Given the massive evolution that both the Internet and the world of computers have undergone over the past decade, it’s no surprise to see the influence they have on the various social issues in our world. As seen when Dragon Force Malaysia unleashed a wave of cyber attacks in India.
Who is Dragon Force Malaysia?
According to an article about the said incident, Dragon Force Malaysia is a hacktivist group in the vein of Anonymous. They’re connected by political goals and a penchant for sensationalism. Having notoriously launched multiple cyber attacks on many government affiliates such as Israel, the group has been in the news again following cyberattacks in India.
So what happened?
A Malaysian hacktivist group Dragon Force Malaysia, notorious for their hacktivism especially in support of Palestine amidst the ongoing war, launched multiple denial-of-service attacks against many different Indian websites. Furthermore, a campaign by the group named “OpsPatuk” was launched for the purpose of breaching networks, and databases and leaking data. This campaign was still in motion as of 15th June, the same month in which it commenced.
But this was all done in retaliation to a certain controversial incident in political India. In a televised debate, Nupur Sharma, a political figure and spokesperson of the Hindu Nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, was caught in a televised debate passing controversial remarks regarding the age of the Prophet Mohammed’s third wife. A widespread backlash followed this incident. Consequently, Sharma was ousted from the BJP party.
The loss of her position did not mean the end of all the backlash. DragonForce Malaysia began an offensive hacking campaign against the government of India. The public was informed of this attack in a tweet, and since then, the hacktivist group has used denial-of-service attacks on websites across India. The group also breached and leaked data for several Indian civil organisations.
What is Hacktivism?
You may have noticed the use of the term “hacktivists” and not “hackers. So what is a hacktivist? According to the software website Checkpoint, hacktivism is the act of hacking, or breaking into a computer system, for politically or socially motivated purposes. As can be obviously seen, the term is derived from the combination of the two words, “Hack” and “Activism”. People that perform this act are known as hacktivists, just like Dragon Force Malaysia.
There are many debates on whether hacktivism is ethical or not. This is because hacktivism is usually done for a “good” political cause but in an illegal manner. Nonetheless, many hacktivists are rarely persecuted by the law, with hacktivism mostly done to send a message of political propaganda. This was the case in the cybersecurity attacks on Indian websites by Dragon Force Malaysia.
It can be argued that hacktivist groups play a large role in pushing social, political, or religious propaganda. The evolution of the internet has allowed for more aggressive and offensive attacks. Even if messages are clearly sent and such incidents get people talking about what the hacktivists intended to push, hacking through hacktivism still intrudes and trespasses into the security systems of other firms, potentially jeopardising national security or even sparking cyber wars between different countries or social communities.
As a cybersecurity firm, we believe cybersecurity should not be compromised under any circumstances, even when it is for a potentially good cause. And even though we do not expect hacktivism to die down in the future, we do expect that all organisations, whether private or public, will do everything in their power to improve their security and cybersecurity awareness. This would make it harder for hackers and even hacktivists to breach their systems and improve cybersecurity on a global scale.
Condition Zebra Sdn Bhd is a company incorporated in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, serving clients nationally and internationally. We are a CREST-certified and ISO 27001:2013 company that offers Professional Cybersecurity Solutions, Cybersecurity Training and Secure Software Development Lifecycle (SSDLC) for public and private SMEs in various industries, including Financial Services (Banks & Insurance), Government Ministries & Agencies, and Government-linked companies.
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