An update about Alt News cyber attack has put Indian media again on cybersecurity news. Threat actor group named “Mysterious Team Bangladesh” has listed the popular Indian fact-checking website ‘Alt News’ as its latest victim, hours after targeting Indian news agency ANI News.
The alleged ANI News and Alt News cyber attacks, the hacktivist group claims, are part of the ongoing OpIndia23 campaign against the Indian media for spreading hate and misinformation.
The Cyber Express has reached out to these two Indian media organizations following the claims made by the hacker collective. However, we are yet to receive a confirmation on either the ANI cyber incident or the Alt News cyber attack.
Alt News cyber attack and other operations
Along with the Telegram message, Mysterious Team also shared hashtags such as ‘opindia23,’ ‘counterattack,’ and ‘OpTerrorismCountry.’ The group has 1,283 subscribers on Telegram and has accounts on various social media platforms.
“We are cyber warriors of Bangladesh,” reads the bio on the group’s Twitter account, where they often share details about their attacks and victims.
Alt News cyber attack and the Indian media
Alongside posts on hacking and cyber attacks, the group also posts names of fellow hackers. One of the names mentioned was _barbby, whose profile describes the individual as a journalist and a Human Rights. The hashtags OpIsrael and FreePalestine were noted on the profile.
The bio of another hacker named YourAnonRiots read, “Our mission is global peace.” The hashtag on the profile was HackThePlanet, which seems to be the case following the breach of several governments’ and other organizations’ websites at the hands of hackers.
The other tagged hackers were Your Anon Story, MCA Ops, and Saudi Exile.
Moreover, The Press Trust of India’s website was also targeted by the hacktivist group.
The group blamed Indian media for spreading hatred in the name of religion. The Indian media channels specifically named by the threat group were ABP News, India TV, Aaj Tak, CNN News, Times Now, India Today, and New India among others.
The group also claimed to attack the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team https://www.cert-in.org.in/ followed by their tag line ‘Expect Us.’
The Mysterious Team seems to be a widespread group formed by a number of hackers, who find vulnerabilities in systems to gain access.
However, not much is known about their attack vector except that they successfully halt the systems and post screenshots of their hacks on their various social media channels.
Mysterious Team Bangladesh and rising hacktivism
Due to its unique societal, ideological, and economic position in the subcontinent, hacktivism in India has become a significant threat, The Cyber Express reported earlier.
Operations aimed at severing systems and ties between nations using DDoS and ransomware attacks have been carried out in India and other countries under the banner of hacktivism. Among the campaigns observed are OpIndia, OpIndia 2.0, OpsPatuk, Operation Payback, and OpIsrael, among others.
Reports indicate that the individuals involved in the hacktivist operations were young, between 20 to 25 years old, and still in college.
This raises concerns about the possibility of hiring hackers through a stealthy chain that targets young individuals seeking quick money.
While some campaigns were launched in the name of religious intolerance, others had political motivations, according to Cyble Research and Intelligence Labs. The Anonymous Sudan hacker group, for example, targeted Sweden, Australia, France, and the Netherlands before launching an anti-India campaign.
In a separate instance, the Tiger Cyber Crew, Khalifa Cyber Crew, and 4-Exploitation hacktivist group launched the OpAbabeel campaign to target Indians in retaliation for Indian hacktivists leaking data on the Muslim community.
In April 20, 2023, Indonesian hacker groups VulzSec and Hacktivist of Garuda launched the OpIndia2.0 campaign to avenge alleged attacks on Indonesian government websites by Indian hackers.