#OpKillingBay Expands Target Focus

Operation Killing Bay, a hacktivist group that targets Japanese government websites and sites of companies participating in whale and dolphin hunting, is expanding its focus.

The group, better known as #OpKillingBay on social media sites, has begun attacking sites unrelated to the hunts, according to Akamai SIRT members Larry Cashdollar and Ben Brown. One member of #OpKillingBay said that companies targeted not because they supported the hunts, but because they did nothing about them.

Last year, the group’s denial-of-service (DoS) attacks began in early September with an uptick in attacks in October following a TweetStorm. It was a two-pronged campaign, against both Japan for dolphin-hunting and Denmark for whale hunting. Each campaign featured their own website and information regarding each operation. 

This year, the strategy has shifted. Akamai has also observed the group threatening to attack whaling groups from other parts of the world, and has found target lists for sites Iceland and the Faroe Islands. The most-targeted industries thus far are seafood companies, government agencies and theme parks. The group has declared any government site from Japan or Iceland to be a target, giving those country's whaling activities in the past.

“We are also seeing that the attackers involved in #OpKillingBay are spreading out and participating in other operations as well,” Akamai said in an analysis. “On Jan. 12, we started to observe attacks against a Japanese automotive web site. Another automotive company joined the list of victims on February 4, and attacks continued every few days.”

The firm said that it's unclear if the person claiming credit is actually the one launching the attacks, but Akamai is capable of viewing the attack traffic against the mentioned organizations and others that have been targeted within its infrastructure.

Photo © Sergey Uryadnikov

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