Anonymous hacktivists take down the London Stock Exchange website for more than two hours as part of protest against world’s banks
The online hacktivist group, Anonymous reportedly shut down the London Stock Exchange (LSE) website last week for more than two hours as part of a protest against world’s banks and financial institutions.
According to the Mail on Sunday, the attack was carried out by Philippines unit of Anonymous on June 2 at 9am. Previous targets have included the Bank of Greece, the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic and the Dutch Central Bank.
The newspaper says: “Anonymous claims the incident was one of 67 successful attacks it has launched in the past month on the websites of major institutions, with targets including the Swiss National Bank, the Central Bank of Venezuela and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.”
A spokesperson for the LSE declined to comment on the incident, however, the attack most likely took the form of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, meaning trading would not have been affected and no sensitive data would have been compromised.
In the 24 hours before the LSE site went down, the group also claims that the attack on the LSE was the latest in a series that has also seen it target the websites of NYSE Euronext, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange and the Turkey Stock Exchange, as part of a campaign called Operation Icarus.
According to the newspaper, City of London Police said it was not informed that the LSE website had gone down and had no knowledge of the attack.
However, the latest attack may not be a complete surprise.
In a video posted to YouTube on May 4, a member of the amorphous group announced in that “central bank sites across the world” would be attacked as part of a month-long Operation Icarus campaign.
The video statement said: “We will not let the banks win, we will be attacking the banks with one of the most massive attacks ever seen in the history of Anonymous.”
By using a distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) cyberattack, the group also successfully disrupted the Greek central bank’s website.
In light of that event, a separate video was posted to YouTube on May 2.
The masked individual representing Anonymous group said: “Olympus will fall. How fitting that Icarus found his way back to Greece. Today, we have continuously taken down the website of the Bank of Greece. Today, Operation Icarus has moved into the next phase.”
The Anonymous spokesperson added: “Like Icarus, the powers that be have flown too close to the sun, and the time has come to set the wings of their empire ablaze, and watch the system their power relies on come to a grinding halt and come crashing down around them. We must strike at the heart of their empire by once again throwing a wrench into the machine, but this time we face a much bigger target – the global financial system.”