Hacking has become a Political WeaponOn 30 November Reuters reported that Anonymous will shut down Syrian government websites worldwide to fight the government’s countrywide Internet blackout, which many believe was put into effect to silence opposition to President Bashar al-Assad.

According to Martin Chulov of The Guardian, in his 29 November article, “Syria shuts off internet access across the country,” on the 29th of November Syrian officials shut down the Internet and phone networks throughout the country: “While officials have frequently shut down Internet and mobile phone access to opposition-held areas since the uprising began in March 2011, sometimes for weeks at a time, they have never before cut Web and voice communications nationwide.”

Anonymous, a loose affiliation of hacking groups that opposes Internet censorship, promised on 30 November to “remove from the Internet all Web assets belonging to Assad’s government that are outside Syria, starting with embassies,” but as of 17:00 GMT 3 December the websites of the country’s embassies in Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Canberra, Kuala Lumpur, London, Washington, DC were all operating.

2012 was the year hacking became a political weapon. Anonymous has launched attacks against the US Central Intelligence Agency and against Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency. In early November, during the Israeli military assault on Gaza, the Israeli government reported 44 million hacking attempts on its websites. Even smaller government entities aren’t safe – earlier this year, as a gift to the citizens of Springfield, Missouri, gray hat hackers breached the city’s website and redacted all data that could cause problems to civilians,” including online police reports and miscellaneous warrant and summons data.

Politics aside, whether you’re a multinational corporation, a government office or an up-and-coming SME, one of the best things you can do for your organization is to protect your website from cyber-attacks. Hackers can quickly and easily compromise the integrity of your data and the reputation of your brand, unless you garrison your site.

An Acunetix scan can provide information on the vulnerabilities available to hackers on your site, allowing you to fix them before hackers can exploit them. Acunetix safeguards the websites of many prestigious international companies, including American Express, Barclays, Cisco and the London Stock Exchange. Acunetix security scanning solutions are available both as a software download and as an online service.

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Acunetix developers and tech agents regularly contribute to the blog. All the Acunetix developers come with years of experience in the web security sphere.