Mystery group hacks US military, Harvard, NASA, more

Summary:The Unknowns says it has hacked ESA, NASA, US military, US Air Force, Thai Royal Navy, Harvard, Renault, French ministry of Defense, Bahrain Ministry of Defense, and Jordanian Yellow Pages.

Update on May 4 - NASA, ESA confirm hacks; The Unknowns says systems patched

A hacker group calling itself "The Unknowns" claims to have hacked 10 organizations around the world, gaining administrator access for all and leaking data for some. Most are related to the U.S. government or another international legislative body, while the rest just seemed like random targets.

The Unknowns yesterday set up the Twitter account "1_The_Unknown_1" and released their results on Pastebin. Apparently, the group's slogan is "We are The Unknowns; Our Knowledge Talks and Wisdom Listens..."

The Unknowns listed 10 victim websites for which it publicly posted administrator accounts and passwords:

In addition to revealing how to access the computer systems of the organizations in question, The Unknowns also posted screenshots showing they gained accessed to each and every one. More importantly, the group put together military documents from their hacks, and uploaded the collection to MediaFire: Part 1 (177.79MB) and Part 2 (37.37 MB).

So, what was the motivation? The group wrote the following message, explaining that the goal of their attacks is to improve the state of online security around the globe:

Victims, we have released some of your documents and data, we probably harmed you a bit but that's not really our goal because if it was then all of your websites would be completely defaced but we know that within a week or two, the vulnerabilties we found will be patched and that's what we're actually looking for. We're ready to give you full info on how we penetrated threw your databases and we're ready to do this any time so just contact us, we will be looking forward for this.

And for all the other websites out there: We're coming, please, get ready, protect your website and stop us from hacking it, whoever you are. Contact us before we take action and we will help you, and will not release anything... It's your choice now.

And for the Public: We're looking for your support... Support us to deliver our message to everyone out there...

As for the screenshot above, I chose the NASA hack because the group also decided to leak one of the research center's databases. They released names, employers, home addresses, and e-mail addresses of 736 victims on Pastebin. ESA is the other organization for which they also leaked more data, also via Pastebin.

If you have more information about The Unknowns, please let me know.

Update at 9:15 PM PST - I'm hearing that The Unknowns may be trying to use an old hack to gain Twitter followers. Some of the leaked documents are indeed several years old, but there are also a few from earlier in 2012. I will update you again if I learn more.

Update on May 4 - NASA, ESA confirm hacks; The Unknowns says systems patched

See also:

Topics: Browser, Software Development

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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