The IT and Telecommunications Coordination Department of the Judiciary Police (PJ), Chan Si Cheng, told Macau News Agency (MNA) that police authorities already started reinforcing cybersecurity measures to prevent a possible attack by hacker activist group Anonymous tomorrow.
Police authorities revealed last week that they had been warned by the Information Communication Technology Test Evaluation Center (ITSTEC) that a group of international hackers was planning to attack internet video surveillance systems or Internet Protocol (IP) cameras in Chinese regions including the Macau SAR.
It was then revealed this week by police authorities that Anonymous announced in a video on Twitter that it planned a cyberattack against the Chinese CCTV surveillance system as a protest against oppressive surveillance by Chinese authorities over the Tibet Autonomous Region.
The reason for the attack on February 13 was set by the group as to mark the day when the 13th Dalai Lama declared the Himalayan region’s independence in 1913.
“PJ is now closely monitoring the messages published by the hacktivist group ‘Anonymous’ about this cyber attack campaign, especially those related to Macau […] PJ is going to strengthen the cybersecurity situational awareness practice in order to identify any abnormal network behavior and raise early warning as soon as possible,’ Chan told MNA.
The group had first announced the attack on February 2 but MNA could not find any mention that Macau was also being also targetted in any announcements made by the group.
According to Anonymous announcements, the attack would target Chinese companies iFlytek, CIMC Capital, Wiseweb and Haohan Data, which the group considered to be the ‘main players’ installing and running facial-recognition and other intrusive technology inside Tibet and to be ‘deeply engaged with China’s regime’.
‘They are responsible for the 24/7 mass surveillance which targets Tibetans, monitoring their public movements, controlling their lives via ID/Bio-Metric cards, and monitoring all phone calls and internet use,’ the group states.
Last week PJ published recommended security measures that government agencies, private companies and the public could take to secure their systems against a possible cyber attack.
“PJ has already contacted internet service providers (ISPs) to get ready for a massive cyberattack, and to give appropriate assistance if needed, such as helping PJ to identify the owner of compromised IP address, providing DDoS attack traffic cleansing service, etc.,” the PJ representative told MNA.
Currently, there are 20 licensed ISPs in Macau, including CTM and MTel, according to the Macao Post and Telecommunications Bureau website.
A denial-of-service attack (DDoS) is a cyber-attack tool aimed at making a network resource unavailable to its intended users by temporarily or indefinitely disrupting services of a host connected to the Internet, to target the system, with the local Health Bureau last month claiming to have been the target of a cyber-attack like this.
An internet-based collective of hacktivists, Anonymous allegedly former around 2003 have targetted several companies, organizations, and governments since they first surfaced.