Ecuadorian Government Websites Hacked and Taken Offline Over Julian Assange Arrest

The Central bank of Ecuador, Ministry of Interior, Ecuadorian Assembly in UK and the Government of Ecuador’s websites were all knocked offline on Friday evening in response to the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

At least one Ecuadorian government subdomain was also hijacked with a photo of Assange and a quote from the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize nominated publisher.

The hacktivists additionally dropped what is said to be an Ecuadorian Naval database containing what appears to be usernames and passwords. The hackers, who called themselves “AL1NE3737,” wrote a paragraph about the importance of privacy in Indonesian. WikiLeaks have been champions of privacy for the people and transparency for governments.

InfoSec expert Jacob Riggs also tweeted that he found what appears to be a database containing the full names and passwords for 728 Ecuadorian government employees.

 

“I believe I’ve just found another database dropped with the full names and bcrypt hashed passwords for what appear to be 728 Ecuadorian gov employees alongside 5 admin credentials, one password of which is MD5 hashed (lol). Not sure exactly where these were sourced from yet,” Riggs tweeted.

The cyber attack was reminiscent of 2010’s “Operation Avenge Assange” which was launched by the broader “Operation Payback” effort. The movement lead to hacktivists hitting companies such as PayPal, PostFinance, Mastercard, Visa, and others who had blocked services to WikiLeaks with a distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack. This is when a website is flooded with fake traffic until it crashes and goes offline.

It was estimated that roughly 10,000 people participated in the DDOS attack, but 14 protesters were raided and indicted.

Anonymous hackers had also threatened to disrupt British government websites if Assange were extradited to Sweden for a filmsy sexual assault investigation that was later dropped.


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