Hackers launched the highly sophisticated and malicious attack directed at third parties that work with guns.com. Hackers will use this method of attack to get around the security features of the target website. By attacking third parties like a WordPress plugin, the hackers can cause widespread disruption to the target. The attack only lasted 10 minutes, but it took the website several days to get the site back online.
The majority of cyber-attacks in the world focus on financial gain for the hacker. A small but still sizable number of attacks are for political reasons. These attacks are known as hacktivism. The attack on guns.com appears to be the latter. The hackers didn’t steal any personal information of guns.com customers.
The attack’s sole purpose seems to be preventing the company from doing lawful business on the internet.
Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen conservative websites such as Parler be deplatformed by big tech. The Silicon Valley giants have also targeted gun websites such as ar15.com for Deplatforming. Go Daddy booted the popular gun website from its service without warning. Many in the gun community wondered if guns.com fell victim to the same internet censorship.
Leading to even more confusion, around the same time a major firearm manufacture’s website went down. In that case, it was due to a technical issue that arose during an upgrade of its servers. That site came back up the same night.
Today guns.com released a statement apologizing to its customers and reassured them that the hackers did not compromise any private information about their customer base. The company expects to be able to fulfill any orders that were affected by the attack.
In a statement, guns.com said: “First, we want to apologize for any inconvenience this has caused our customers. We are working hard to make sure that any and all orders that were impacted are fulfilled satisfactorily, and fully expect to be able to do so.”
The attack on guns.com is a reminder that gun websites and gun owners are in the cross-hairs of gun-grabbing politicians and radical anti-gun extremists. These extremists will do anything in their power to shut down gun companies and other sites that are not in line with their political belief system.
Many websites use a DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service Attack) mitigation service like Cloudflare. Still, these services are starting to take political sides due to outside pressure from politicians and left-wing groups. When Cloudflare began, the company vowed not to make decisions based on its customer’s beliefs, but its stance has changed. The service started booting customers that didn’t agree with the companies left-wing viewpoints. Most other mitigation services have followed Cloudflare’s suit, leaving sites vulnerable to attacks.
Sites need to harden their infrastructure through constant patching and nightly backups.
Attacks on gun sites will not slow down in the upcoming years. If anything, these malicious attacks will increase.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.