back to article Anonymous claims Parliament Wi-Fi hack during London protest

Anonymous hacktivists have claimed they used laptops to launch cyber attacks against the British government whilst attending a protest in Parliament Square last week, The Register has learned. The group claimed that over 1,000 masked protesters had gathered in the centre of London last week as part of a worldwide event called …

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Silver badge

Ahh. Translations needed

"For obvious reasons Parliament does not comment on the measures we take to ensure the security of our network." ®

equates to: I'm sorry, that's all that's written on my sheet. I really don't have a clue...

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Facepalm

Re: Ahh. Translations needed

Or perhaps "The sound you hear is stable doors being slammed and locked too late..."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ahh. Translations needed

I can't say that I've ever worked anywhere that comments about measures they take to secure their networks, for obvious and legitimate reasons. Why should this comment from Parliament elicit accusations of not having a clue?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ahh. Translations needed

I can't say that I've ever worked anywhere that comments about measures they take to secure their networks, for obvious and legitimate reasons. Why should this comment from Parliament elicit accusations of not having a clue?

Because that's easier then engaging braincells? If I was securing such a place (and I actually have, but that's a while back) I'd plan a couple of fakes, with some traffic that looks legitimate - a bit like when you establish a hidden Truecrypt volume. Most people I know who insist on calling themselves hackers instead of the script kiddies they are will immediately crow victory once they get into one of the fakes, and will seek no further. This leaves me in the comfortable position that I can point out to those in the know that riding out the bad press is a much better option than hinting at an incomplete exercise.

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Facepalm

oh dear

And yet again Anonymous makes any kind of rational work in this area impossible, by making loud, brash, statements that they think gets them press. Sure it does, while also fostering and nurturing the very misunderstandings and fears that have been at the root of EVERY policy decision Anonymous claims to hate.

is it 'doing it for the lulz', or is it 'doing it so we always have something to whine about', or is it 'doing it because we're paid to provide a pretext and these muppets will go along with anything that sounds revolution-y'?

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Rubbish

Sorry I call 'BOLLOCKS' on that one - I really doubt that any of the internal networks would be accessible via the Houses of Parliaments OWN public WI-FI and I really really doubt that the signal was good enough to be accessed outside the building. They took over iPads and Dell computers?? Bollocks, rubbish put out to try and get their names in the press. Where was the story at the time? There wasn't one, because there isn't one.

Oh hang on I forgot their crowning achievement - their "Eastern European brothers" managed to "slow down" Parliaments website for a day. How close we came to complete annihilation is still unclear…

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Silver badge

Re: Rubbish

I don't know. While I have zero trust or belief in Anonymous, I also have zero trust or belief that large, important public organizations are somehow 'better' at security. Contrary to popular belief, government employees and contractors are Human (except for the Lizard People) and make the same basic mistakes everybody else is capable of.

From laying siege to a castle to robbing a bank or 'hacking' a network, those things are almost always accomplished because somebody forgot to lock the door or locked it from inside but left the key in the lock on the outside, something extremely simple. That high-tech hacker crap is great for the movies, but like most things, the reality is far less exciting.

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Re: Rubbish

It's like everything, easy when you know how. Hacking brings out a bit of jealousy or longing to be able to do it too, as everyone has someone they would like to hack.

Nothing special about hacking but the term hacker will always have that dark allure about it.

../../../../../../../../../../../../../etc/nobufferoverflow/useafterfree/sqlinjection/metasploit/shellcode/netcat/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Rubbish

not rubbish. use a covert high gain 2.5GHz antenna and a 'WiFi audit system' such as an wifipineapple.com, exploit the deliberate weaknesses in WiFi protocols, (smartphone that is temporarily not logged-on to an AP WILL often BROADCAST the entire list of previously accessed AP SSIDs until it can log-on - this alone would be a goldmine for certain politicos) create a parallel (open) network with identical SSID to the internal Commons (locked) WiFis, get clients, MiTM clients, covertly do bad things.

Shirley, Parliament have active RF domain awareness modules/realtime baseline Spectrum survey systems/SIGINT threat warning receivers/honeypot fake APs broadcasting junk data outwards/broadband RF noise-masking systems built-in to the walls? or maybe HoP ICT was done by the lowest bidder instead of someone reliable like CESG?

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Big Brother

IT'S A TRAP!!!

I hope that the protesters, who stood there in Parliament Sq with laptops

'all a glow' kept their masks on until they left Central London... because

they've got some pretty good CCTV coverage in Westminster and they

don't erase their tapes...EVER

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Paris Hilton

Re: IT'S A TRAP!!!

What if they keep the VHS tapes in the tape machine!

They'll be overwritten :(

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Re: IT'S A TRAP!!!

Interesting point. Have their MAC addresses been harvested from the Parliament DHCP server's logs?

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Anonymous Coward

After all my years of watching this failing planet and the so called leaders who do nothing but make empty promises the realisation is you can not challenge these people. The only thing you can do is do what some others are already doing STOP VOTING!

The moment these vote whores stop getting their votes their days and careers are over, none of these actions / temptations will make any difference just look at the Iraq war march, the poll tax march.. Do they listen ? no they just rebrand it if they feel there is gonna be a major upset.

As I say if we all stopped voting then time for change would automatically be triggered

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Anonymous Coward

If you stop voting you become a statistical lazy arse who sits on his sofa and doesn't walk the couple of hundred meters to the polling station once every year or so.

If you want to send a message - spoil your voting paper.

On another point - the reason that BNP and their ilk have been voted in is because people don't vote. Typically one term of them at a council reminds everyone the importance of voting.

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Silver badge

Yes. Change would happen for sure. Instead of getting a douche like Tony Blair or Bush MkII that you can complain about and get rid of you'd get a douche like Tony Blair or Bush MkII that will have you disappeared for complaining and who you can't get rid of without a big civil war.

I'm not sure you've examined the historical evidence or considered your plan from all angles. You might want to consider doing that before you execute your glorious strategy...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: STOP VOTING

Is that you, Russell?

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Silver badge

Spoil your ballot?

Useless.

If it really is the case that none of the candidates are fit to represent you, surely the onus is on you to become a candidate, and hoover up all those votes from the otherwise disenfranchised?

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Bronze badge

I am sorry anonymous .....

...... but your security skills can't be that great either seeing as your members keep getting arrested.

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Re: I am sorry anonymous .....

Your knowledge of Anonymous can't be that great. It's a movement, a banner, an idea, an identity, a principle, many other things.

But it sure as hell isn't a club, a society, or a supermarket loyalty scheme. There is no membership, though there are groups that use the name.

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Bronze badge

Re: I am sorry anonymous .....

Actually I remember anonymous from when WE were trying to expose Scientology, and WE had good reason to be anonymous. Totally different creature from the anonymous today.

I have to admit my knowledge of a bunch of bullying net users (attacking innocent traders is bullying) isn't that great though.

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Anonymous Coward

This is how you get better wifi reception outside parliament while a mini-riot is going on: http://s8.postimg.org/wkp1txkfo/wifi.jpg

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm... Baring in mind that I can barely receive WiFi in my cellar, how much signal strength would be obtained by someone quite some distance from a building made from massive thick stone walls?

Maybe they logged on, most likely to a public or semi-public network, but I can't see them getting much bandwidth.

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Anonymous Coward

Pretty much none. Portcullis House would offer the best reception as you can actually get close to that building, but that's not actually on Parliament Square. Perhaps they found something by the Parliament Bookshoop?

But you're right, the 1000 year old Westminster Hall wasn't built with good Wifi signal in mind :)

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Anonymous Coward

The lack of security is deliberate

GCHQ is so busy snooping on the entire citizenry that they only have limited processing power left to ensure that the MPs remain their puppets. They need to snoop on parliamentarians in order to continue getting new dirt on them to improve their leverage for blackmail.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Dibbles honeypot

You would like to think that anything important to the running of the country was kept off a public facing wifi network. If a load of soapdodgers and che wanabes can get at least a bit of the way in, imagine what an enemy government sponsored team could do. Theres no way they would be that lax with national security, is there?

Mind you, these are the people who leave unencrypted usb keys and briefcases on trains and send plaintext cdr`s with databases through the post sooo....

Im more inclined to think that they actually `hacked` a honeypot and are now a lot less anonymous than they think they are.

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Anonymous Coward

better late than never to come back ha

I am the AC at 17:49 GMT

@AC 17:56 and his 9 upvoting mules

Maths please !

How does the equation of 0 votes i.e. no one voting equate to BNP being stronger ?

Surely no vote from no one = no winners right ?

Keep on the medication and pray for some sense

@ AC 7:52

No I ain't Russell Brand and neither Paxman who believes the same thing, we all have the tools to do someething ingenious that has been a part of nature that frankly the primitives such as ants put to use well, but what we lack is motion or focus !

If we all used the tool we use to interact to pass on the wisdom and think the same on this matter we could all over turn all this fakeness all around the globe without having to resort to lootin or violence, all it takes is common sense of understanding the formula properly

0 + 0 = 0

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