passwords were posted on the net. Hacker group ‘AntiSec’ took responsibility and broke the news via their Twitter account yesterday.

AntiSec includes members from Anonymous and now disbanded Lulz Security. Both groups have featured prominently in the media in the recent past over other attacks carried out. Lulz Security has claimed responsibility for attacks on the  FBI, CIA, and U.K. law enforcement,  Brazilian government and Malaysian government websites. The attacks eventually led to the London Metropolitan Police in cooperation with the FBI arresting an alleged member of the group.

The Apple hack comes after a string of high-profile attacks at corporate websites and networks. Sony’s PlayStation Network was a recent target, which led to an outage and 77 million user accounts being compromised.

The attack on Apple targeted a server that the company uses to store technical support surveys. Twenty seven administrator and root user account details were stolen from the server and posted on a file-sharing website called Pastebin, along with a web link to the Apple server. The group played off the incident as a minor attack, and a Twitter posting from @AnonymousIRC read, “#Apple could be target, too. But don't worry, we are busy elsewhere”

Although this attack may not have done Apple too much harm, it highlights the vulnerability of other Apple servers that hold a wealth of user information such  as iTunes or iCloud user accounts. iTunes servers hold sensitive credit card information that allows users to make one click purchases and if compromised could lead to massive ramifications for Apple.

In a separate incident, Fox News’s Twitter account was hacked yesterday, and attackers posted a fake report of President Obama’s assassination. The hackers posted a string of tweets related to the assassination which was sent out to 38,000+ followers. The attack was claimed by ‘Script Kiddies’, another breakaway group from Anonymous. A member of the group stated Fox News was targeted “because we figured their security would be just as much of a joke as their reporting.”

The Secret Service, which is entrusted with the task of protecting the American president, is currently investigating the incident. Fox News will conduct its own probe into the matter. Fox News Digital Vice President Jeff Misenti said, “We will be requesting a detailed investigation from Twitter about how this occurred, and measures to prevent future unauthorized access.”

These recent attacks by cyber-activism groups aim to point out the vulnerabilities in security measures that are implemented by large organizations. Companies demand that users entrust their personal details and sensitive information in order to access and use their services, but these attacks point out that a far greater effort is required to ensure that this data is protected. Vigilante groups like Anonymous operate differently from black hat hackers who intrude and collect sensitive information for criminal activities such as theft.  Rather, attacks carried out by cyber activism groups are mostly for entertainment value at the expense of other organisations.