Top 10 Facts about ANONYMOUS – Origins and Operational Structure
Have you ever thought about joining Anonymous? To become a member of Anonymous is easy. All you have to do is proclaim yourself one of them. The hardest part is not getting caught. In this two-part video, we explore the origins and operational structure of the infamous hacker group “Anonymous”…
1. Anonymous Is Not An Organization
Anonymous began on the website 4chan, specifically the random discussion board /b/, where anime fans gather to post images and make snarky comments. To encourage irreverence, each user is given the screen name “anonymous.” A subculture of like-minded individuals with a strong sense of justice and a desire to wreak havoc eventually evolved from 4Chan. These are the people whom we refer to as Anonymous today. Anonymous has no leader, which is why their symbol is a man without a head. There’s no legitimate code of conduct or infrastructure. People of different backgrounds and philosophies come and go as they please, in some cases only participating in a single cause and vanishing. Barret Brown, a journalist and former member, describes Anonymous as a series of relationships. Those who can consistently rally others to their cause are the ones with the most power, as are those who have proven themselves through hacking.
2. Anyone Can Join
If you wish to join Anonymous, there will be no gatekeepers to stop you. But if you’re really thinking of doing this, we recommend that you first consider joining activism groups that operate within the confines of the law instead. If you still want to continue your journey with Anonymous, there is plenty of existing information out there covering topics such as how to encrypt your computer for maximum privacy and how to contact other members using an alias over encrypted Internet relay chats (IRCs). You will have to build relationships and earn trust over several years before becoming a serious hacker. If you think the anons will be welcoming, well . . . you could be right and you could be wrong. Although Anonymous does have good and altruistic members, don’t forget that they accept anybody. Some people are willing to use others as patsies, while others are informants for the police. Naive members are sitting in jail right now because they trusted the wrong anons.
3. Few Of Them Have Actual Hacking Skills
Because there is such a low barrier of entry, only a handful of anons are elite hackers—those with the skills necessary to exploit security flaws in systems. So why do they have so many members? It’s because they need every computer they can get to perform a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. This sort of attack works by sending an overload of information to a network, causing it to crash. In other words, it takes a website offline for a few hours. This is the same thing that happens when an otherwise small website receives a sudden surge in popularity. It can’t handle the increased traffic flow and crashes, making it unusable for administrators and visitors until the traffic returns to normal. Essentially, it is a form of protest. It’s the modern-day equivalent of activists locking arms in front of a building so the employees can’t go to work that day. The truth is that Anonymous is as effective in taking down evil corporations as the Susan G. Komen foundation is in curing breast cancer, meaning that they mainly just raise awareness for themselves and the cause. But hey, if you’re willing to risk breaking the law over a protest, then go ahead.
4. How Participation In Anonymous Works
Once you’ve built your online alias and made some friends in the secure IRC, the next step is to find a cause that you support. If, for instance, you wanted to take part in their operation against Scientology, you would find the IRC channel dedicated to that operation and pledge your support in the chat room. The software that Anonymous uses to launch their DDoS attacks is called a “low-orbit ion cannon” (LOIC). This software allows your computer to deliver large-scale hits to any website. Anons vote on which targets to attack, and if you disagree with a target, you can withdraw your computer from the botnet, making the ion cannon weaker. Once the operation organizers give the signal, you enter a target URL, enter the number of hits you want to send (enough to overload the network), click a button, and fire away.
5. Using The Ion Cannon Is Dangerous—For You
It’s not illegal to claim affiliation ..
Published on Jun 13, 2016
Anonymous has been involved in a lot of controversy with various organizations over the past few years, not only including government agencies such as the FBI and the CIA, but also other hacktivist groups such as Aiplex, LulzSec and even WikiLeaks. In this second part of the story of “Anonymous”, we explore the development and interaction of these hacker groups.
1. Pirates Of The Information Age
In September 2010, a sort of “anti-Anonymous” surfaced. Aiplex Software used Anonymous’s tactics to take down websites, but these were no activists. This Indian company worked on behalf of the record and movie industries. They launched attacks to sink websites that provided copyrighted content, like The Pirate Bay. Aiplex was a common enemy upon which the activists and pranksters of Anonymous could agree. United, they hopped back onto the IRC channels and aimed their ion cannons at Aiplex, the RIAA, the MPAA, and other websites associated with copyright protection. However, IRC network operators became aware that Anonymous was using their system to plan illegal activities and began shutting those channels down. Anons organized a group of servers to host their own independent IRC network, which they called AnonOps. In the end, copyright protection–related websites suffered over 500 hours of downtime. Anons hacked the Copyright Alliance website and posted “Payback is a bitch” on their front page.
2. Zombie Botnets
In November 2010, WikiLeaks began to release 500,000 secret US diplomatic cables. Under threat of legal action, the US government coerced financial institutions, including PayPal, into cutting off service to WikiLeaks. Anonymous announced their support of WikiLeaks in a press release and waged war against PayPal and the other financial institutions. Anonymous went after PayPal’s main site on December 8, but PayPal’s reinforced network withstood the ion cannon attack. There just weren’t enough Anonymous members to offer support. Two hackers who went by the code names “Civil” and “Snitch” brought a legion of computers under their control using a virus. These “zombie computers” formed an involuntary botnet that brought enough ion cannons to the table to take down PayPal’s main transaction site. PayPal estimated that the damage cost them $5.5 million. They gave the IP addresses of 1,000 attackers to the FBI, leading to the arrests of 14 individuals, each of whom pleaded guilty.
3. The Hacker Wars
Thanks to zombie botnets, a legion of anons was no longer necessary to carry out a DDoS attack. A handful of Anonymous’s most skilled hackers splintered off to form an exclusive team. They called themselves LulzSec. Their leader went by the alias “Sabu.” He was considered the most skilled hacker in the Anonymous collective. LulzSec had grown tired of activism and wanted to go back to the roots of Anonymous and 4chan, which was causing chaos for no reason other than to annoy people and laugh about it. They began by hacking Fox and leaking the personal information of over 73,000 The X Factor contestants. Then, they hacked PBS, posting a fake news story stating that Tupak and Biggie were still alive and living together in New Zealand. Later, they hacked a porn website and published the email addresses and passwords of 26,000 members. But like junkies seeking a stronger fix, these low-risk crimes no longer thrilled Sabu and his crew, so they began to tamper with the websites of the US Senate, the FBI, and the CIA. LulzSec’s crimes against innocent Internet users outraged other online activists. Hacker groups with colorful names like TeaMp0isoN and Team Web Ninjas sought to identify the members of LulzSec and hand that information over to authorities. So too did a hacker vigilante known as “the Jester,” who claimed to be acting out of patriotism for the United States. Their investigations into Sabu pointed to Hector Xavier Monsegur, a 28-year-old high school dropout living in New York City.
4. The Traitor
Hector Monsegur was the unemployed foster father of two girls, his cousins…
Published on Aug 11, 2016