It’s a form of a cyber-attack and Internet abuse called “email bombing”, where a recipient email address is inundated by huge volumes of emails as to overwhelm their inboxes and disrupt normal email activities. In this case, at least 33 civic groups from all over Japan — many of them anti-nuclear organizations — have been hit by a series of cyber-attacks bombarding them with a total of 2.53 million email messages since mid-September, group members and a lawyer representing them said on Sunday.
According to lawyer Yuichi Kaido, the civic groups are now considering filing a criminal complaint against the senders of the emails for obstruction of business. The groups which were the targets of these attacks include Fukushima Genpatsu Kokusodan, a group formed by residents of the prefecture affected by the nuclear disaster at the No. 1 plant. According to testimonies from the targeted organizations, the first wave of emails arrived in September, flooding the 33 groups with over 2 million messages, the lawyer said. More messages were sent to two of the groups between late October and earlier this month, disrupting the organizations’ email capabilities.
Some of the emails contained hostile messages, which led the organizations to surmise that this was a planned and deliberate attack on them. The senders are also believed to have used a software program designed to apply a certain email address to online newsletters multiple times, causing the systems to send out confirmation emails automatically to the targeted email addresses. The attackers obtained the email addresses of the civic groups, that was easy enough to do, and then used them to register on websites that automatically return registration confirmations or reply messages. The attackers also used the infamous “Tor” software to block the tracing of their Internet trail and hide the identities and locations of the email senders.
[via Kyodo News]