Anonymous take down Turkey’s banking sector over its alleged ISIS support
Anonymous is in the news yet again! This time the hacktivist group has conducted yet another cyberattack on Turkey’s banking system causing sporadic disruption to credit card transactions on Friday. The two-week barrage of cyberattacks by Anonymous is believed to be the worst the country has seen.
According to local media, several banks were hit with powerful DDoS attack affecting credit card transactions and other online banking services.
Officials at several Turkish banks including I? Bank, Garanti and state lender Ziraat Bank confirmed the attacks, saying they had caused intermittent disruption, reported Reuters.
“The attacks are serious,” said Onur Oz, a spokesman for Internet provider Turk Telekom. “But the target is not Turk Telekom. Instead, banks and public institutions are under heavy attack. A majority of turkish institutions use turk telekom as the service provider, therefore, we are the ones doing the defense against these attacks,” he said.
The hackers begin to attack the banking and financial websites on Thursday which continued till Friday evening. Local media have suggested that the bombardment of public and financial websites could be coming from Russia, after a sharp worsening of tensions between Moscow and Ankara, or staged by the hacking group Anonymous.
On Monday, a video purportedly released by the loosely organized hacktivist group accused Turkey of supporting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), something that the government has denied over and over again.
Anonymous recently declared cyber war on ISIS in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris, which left 130 people dead. They threatened to launch more cyber attacks unless Turkey “stops supporting” the terrorist group.
“Dear government of Turkey, if you don’t stop supporting ISIS, we will continue attacking your Internet, your root DNS, your banks and take your government sites down,” said a voice in the since removed video posted to an Anonymous YouTube channel, according to several reports.
“After the root DNS we will start to hit your airports, military assets and private state connections,” it added. “We will destroy your critical banking infrastructure.”
“Turkey is supporting Daesh by buying oil from them, and hospitalizing their fighters,” the group said, using another name for the Islamic State group, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
“We don’t accept that [Recep Tayyip Erdogan], the leader of Turkey, will help [ISIS] any longer,” the group added.
Earlier this month, Turkish servers were bombarded for more than a week with some of the most intense cyberattacks in the country’s history.
The servers were under fire from a series of distributed denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, in which hackers attempt to crash websites with massive volumes of fake traffic. The hacking collective targeted Turkish DNS Servers under NIC.tr with 40Gbps DDoS attack affecting 40,000 .tr domains worldwide.
To stop the attack, the government eventually had to cut off all foreign Internet traffic coming to “.tr” websites, the domain for Turkey.
Given its geographic proximity to Syria and Iraq, Turkey has always faced criticism for not proactively going after ISIS.
President Obama has publicly pushed the country to better secure its border with Syria. U.S. officials have also expressed frustration that Turkey is not policing the oil-smuggling trade that goes through Turkey and helps fund the extremist fighters.
Anonymous has jumped on these details as evidence that Turkey is “supporting ISIS.”
“Stop this insanity now, Turkey,” the group said in the video. “Your fate is in your hands.”