US government organization National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was named as a recent target of a cyber attack by the Anonymous Sudan hacktivist group.
According to a tweet from threat intelligence service Falcon Feeds, the official website was inaccessible following the NIST cyber attack.
However, at the time of writing, The Cyber Express team verified that NIST.gov was accessible and functioning properly.
Alleged NIST cyber attack claimed by Anonymous Sudan
Anonymous Sudan claimed the NIST cyber attack which lasted for an hour, according to its Telegram message as shown in the screenshot above.
The hacktivist group is known to launch DDoS attacks that halt and disrupts services for a few hours.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology is headquartered in Maryland, USA. It is an agency of the United States Department of Commerce that focuses on innovation and industrial development.
Responding to a query by The Cyber Express, an NIST spokesperson said, “The NIST website experienced an outage this morning from approximate 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. EST. We are investigating the cause. The website is functioning normally at this time.”
NIST cyber attack and Anonymous Sudan targeting the USA
There have been several speculations about the authenticity of the Anonymous Sudan hacktivism due to its issues and cyber attacks aligning with the Russian agenda.
According to researchers, the hacktivist group possesses financial backing, allowing them to afford the sophisticated attack mechanism they follow.
The group has targeted several US organizations in the recent past including Microsoft 365 and PayPal. Anonymous Sudan threatened that they will target US financial institutions.
“The primary motivation behind this threat was to denounce the financial and military support provided by the West to Ukraine,” read a Falcon Feeds blog.
Anonymous Sudan had announced that it will be targeting the United States on May 5, 2023.
“As observed in most hacktivism-related incidents, such backlashes are based on misconstrued events in the geo-political space,” a Cyble blog post stated.
It is speculated that the hackers misunderstood the statements made by the US Secretary of State to the media.
Anthony J. Blinken was addressing the crisis in Sudan by saying, “…steps that we can take to make clear our views on any leaders who are moving Sudan in the wrong direction, including by perpetuating the violence….”
This was likely mistaken by the hackers to mean that an invasion directed toward Sudan was discussed.
On May 5, Cyble Research and Intelligence Labs found an increased activity against US Healthcare. The hackers group claimed to launch DDoS attacks on them after claiming attacks on the US mobility service provider.
The cyber attack on Microsoft was announced on Telegram by Anonymous Sudan with screenshots from Outlook, Teams, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online, and Office365.
When Microsoft addressed the issues with its products, the hackers replied to the company’s report.
In response, Anonymous Sudan wrote, “..how about you pay us 1,000,000 USD…” The group claimed to have stolen over 30 million customer data from the Microsoft cyber attack.
Addressing the impact of Anonymous Sudan attacks, Cyble wrote, “Commonly, the application layer DDoS attacks are used to target user-facing applications and networks.”
“These malicious attacks target application layer protocols with the intention of disrupting services and can go undetected by traditional defense systems,” the Cyble blog further added.
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