8 Most Awesome and Daring Hack Attacks carried out by Anonymous
Research has proved that the Anonymous hacktivists group is not only quite popular among people all over the world but also is reasonably much bigger than you expected. The group caught public attention on social media when their existence was pronounced with members of the group shown exhibiting Guy Fawkes masks in all their demonstrations and calling themselves as Anonymous.
Such groups have emerged everywhere in an age where government domination is becoming increasing common. Without any doubt, Anonymous is the most famous of them. Anonymous members are even considered as guardians of Internet freedom by people. Even though the activities of Anonymous are largely considered illegal in many countries but they are done in opposition to injustice by authorities and for a purpose of safeguarding Internet freedom.
Let’s go through 8 of the best hacks done by the Anonymous group:
PROJECT CHANOLOGY ATTACK (2008)
Project Chanology (also called Operation Chanology) was a protest movement against the practices of the Church of Scientology by members of Anonymous. The project was started in response to the Church of Scientology’s attempts to remove material from a highly publicized interview with Scientologist Tom Cruise from the Internet in January 2008. Anonymous believed that the Church of Scientology was spreading misinformation about Scientology using internet censorship.
The project was publicly launched in the form of a video posted to YouTube, “Message to Scientology”, on January 21, 2008. The video states that Anonymous views Scientology’s actions as Internet censorship, and asserts the group’s intent to “expel the church from the Internet”. Anonymous used Google bombing, linking the work Scientology to the cult or dangerous so that searching Scientology in Google would produce distorted and unruly results. One propaganda video was posted on YouTube, for which the Church sued the video website. Anonymous prepared its own video in response to the YouTube video that generated 4.6 million views.
DARK DISCOVERY (2011)
Hidden Wiki is a guide to many underground websites that support illegal activities on the dark net. Anonymous got access to Hidden Wiki, and mainly attacked Lolita City, the file-sharing website that very often used paedophiles, and also hunted down child pornography websites.
In order to show that the group would not stand to such thing and are out to prevent the injustice of such notoriety, they publicly posted the names of the 1,589 members of the website. Anonymous also showed that for getting justice done they are willing to go anywhere, even the darknet, where law officials fail to get the job done at times as well.
BART ATTACK (2011)
The shooting of unarmed passenger by BART police saw protesters looking to organize protests, which led to the closing down of subterranean cellular services by the company. Anonymous took things into their own hands when protesters failed to organize their acts due to BART’s action.
First, they gained access to MYBART.org and posted personal details like names and account passwords of users. Then, Anonymous took things a bit further by posting nude pictures of the company’s spokesperson, Linton Johnson online when he failed to admit this was a mistake.
When HBGarry Federal’s CEO Aaron Barr stated that his cybersecurity firm were successful in penetrating Anonymous and would be posting details about the members publicly at a conference, it did not go well with the Anonymous group. They changed HBGarry’s website logo to Anonymous’ logo by hijacking their website, and posted the message that people should think twice before messing with Anonymous. They also extracted 70,000 messages from their email system and took down their phone system.
They did not stop at this and went ahead and posted a link to these messages on the internet through Barr’s twitter account by hacking it. The messages posted disclosed how HBGarry looked to act against WikiLeaks and how Hunton & Williams, the firm responsible for organizing the campaign against WikiLeaks, contacted HBGarry to target political organizations that were critical of the U.S Chamber of Commerce.
FEDERAL ATTACK (2012)
Due to copyright infringement, the FBI shut down MegaUpload and Anonymous took revenge with a tit-for-tat attack by shutting down America and Motion Picture Association of America and Recording Industry’s websites. The speed and gravity of the attack was a show of Anonymous’ power and intent.
WTO HACK (2015)
Involved in hijacking two major Israeli arms dealers and leaking their client data in the past, a hacker stated that he was with Anonymous after admitting that he was the one behind the WTO hack in May 2015. The hacker leaked personal information of many WTO officials by hacking into WTO through their ecampus.wto.org domain. Details like phone numbers, email addresses, IP addresses, etc. of over 2,100 WTO officials from USA, India, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Brazil, and other nations was made public by this hacker belonging to Anonymous.
DONALD TRUMP’S WEBSITE HACK (2015)
Donald Trump was in public view when he made a statement that he wanted all Muslims to be banned from entering the United States of America. Ironically for Mr. Trump, he also caught the attention of Anonymous, who decided to teach him a lesson instantly. For more than an hour, they subsequently took down the website of Trump Towers. The news of the hack was broken with a twitter account related to Anonymous. It was followed by posting of a YouTube video shortly that had a group member asking Donald Trump to think twice before he speaks.
ISIS WEBSITE ATTACK (2015)
Ghost Sec, a group related with Anonymous, took down a website that copied and shared ISIS propaganda, it along with an ad placed the message to Calm Down. The ad was related to an online pharmacy that sold drugs like Viagra and Prozac, with the message saying that there was too much ISIS. The full message was ‘Enhance your calm. Too many people are into this ISIS-stuff. Please gaze upon this lovely ad so we can upgrade our infrastructure to give you ISIS content you all do desperately crave.” In order to avoid the authorities many ISIS-supporting websites have been moving to the dark web, however, they have been unable to keep out Anonymous, for they have no jurisdiction.
Ever since the Project Chanology attack of 2008, Anonymous have been gaining international reputation. As Anonymous’ activities are always in public interest, they have been much-admired by the common people. The popularity is also well supported by their Guy Fawkes masks.
The author Kavita Iyer
An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly one who believes in Being Human