Hacker Protest Group “Anonymous” Takes Down Government Websites{3}

by Steven C
This article is about how a radical protest group named “Anonymous,” known for hacking government and large corporate websites, hacked into CIA’s website last week, which went offline for about an hour. They did this with a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which paralyzes servers with waves of data requests. It also took down the websites of the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the Copyright office this past month. The group went as far as to humiliate the FBI last week by posting a recording on youtube of a conference call between the FBI and Scotland Yard, in which officials were discussing how to deal with Anonymous and other online activist groups. A related article also mentioned that the same group Anonymous attacked the governments of Alabama and Mexico. It claimed to have taken the information of 46,000 Alabama citizens last Friday, and sent 500 of the records as proof. This contained their Social Security numbers, phone numbers, license plate numbers, date of birth, and criminal records. They mentioned to the public that this was not done as a threat, since they erased the records after, but as an example to show “the amount of incompetence that is taking place within the state of Alabama.” Anonymous stated, “We mean no harm by releasing this redacted information. This data was not securely segregated from the Internet, nor was it properly encrypted. This is what happens when not enough resources are spent on proper design and the training that comes with it.” This attack was in response to a controversial Alabama immigration bill that came out last year, which was reported to be the toughest in the country. It also attacked Mexico’s government websites in response to anti-piracy laws and published emails involving Mexico’s mining industry.

I thought this article was very interesting because I have not heard of this “hacktivist” group. Supposedly they hacked into Apple last summer, and they are engaged in many political protest affairs and use their hacking skills to help them fight for their cause. Although it seems like they are mostly aggravating government institutions and companies by messing with their websites and stealing information just to make an example, they are making a remarkable effort to catch the attention of the government and the public. I am surprised I have not heard of this group before, but I would doubt that they would show this on the local news.

Albanesius, Chloe. “Anonymous Takes Down CIA Website.” PCMag. PCMag.com, 10 Feb. 2012 http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2400140,00.asp