#BLM Targeted By Racist Cyber Attacks

Civil liberties organisations are being  targeted by alt-right activists as protests over the death of George Floyd at the hands at the hands of Minneapolis police officers have spread across the US

Organisations advocating for racial justice and civil liberties are coming under frequent and sustained cyber attack by undisclosed groups of trolls, cyber criminals and other threat actors. Protests groups such as Black Lives Matter (BLM), have been the target o DDoS attacks with thousands of zombie machines to knock their websites offline. 

A DDoS attack is designed to take its target offline by bombarding its server, website or other network resource with connection requests or malformed packets, forcing it to slow down or crash altogether, thereby denying service to legitimate users.

Security experts at Deflect Labs  can trace much of the malicious traffic back to botnets and malicious scripts run by the Ghost Squad hacking collective, who very publicly denounced Black Lives Matter. But Deflect has written that their efforts were largely futile.  

Cloudflare are reported to have seen increasing levels of cyber attacks against many organisations fighting racism, numbering in the tens of billions, compared with previous times. It has a number of such public interest groups on its books, and supports those that may be at risk of cyber attack but not necessarily able to afford full-service cyber security protection through its Project Galileo service, which was set up in 2014 in the face of a trend of disproportionate attacks against those advocating for marginalised groups, political dissidents, artistic groups and humanitarian organisations.

Cloudflare did not identify any specific groups that might be attacking advocacy organisations, but some of the attacks will very likely have been organised by small-time internet trolls with links to the far right. It is also possible that some of the activity could have been orchestrated by nation state-backed threat actors in China or Russia seeking an opportunity to destabilise the US still further.

Advocacy groups promoting the Black Lives Matter message weren’t the only recipients of DDoS attacks during the period. Cloudflare said it also recorded a 1.8-times increase in attacks on government sites and a 3.8-times increase in malicious traffic targeting military sites during the same period.

Vice:      Computer Weekly:       Information Security Buzz:   Forbes:       Infosecurity Magazine

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