Commonwealth hacktivism

Commonwealth Heads State meeting presents attractive hacktivism target

Target: Commonwealth governments and their partners.

Attack Vector: Potentially phishing emails, doxing, data breach, DDoS.

Threat Actor: Various, potential nation states include Russia and Iran. Potential groups include Anonymous.

Summary: On the 19th and 20th of April, heads of the Commonwealth states will be convening in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 (CHOGM 2018). The summit has historically been an opportunity for heads of states to agree on policy for current events, issues such as apartheid in South Africa or others affecting member states of the Commonwealth. With the large concentration of heads of state, media and guests in one location, the summit has proved a prime opportunity for protests and potentially hacktivism.

Risk assessment summary: The threat is assessed as 3e MODERATE. The a large number of heads of state in one location, in addition to the intense media attention such a gathering provides, presents an opportunity for a high profile cyber-attack. This would invariably cause much embarrassment to the Commonwealth and Theresa May, Chair of the summit. As it is a member only summit, excluding nations with whom cold relations are maintained, this further raises the hacktivist threat, particularly in the current political climate. The fact that member states of the bloc have previously been targeted by hacktivist campaigns, such as #OpIsrael and #Africa, provides further motive for hacktivists.

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