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The group isn't so much a "group" as a bunch of nerds in a freedom-fighter Mel Gibson movie fantasy
Following the failed attempt to hit Amazon with a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack Thursday, the hacker group that attacked PayPal, Mastercard, and Visa, and goes by the name “Anonymous,” felt the need to explain the failure in a press release Friday morning.
“While it is indeed possible that Anonymous may not have been able to take Amazon.com down in a DDoS attack, this is not the only reason the attack never occurred,” the announcement reads. “After the attack was so advertised in the media, we felt that it would affect people such as consumers in a negative way and make them feel threatened by Anonymous. Simply put, attacking a major online retailer when people are buying presents for their loved ones, would be in bad taste… The continuing attacks on PayPal are already tested and preferable: while not damaging their ability to process payments, they are successful in slowing their network down just enough for people to notice and thus, we achieve our goal of raising awareness.”
So in summary: the failed DDoS attack on Amazon was not, in fact, a failure, but a well-thought-out decision not to attack in keeping with the group’s apparent goal of raising awareness…of WikiLeaks….which obviously has been getting zero press since the U.S. diplomatic cables were leaked a week and a half ago. Assange, who? What is this WikiLeaks of which they speak?
Furthermore, the group decided to use the press release to shed a little more light on who and what Anonymous is and what the group hopes to achieve by Operation: Payback. According to the announcement: “We do not want to steal your personal information or credit card numbers… Our current goal is to raise awareness about WikiLeaks and the underhanded methods employed by the above companies to impair WikiLeaks’ ability to function.”
While the language of the press release was diplomatic enough, another announcement issued by Anonymous (I'm guessing not the same author) calls for members to switch gears and comb the leaked cables for juicy tidbits to publicize. The announcement for what has been termed “Operation: Leakspin” adopts quite the haughty and romantic air. “Gentlemen,” it reads, “We have, at best, given them a black eye. The game has changed. When the game changes, so too must our strategies. OPERATION: LEAKSPIN. Begin searching through WikiLeaks. Find only the best, least exposed leaks you can get your hands on. Post summaries of them along with the complete source. Encourage the reader to read more… They don’t fear the LOIC. They fear exposure. The fun begins at 9:00 PM EST.”
So at this point, I think Anonymous is like the Tea Party of hackers. The “group” isn’t so much an actual group as a disorganized and unstructured scattering of disgruntled individuals who are uniting under the romanticized banner of marginalized freedom-fighters. I kind of wonder how they came up with the name Anonymous… did one person start calling the group that and then everyone adopted it, or did they vote on it? Furthermore, who are the guys that are speaking for the “group” in its press releases? Are they elected spokespersons for Anonymous?
While the idea of WikiLeaks is easy to rally behind (freedom!), it doesn’t sound like these guys have put much thought into it. It may be time to take a break, figure out who is actually in the Anonymous group, and then come up with a more effective game-plan. We can't all be Mel Gibson in Braveheart (freeeedoooom!).
Image source: kotaku.com
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