Secret hacker organization Anonymous: what is known about it, the most high-profile cases

Fighters for freedom of speech and justice, desperate Robin Hoods, anarchists, people without principles, cowardly anonymous – this is how one could characterize the members of the Anonymous hacker community, which has been terrifying for more than a decade. Who they are and what they owe their celebrity, we will tell you further.

хакеры из Anonymous

Anonymous organization: what is it and where did it come from

In the generally accepted understanding, the Anonymous organization is a group of hackers, well–versed in the field of IT people who are able to hack any, even a very secure site on the Internet.

This community has no hierarchy and no ideological inspirer. The organization does not have a clear idea, although it is believed that its members are fighting for justice and freedom of speech online. Anyone can join the so-called organization, not necessarily a brilliant hacker.

The members of the group may live in different countries and know absolutely nothing about each other, however, anonymous has a certain orientation and its own symbolism. The latter is represented by the image of the main character in the Guy Fawkes mask from the notorious movie “V means Vendetta”.

There is no reliable information about the exact date of the organization’s creation. It is assumed that the movement originated back in 2003 on the 4chan image board (a cross between a social network and a forum). Initially, IT specialists only exchanged information on the forum, but over time the formed group began to engage in trolling, the sole purpose of which was to impress the imagination of community members. It was possible to post messages on the forum anonymously. Hence, in all probability, the name of the group appeared – Anonymous (from English anonymous).

How anonymous users work

Regardless of who anonymous users are acting against at a particular time, their ultimate goal is to disable an objectionable site, which is achieved with the help of various types of hacker attacks. Members of the anonymous community, as a rule, apply:

  1. DDoS attacks, as a result of which the computing system is maximally loaded (the site stops working due to the influx of user requests).
  2. Deface attacks, the result of which is the replacement of the main page of the site with another one containing calls for something or outright ridicule.

At the same time, hackers use special software, including in order to remain unknown and escape punishment.

Как действуют анонимусы

Any websites, including government websites, that for one reason or another are regarded as malicious, propagandistic, infringing on freedom, fall under the scope of anonymus. In the absence of ideology, at various times the victims of anonymous hackers were: religious movement, MasterCard and PayPal payment systems, government websites of some countries, child pornography sites.

 Anonymous to LulzSec

Groups of different orientation can operate under the Anonymous logo at the same time, therefore, the achievements of other hackers are often attributed to the merits of the organization, for example, the LulzSec hacker group, liquidated in 2011. On account of this organized group with a constant number of participants, such giants as Sony, Nintendo, Fox, PBS, as well as the website of the American Senate.

Unlike Anonymous, LulzSec’s motives were more mundane: to show their superiority and laugh at the companies that were considered the most protected from all kinds of attacks.

The members of the organization were identified and arrested. It is assumed that LulzSec was preparing a joint operation with Anonymous, but due to the arrest of its participants, the plan was not destined to come to life.

High-profile Anonymous operations

The first of the most high-profile anonymous attacks was the attack on the Church of Scientology in 2008. Then the members of the group demanded the removal of an interview with Tom Cruise from the network.

In 2010, a group of Anonymous hackers attacked the websites of payment systems that blocked the receipt of funds as donations to J. Assange WikiLeaks. The latter is known for publicly publishing classified information obtained through leaks and from anonymous sources.

In 2011, anonymous came to the defense of a hacker who hacked the PlayStation 3, which Sony sued. In response, the members of the organization attacked the services of a Japanese corporation.

Громкие операции Anonymous

In the list of anonymous users, you can find a loud operation #OpKillingBay, which was initiated by the participants themselves. Protesting against dolphin hunting in Japan, hackers hacked about a hundred different websites, including government ones.

In 2013, anonymous responded by hacking the MIT website to the suicide of programmer Aaron Schwartz, who was facing a thirty-year sentence for illegally downloading information from the JSTOR library.

Since about the middle of the tenth, the activity of anonymous users has noticeably decreased. The next victims of the community members were the UN, Donald Trump and Elon Max. So, in February 2020, hackers interfered with the functioning of the UN website and posted a page of Taiwan on it, which lost its place in the organization back in 1971.

In 2021, anonymous hackers made a claim to Musk that his tweets negatively affect the position of the cryptocurrency market. Hackers also spoke harshly to D. Trump, hinting at his connection with Epstein, accused of sex trafficking minors.

I must say that the recent antics of anonymous people do not stand up to any criticism and seem more like a desire to assert themselves than to resist injustice.

Mass arrests: the end or there will be a continuation

A long lull in the activity of hackers, which preceded their return, is associated with a large-scale confrontation between the authorities of different countries to the anonymous movement. However, the activities of the organization were not ignored by the authorities for a minute. So, in 2012, a group of Anonymous hackers from 30 people involved in cyber attacks on government websites was arrested in Turkey. A lot of arrests took place in Europe, in particular, in the Netherlands, Great Britain, Spain, as well as in other countries of the world.

Массовые аресты конец или будет продолжение

Many believed that after D. Trump’s victory in the 2016 elections, there was a split in the movement, and its existence came to an end. However, subsequent events have shown that the hackers have not gone away. On the contrary, the organization is looking for more and more new targets for its attacks.

No matter how one treats this ambiguous movement, one thing is clear: it is premature to declare the actual termination of the hackers’ activities after several successful arrests. And given the format in which the organization exists, it is almost impossible to completely destroy it, even with the efforts of all countries of the world.

Published: 1 August, 2022

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