With the US presidential election drawing near, Anonymous’ war against Donald Trump and threat to expose Ted Cruz’s sex scandal is taking over headlines.
While the loosely organized, leaderless, faceless group wreaking havoc on our political candidates is a ton of fun to watch, just how much teeth have they got behind that Guy Fawkes mask?
Let’s take a look at some of their most famous hacks of all time.
In 2008, after the Church of Scientology removed a video where Tom Cruise claimed that Scientologists are the only people who can help after a car accident, and Scientologists are the authority on getting addicts off drugs, Anonymous struck.
Anonymous issued a “Message to Scientology” on YouTube, on January 21, 2008. The video states that Anonymous views Scientology’s actions as Internet censorship. This was followed by distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS), black faxes,prank calls, etc. In February 2008, the focus of the protest shifted to legal methods, including nonviolent protests and an attempt to get the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the Church of Scientology’s tax exempt status in the United States.
In 2011, Anonymous took on child pornography. Lolita City, a child pornography site run over a concealed “darknet” was disabled by Anonymous, and account details of 1,589 users were exposed to the public.
Anonymous’ attack was focused on a hosting service called Freedom Hosting, which the group claims was the largest host of child pornography. “By taking down Freedom Hosting, we are eliminating 40+ child pornography websites,” Anonymous claimed in its statement. “Among these is Lolita City, one of the largest child pornography websites to date, containing more than 100GB of child pornography.”
And it didn’t stop there. Pedophiles’ bubble of fun turned into vapor when Anonymous invited the FBI to investigate further.
Attack on HBGary
Anonymous group had performed a series of high-profile denial-of-service attacks on PayPal, MasterCard, and Visa, after the credit card companies and payment processor halted all donations in support of WikiLeaks.
Law enforcement agencies around the world wanted to know who was behind the pro-WikiLeaks attacks—and Aaron Barr thought it was the perfect opportunity to get HBGary Federal’s name some high profile press and reinvigorate the business. So on February 5th, 2011, Barr announced his plans to unmask Anonymous’ main players.
The reaction from Anonymous was immediate and brutal.
Anonymous took down Barr’s website, stole his emails, deleted the company’s back-up data, and remotely wiped his iPad.
In a chat log, they spoke with Barr, who was using the name “CogAnon.”
<tflow> CogAnon: I feel sorry for what’s about to happen. I really do.
<Sabu> You intended of battling anonymous in the media for media gain and attention
<Sabu> well let me ask you
<Sabu> you got the media attention now
<Sabu> how does it feel
<Topiary> Oh guys, what’s coming next is the delicious cake.
<nigg> so who wants all of
<nigg> his emails?
<Sabu> uhm you have his emails????
<nigg> 2.3gb’s of gold
<Topiary> sure, I’d enjoy some 68,000 emails
<Topiary> can we please have 68,000 of their emails?
<Topiary> oh wait we totally already have them
<CogAnon> lol..ok guys well u got me right. 🙂
Some think Anonymous’ attack led to Barr’s eventual resignation.
Arab Spring Activities
Outside of the US, Anonymous supported uprisings in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, by attacking government websites, helping revolutionaries organize, and raising awareness about the conflicts.
Anonymous uses technological methods of nonviolent collective actions to achieve political goals. Among other tactics, Anonymous members provide translation services for in-country activists, create internet access points, and hold denial of service attacks/internet sit-ins.
I don’t know about you, but these hacktivists sound pretty frightening to me. April 1 is only three days away, and that is the date set out by Anonymous to commence the cyberwarfare attacks on Trump’s entities including TrumpChicago.com,DonaldJTrump.com, Trump.com, Trumphotelcollection.com and Trump’s online campaign destinations including DonaldTrump2016online.com and CitizensForTrump.com.
Trump, you better watch out.