Anonymous, the infamous hacking collective, just had an alleged member claim a data breach in Turkey where a 17.8GB trove of data was stolen. The files include sensitive, government documents from the country’s national police database. The goal? The Anonymous hacker says to “take action against corruption” was the motive. The Turkish General Directorate of Security (EGM) dataset is online for peer-to-peer filesharing upload and download. It’s free and accessible. It’s alleged that the hacker’s alias is ROR(RG) and used The Cthulhu to share the data. It’s the go-to platform for many Anonymous hacks.
Earlier in 2016, Anonymous stole data from a big US police union and used The Cthulhu as their peer-to-peer network, too. The Cthulhu says that the hacker got into the Turkish files over two years ago, which is suggested by the posts uploaded. “The material was taken from the EGM which is the Turkey National Police. The source has had persistent access to various parts of the Turkish government infrastructure for the past two years and in light of various government abuses in the past few months, has decided to take action against corruption by releasing this.”
A Closer Look
Photographs of the database leak reveal that the data is in .frm, .myd, and .myi formats, which are commonly found in MySQL. The file itself is under 2GB, but grows to 17.8GB when expanded. At the same time, rumors are swirling that ROR(RG) is the same person who was behind the Adult Friend Finder leak of 2015 that caused worldwide headlines, divorces, and the rumor mills to start whirring at Godspeed. About four million users were outed during that breach.
What does Anonymous have against Turkey? They have an interesting history, with cyberattacks targeting the country for years. Anonymous “declared war” on Turkey in 2015. A video statement from Anonymous notes that the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan supports ISIS (the Islamic state) and that it’s a top priority to make his files transparent.
“Turkey is supporting Daesh (ISIS) by buying oil from them, and hospitalizing their fighters. We won’t accept that Erdogan, the leader of Turkey, will help ISIS any longer. If you don’t stop supporting ISIS, we will continue attacking your internet…stop this insanity now Turkey. Your fate is in your own hands,” was the statement Anonymous made one year ago.
Protecting Yourself from Hackers
The odds of Anonymous targeting your files or website are very slim. They go after big game, like the North Korea Hack which protested the satellite launch, the OpNimr attack where Anonymous requested Saudi Arabia to be banned from the Olympics, and the Tokyo airport takedown in opposition to dolphin culling.
However, other hackers might not be as politically and (arguably) morally motivated. The best way to protect yourself from any hack is with a solid firewall, regular password changes, and using virtual private server (VPS) hosting instead of a basic shared plan. Most hacks are easily preventable, but occur thanks to ignorance and/or laziness.