An interview with the ex-administrator of hacktivism group KittenSec

    Pushfs recently gave an interview to the on the condition of anonymity about KittenSec motivations for #OpRomania and about phenomenon of hacktivism in the era of AI and digitalization.

    When did KittenSec Group arise and how did you manage to find each other?

    KittenSec was formed just before the Romanian hack for fun! We found each other through existing members from various previous activities; then some members introduced other people, who then became part of our group after showcasing their skills to us.

    You describe yourself as a “trans anarchist hacktivist and malware researcher/whatnot comes to mind that’s mostly interested in web offensive security.” From your experience, what are the biggest challenges in hacktivism?

    Some of us identify as straight, while others do not. The most significant challenges involve securing websites and servers. It’s really hard to find interesting vulnerable sites and sources, wich is why I really respect people who specialize in recon. Hacking itself might be straightforward, but ensuring their security and staying updated with recent exploits are the more difficult aspects. Despite engaging in hacking activities, we acknowledge and give credit to those who maintain good security measures.

    What dangers do hacktivists face, and what advantages might they expect?

    We can encounter various dangers, such as being exposed and having our information inadvertently leaked to the public. To be fairly honest, this community is also heavily toxic, so hackers and hacktivists have to hide from the feds but also protect themselves from other people in the community. You can’t really trust anyone. On the other hand, the benefits include gaining knowledge, financial gains, “fame” (even though I kind of hate fameseekers), or even establishing connections and networking.

    What criteria does a hacktivist use to choose his targets? Are they aiming for particular geographical areas or entities in certain domains?

    Hackers can utilize tools like Shodan or Zoomeye to identify vulnerable targets based on specific search parameters, then exploit them on a larger scale, or chain exploits. For example, you can find a RCE in a system wich leads you inside of an intranet with more compromised sources. Some individuals target specific companies for financial gain and fame, while others do it for learning and enjoyment. We also do hacktivism to show our beliefs and motives. Certain people focus on targeting entities for bug bounties too.

    You want to break the radio silence about #OpRomania. Cyberattacks tend to be driven by a message. What messages are you trying to send out with #OpRomania?

    The messages we intend to convey are related to the corruption within the country. We are highlighting how the government is dishonest, often lying to enrich themselves at the expense of the citizens’ well-being.

    Is there something that drew your attention to the Romanian entities?

    As mentioned earlier, it’s the prevalent corruption that caught our attention.

    What effects does hacktivism have on society and what potential outcomes do you see?

    Hacktivism can result in numerous dire consequences, including rendering people homeless and devastating lives. There are numerous distressing actions that individuals can take, such as targeting essential infrastructures like hospitals and schools. We strongly condemn those who target critical facilities required for sustaining human life, such as hospitals, water supplies, and schools for children.

    What will the future of hacktivism look like with all the digitalization that is going on?

    We anticipate significant advancements in security and automation due to the ongoing digitalization, coupled with the evolution of increasingly sophisticated AI technologies. The proliferation of AI-powered security measures might pose a challenge to human hacktivists, as AI systems may eventually dominate these security measures, if they haven’t already.

    How did you choose the name KittenSec? What ties hacktivism and cats/kittens together?

    The name was selected somewhat spontaneously as a jest (because cats are silly, as we are), but it surprisingly gained traction and became associated with our group. The connection between hacktivism and cats or kittens was not initially intentional but has become a part of our group’s identity over time.

    Why do we do this?

    We would like to expose the corruption between the government and how they use their people. Same goes for the big companies. It’s not out of hate, it’s to make the people in other countries open their eyes and stand to the corruption rather than take it in.

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