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Hacking groups are constantly making headlines in the Cyber security news. And with the rise of ever-changing technology, there are limitless nefarious attackers interested in obtaining your “crown jewels.”

Be that as it may, it looks like a universal theme that only a few elites can brag about calling themselves the inimitable hackers. So many come and go – with few exceptions like the Chaos Computer Club. Any time they convene, expect cutting-edge insights to emerge from the proceedings.

Who is the Computer Chaos Club

The Chaos Computer Club (CCC) is undoubtedly Europe’s largest hacking group that has risen to recent prominence. Based in Germany, this iconic group made waves in the last four decades or so due to their cybercrime exploits.

Alongside gaining a legendary-like status, they receive acclaim wherever they go. The hackers say, “knowledge is free.” Expect us.

Where are they from? CCC just started as a small group of hackers in West Berlin in September 1981, today they’re the most famous association of hackers with 7,700 registered members. Although many hacking groups have emerged as a nuisance around the web, Chaos Computer Club has turned out to be resourceful for their government.

Computer Chaos Club are ‘White Hat’ Hackers

Contrary to popular belief, the Chaos Computer Club are white hat hackers who advocate for government transparency, data security and privacy, hacktivism, data security, and human rights to communication. As the most influential digital collective in German-speaking countries, the club also fights for free access to technological infrastructure, information, and the use of open-source software.

Why is CCC one of the most famous hacker group in the world? The association proved to have never waged war and even received official patronage of their government. So we expect any sort of moral code in what the team engages in. The hackers have done the unthinkable in the past, where they first consulted legal experts to ensure their activity is legal. That’s ethical!

Given that this club almost resides around the legal-grey area, the desire and willingness to be a law-abiding hacking group is the critical reason behind their survival. Not only that, they’ve been recognized, accepted, and more impressively glorified by the press.

As stated in their hacker ethics, the group prioritizes performing hacks to uncover a number of information security flaws in the system. Furthermore, they regularly criticize products with weak information security, which will not only endanger the privacy of users but civil rights as well.

Members of the group organize campaigns and lawsuits, gang up as expert witnesses for the German constitution court, and influence even the political process. The CCC boasts a strong public persona, an aura of skilled members, and many outlets to the media. So it’s no surprise why they’ve achieved a very influential feat.

What Are DDoS Attacks?

DDoS attacks are on the rise. The proliferation of smart and IoT devices, expansion of 5G, and more industries shifting their operations to online have led to the birth of DDoS attacks.

Scary and serious, DDoS (denial-of-service) attacks are attempts to flood a network with malicious traffic making it communicate differently as it normally would. This practice halts the online service’s regular traffic. It’s a simple, powerful, and effective method primarily fueled by poor digital habits.

Cybercriminals deploy ‘botnet’ to amass a network of any size’ aiming to take down the web resource and make sure it doesn’t function normally. They target plenty of important resources – from news sites to banks, just to mention a few.

They achieve this by blocking access to;

  • Networks
  • Servers
  • Services
  • Devices
  • applications

Even worse, the service won’t be delivered as you’d expect. Instead, it’s made unavailable to its intended users.

Can a VPN stop DDoS attacks? Honestly speaking, yes. It does battle out this unwanted traffic and requests.  A VPN conceals IP addresses making it a hassle for DDoS attacks to locate your network.

Having a VPN isn’t a foolproof solution. The hackers can still target you if they already know your device’s IP address. Without forgetting that smart hackers go straight to a VPN provider’s servers at times.

That’s to say if a company employs poorly implemented protection when it comes to DDoS attacks, its data is likely to be exposed. A VPN can’t handle DDoS attacks already on servers. It will only make sense once you install it on your devices.

The Computer Chaos Club doesn’t fall short of DDoS attacks. One thing that differentiates them from others is that they are a white hat hacking group. And anything they launch is often successful.

Top 5 Computer Chaos Club Attacks

Computer Chaos Club is by far the most well-publicized hacker group than other big hitters probably because of its knowledgeable base and solid hacking tools that any hacker may espouse today.

What attacks have they conducted in the past? The coordinated group has pulled off one of the most devastating hacks in history. It’s not easy to think CCC is capable of doing this.

1.     Tricked Apple’s iPhone 5s Fingerprint Scanner

The CCC’s biometric hacking team claimed to have successfully tricked the new TouchID security feature on the Apple iPhone 5s. Apple had just released the iPhone 5s with a fingerprint sensor, aiming to strengthen security than before.

Apple’s previous fingerprint technology wasn’t superior to withstand cyber-attacks from notorious invaders. However, Germany’s Computer Chaos Club circumvented fingerprint locking using materials commonly found around our homes.

To beat it, they simply photographed the fingerprint of the device owner with 2400 dpi. Next was to invert the image and laser print it at 1200 dpi. They then poured latex milk into the pattern to make a fingerprint mask and finally breathed on to unlock the phone’s sensor.

“If you had a laser printer, a finger-smudged glass or latex milk, you could bypass the new security feature at ease – that’s according to the CCC hacker group.

The CCC criticizes the use of biometric security systems. Alongside critics, they advise big companies and phone users not to use fingerprints to secure anything. Creating fake fingers is fairly easy if what they say is actually true.

2.     Hackers Associated with CCC Infiltrated Germany’s Elections

When the German government thought all was well with its voting computers, hackers, some of them associated with the CCC, proved they could manipulate the elections. They warned that they could tamper with what the voting kits had recorded.

The hackers went further to say, ‘these machines could be reprogrammed to play chess.’ But the voting computers’ developer didn’t take their words seriously.

While everybody thought it was a prank, the CCC hackers got their hands on the computer to prove they could manipulate votes. As a result, the court nullified the use of voting machines. Oh, that was in 2006.

In Germany, CCC pays closer attention to such issues to ensure democracy isn’t hacked. The group organizes monthly talk shows, publications, campaigns and throws occasional parties.

By revealing flaws in the German government, computer systems, and banking, the club made them more resistant to cyberattacks.

3.     Attack on CDU Connect (A Mobile Application CDU used)

In May 2021, Christian Democratic Union (CDU), a German’s ruling political party allegedly threatened to take legal action against one of the CCC activists following a security bug report.

The spokesman of the hacking group announced that they wouldn’t cooperate with them any longer, resulting in a dispute between the two parties. The CCC security researcher (Lilith Wittmann) claimed security flaws on CDU connect web API (a mobile app the political party uses to reach out to its followers during the election season).

According to the researcher, the app was vulnerable to being tampered with. And this gave unauthorized persons like her access to the private data of more than 18,500 campaign workers.

Some personal information included email addresses, photos, and their interests. More alarming was the date of birth of 1,300 users.

Wittmann felt honor-bound to report the findings to the CDU’s data protection department. Sadly, CDU changed the goal post and threatened the association with legal prosecution. The CCC criticized the move, terming it as “extremely ungrateful.”

4.     BTX-Hack

An early high-profile hack made the Computer Chaos Club a world-famous hacking group in 1984. The club drew the attention of the common man when its founders Steffen Wernéry and Wau Holland discovered a buffer overflow of the Bildschirmtext computer network.

Since the overflow would spit out uuencoded data such as passwords, the hackers managed to debit a staggering amount of money in Hamburg bank in their favor. After the incident, they returned the money back in front of the press.

The bank’s system providers didn’t react to prove this vulnerability was an exaggeration. Instead, they thanked the CCC for making them aware of potential security flaws.

Bundespost responded three days later, saying the system was now safe.

5.     Samsung S8 iris recognition

Although the Samsung S8 iris recognition feature helps keep your phone locked, hackers affiliated with the CCC claimed to have unlocked it.

The company believed that patterns on your phone are virtually impossible to fake or replicate. In fact, “the patterns are unique to you, and your content will stay private,” as quoted on their official website.

We all know that Samsung sensors have a high resolution. However, the hackers bypassed the authentication system by photographing the phone’s owner on a glass surface.

Regular Events by Computer Chaos Club

In addition to what we’ve already mentioned, the CCC organizes educational events around Germany. Other hackerspaces that share the common goals with the CCC offer support to come up with Europe’s biggest hacker gathering called Chaos Communication Congress.

The club hosts this event every year. In 2016, it attracted over 11,000 guests, with other viewers following the event online.

Every four years, all hackers worldwide set their eyes to Chaos Communication Camp, another industrious event that is workshop-oriented.

Another annual CCC event that draws many participants is Easterhegg. Always held on Easter Weekends, the gathering focuses on the impacts of digitization on society.

The Bottom Line

The Computer Chaos Club is a more famous hacker group than you anticipated. While many debated whether their hacking activities should be labeled as terrorist acts or not, the association has proved how important it is to the German community.

Many good deeds the group has done over the years outwit the bad. But, unfortunately, the white hat hacking group has been prolific in attacks while promoting freedom of communication, free access to computers, government transparency, and data security.