All you need to know about Legion, the hacker group that targetted the biggies

Updated: Dec 13, 2016, 13:42 IST | mid-day online correspondent |

A group of hackers who call themself 'Legion' are making news recently. Not only did they shoot into the limelight for breaking into the Twitter accounts of some of the country's most hi-profile personalities, but they have also been posting contents ranging from derisive tweets to private information dumps

All you need to know about Legion, the hacker group that targetted the biggies

A group of hackers who call themself 'Legion' are making news recently. Not only they shot into limelight for breaking into the Twitter accounts of some of the country's most hi-profile personalities, but they have also been posting contents ranging from derisive tweets to private information dumps.

What is Legion?
It is a coalition of like-minded hackers based out of five countries – the United States, Sweden, Canada, Thailand and Romania, according to the Delhi police’s cybercrime cell. The group seeks to expand its activities, leaving its email id -- legion_group@sigaint.org – for more hackers to join their campaign.

what is Sigaint and how does this all work?
In a tweet, 'Legion' -- whose country of origin is yet to be known -- asked people to support them '@sigaint.org'. According to the Sigaint website, it is a 'darknet email service that allows you to send and receive email without revealing your location or identity'. Sigaint claims to provide email IDs which are secure on TOR browser. The website is hosted on 'onion.to' but the service claims it does not host the Sigaint content. Famous among individuals and businesses who want to remain anonymous online, Tor is a free software and an open network that helps users defend against traffic analysis - "a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security". Sigaint also claims that emails created by the network can only be accessed by downloading TOR browser.

Similarities with Legion of Doom ?
A similar hacking group 'Legion of Doom (LoD)' operated in mid 80s that targeted the rich and famous people's email accounts. Although this group does not appear to have any links with the hackers’ group Legion of Doom (LoD) the two groups appear to share ideological goals. LoD remained active till early 2000s. LOD was founded by Lex Luthor which was active in late 1990s and early 2000 and is ranked as one of the most influential hacking groups in the history of technology.

Why is Legion hacking accounts?
Legion portrays itself as cyber vigilantes working to expose the corrupt. But the group is yet to bolster their anti-corruption crusader credentials, given that it has so far offered very little valuable information.

How does Legion operate?
Legion communicates through email servers and browsers that are shielded against surveillance. In other words, it does not use Google Chrome or Internet Explorer but a browser called The Onion Router (TOR), which is difficult to track (provides anonymity) and allows a user to communicate directly with another one. This is also called the darknet, a platform often used by activists and journalists seeking to avoid a surveillance dragnet.

Which are other notorious hacking groups
Lizard Squad, Anonymous, LulzSec, Syrian Electronic Army, Chaos Computer Club (CCC), Iran's Tarh Andishan, The Level Seven Crew, globalHell are some of

Whose accounts have Legion hacked till now
Indian National Congress (INC) and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, business tycoon Vijay Mallya, NDTV journalists Barkha Dutt and Ravish Kumar. While Gandhi's and INC’s Twitter hack mostly consisted of offensive tweets with no information being shared, Mallya’s account wherein information about the cars he owned, passwords for his online accounts, his emails were 'dumped' on a particular website and the link put on his Twitter for everyone to access. The next victim was NDTV journalist Barkha Dutt, whose Twitter account also gave away personal IDs and passwords and email dumps. This was soon followed by another NDTV journalist Ravish Kumar’s Twitter being hacked.

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