Anonymous declares ‘total war’ on Donald Trump, vows to dismantle his Presidential campaign
It looks like the hacktivist collective Anonymous is reviving last year’s #OpTrump against the US presidential candidate, Donald Trump. It hopes to not only bring down many of Trump’s sites, but also halt his presidential bid by revealing and exposing embarrassing information.
In a video posted on YouTube, the hacktivists declare Trump’s actions and campaign for the Republican nomination shocking.
The Guy Fawkes-masked presenter says on the March 4 video, which includes a medley of TV footage showing some of Trump’s most hateful, sexist and racist comments, “Dear Donald Trump, we have been watching you for a long time and what we see is deeply disturbing. Your inconsistent and hateful campaign has not only shocked the United States of America [but] you have shocked the entire planet with your appalling actions and ideas. You say what your audience wants to hear but in reality you don’t stand for anything except for your personal greed and power.”
Calling for its loose-knit network of hacktivists as well as ordinary computer users to engage in Operation Trump – #OpTrump re-engaged 2016 – the presenter says Trump’s campaign for the White House needs to be shut down and his brand “sabotaged”.
“We need you to shut down his websites, to research and expose what he doesn’t want the public to know. We need to dismantle his campaign and sabotage his brand. We are encouraging every able person with a computer to participate in this operation. This is not a warning, this is a declaration of total war. Donald Trump – it is too late to expect us,” the presenter adds. “This is a call to protect our future, our freedom and our very way of life.”
In a separate written message posted online, Anonymous listed a number of websites chosen to be the initial targets in the attack. Their plan is to have computer users around the world target including trump.com, trumpchicago.com, donaldjtrump.com and trumphotelcollection.com. It asks people to research and expose what Trump “doesn’t want public to know” and says people do not need to know how to hack “to support this important operation”.
The plan has been met with praise and criticism online by YouTube users, from “Please expose his lies and deceit against the world. Thank you for your contribution in making the world a more just planet!”, to “Think about it. Soros is using Bernies [sic] useful idiots to stir up s—, while funding Hillary. If you want to shut someone down, take your pick of those two. The majority of the nation is standing behind Trump.”
Some Trump-supporting commenters also expressed concerns that the call came from the “real Anonymous”, only to be quickly reminded that anonymity is certianly unverifiable.
Given Trump’s popularity and ability to take away the limelight online and on the airwaves, it is unclear what level of public support the message will gather.
In December 2015, Anonymous officially ‘declared war’ on Trump after a radical speech in which he said Muslims should be banned from entering the United States. The operation at the time resulted in a number of websites being targeted by hackers, but failed to have lasting impact.
However, this time, the video says, it will be an “all-out war”.
Anonymous, which is a loose collective of hacktivists, regularly engages high-profile targets as part of its cyber-campaigns. Their previous attacks include targets such as the Islamic State (IS) under the banner of OpISIS and the recent cyber campaign against Turkish government.