Anonymous Threatens Cyberattack Over Christopher Dorner's Death
It seems the hacker group Anonymous is vowing to retaliate over the apparent death of Christopher Dorner.
Some in the group are upset following Dorner's almost-certain demise in a fire sparked by pyrotechnic tear gas launched into a cabin where he was believed to be holed up Tuesday:
Based on police radio traffic (one cop says, "Burn this motherf-----!"), there are folks in the twitterverse who believe the suspect was burned alive on purpose, a charge that San Bernardino County Sheriff-Corner John McMahon denied yesterday.
Now at least one Anonymous Twitter account is vowing revenge.
The tweet is directed at the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office, which doesn't appear to have had anything to do with Tuesday's firefight and raid by the sheriff's department.
Twitter users have also widely called out the LAPD for the law-enforcement assault on the cabin. The department says it did not take part in the operation.
We reached out to San Bernardino sheriff's and D.A. officials regarding the hackers' apparent threat but had yet to hear back.
Clifford Neuman, director of USC's Center for Computer Systems Security, explained to us what authorities -- if Anonymous can figure out who it wants to target -- might expect.
Denial of service (DoS): This is perhaps the easiest move for the group to carry out. It simply overwhelms a website with automated requests to view it, taking it down.
Website hacks: This is where members of the group somehow get the keys to a website and change its content and imagery to clown Anonymous' targets.
Document hacks: This is the most serious of the group's alleged actions. In such a case hackers would break into non-public computer systems, obtain sensitive documents (such as someone's personal info or embarrassing memos) and post them online.
Neuman says authorities can defend themselves by ensuring that their websites are hosted off-site, by being extra vigilant about failed password attempts, and by reminding employees to be wary of "fishing," -- official-seeming emails, phone calls and the like seeking reaffirmation of passwords and other sensitive info.
Most of the hacks, Neuman says, are just "an annoyance, an embarrassment," but he says document thefts can be painful to an organization.
Over the weekend Anonymous claimed it had taken down the LAPD's website in retaliation for the department's shooting last week of two innocent women in a truck believed to be Dorner's.
Police said they were unaware of the site ever going down, and when we checked it was fine.
Here are some recent Anonymous-related tweets about Dorner:
The Dorner situation has only proved him right. Everything he said about the shadiness of police, excessive force, abuse of power, etc.— El Yolo Loco. (@AyeTajiddin) February 13, 2013
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.