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OpGabon: Anonymous attacks Gabon government sites in protest of ritual killings

Joining protests in Libreville, Anonymous is attacking websites belonging to Gabon's government to call out the West African country on ritual killings.
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Footage taken from a video released by Anonymous of what allegedly shows a young girl's body, harvested for organs, washing up on a beach in Gabon. (AFP/Getty Images)

Hackers from the Anonymous collective have joined with activists in Gabon to protest ritual killings in the small West African nation by launching distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against a large number of Gabonese websites.

Several of the websites targeted include Gabonese President Ali Bongo’s personal site, the Gabonese Department of Defense and the Gabonese Department of Justice.

Human body parts are sought after by some in Gabon, including politicians and members of government, for their supposed supernatural powers, according to activists.

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Bitcoin survives sell-off, returns to last week's valuation

Transaction lag time on the world's largest Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, caused panic that dropped the currency to last week's valuation.

As value of Bitcoin explodes upward, former Bitcoin gambling addict laments losses

Valued at just $13 in January, Bitcoin's explosion in value is bringing financial windfall for the frugal and depressed nostalgia for the former Bitcoin high rollers.
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The homepage for Satoshi Dice, one of the web's most popular Bitcoin gambling platforms. (Screengrab/Screengrab)

The virtual currency known as Bitcoin (BTC), free from the control of regulatory bodies and taxation, is experiencing a dramatic, sustained rise in value. On Wednesday Bitcoins were valued at over $230 apiece, an increase of over $150 in just ten days.

Some economists attribute Bitcoin’s seemingly unstoppable explosion in value to Cyrpus' banking crisis.

Looking for a way around a European Union tax on Cypriot deposits, a marginal number of wealthy account holders began to shift their wealth from Euros or Rubles to BTC.

Because the transaction volume for was so low — about 2.5 million daily transactions in January — the marginal interest from Cypriot account holders was enough to cause a sharp increase in demand for the currency.

BTC first entered circulation in 2009 and struggled to maintain its value. In June of 2011, the value of BTC collapsed from $31.90 to $2 in the same day. 

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Redditor uses forum to confess to alleged murder

Using the popular "Confession Bear" meme, one Redditor admits to murdering his sister's abusive, meth addicted boyfriend.
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(screengrab/Screengrab)

Confession Bear is a meme usually used to admit acts of flatulence in the workplace or pranks pulled on unwitting spouses. But two days ago, one user on Reddit utilized the meme to confess to an alleged murder.

“My sister had an abusive meth addict boyfriend. I killed him with his own drugs while he was unconscious and they ruled it as an overdose,” read the meme, posted by user Naratto. 

Posters on the Advice Animals subreddit where the apparent confession was posted were divided as to the authenticity of the claim. While many dismissed it as a case of trolling or an attempt to gain Reddit “karma” points, others set off to determine the identity of the user.

Since the post, the Naratto account has been deleted.

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As DDoS attack strengthens, US Banks scramble to mitigate website outages

US bank websites have experience 249 total hours of downtime over the past six weeks due to a sustained DDoS attack believed to be carried out by Muslim hackers.
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A computer screen of Dirk Engling, spokesperson of the Chaos Computer Club, shows the file name (highlighted) of the Trojan spyware allegedly made by the German authorities in the CCC's offices in Berlin on October 12 , 2011. The computer club and German hacker organization claims to have cracked spying software allegedly used by German authorities. The Trojan horse has functions which go way beyond those allowed by German law. The news has sparked a wave of outrage among politicians and media commentators. (Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images)

Several major US banks are scrambling to break a digital siege as their websites experience increasing amounts of downtime due to a sustained distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, launched by what is believed to be Muslim hacker group Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters.

In the past six weeks, bank websites have been offline for a total of 249 hours, double the amount of downtime experienced in the same amount of time just a year ago.

"Literally, these banks are just in war rooms, sitting at controls trying to stop (the attacks)," Gartner Group bank security analyst Avivah Litan told NBC News.

“The frightening thing is (the attackers) are not using as much resources as they have on call. The attacks could be bigger."

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Anonymous Korea continues attacks against North Korean sites

Hackers aligned with Anonymous claim to be carrying out numerous cyberattacks against North Korean websites, urging North Korean citizens to rise up against their "oppressive" government.
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A logo used by Anonymous Korea on their Twitter and Facebook pages (screengrab/Screengrab)

Hackers aligned with Anonymous claim to be carrying out numerous cyberattacks against North Korean websites, urging North Korean citizens to rise up against their "oppressive" government.

Hackers also claim to have seized over 15,000 passwords belonging to accounts on Uriminzokkiri.com, an outward-facing North Korean website hosted on China-based servers.

The hackers, calling themselves Anonymous Korea, say they have launched numerous distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against North Korean websites — including www.airkoryo.com.kp, www.naenara.com.kp, www.korea-dpr.com and www.friend.com.kp — since Saturday. However, a prominent hacker known as The Jester has also claimed responsibility for the attack.

Anonymous Korea’s Twitter and Facebook logos both include a South Korean flag.

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Sprint to blacklist Chinese-made equipment over cyber security concerns

Wary of close ties between Chinese manufacturers and the government, Sprint Nextel and its owner Softbank will stop using devices made by Chinese companies.
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A person walks past a 12-storey building alleged in a report on February 19, 2013 by the Internet security firm Mandiant as the home of a Chinese military-led hacking group after the firm reportedly traced a host of cyberattacks to the building in Shanghai's northern suburb of Gaoqiao. Mandiant said its hundreds of investigations showed that groups hacking into US newspapers, government agencies, and companies 'are based primarily in China and that the Chinese government is aware of them. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)

Citing cyber-security concerns, Japan-based corporation Softbank has agreed with US officials to phase out and replace telecommunications equipment manufactured by Chinese companies with close ties to Beijing.

Looking to gain US approval for their recent acquisition of US-based network service provider Sprint Nextel, Softbank will allow US law enforcement officials to oversee equipment changes, including routers, servers and switches manufactured by firms Huawei and ZTE, the New York Times reported. 

US Congressional representatives claim these two manufacturers aid the Chinese government in acts of cyber espionage, warning the equipment could provide network backdoors for hackers working for the People’s Liberation Army. 

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Muslim hackers claim responsibility for attacks on Wells Fargo

A Wells Fargo spokeswoman alerted investors and deposit holders on Tuesday that the bank's online services were experiencing outages due to a cyber-attack.
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An Iraqi man looks at the official website of the country's prime minister after it was hacked in Baghdad on February 2, 2013. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's official website was infiltrated by hackers who posted a message criticising him, amid weeks of protests calling for the premier to resign. (Prashant Rao/AFP/Getty Images)

US bank Wells Fargo suffered online service interruptions Tuesday during periods of unusually high web traffic volumes originating from a denial-of-service (DoS) cyberattack.

Wells Fargo spokeswoman Bridget Braxton confirmed to Reuters that the bank’s website and online banking services were disrupted but did not specify where the attacks came from.

"The vast majority of customers are not impacted and customer information remains safe," Braxton said. 

Muslim hackers, part of a group known as the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters, claimed responsibility for the attack as part of the group’s ongoing campaign against US-based financial institutions. 

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Anonymous, RedHack breach Mossad servers, hackers claim

As the planned revitalization of OpIsrael looms, hackers claim to have gained access to servers used by Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.
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One of the several websites hacked by LANMIN3 - a pro-Palestinian web activist seemingly based in Algeria. (Screengrab/Screengrab)

A number of hacker groups, including factions within Anonymous, claim to have gained access to servers used by Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, stealing personal information of more than 30,000 individuals belonging to several sectors of the Israeli government, as well as several nongovernmental organizations.

RedHack, a Turkey-based Marxist hacker group, specifically claimed responsibility for the release of the personal information, which included phone numbers, emails and addresses. RedHack said the information belongs to Mossad intelligence officers, as well as informants handled by Israeli officers. 

“Yes, we realize we are sailing in dangerous water but we like swimming,” tweeted RedHack_EN, an English Language account used by the Turkish hacker group. In the same tweet, RedHack_EN posted links to spreadsheets containing the information. 

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Lacking international support, Syria's rebel hackers are losing the cyber war

The Syrian Electronic Army is on the offensive, targeting rebels and activists in support of the Syrian government.
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A screenshot of the Syrian Electronic Army's website. (Screengrab/Screengrab)

On Syria’s digital battlefield, hackers loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are defeating the rebels' cyber militias.

Just as the Syrian opposition leans on the West to supply weapons and other military aid, rebel hackers depend on the international community to help bolster their tactics.

But even as the conflict reaches new stages of violence – more than 70,000 people have been killed so far – support among international hacker communities is waning.

Last year, rebels enjoyed massive support from international hacker collectives like Anonymous, which launched several attacks on the Assad government. Early in 2012, Anonymous said it accessed several regime email accounts, including an account belonging to the Syrian president. Anonymous renewed their pledge to support Syrian hackers last November as the Assad regime threatened to shut down internet access across the country.

But after several arrests and convictions, Anonymous’ OpSyria seems to have ground to a halt. Without wider international support, Assad's Syrian Electronic Army’s dominion in the Syrian internet war is all but unchallenged.

In recent weeks, the Syrian Electronic Army has launched a number of successful campaigns, seizing control of social media accounts belonging to a broad range of news organizations and nonprofit foundations. The Syrian Electronic Army says western news organizations are outlets for Syrian rebel propaganda.

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