Monday’s wave of cyber attacks on the Thai government was just a warning shot. On Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning, Anonymous took down the central government and revenue department websites as it intensified attacks in protest of the single-gateway mass surveillance program and Computer Crime law.
While the central government website takedown is an important symbolic gesture, the revenue department is more worrying, although as of 0700 local time the actual deep links to the tax payment pages were still operational even though the main site was down.
The Twitter account @anonplus_info explained that the attack was a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.
Up until now most of the #opSingleGateway attacks were website defacements and the occasional data dump and doxxing.
The other major scalp for the night was the leaking of data from multiple government jobs websites – including the names of its users – on the Onion network.
This attack was reported on Hackread, which said it contained data obtained from job postings from the Revenue Department, Administrative Court, Fine Arts Department, Department of Cooperative Auditing, Provincial Waterworks Authority, Public Debt Management Office, Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Digital Economy Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, among other departments.
Elsewhere, another hack victim – with screenshots of root access – was the Thai consulate web server in Belgium.
While the scope of Anonymous’ reach is frightening, so far it does only seem to cover web portal data. The fact that much of Thai government is still paper-based and only relies on IT to track the custodianship of documents is probably a good thing at this stage.
The government still has not responded to the huge wave of attacks on Monday.
One of the Anons in the pop-up post-attack chatrooms remarked that the government is silent on the attacks in hopes of playing them down, as they are not sure what to do or how to react. The silence may be in hopes of riding out the storm.
The last official comment was on Jan 3, when Army commander-in-chief General Chalermchai Sittisat said that, due to a lack of skilled personnel, the army would hire civilians to staff an army cyber-warrior unit.
While Prime Minister General Prayut Chanocha has repeatedly dismissed news about the single gateway as merely a clerical error and misunderstanding, the cabinet secretariat has issued at least four prime ministerial orders referring to cabinet resolutions that have ordered various ministries to expedite the single gateway project.
However, the official record of cabinet resolutions on the cabinet secretariat website that the PM orders refer to does not show any mention of the single gateway, which would suggest that one of them is in error – not once but four times.