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Cyberattacks on SUEPO Server Raise More Questions

World Cyber Games 2004



Summary: Several sites that are critical of the EPO's management seem to have become prominent targets of 'script kiddies'

Cyberattacks are a tricky thing to tackle. Systems analysis is hard because of the topology of the Internet (hopping possible, no fixed addresses, etc.) and administrations know the absolute limitations because other than pattern spotting not much can be done, especially when it comes to spotting the source of such attacks in a world full of zombies, botnets, and other consequences of back doors in Internet-connected proprietary software.



Last year our multi-layer servers infrastructure came under attacks which targeted both Tux Machines and Techrights. It started around the same time we published the EPO revelations, so when the webhost asked me if I could think of anyone who had the motivation to attack I said that I could think of nothing except the EPO series (although I was very hesitant to assume the EPO would resort to such attacks). These attacks lasted several months, often coinciding or intensifying with our release of EPO-related documents. Tux Machines does not have enemies because it mostly syndicates news.

"Maybe all these attacks are just a mere coincidence without correlation, but the fact remain that many critics of The EPO’s Vice-President Željko Topić suffer one way or another."Several months went by and another Web site critical of the EPO (especially the Vice-President, Željko Topić) said it had been cracked. Weeks later we learned that another such site, also critical of the EPO's Vice-President, feared retribution and decided to delete documents relating to the EPO Vice-President (knowing that he not only berates but also bullies his critics using lawsuits and apparent requests for removal/apology). Last week we learned that SUEPO, which is the staff union of the EPO (known for criticism of the EPO's notorious Vice-President), had been "cracked" based on some sources. That claim may not have been accurate because based on the following text, which appeared yesterday on the SUEPO Web site, it was a DDOS attack combined with/related to brute-force cracking attempts. "We don't have any more details beyond this," told us the source who passed us the following text (statement from SUEPO):

"The SUEPO websites were unreachable on Thursday 5 February 2015 because of a cyber attack (of the Denial of Service type). The attackers also attempted an SSH brute-force attack to take control of the server. Such attacks constitute a violation of law and SUEPO has filed criminal charges against unknown and will cooperate with the German and Dutch authorities, who are now investigating the matter."

Some comments (scroll down) in IPKat say that many of the offending addresses are in Belgium, but many are also in east Asia.

On Sunday we published an important batch of documents about the EPO's notorious Vice-President, whereupon over 50,000 cracking/login attempts were made in just 15 hours, bringing the site down for periods of time. This is not normal. Remember that when the EPO's management does not waste money 'planting' articles in the media and bullying staff it is paying a Stasi-like unit to conduct surveillance on staff. Such units have no ethics whatsoever, so consider what they're after (e.g. harvesting of IP addresses).

Maybe all these attacks are just a mere coincidence without correlation, but the fact remain that many critics of The EPO’s Vice-President Željko Topić suffer one way or another. We are not going to be intimidated by legal threats or technical sabotage and as a result of these recent events we are encouraged to actually speed up release of incriminating/damaging documents, irrespective of who's behind these attacks.

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