Anonymous has been on the news lately, but just in case you don’t know who or what they are they pretty much are an unorganized “organized” group of hacktivist that are accused by the police for starting “active civil disobedience.” They spread this so called “civil disobedience” via the internet. According to Wikipedia the group is said to have originated back in 2003 on the image board 4chan.
Anonymous is now a digitized global brain of an anarchic group of people and no one knows who they are. Their logo of a business suit without a head is supposed to represent a leaderless organization and anonymity.
Now that you have a basic idea of who they are, here are the top ten attacks by anonymous. And while they are called “attacks” keep in mind that most of these attacks were against large companies and not the users, so while many people claim that they (anonymous) is hurting the user, in reality they are only attacking the large corporations.
–Number One —
The first attack is going to be from 2008, this is perhaps the first time the group gained some serious media attention. The attack was called: Project Chanology – This attack was against the church of Scientology. On January 14, 2008, the church produced a video where they interviewed Tom Cruise, later on the day, the video landed on Youtube. One of the main problems with the Church of Scientology is the fact that Scientology is legally recognized as a tax–exempt religion in the United States and other countries. After the release of the video, on January 21, 2008, Anonymous posted the video at the bottom on youtube as a response to the Scientology video.
So what happened?: Well, project Chanology started off with a couple of DDoS Attacks against the Scientology websites, the attack escalated into a more “physical” form by flooding the Scientology centers and churches with black faxes. The group then began to prank call several centers non stop. Anonymous managed to take down several websites effectively forcing Scientology.org to move to Prolexic Technologies, a company that guards websites from DDoS attacks. On January 24, 2008, Anonymous launched a huge attack against Scientology.org the attack had more than 60,000 computers accessing the website at the same time. By January 25, 2008 The church of Scientology’s website was officially taken down by Anonymous. Anonymous protested around the world throughout the year and it brought thousands of protesters to the front of Scientology Churches.
Operation Didgeridie & Titstorm: Back in September of 2009 Anonymous came back into the picture, this time it was protecting the “civil rights” of the Australian people. The Aussie Gov. began to block several websites from being accessed, they planned for ISP-Level censorship of the internet. This angered several Australians since they were denied the freedom of Information. Finally, on September 9, Anonymous took down the prime minister’s website with a DDoS attack. The attack was less than organized and it only lasted about one hour, but it managed to get the point across. Several month’s later on February 10, 2010 Anonymous uploaded the video to the right as a warning to the Australian Government, but more importantly, it was addressed to Kevin Rudd and Channel Seven News.
So what happened?: At about 8:00 AM, they launched the attack they had warned about in the video, a more sophisticated attack called “Operation Titstorm” they defaced the prime minister’s website by placing pornographic images of small breasted women and images of female ejaculation. Anonymous then took down the Australian Parliament House website for three days straight, Anonymous almost managed to take down the Department of Communications’ website. The only reason they were unable to take down the Website was because the government was expecting the attack. However, these attacks effectively slowed down the censorship, on July 2010, Conroy, the guy in charge of the censorship, delayed implementing the plan pending a 12-month review.
Operations Payback, and Avenge Assange: in 2010, there was a huge attack against websites that did not follow software take down notices. According to the “film” companies, websites were instructed to take down pirated software, images, and videos. However, after the websites failed to follow the notices, the companies hired Aiplex Software to launch DDoS attacks against those websites. On September 2010 Operation Payback was launched by Anonymous to attack Aiplex Software directly, unfortunately a couple of hours before the attack, Anonymous found out that Aiplex Software was already down by another person, Operation Payback re-targeted their attacks against websites of copyright stringent organizations and law firms. In December 2010, wikileaks came under intense pressure to stop publishing secret information. In response, anonymous re-targeted their attack to support WikiLeaks. And then, on April 2011, Anonymous again changed their attack, to attack the Media Giant Sony named OpSony, while this was considered a different attack, it was still part of Operation Payback. The reason Anonymous took down Sony was because of the legal action against George Hotz (GeoHot) the hacker that Jail Broke his Play Station 3, to give it access to other features that were taken out of the system. Overall, Operation Payback was an attack with three different operations.
So what happened?: On the first attack, Anonymous began to attack anti-piracy websites and organizations effectively taking down several webpages. Including ACS Law, when ACS Law’s website came back online, Anonymous released a 350MB series of documents The documents had e-mails and Some of the emails contained unencrypted Excel spreadsheets, that had the names and addresses of people that ACS law had accused of illegally sharing media. Later that month, VA office of Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver law firm – was evacuated by the police after an emailed bomb threat was received.
The second attack was a DDoS against Amazon, Paypal, Visa, Master card, and a Swiss Bank Post Finance in retaliation of the companies cancelling services and funding to WikiLeaks members. The operation was called Avenge Assenge, the attacks effectively took down Visa and MaserCard’s websites on December 8. At the same time, Anonymous took down a Swedish Prosecutor’s website after Julian Assange was arrested in London and was refused bail.
The last attack was Operation OpSony, the operation took down the entire playstation network. While many people claim that Anonymous was not involved, they were still blamed for the actions. The network was down for several weeks on end, and even after they returned back online, they were taken down a second time. Out of these three attacks, there was only one video put out by Anonymous, which is the video posted above.
Attack on HB Garry Federal: On February 5, 2011 Aaron Barr the chief executive of the Security firm HBGary Federal stated that his firm had actually infiltrated the Anonymous group. He stated that instead of handing over the identity and information of the anonymous users, he was going to release their information on a later date in a conference in San Francisco.
So what happened?: Well, Anonymous got pissed simple as that, In retaliation Anonymous hacked the website of HBGary Federal and replaced the welcome page with a message that said you should not mess with anonymous, and that the website hack was necessary to defend itself. Anonymous used a series of attacks and other types of techniques, they used Social engineering and SQL Injections. After the attack, anonymous took control of the companies e-mail, and dumped over 68,000 e-mails from the system erasing files and even taking down the companies phone system. Among the documents that were hacked was a Power Point presentation that was called “the Wikileaks Threat” that was put together by HBGary and it pointed out important contributors to wikileaks, they even had a strategic plan to attack the website. If that wasn’t enough, anonymous took control of Aaron Barr’s twitter account and posted Mr. Barr’s home address and social security number. After the attacks, they continued to send black faxes to the company and also made phone calls with threat messages.
The attack against the Westboro Church: We all know how what happened on this one, on February 16, 2011 anonymous sent out an open letter to the church stating to “Cease and desist your protest campaign in the year 2011, close your websites. Should you ignore this warning, the propaganda and testable doctrine that you promote will be eradicated; the damage incurred will be irreversible and neither your institution nor your congregation will ever be able to fully recover.” Well, on February 19, 2011 the church sent them a message back and they told anonymous to “bring it on” and in a matter of hours they did. Anonymous responded by calling them “professional trolls” and the screaming and shouting battle got started, The church called them Nerds, anonymous called them other worse names etc. Eventually instead of attacking the church’s website, anonymous opted against that because they were afraid that the church would gain further publicity. Instead anonymous suggested to send male prostitutes to “rape their a$$es” That and at the time Anonymous was focusing their efforts in the 2011 Libyan protests. Anonymous stated that they did not want to attack because “when anonymous says we support free speech, we mean it. We count the church among our anonymous forebears: we disapprove of what you say, but we will defend to the death your right to say it”
So what happened?: Well, WBC kept on attacking Anonymous and one time during an interview with an alleged anonymous user took down the Westboro Website down. You can see the video at the bottom to see it in action.
So what happens next? Well On August 2011, someone created an account on Twitter with the name OP_Facebook and announced the “Operation Facebook“. The account claims that they will take Facebook down on November 5, 2011. And of course anonymous will continue to grow as websites and companies continue to try and abuse their privileges.