When does a hacker crew beef become a cyberwar? The answer is, arguably, "yesterday," as a team of Bangladesh hackers attacked vulnerable websites across Indonesia, taking revenge on Indonesian crews in an international game of chicken.
Members of Bangladeshi team Grey Hat (in this case a crew name as well as a set of professional ethics) successfully defaced or took down several websites, claiming that Indonesian cyber-crews had been attacking their crew website and insulting their country.
The Daily Dot spoke with a source involved, who stressed that the participants are all, as far as he is aware, civilians doing this on their own time and for their own reasons.
Defacements are significantly harder to pull off than simple DDoS attacks, showing a greater level of digital sophistication. According to statements on Facebook, the goal of the Bangladeshi crew’s attacks was to demonstrate their superior level of skills relative to the Indonesians. In simple terms, to school them.
This war started when your hackers are continuously using slang on us..They deleted all the Hacking tutorials on our group and wrote slang...
but we didnt attacked.
4-5 Indonesian team unitedly started attaking suddenly on us as well as our cyberspace..
but we didnt attacked.
When we saw they are not stopping then we have started attacking.
If Indonesia wants to stop cyberwar with us..Which they started... They have to fulfill our 2 simple demands...... http://t.co/E3JqOVlcwQ— Rotating Rotor (@RotatingRotor) July 30, 2013
The Bangladeshis threatened to inject malware into the Indonesian sites and effectively disable the entire nation's ecommerce capabilities unless the Indonesian hackers stopped their attacks and their insults.
Their ultimatum worked.
After several hours and many apologies (and, no doubt, furious arguing across the Indonesian archipelago), the Bangladeshi Grey Hats have apparently stopped their attacks and moved on, although not before making international news.
As for the websites caught in the crossfire, well, they are the very definition of collateral damage. At least there will be plenty of money for Indonesian sysadmins over the next couple of months, as the country strengthens its defenses.
Photo via dustball/Flickr