What is this ‘Legion’ that hacked Vijay Mallya, Rahul Gandhi and INC Twitter accounts?

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Updated: December 9, 2016 12:20:52 PM

After Rahul Gandhi and Congress' official Twitter accounts were hacked, this group which identifies themselves as 'Legion' has now hacked the verified account of Indian businessman Vijay Mallya.

vijay mallya, vijay mallya account hacked, legion hackers, legion, who is legion, legion hack, vijay mallya twitter account, legion group, vijay mallya phone number, vijay mallya currenct address, vijay mallya assets, vijay mallya non bailable warrantm vijay mallya warrantm warrant against vijay mallya, vijay mallya warrantThese hacks raise several questions, but the moot question is who are these hackers who form the ‘Legion’ and how far do they wish to go? Will they be going the Julian Assange way of WikiLeaks? (Reuters)

After Rahul Gandhi and Congress’ official Twitter accounts were hacked, this group which identifies themselves as ‘Legion’ has now hacked the verified account of Indian businessman Vijay Mallya. The group who was found to be posting abusive tweets from both the accounts earlier has taken it a notch higher and posted several tweets from Vijay Mallya’s account which includes details about the absconding liquor baron. The group also provided a folder which contains several documents which include Mallya’s passport, residency permit in the UK, domestic and overseas assets, letters and more. However, there is no information about the authenticity of the addresses and documents as of now.

In the meantime, these hacks raise several questions as well. But the moot question is who are these hackers from Legion and how far do they wish to go? Will they be going the Julian Assange way of WikiLeaks? Is Twitter that unsafe for the netizens? To answer such questions we need to wait till these hackers are caught, or till they hack another account to ‘expose’ someone else. As of now, all we know is this group’s e-mail id. The group tweeted, “People and brothers who support the cause – Join us! Email us at legion_group@sigaint.org”

But what is this organisation called SIGAINT whose email id this group is using? According to their website, the service is used to provides privacy that helps ‘journalists and activists combat the dragnet surveillance that exists on the Internet today’. To understand SIGAINT, you need to know what is the ‘darknet’ and what is Tor. Dark Web is basically an encrypted network that exists between Tor servers and their clients. To put it simply, Tor, and acronym for The Onion Router’ is a free software or service which provides anonymity in communication on the web. This essentially is a volunteer network which protects a user’s location and how one uses the internet and hides it from surveillance and online traffic analysis.

Also read | Vijay Mallya’s Twitter account hacked; ‘Legion’ provides ‘sensitive’ information and vouches to bring him to justice

Apart from providing privacy to a user it also gives freedom and capability to the user to make confidential communication as it protects from monitoring activities on the internet. Aptly named ‘onion’ this service provides layers of encryption to conceal user identity. Tor encrypts data as well as IP addresses and through a virtual circuit, it randomly and continuously changes them so it is almost impossible to track.

Also read | After Rahul Gandhi, Congress’ Twitter account gets hacked

Meanwhile, SIGAINT is a hidden email service on TOR. It provides email ids which are highly secure and difficult to trace. These connect through two email ids: @sigaint.org and @siganit.onion for regular emails and Tor-enabled emails. These emails have limited storage space and expire after one year unless upgraded. Apart from hackers, even many security experts suggest using this email service as it is extremely secure. The service was hacked only once in 2015, rumoured to be done by the government-aided server, however, SIGNET admins denied such claims, and instead added more security to the website. This email can only be accessed by downloading TOR browser. There have been severing cases of cyber fraud, and hackers were found to be using this service for email ids. This gives us an idea that the ‘Legion’ group is well-versed with the hidden technologies of the internet and it remains to be seen where will they stop.

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