Analysis: Wikileaks Gets Hacked

Yesterday morning the website belonging to Wikileaks was defaced by a group of hackers named “OurMine,” a small group of hackers whom have been harassing internet users for years now. Using Wikileaks as a public platform, OurMine proceeded to use their attack as an opportunity to promote themselves and attract new followers online. In a message left behind for all the world to see on Wikileaks.org‘s homepage, OurMine explained that they were simply taking Julian Assange up on a challenge he had offered to them in June of last year, stating that “this is not a security test…remember when you challenged us to hack you?

If you are unfamiliar with this story, Wikileaks was the victim of a string of DDoS attacks in December of 2015 and again June of 2016, briefly shutting down the website fora few hours at a time. Then, in response to these incidents, Assange essentially called out the group behind the attack – OurMine – and challenged them to use their skills and talents to serve a higher purpose, rather than simply wasting all of their time DDoS’ing random people on the internet. More specifically, Assange was quoted as saying that “If you support us and want to show your skills, then don’t waste your time with DDoS. Find us interesting mail spools or docs and send them to [WikiLeaks]. That’ll have a much greater impact.

Well, as it turns out, it appears as though OurMine has been practicing their craft and has begun to take Assange up on his word. However, while Wikileak’s website was compromised, indicating that the hackers gained administrator level access to the website, Wikileaks maintains that this is as far as the hack went and that their databases and servers had not been compromised by the attack.

The second half of OurMine‘s message, criticizing and taking shots at the hacking collective known as “Anonymous,” also tells us a large part of the story behind whom Ourmine really is and what they have become. In the later half of 2015 a hacking group then going by the name “Our_Mine” was hijacking people and celebrities YouTube, Instagram, Skype, Minecraft – et cetera – accounts all over the internet and then kindly messaging the owners how to better improve their passwords and overall security to prevent hacking attempts in the future. However, the more people they hacked and the more attention they garnered, the more the groups demeanor and mission began to change.

What once began as small acts of Ethical Hacking, hacking someones computer/devices/accounts in order to teach them how to secure them, turned into outright ransom. By the end of the 2015 and into the winter of 2016, Our_Mine had made the full transition into a group of “black-hat hackers” and were wanted by International authorities and the overall hacking community alike.

As OurMine pointed out on Wikileaks yesterday, an earlier Operation launched by Anonymous in December of 2015 turned out to be a complete sham. Despite multiple reports on the subject at the time, it was later confirmed that all of the information released via an online “Doxx’ing” of the group was completely fabricated. It was not until a month later, in January of 2016, that Anonymous finally struck the group hard.

This is when Operation Collapsed Mine first went into effect. Led by Anonymous and a splinter group of Anonymous known as “BlackSecurityTeam,” hackers were able to trace several sub-domains tied to Our_Mine’s website, infiltrate their Skype servers and even managed to compile a small list of names, personal numbers and IP Addresses. Only instead of releasing the information outright in the form of an online doxx, the information was passed on to the Anonymous Intelligence Agency, whom then reportedly went on to send the information via an “Anonymous Tip” directly to Interpol, the FBI and the Domestic Intelligence Service in Germany.

Within 36 hours of the information having been filed, Our_Mine’s website went offline, their social media accounts were suspended and the group was not heard of again for roughly three months after the fact. Following the apparent arrest of some of the groups leaders, the re-boot of the remaining members, now going by OurMine, seemed more determined than ever to continue their black-hat ways – only their targets got bigger. This also explains OurMine‘s hatred of Anonymous which, given their address on Wikileaks yesterday, apparently carries on strongly to this very day.