Australia Top 3 Target for Bangladeshi Hacktivists

Australia is one of the top three countries targeted by hacktivist group Mysterious Team Bangladesh. Recently released research by Group IB shows Australian entities are the targets in 12.3% of the group’s distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, trailing only India (34%) and Israel (18.1%).


Mysterious Team Bangladesh has carried out over 850 DDoS attacks since June 2022. While their primary targets are logistics, government, and financial sector entities in India and Israel, the group also conducts multi-wave campaigns focused on specific countries, including Australia. Religious and political motives are usually behind these attacks.


Mysterious Team Bangladesh attacks on specific countries like Australia tend to be short but intense and often start with a media article piquing their interest.


An Australian fashion designer attracted the group’s attention in March after sending models down the runway wearing garments displaying the Arabic text for Allah. That fashion faux pax is said to have led to seventy DDoS on Australian entities, although not all stemmed from Mysterious Team Bangladesh. However, as a result, hacktivists targeted Australian government agencies, banks, and infrastructure entities in a series of DDoS attacks.


In February, Dutch and Swedish entities came under attack from the group following a Quran-burning incident. Typically, the group’s preferred targets are government and financial entities, but if they prove difficult to breach, a more widespread “thematic” DDoS on entities in that particular country gets underway. Country-specific attacks are generally shortlived (about a week) before the group moves on to their next target country or reverts to attacking Israel and India. Mysterious Team Bangladesh has been attacking Israeli entities under the banner “Project Israel” for over 12 months.

DDoS constitutes the bulk (88.4%) of the group’s activity, with lesser recorded incidents of website defacement (9%) and accessing website databases (2.6%).


Analysts know little about the origin and makeup of Mysterious Team Bangladesh. Its formation dates from 2020 but the group only became active in mid-2022. The founder and the leader of the group, a person called D4RK_TSN, is the most active member. The group expresses strong pro-Bangladeshi views and has conducted at least four attacks on Indian entities. Mysterious Team Bangladesh online comments (primarily on Telegram) and attacks reveal a strong religious theme and intolerance of any real or perceived criticism of Islam.


Group IB suggests the “renaissance” of hacktivism originates in current geopolitical conflicts. However, it now also argues existing groups like Mysterious Team Bangladesh are more motivated by generating brand awareness and potential revenue opportunities.


Group IB says Mysterious Team Bangladesh is highly active and targets mainly India and Israel. “However, the attackers have recently launched campaigns against organizations in Senegal, Ethiopia, Australia, Sweden, the Netherlands, and other countries.


“We assume that the group will expand its operations further in 2023. They will likely intensify their attacks in Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East, and expect that they will continue to have a particular focus on financial companies and government entities.”


Mysterious Team Bangladesh actively monitors their media coverage. In response to one recent article detailing their activity in certain countries, the group replied, “expect us.” The group is currently targeting government agencies and other entities in Senegal.



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