Better DDoS attacks ahead
Members of Anonymous are developing a new attack tool as an alternative to the LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon) DDoS utility.
The move follows a spate of arrests thought to be connected to use of the LOIC, which by default does nothing to hide a user's identity.
RefRef, which uses a "target site's own processing power against itself" is undergoing field trials, with tests against Pastebin, the blog post by AnonOps Communications reports.
Arrests in UK, Spain and Turkey connected to LOIC-powered attacks have already prompted some core members of Anonymous to move towards using a new server and dropping LOIC in favour of other attack tools, such as Slow Loris and Keep-Dead DoS. This now seems to be purely a stop-gap measure while RefRef undergoes development.
LOIC was originally developed for network stress-testing, but later released into the public domain where, years later, it became a weapon of choice for hacktivists, most notably in the Operation Payback attacks against financial service organisations that blocked accounts controlled by Wikileaks last December following the controversial release of US diplomatic cables.
The problem with LOIC is that unless attacks are anonymised by routing them through networks, such as Tor, then users will be flinging junk packets that are stamped with their IP address at the targeted systems. These IP addresses can then be traced back to suspects by police.
Whether or not RefRef does a better job at anonymisation, by default, remains unclear but early experiments suggest that Anonymous is brewing a more potent attack tool. "Supposedly, the tool will DoS a targeted website with ease," Dancho Danchev, an independent cyber-threats analyst told El Reg. ®