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Jakarta Post

Ops, hacks and zombie armies

  • Novia D. Rulistia

    The Jakarta Post

Surabaya, Jakarta   /   Sun, May 25, 2014   /  10:29 am
Ops, hacks and zombie armies

Instead, they are greeted by a tinny version of the folk dangdut song '€œBang Jali'€ by Lynda MoyMoy and a message from the GantengersCrew from Indonesia that says '€œSultanHaikal Hacked you!'€

The hack is one of many that originated locally.

A report from US security firm Akamai said that Indonesia was the fourth major source of cyber attacks in 2013, coming in behind China, the US and Canada.

In total, Indonesian hackers accounted for 5.7 percent of all attacks last year.

Gangtengers, for example, also defaced the web page of The Red Cross in Thailand on Friday after the coup, according to a list of hacks posted to zone-h.com.

One does not have to be a scientist to hack into a computer system, as they can easily use the Internet to find out how to do it.

'€œHacking is very easy to start. Many high school students are hackers and lots of them are famous,'€ said Yasser Hadiputra, the CEO of CISO, a digital information security magazine. '€œThey still need to learn the knowledge first, but then they can do it by themselves.'€

'€œThe software to launch the attack is also available for free to download,'€ Yasser added.

Another hacker, Feri from Pontianak, West Kalimantan, said that he learned a lot from the Internet.

He became curious about hacking in 2010, when he came across many defaced websites '€” one of the more simple hacks. He started researching how it was done, eventually joining a local hacking forum.

Feri read through messages on the online bulletin board before finding a mentor who taught him the basics of systems administration.

'€œIt took about a year for me to understand everything about attacking a system,'€ Feri said. '€œI prefer to do attacks manually without using tools or software.'€

Feri claimed that he started off defacing some websites before hacking into some systems '€” including his university'€™s network. '€œI could change my grades when I hacked into it, but I chose not to. I told the staff that their security system could be easily breached.'€

He then graduated into taking part in #Ops '€” coordinated campaigns, usually initiated by members of the global hacker collective Anonymous, to support a political agenda.

Feri, for example, said he was part of #OpsMalaysia, which targeted Malaysian government websites after the Ambalat spat in 2011, and #OpsAustralia, which defaced the websites of Australian intelligence agencies in 2013.

'€œI did it because of my patriotism '€” to show them not to underestimate my country,'€ Feri said.

For those operations, he used a '€œzombie army'€ strategy, remotely controlling several Internet-connected computers without the knowledge of their owners.

As he developed attack experience, Feri said that he realized that it was important to learn about defense to stop others from breaching his system.

He learned about defending from the forum, and decided to do it manually.

Meanwhile, hacker Eko from Jakarta got his start online, gathering all the information he needed to crack computer systems from a forum.

'€œIn security, there'€™s always a door that can be entered even if it'€™s carefully closed,'€ he said.

Along the way, Eko said that he found designing computer defense systems more challenging, as he needed to get into the minds of his target systems administrators.

'€œI like defending better. I also make defense simulations for fun, but some of my designs have been used for several companies'€™ security systems,'€ Eko, who works for an IT security company, said.

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