The Unknowns, hacker’s revenge in the name of security

 It's happened, another group of hacker named The Unknowns has hacked several organizations, , including NASA and the U.S. Air Force, and posted evidence of their actions.

The complete list has been published in a message on PasteBin:

  1. NASA - Glenn Research Center
  2. US military
  4. European Space Agency
  5. Thai Royal Navy
  6. Harvard
  7. Renault Company
  8. French ministry of Defense
  9. Bahrain Ministry of Defense
  10. Jordanian Yellow Pages

In the message published on Pastebin the group has declared war to everybody, they promised hacks against “all the other websites out there,”. Very strange the proposal that the gr sent to every company requesting to be contacted by them before they will be target of their attack, they are proposing to help potential victims to fix their potential vulnerabilities.

“Contact us before we take action and we will help you, and will not release anything.... It's your choice now.”


Always when we think to hacktivism we remind Anonymous groups, but The Unknowns have declared to fight for internet security instead internet freedom.

They desire to exploit vulnerabilities to attract media attention and force their patching.

Are we facing with "Anonymous 2"?

The groups demands its own identity and distanced himself from the most famous group Anonymous.

“We are not Anonymous Version 2 and we are not against the US Government,”

 “We're here to help and we're asking nothing in exchange,”

The group was already responsible for a series of attacks made on April 1th and has announced new ones on May 1th via Twitter. The modus operandi is really different, The Unknowns operate to test websites and cyber infrastructure providing evidence of the any weaknesses found without releasing hacked information.

The NASA and ESA have confirmed the attacks giving more detail on the operations. An European Space Agency's spokesperson reported to ZDNet that the hackers have used a SQL Injection Attack. On Pastebin were published also screenshots, administrator credentials and other documents.  The Unknowns also posted Air Force documents to the site MediaFire and, from the NASA hack, names, addresses, e-mail addresses and employers on 736 people on Pastebin.

We can consider The Unknowns group as a "grey hat" hacker team because they operate to find exploit without malicious intentions and without providing to the public details of the vulnerabilities exploited, but we must also consider that their operation could also cause serious damage to the victims. At least in this phase the group hasn't a politic direction and it's only focused on its mission.

The group has promised to e-mail victims sending details of their hacks to responsibility the global security community on the management of the vulnerabilities.

“Our goal was never to harm anyone, we want to make this whole Internet world more secured because, simply, it's not at all and we want to help,”

As usual, we make some simple reflections on the events.

Not surprisingly, certainly the genesis of groups that inspired by the famous Anonymous will emulate deeds for noble purposes, however, apparently in this case that puzzles me is the willingness of hackers to come in contact with their victims or potential victims to direct them to appropriate level of security.

All this has very little sense especially in relation to the size of the companies attacked, none of it ever come to terms with these gentlemen, for this reason I believe that unlike other groups, it consists mainly of young hackers, extremely capable, but who have little knowledge of business dynamics. If someone of The Unknown is reading he could contact me so that he can release me an interview that might clarify the real role of the group in today's cyberspace.

Another question that comes to mind, why these folks spend time for the affirmation of security, are they motivated by other intents or we can consider  them as the philanthropic of the sector? Who really lies behind these groups?

Just for the specificity of their motivation I believe that its members are keen supporters of Anonymous from which they have taken away some suggestions in terms of media approach. Phenomena such as this, which is still in an embryonic stage can go out in the bud right for immature reasons, but it can also inflame and reach dangerous dimensions thanks to the media echo that the network provides.

Time will give us more guidance.




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Pierluigi Paganini


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