British intelligence used DDoS tactics against Anonymous, Snowden documents show

Gigaom

The British spy agency GCHQ secretly waged war against the hacker collective Anonymous a few years ago, according to documents taken from the NSA by Edward Snowden and revealed late Tuesday by NBC. At the time, certain members of Anonymous were themselves waging war against British government institutions and various companies.

Judging by a presentation (PDF) put together by GCHQ itself for a 2012 conference, a previously undisclosed unit called the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) launched distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against Anonymous chat rooms and used messaging services such as Facebook(s fb) and Skype(s msft) to individually address and scare off the chatrooms’ users. JTRIG agents also infiltrated the chatrooms in order to gather evidence against certain hacktivists who were subsequently imprisoned.

Although it was a turbulent time for online attacks, many if not most of those affected by JTRIG’s “Rolling Thunder” program would have been guilty…

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