A PowerPoint presentation that was prepared for a NSA conference back in 2012 showed that the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group or JTRIG executed a project named Rolling Thunder. The aim of the attack was to drive away members of Anonymous from internet chat rooms.
JTRIG was also noted to enter chat rooms used by Anonymous to identify hackers within the room, armed with this information they would be able to build cases against these hackers and, in turn, gain knowledge of who was involved in particular attacks.
Sources familiar with Rolling Thunder confirmed to NBC that the intelligence agency had targeted particular chat rooms where they believed groups of Anonymous members were gathering to discuss criminal activities.
Not only did the actions of GHCQ disrupt the grouping of Anonymous members but it also disrupted other hacktivists who were arranging Letter Drops, Protests and other legal ways of protesting against their chosen causes.
The documents include excerpts from the chat room including one user trying to check if he was the only one affected, “Was there any problem with the IRC network? I wasn’t able to connect the past 30 hours.” Another user responds “Yeah, We’re being hit by a syn flood. I didn’t know whether to quit last night, because of the DDoS.”
In a statement from GHCQ to NBC a spokesperson confirmed, “All of GCHQ’s work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework.”
Source: NBC News | Image by Shuttershock
GCHQ disrupts Anonymous using Denial of Service attack – Neowin.