Recently, the NHPPA was victim to two simultaneous and unauthorized attacks—and it wasn’t a hobby hacker.
While our resident tech specialist (who has handled threats and kept us safe for 15 years) is positive it was social engineering, the attack was specific and targeted. It took the hacker many steps to identify points of entry and anything weak within our system.
Below we outline why we couldn’t respond to your emails or have access to our website to update or upload our work.
On a morning, as normal as any other, we tried to log into the main NHPPA computer and found that we kept getting an error. On the fourth and last attempt we saw the issue and took a screen shot. It’s what you see above, “You’ve been hacked. LOL.” We didn’t think it was funny.
This type of hack is termed a “denial of service” or “DOS” attack, and it was meant to stop us from working. In that respect, this attack was successful and effective. It is an unfortunate and sobering reality that there are many individuals and organizations with a vested interest to prevent NHPPA from working without costly-to-fix and time-consuming barriers.
This is not the first time we have been targeted by cybercriminals. Since NHPPA’s inception, we have experienced consistent attacks—at least one significant threat per year. Each attack we’ve experienced is unique. The most common though have been assaults that are wire and microchip. As with this most recent attack, we are regularly hacked to keep us from accessing our hardware; locked out of our own computer, ransomed, and even mocked. We’ve experienced denial of service, internet connection disruption, have been sent a range of viruses and trojans, had our credit card compromised through phishing and within a period of two weeks a few years ago, had our donations “clickjacked”. We never got those back and actually had to pay out funds that we never received.
We were protected and prepared for this most recent attack. It could have been a lot worse. Our security is robust and stopped any of our confidential files and work from being infiltrated, stolen or deleted.
Nobody is 100% safe online, that’s a way of life. We click on things by accident, open what we shouldn’t with emails and attachments coming from our “internal team”, and end up in places where hackers are waiting. These are all mistakes made by the public as well, but NHPPA gets targeted. It’s an assault. There have been serious attempts on the NHPPA over a dozen times, plus hundreds more phishing attempts, pretexting and malware traps.
We have every contingency available. All possible protection methods are active. When some new way to wreak digital havoc is thought up—we repair, rebuild, and keep going.
In unison with the NHPPA computer attack, our website theme was dismantled and replaced with a generic and non-functional one. It’s the code that makes NHPPA’s website look like our website when you visit it. As you can see below, this attack made our website unusable by the public. You may have noticed you were unable to access any historic content during this time.
Further, our backend system to add content was rendered inoperable. This meant that NHPPA was unable to add new content to our website until our tech specialist was able to restore both systems—our physical main office computer and our website.
Often, with a ransomware or a high-jacking attack, the hacker gives you an option to “pay your way” to unlock or recover your PC. There was no such action with this attack. Our tech specialist also couldn’t reverse this particular attack without hardware access, meaning the physical computer with our files had to be rebuilt. Specifically, parts were replaced, software was re-uploaded, and our files, restored.
Because there was no ransomware or unlock with cost option for either of these attacks, we were unable to trace it. We’re reminded that we have staunch detractors who are willing to go to great lengths to censor the information we provide to the Canadian public.
There are many who would like to censor NHPPA’s work, Youtube included—but we persist.
YouTube’s recent censorship of our content and this latest hack are just two of the reasons that NHPPA has been developing a community space where we can come together to speak openly and listen to one another’s ideas, thoughts and solutions. The upcoming LIVE with Shawn Buckley community is now re-scheduled to open March 1, 2023.
Get in first. Seats will be open to 880 people, nationwide, with first spots given to current NHPPA friends and advocates!
Join our waitlist, by clicking the button below and finding out more!