Before we get started, the world should know more about what Anonymous is, our ideology and that which bonds us together. What we have done in the past has been beneficial for many government organizations and we have undoubtedly taken a stand for people who have been oppressed, and we have helped them protect their rights. Hacking is not the only thing our people do, but it comes naturally because of the means that we use to protest- the internet.
Whether it comes down to taking a stand against child pornography, helping governments identify Chinese military hackers or taking down different websites of massive hate groups; we always strive to be a force of good.
Image Source: Google Image – Harold Charles “Hal” Turner is an American white nationalist, Holocaust denier and blogger from North Bergen, New Jersey.
The Supremacist Radio Show
So let us begin… in the winter of 2006, the hacking division of Anonymous took down the website of white supremacist radio host, Hal Turner. This hack cost him thousands of dollars worth of bandwidth bills. So naturally, he sued 4chan, eBaum’s World, 7chan and a few other websites for copyright infringement. However, he lost the plea for injunction (it is an equitable remedy in the form of a court order that compels a party to do or refrain from specific acts) and failed to receive letters from the court, which caused the lawsuit to lapse.
Image Source: Google Image – Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986), beginning in 1952 as a successor to his earlier self help system, Dianetics.
War on Scientology
In January of 2008, Anonymous decided to take down the church of Scientology, a “cult-like religion,” and the project was dubbed ‘Chanology.’ The reason for the attack stemmed from a video that was made by the church, featuring Tom Cruise. When it was leaked on YouTube, it caused such outrage amongst church members that they issued a copyright violation claim against YouTube and requested the removal of the video. When this matter came to light, Anonymous created a video message (click to watch the video) and sent it to the church. After that, it was a mere matter of several waves of ‘Denial of Service’ attacks against their websites, prank calls and full-page black-color faxes to the centers of Scientology.
Image Source: Google Image – The Pirate Bay front page on June 20th, 2009.
The Persian Bay
In 2009 during the Iranian Presidential elections, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won by allegedly having rigged the elections. Now, with Mahmoud celebrating his victory as Iranian President, many Iranians participated in demonstrations. Anonymous, in allegiance with Pirate Bay and various Iranian hackers, supported the people by actively participating in ‘hacktivism’ against the Iranian government, shutting down government and semi-government websites and launching an Iranian Green Movement website. The site drew over twenty two thousand supporters worldwide and helped with the exchange of information internationally.
Image Source: Google Image – A protester from the Westboro Baptist Church carrying signs.
The Westboro Baptist Church is notoriously hateful, and likes to point fingers at everyone…. but themselves. Anonymous decided to send a message to the Church. It read, “Cease & desist your protest campaign in the year 2011. Close your public Web sites. Should you ignore this warning. The propaganda & detestable 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.” To which the church responded “Bring It”, calling Anonymous a bunch of “pimple faced nerds” and “kids.” Then in February of the same year, Anonymous successfully took down Westboro Baptist Church’s website.
Image Source: Google Image – A powerful drawing of a child
Identifying Child Pornographers
Whether you agree with our ideology or not, all of us agree on one thing: we hate child molesters, and we hate pedophiles. In October of 2011 Anonymous took down websites that were associated to child pornography. Most of them were on the TOR network, using special grids and systems. Anonymous deciphered their encrypted websites, defaced them, and also provided the locations of their servers.
Image Source: Google Image – A parade in honor of North Korea 65th Anniversary Kim Jong-II
Taking Down North Korea
On April, Anonymous started Operation Free Korea, in which they demanded Kim Jong-un resign, create a fair and free democracy state, leave behind all the nuclear ambitions, release their internet restrictions… and the list goes on.
Anonymous also claimed that if they do not meet their demands, they would wage a cyber war against North Korea. On the 3rd of April, 2013, Anonymous stated that it had hacked fifteen thousand user passwords of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea state website and a few days later it had also hacked Uriminzokkiri (a state controlled website that provides Korean language news from North Korea Central News Agency. The term Uriminzokkiri literally translates into “Our Nation Itself”) and also took down their Twitter accounts as well as Flickr pages representing the website. The 22nd June 2013 was the grand finale of this hack, stealing military documents from North Korea and releasing them on the 25th of June – the day the Korean War had started.
Image Source: Google Image – The famous Anonymous logo with slogans ‘Operation Israel’ underneath
OpIsrael or operation Israel was a coordinated cyber attack by anti-Israeli individuals and Anonymous-affiliated groups that targeted websites that were linked to or perceived as pro-Israeli. The attacks mostly consisted of Denial of Service attacks, and defacing the sites. The main agenda of this operation was to erase Israel form the face of the internet. The hackers targeted several different government online banking websites, as well as small businesses.
Image Source: Google Image – Protest art
Operation National Security Agency
During the last the days of November, Anonymous decided to target the National Security Agency and many other United States government organizations because of their drag-net spying on the internet activity of all American citizens. The reason to do this was simple to expose the corruption. This is why OpNSA was born for exposing politicians accepting bribes to vote in favor of bills that will profit their lobbying partners and thus destroy the freedom of the American republic. With a statement, “Many fear the government but the government still fears many. It fears that educated and empowered few who are willing to say enough and act. It fears the open minded. It fears you. Put some time to take action and be part of something important. The restoration of our freedom.” The target was to disrupt the keywords surveillance system. And so the attack was launched. Thousands of Anons gathered at #opnsa chat room and conducted attacks; the NSA servers did go down for sometime.
Image Source: Google Image – An infographic shows which cities are held by ISIS militants
On the 9th of last month, the hacker collective launched an attack on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s social media accounts and other websites, through which they had recruited man of their young and easily-manipulated followers. Anonymous destroyed their online documents and months of other work that ISIS had spent putting together, and released a statement: “ISIS, we will hunt you, take down you sites, accounts, emails and expose you. From now on, no safe place for you is online. You will be treated like virus and we are the cure. ‘We own the internet.’ We are Anonymous; we are a Legion; we do not forgive, we do not forget. Expect us.”
After that, the rest was history and on tenth of February almost nine thousand emails and Twitter accounts were hacked by Anonymous, and one thousand plus websites were taken down.
Sources: Forbes Archive Dockets Justia Wikipedia Canwest Fox News War on Scientology Anonymous PDF The Register UK The New York Times Twitter WSJ The Guardian The Age Washington Post Silicon Republic Net Craft Reason Blog Scribd WSJ Blog