Legion hacking group are no Anonymous - they look like cyber criminals

Hackers who sneaked into Rahul Gandhi, Barkha Dutt's Twitter accounts possibly make money via their skills.

 |  2-minute read |   18-12-2016
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Hackers are in the news right now, all thanks to the so-called Legion. The hacking group is behind some recent high-profile hacks in India.

They took control of Twitter accounts of Rahul Gandhi, Barkha Dutt and Vijay Mallya and have also probably stolen thousands of email from people and companies.

Legion has spoken, sporadically, to journalists using the ChatSecure app. But not much is known about these guys.

Although they neither look like white hat hackers, nor like the black hats even if their stated activities — unmasking the corrupt — seem like something that a black hat hacker will do.

Instead, they fall in the grey area, closer to some cyber criminals who often use their skills with computers to earn extra money through unsavoury means. But that’s not surprising.

Several decades after internet brought the geeks and nerds, who would hack into systems from their basements, mainstream recognition, the good hackers have almost vanished from the scene. Now they are either white hat hackers. Or mostly criminals.

llll_121816125833.jpg The so-called Legion hacking group also sneaked into Vijay Mallya's Twitter account.

The white hat hackers hack into systems to expose its flaws publicly and with full knowledge of the people who run the systems, like people who perform cyber security tests within companies like Google.

The black hat hackers hack in a clandestine manner. In fact, they hack and don’t even talk about themselves publicly. Their exploits are carried out for two reasons: gain respect within the hacking communities and to expose the security weaknesses built into web services and computers.

In the 1990s, black hat hackers like Kavin Poulsen became famous. But now, the old school of black and white hackers doesn’t exist.

Most of the hackers are either working for big tech companies or, particularly in the case of hackers in eastern Europe, are into the cyber extortion racket. Many of these hackers get into the systems of big corporations, steal data to sell it to the highest bidder, or just extort the hacked company.

The Legion, from what we know, is somewhat similar.

The guys behind the group make money via their hacking skills, although it’s possible that for India-related hackings, they are just for the “lulz”.

Either way, these are very different from the hackers of 1990s, even if they claim to carry the same torch of righteousness.

Also read: Who hacked Vijay Mallya, Rahul Gandhi's Twitter and what do they want?

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Writer

Javed Anwer Javed Anwer @brijwaasi

Tech editor at http://www.indiatoday.in . I review stuff. and occasionally write at http://www.dailyo.in . can speak intelese. usual disclaimers apply.

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