quote:The Anonymous 'war' on Donald Trump fail - Business Insider
The "total war" that Anonymous declared earlier this month against Donald Trump has quickly devolved into a civil war among hackers fighting within the group and pro-Trump supporters who are trolling them within their chat rooms.
The "total war" that Anonymous declared earlier this month against Donald Trump has quickly devolved into a civil war among hackers fighting within the group and pro-Trump supporters who are trolling them within their chat rooms.
Back in early March, hackers affiliated with Anonymous tried to reboot their Operation Trump campaign by calling for everyone to take down Trump's websites in a coordinated effort on April 1. Almost immediately, the initiative was criticized by people within Anonymous as irresponsible and "cringeworthy," but a dedicated group apparently moved on with the plan.
It's April 1st: Many of the GOP frontrunner's sites are still standing, there are now two competing "Op: Trump" chatrooms with totally different missions, and one of them has been flooded with pro-Trump supporters and others leaving trolling comments like "Hitler did nothing wrong."
In short: The so-called war seems to be a complete disaster.
It's unclear when the split between Anonymous factions occurred, but it seems to have happened sometime after a hacker named Beemsee, who has been leading the original OpTrump effort, released a new statement claiming that attacking Trump's websites was all a ruse for publicity around April Fools' Day.
"There is no DDoS," Beemse and two other hackers wrote, using the acronym for a distributed denial-of-service attack, a tactic used to overload a website. "It's only purpose was to gain attention, which this Operation needs. ... the point of this Operation is not to attack Donald Trump. Instead, it is going to try to give citizens some insight."
Beemse and their cohorts say in their statement that people should try and capture "the darker nature of Trump's supporters" and post it on social media sites with hashtags like #OpTrump and #Trump2016.
But a hacker called AnonymousLoyalist disagreed. In a competing statement, the hacker wrote that they moved to a "far more organized channel, which has already seen unsurprisingly large amounts of success." That channel is #OpTrump2016, but it was unclear exactly what that success boiled down to.
trump christieAndrew Harnik/AP
When Tech Insider viewed the #OpTrump2016 chat room on Friday, it was an unorganized mess. Most Anonymous chatrooms are moderated in some way, and people usually get kicked out for spamming or posting nonsense. But it appeared to be flooded with trolls intent on calling them children, "social justice warriors," and more often than not, homophobic slurs.
"A mess is happening," wrote one user in #OpTrump, expressing a shared frustration among others in Beemse's chatroom.
It was clear on Friday that at least some of Trump's websites were indeed under cyberattack. The website CitizensForTrump.com is currently unreachable, and the site for Trump's hotels brought up an error for a few seconds before pulling up a cached version powered by CloudFlare, a service that protects from attacks like this.
trump.com cloudflare protectionTrump.com
Anonymous may be able to bring down some of Trump's unprotected websites, but they will almost certainly come back online after a few hours or days. And many of his other sites are probably not at risk at all, since Tech Insider previously spoke with CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince, and he wasn't particularly worried.
"DDoS attacks are not particularly sophisticated cyber attacks," Prince said. "They are sort of the functional equivalent of a caveman with a club."
A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Tech Insider. However, spokesperson Hope Hicks previously told TI: "The government and law enforcement authorities are seeking the arrest of the people responsible for attempting to illegally hack Mr. Trump’s accounts and telephone information."
Depending on who you believe in Anonymous, the plan is a coordinated DDoS attack or a social media shaming campaign against Trump's supporters. But Beemse left open the possibility of something else, perhaps an actual way to take over one of their targeted websites — which the hacker collective has been scanning for vulnerabilities since the beginning.
"This is NOT the last time you hear of this operation," Beemse wrote. "We will be watching, and will act when the time is right."
quote:Wearing an Anonymous Mask in America Can Get You Arrested
April 8, 2016
(ANONHQ) A man in an Anonymous mask, who was sitting peacefully, was harangued by police and arrested. All caught on camera, bystanders recorded the event while a multitude of witnesses yelled out that he did nothing wrong or illegal. The incident took place in the House Gallery, during the Maricopa County hearing over the suspected election fraud.
Two officers attended the arrest of the man. Although the man in question didn’t have his face concealed by the mask—the mask had been resting on the top of his head—the first arresting officer approached from behind and kicked at him lightly until he left his chair.
Bystanders went to the man’s defense, with several phones filming the event. One bystander even said the arrest was made because the man was sporting an Anonymous mask.
In the video, another bystander accuses the police of choking the man as the officers unduly restrained him while he was quietly sitting between the chairs. Chants of “shame” and “the whole world is watching” were cried as the man was forced to his feet and escorted away.
After the removal of the man, one of the bystanders states: “you promised us if we were silent you wouldn’t remove us.” Officials then began to plead with the crowd. At the end of the video, one official agreed that the man with the mask did nothing wrong.
Janet Higgens, who uploaded one of the videos, stated: “We were at the point of chaos. All brought on by the police. For a man sitting quietly. With dreadlocks. His name is Jonathan S. McRae. He is currently in jail, charged with trespassing and resisting arrest. I disagree. He was harassed, held to the floor for over 5 minutes, and kidnapped. I don’t know if he was injured in the attack.”
“We the people of the United States are tired of this stuff,” another witness yelled as a bystander warned that this would all end up on YouTube.
Arrested for wearing an Anonymous mask…
You can view the long version of the video here.
quote:Matthew Keys, a former social media editor, was sentenced today to two years in prison for aiding members of Anonymous so they could hack the Tribune Company.
Keys was convicted last October and faced a possible maximum sentence of 25 years. His conviction drew rounds of condemnation on the web from people who believed that the crime associated with him—the minor defacement of an LA Times headline online—should have been charged as a misdemeanor not a felony.
Keys worked for the Reuters news agency when he was indicted in 2013 for allegedly providing a username and password to members of Anonymous three years earlier to gain access to a server belonging to his former employer, the Tribune Company. In 2010, Keys had parted ways with Fox-40, a TV station owned by the Tribune Company, and allegedly encouraged the hackers to use his credentials to “go fuck some shit up.” Someone subsequently used them to hack into the web site of the Los Angeles Times, also owned by the Tribune Company, and change the headline of a story. During a recorded FBI interview in October 2012, Keys admitted his involvement in the hack. But he has since insisted that he is innocent. In a brief note published online today he wrote, “I am innocent, and I did not ask for this fight. Nonetheless, I hope that our combined efforts help bring about positive change to rules and regulations that govern our online conduct.”
Although the government expended a lot of effort to prosecute Keys, authorities never charged the person who conducted the hack, even though they had a solid lead on a suspect.
Het artikel gaat verder.quote:Keys’ attorney, Tor Ekeland, told WIRED last year that he plans to appeal the conviction on the grounds that the government wrongfully and deceptively used irrelevant losses to assess damage to the victim.
Although Keys was charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for causing unauthorized damage to a protected computer, prosecutors calculated losses for unrelated activities that caused no damage to a computer. Ekeland maintains that they did this to inflate the victim’s losses and elevate Keys’ computer crime from a mere misdemeanor to a felony and to increase his sentence. The CFAA requires a minimum of $5,000 in losses to qualify as a felony; and the amount of damages can have a profound effect on a defendant’s sentence.
quote:Anonymous Investigate Arizona Election Fraud, “Sanders Was Hacked” AnonHQ
The hacktivist group Anonymous have launched their own official investigation into claims of Arizona election fraud committed by the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Claims of election fraud began circulating last Tuesday when thousands of Bernie Sanders supporters were prevented from voting for Sanders due to their votes mysteriously being changed from Democratic to Independent.
Anonymous have issued a press release saying that the abnormally low vote total may be the result of Clinton’s campaign hacking the sanders campaign voter database.
In their preliminary report, anonymous say:
Anonymous has begun a thorough investigation into the as-of-yet unverified claim that Bernie Sanders’ campaign offices in Arizona were hacked and that the information gathered may have been used to switch his supporters from registered Democrats to Independents, Republicans, or Libertarians.
We will be asking four relevant questions:
1) Are claims that Sanders’ Arizona campaign computers were hacked credible
2) How feasible would it be to use that information to change his supporters’ voter registration from Democrat to something else?
3) Were only, or primarily, Sanders supporters affected or did Clinton supporters and Republicans have similar problems?
4) Why were less than 35,000 Democratic votes tallied in Maricopa County (Phoenix), population 4,000,000 on March 22, 2016? Note: The New York Times reported 185,000 + early ballots. The total for Maricopa, 100% reporting, is less than 220,000.
quote:En route to the Business Rocks conference this Thursday and Friday in Manchester, “notorious” activist and actor Joe Fionda was detained today at Immigration at Manchester airport, where he was held for two hours.
The welcoming party, consisting of Business Rocks’ publicist Nathan Newman and Norwegian Pirate Party activist Raymond Johansen, was simultaneously interrogated and photographed by unidentified persons at the Information desk.
Het artikel gaat verder.quote:All in all, it’s been a rough welcome to the UK for Fionda, who flew to Manchester from New York to take part in an illustrious international panel addressing the Hackathon for Homelessness, a multidisciplinary challenge combining hackers and business leaders to work towards practical solutions for homelessness. Among the other members of the panel are Johansen, Lord John Bird of The Big Issue, Lauri Love of Hacker House, and Higinio Ochoa of Austin, Texas, the last two beaming in Snowden-style, via Skype.
Johansen gave us the blow-by-blow as events went down, via an ingenious combination of Skype and Facebook messaging, necessitated by his injured wrist.
“Joe Fionda is being held by immigration! Nathan got interrogated by MI5 or GCHQ or whatever, they’re trying to find a paragraph to keep him out of the country. We’re probably stuck here for seven or eight hours at the airport,” he reported, his voice shaking. “I’ve had five buddies in the last year been fucked about by MI5 and GCHQ at airports. So we’re just gonna wait until it’s over but it was quite some interrogation that Nathan got put through. We had a call to go to the information desk here at Arrivals. We went there, we were connected on the phone to a person interrogating Nathan, asking all sorts of questions. Was he paid by Business Rocks, how did he connect to Joe Fionda, all questions about what Nathan does for work and details about everything, really.”
“We were told, like I’ve experienced before, it can take several hours before he’s let go or sent back. That depends on if they can find a way to send him back. That’s what the information desk told us.”
We asked why his voice was shaking. “I’m not nervous about Joe. We’ll come through this all right. I’m nervous about the guys swarming around us and taking photos. That gets me stressed.”
The who? Did you get photos?
quote:Greetings! We are Anonymous.
The continued effort of governments around the globe to censor our seven sovereign seas has not gone unnoticed. This is why we, once again, raise our Anonymous battle flags to expose their corruption and disrupt their surveillance operations. We are proud to present our new chat service residing within the remote island coves of the deep dark web.
The OnionIRC network is designed to allow for full anonymity and we welcome any and all to use it as a hub for anonymous operations, general free speech use, or any project or group concerned about privacy and security looking to build a strong community. We also intend to strengthen our ranks and arm the current and coming generations of internet activists with education. Our plan is to provide virtual classrooms where, on a scheduled basis, ‘teachers’ can give lessons on any number of subjects.
This includes, but is not limited to: security culture, various hacking/technical tutorials, history lessons, and promoting how to properly utilize encryption and anonymity software. As always, we do not wish for anyone to rely on our signal alone. As such, we will also be generating comprehensible documentation and instructions on how to create your own Tor hidden-service chat network in order to keep the movement decentralized.
Hackers, activists, artists and internet citizens, join us in a collective effort to defend the internet and our privacy.
Come aboard or walk the plank.
We are Anonymous,
we’ve been expecting you.
Protip: This is not a website, it’s an IRC chat server. You must use an IRC chat client to connect. You cannot connect simply through a browser.
Some popular IRC clients are: irssi, weechat, hexchat, mIRC, & many more https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari…;
Here is an example guide for connecting with Hexchat: https://ghostbin.com/paste/uq7bt/raw
To access our IRC network you must be connecting through the Tor network! https://www.torproject.org/
quote:Anonymous say The Humanity Party is fake and using their name for votes ╗ TechWorm
With the US presidential elections underway, the fight to get the votes is hotting up. One such party is The Humanity Party which claims to be the offshoot of Anonymous and is seeking votes in the name of Anonymous.
The online hacktivist group, Anonymous has taken a strong opposition to this claim and have said that The Humanity Party have nothing to do with the hacktivist group. According to Anonymous, The Humanity Party is just a front of Christopher M Nemelka, who seeks votes in the name of goodwill generated by Anonymous is U.S.A.
An Anonymous arm has already doxxed Nemelka and published his details online. Anonymous claims that Nemelka is not an Anonymous member but actually pushing Mormon agenda behind all the facade.
The Anonymous have also said that the upcoming LDS Temple Symposium to be hosted by Nemelka is a indication of his true aim behind The Humanity Party.
From Anonymous 4 Justice website :
The website also claims that AnonHQ is by no means the official news portal of the Anonymous group, is allegedly supporting The Humanity Party.
There have been murmurs in the Anonymous rank and file over US elections and presidential candidate they should support. While it is well within the individual’s right to support any candidate, the Anonymous frowns upon lending their name to any candidate. Anonymous members are beginning to notice and are reacting. In a statement released at the start of February, the group bluntly calls out what others have only speculated.
quote:Hacking group Anonymous announces war against Bank of England and New York Stock Exchange - Mirror Online
Hacking group Anonymous has announced a cyber-attack war against the Bank of England and New York Stock Exchange.
The organisation - made up of international hackers - warned of a series of attacks against the world's central banks over the next month.
In a new YouTube video - called Shut Down the Banks - it said its main targets would be the Bank of England and New York Stock Exchange.
It said these financial institutions help to ensure that the world's most powerful organisations and governments maintain their secrecy and remain in power.
A voice on the video says of the Bank of England and New York Stock Exchange: "They feel comfortable in their ivory towers built on the broken backs of labourers of the world.
READ MORE: Anonymous steps up war against Ku Klux Klan with second hack attack
Anonymous target banks in new video
Anonymous has targeted the world's most powerful banks in a new video
"......It is time to show the world the true power and the true face of the faceless.
"The powers that be have flown to close to the sun and the time has come to set the wings of their empire ablaze and watch the system their power relies on come to a grinding halt and come crashing down around them.
...."This time our target is the New York Stock Exchange and Bank of England.
"This is a call to arms, brothers."
The warning comes after the group targeted Greece's central bank with a cyber attack which disrupted its website.
In the video, the group said: "Olympus will fall. A few days ago we declared the revival of operation Icarus."
Getty Cyber Attack Crime
Anonymous has warned of attacks against the world's banks
Read more: 10-year-old boy hacks into Instagram and deletes users' comments - and Facebook awards him $10,000
"Today we have continuously taken down the website of the Bank of Greece," the statement continued.
"This marks the start of a 30-day campaign against central bank sites across the world."
A Bank of Greece official today confirmed the attack.
A spokesman said: "The attack lasted for a few minutes and was successfully tackled by the bank's security systems.
"The only thing that was affected by the denial-of-service attack was our web site."
Unmasked: What the website www.kkkknights.com looked like before it was wiped off the internet
Unmasked: What the website www.kkkknights.com looked like before it was wiped off the internet
Anonymous originated in 2003, adopting the Guy Fawkes mask as their symbol for online hacking. The mask is a stylized portrayal of an oversized smile, red cheeks and a wide moustache upturned at both ends.
Hacktivists linked to Anonymous recently launched a "war" against the Ku Klux Klan.
Read more: iPhone users in the UK targeted by (another) iCloud phishing scam - don't be fooled by phony message
Two weeks ago, The Mirror exclusively revealed that hacktivists had launched a new campaign against the KKK by clobbering their main website with a digital blitzkreig called a DDoS attack.
A hacker using the name Ghost Squad has taken down a page run by the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan at the address www.kkkknights.com.
"We believe in free speech but their form of beliefs is monolithic and evil," the hacktivist told HackReads.
"We stand for constitutional rights, but they want anyone who is not Caucasian removed from earth so we targeted the KKK official website to... send a message that all forms of corruption will be fought.
"They are the fascists and they are the racists.”
A former stand-up comic targeted for his faith suffered a catalogue of terrifying incidents - from verbal and physical assaults to death threats and Nazi symbols daubed on his home
The information included nearly 400 people, including names, email addresses and known aliases as well as two-dozen social media pages allegedly affiliated with the far right group
quote:Latest Anonymous News • Anonymous takes down gov't websites from Sergipe...
*English translation of the Olhar Digital article.*
Accounts of social networks linked to the group Anonymous web activists say the collective took the air several pages linked to the government and the judiciary of the State of Sergipe.
The attitude, according to the accounts, would be a retaliation against WhatsApp blockade in Brazil that went into effect today at 14h. The Facebook page AnonOpsBrasil held two posts showing the sites www.se.gov.br (state government of Sergipe), www.tjse.jus.br (Sergipe Court of Justice) and www.jfse.jus.br (Federal Court of Sergipe) were off the air.
The posts are accompanied by a picture with the mask traditionally associate to Anonymous and DDOS letters, suggesting that the group carried out a DDoS attack on the sites. To date, they go off the air. On Twitter, the AnonH4 account has also sent similar messages, showing the fall of the sites. Both on Twitter as on Facebook, accounts using the hashtag #OpStopBlocking, suggesting a collective retaliation against the application of the blockade on the country.
According to other users using the same hashtag, sites should be off the air for 72 hours also (the period initially determined by the righteousness of Sergipe to lock WhatsApp); The posts of the groups also bring other information.
Collective suggests to followers who always use encryption on your connections and, if possible, to create their own VPNs (proven virtual networks). The pages also direct your readers to a guide on how to circumvent censorship WhatsApp. Digital Look have also produced a similar guide, which you can access through.
Source: Olhar Digital’s article. *This is a translation. *
quote:Hacktivist collective Anonymous has launched cyber-attacks on major financial institutions across the world, including the Bank of England, in order to “start an online revolution.”
Hackers claimed to have taken down the Bank of England’s internal email server as part of an operation dubbed ‘OpIcarus.’
Mail.bankofengland.co.uk was down for part of Friday.
quote:Hackers affiliated with Anonymous also claimed to have shut down several international banks over the past four days, including the National Reserve Bank of Tonga, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the central banks of Sweden, Myanmar and Laos.
A hacktivist who goes by the name ‘S1ege’ claimed responsibility for the attacks, stating they want to “start an online revolution” to retaliate against the “elite banking cartels putting the world in a perpetual state of chaos.”
quote:New Weapon for Fighting ISIS: Anonymous Attacks Twitter Accounts of Terror Group with Porn AnonHQ
2016 is the busiest year so far for the online hacktivists group, Anonymous. While taking on governments, corporations, and world institutions, Anonymous is still not giving the terrorist group of the self-proclaimed Islamic States of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) a breathing space on social media.
After the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris, Anonymous declared a cyber war on ISIS. In a cyber hacking activity known as #OpISIS, Anonymous disrupted many of their online activities, especially on social media. So strong was #OpISIS that the terror group abandoned many of the social media accounts, opting for the dark web.
However, in recent months, because Anonymous has been busy on other equally important assignments – attacking governments and corporations – ISIS had taken the opportunity to reactivate their accounts on social media to spread propaganda and recruit fighters.
Recently, we reported that ISIS fighters are even using Facebook to sell captured young girls as sex slaves to potential buyers. ISIS is also using other social media platforms to sell artifacts they looted from Syria. On Twitter, ISIS and its supporters have begun using the platform to start their old activities.
This has drawn the attention of Anonymous, once again. This time, Anonymous has found a new and effective weapon to fight the terror group. The terror group practices a strict version of Sunni Islam. This makes indecent photos and videos very offensive to the group.
Anonymous has capitalized on this opportunity to bombard the group with pornographic images. The nude pictures are highly disturbing to the group, with many of its supporters abandoning their accounts on Twitter. Thousands of ISIS affiliated Twitter accounts has since been abandoned, since Anonymous started attacking the group with the porn images.
Anonymous is using something called pornbots to send the nude pictures to the accounts of ISIS. The pornbots do not tweet, but have explicit images as their display picture, causing disturbances to ISIS linked accounts.
Mirror reports that the pornbot hackers have targeted Twitter accounts that use known ISIS hashtags. Among the accounts to be targeted were the Amaq, the ISIS media agency, who were bombarded by pornbots before their account was disabled.
A French citizen who also reportedly praised the killing of journalists in Syria and Iraq by ISIS on Twitter, was attacked with the porn. It is said immediately after he tweeted the praise, he found more than 800 of the pornbots as followers. He has since abandoned his account.
In a video released online, a member of the Anonymous group in a Guy Fawkes mask appeared with these words for ISIS:
Some observers have publicly praised Anonymous for it cyber fight against the terror group. ISIS has forcefully annexed territories in Syria and Iraq, committing serious crimes against people. It is even believed that Anonymous’ attacks on ISIS is more effective than the social media companies themselves targeting and deleting accounts linked to the terror group.
quote:De bedenker van het web is het web beu - rtlz.nl
RTL Z-redacteur Frederieke Hegger over de economie van de toekomst, duurzaamheid en de keuzes die we elke dag maken.
Je staat er vast nooit bij stil, maar ooit – en niet eens zo lang geleden – creŰerde iemand het wereldwijde web. En die persoon heet Tim Berners-Lee.
In 1989 bedacht hij een soort platform waardoor wetenschappers met elkaar informatie konden uitwisselen. Maar het werd iets revolutionairs. Iets waardoor nu iedereen wereldwijd informatie met elkaar uitwisselt. Iets waar we niet meer zonder kunnen leven.
Berners-Lee is uiteraard blij dat het allemaal wat groter is geworden dan hij had voorzien, maar het web heeft inmiddels ook grote gebreken, stelt hij.
Grote bedrijven als Google, Facebook en Twitter zijn veel te dominant, en zijn achterdeurtjes voor inlichtingendiensten geworden. Mensen worden bespioneerd, Chinezen kunnen bepaalde websites niet bezoeken en je betaalt met persoonlijke informatie voor 'gratis' diensten.
En ja, dat was allemaal niet de bedoeling. De bedoeling was een decentraal web: power to the people, meer macht naar jou en mij. Niet naar overheden en grote bedrijven.
Het web heeft, kortom, een mega-metamorfose nodig, vindt Berners-Lee. En dus kwam vader van het web vorige week met de crŔme de la crŔme uit internetland samen om na te denken over het web van de toekomst.
Wat nou als we ervoor kunnen zorgen dat mensen meer privacy hebben, overheden minder kunnen neuzen en sturen, en er niet zulke machtige partijen meer zijn? Wat nou als we de techniek achter digitale valuta bitcoin kunnen gebruiken om ons niet alleen te 'verlossen' van banken, maar ook van andere grote centrale partijen en hun servers? Wat als we in de toekomst niet meer hoeven te betalen met onze persoonlijke informatie? De techniek om dat te bewerkstelligen is er, stellen de webexperts.
Het is nog hartstikke vroeg. Maar de grondleggers van het web leggen as we speak de bouwstenen voor een nieuwe versie. En als die net zo'n revolutionair en toch ook positief effect gaat hebben als het huidige web, dan kijk ik ernaar uit.
quote:Hackers Hijack ISIS Twitter Accounts With Gay Porn After Orlando Attack
Twitter accounts belonging to supporters of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) have been hacked in the wake of the Orlando shooting, with jihadist content replaced with gay pride messages and links to gay pornography.
A hacker affiliated with the hacktivist collective Anonymous, who uses the online moniker WauchulaGhost, first began hijacking pro-ISIS Twitter accounts several months ago. Following the mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 13, the hacker decided to replace ISIS imagery posted to the accounts with rainbow flags and pro-LGBT messages.
“I did it for the lives lost in Orlando,” the hacker tells Newsweek. “Daesh [ISIS] have been spreading and praising the attack, so I thought I would defend those that were lost. The taking of innocent lives will not be tolerated.”
WauchulaGhost does not disclose his real name or exact location, other than to say he is based in the United States and that “shit is getting too close to home.”
The vigilante hacker claims to have taken over 200 Twitter accounts belonging to ISIS supporters. However, many have since been taken down by Twitter. WauchulaGhost plans to continue the campaign with two other hackers who go by the name Ebony and Yeti.
isis hacker anonymous gay porn twitter orlando Some pro-ISIS accounts displayed rainbow flags, a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride. Screengrab
ISIS has used social media platforms like Twitter as a tool for recruitment and to spread propaganda. Twitter claims to have shut down more than 125,000 accounts promoting extremism since 2015.
Messages posted to the compromised accounts include “I’m gay and proud” and “Out and proud.” A link to a gay porn site is included in some of the hacked accounts, although no explicit images have been posted in respect to Islam.
“One thing I do want to say is we aren’t using graphic porn and our purpose is not to offend Muslims,” WachulaGhost says. “Our actions are directed at Jihadist extremists. Many of our own [group of hackers] are Muslim and we respect all religions that do not take innocent lives.”
Anonymous Operation Turkey door @AnonymousVideo
quote:Anonymous Press Release Operation Turkey #OpTurkey.
Turkish people will liberate the country against the impact of the oppression made by the Turkish Government. With all kinds of interventions, we will try to empower the people of turkey. You can support us to fight Erdoğan and you can do something to prevent the ongoing purge of freedoms in Turkey, we have to enlighten Turkish people to reveal the truth.
Now the government persecuted the people of Turkey by helping ISIS and its supporters, come and join us in the fight Together Against ISIS and Erdoğan.
- We are Anonymous.
- We are legion,
- We do not forgive,
- We do not forget.
- Turkey, expect us !
- IRC.CyberGuerrilla.org | SSL Port : 6697 | Channel #OpTurkey
Read more ►
quote:Anonymous Hacks Turkish Energy & Gas Provider Website
Anonymous hackers are conducting cyber attacks on Turkish cyberspace, especially after the failed coup — Latest target is Izmir Gaz company!
The online hacktivist Anonymous conducted a cyber attack on the website of Izmir Gaz (izmirgaz.com.tr), a Turkish-based Energy and Gas contractor headquartered in Izmir city on Turkey’s Aegean coast. The motive behind the attack was to protest against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and vowing to help the citizens in post-coup crackdown.
The attack on Izmir Gaz website allowed attackers to steal financial and personal records stored in the server including plain-text and hashed passwords for 479 users ending up leaking them online. As cited by SoftPedia, leaked files also contained maintenance reports, budgeting and billing files stolen from the server.
According to official blog post from Anonymous, the reason for targeting Izmir Gaz website: ”We hacked www.izmirgaz.com.tr for two reasons: Company owners have good relations with Erdo[Retracted] and İzmir is city what Prime Minister Binali Yildirim elected.”
Het artikel gaat verder.quote:In a brief statement, Anonymous accused Erdogan of censoring social media in the country and urged citizens to go through AKP emails leaked by WikiLeaks recently. Hacktivists are also planning on translating the 300,000 leaked email and 500 thousand documents to raise awareness about the situation in Turkey.
quote:Proliferation of hacker culture helped keep Anonymous from being branded terrorist org
Advocating for gender diversity together
How has Anonymous avoided being labeled as a terrorist group? That is a serious question that was proposed by an anthropologist during the eleventh Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) Conference in New York City on Friday. During a session Gabriella Coleman discussed the close series of events that helped the hacktivist group avoid the fate of other activist groups and leaders.
Nelson Mandela, the Tarnac 9, and BlackLivesMatter have all at one time been accused of terrorist activities. Many of the tactics used by Anonymous have run the risk of setting the group up for a similar fate, including the use of Guy Fawkes masks as a protest symbol.
For much of U.K. history, Guy Fawkes was “sort of an equivalent to an Osama bin Laden figure,” said Coleman, a professor at McGill University who has published two books that explore hacker ethics and the Anonymous movement.
The considerable exception of the hacktivist group is due in part to the proliferation of hacker culture and Anonymous into popular culture. The number of popular works of fiction in which Anonymous appears “is staggering,” Coleman said. Hacker culture have been portrayed in an overall positive light in several TV series, including “House of Cards” and “The Good Wife” – and high culture. The Royal Court Theater produced a play called “Teh (stet) Internet is Serious Business.”
As a comparison, Coleman asked the audience, “What was the last movie you saw that portrayed animal rights activists in a positive light?” to which one audience member shouted out in response, “Charlotte's Web!”
The exceptional fate of Anonymous has a complex racial history. Hacktivists are often perceived as harmless partially due to a stereotype of hackers as “nerdy white kids,” Coleman said.
Finally, Coleman mentioned that culture and arts “really matter,” despite often being dismissed as ‘soft power.' “If you don't have people's hearts and minds, then they will not be motivated to change public policy,” she said.
Het artikel gaat verder.quote:Members of the Anonymous hacker collective have created a custom tool that allows them and any person to launch DDoS attacks against five built-in targets.
The tool was released to aid the group in its recent hacktivism campaign named #OpOlympicHacking, which debuted at the beginning of the month, just in time for the Rio Olympic Games.
The tool is a Windows executable that launches a window with six buttons, as pictured below this article. The first five buttons are for attacking five built-in targets while the sixth is for stopping the attacks.
"The tool can be used only for #OpOlympicHacking attacks"
The five targets are the official Rio 2016 Olympics website, the Brazil 2016 government portal, the Brazil Olympic Committee website, the government portal for the city of Rio de Janeiro, and the website for Brazil's Sports Ministry.
These are only a few of the targets Anonymous hackers included in a list they uploaded online when they announced #OpOlympicHacking at the start of the month.
The DDoS tool is offered online as a free download called "opolympddos." Softpedia has discovered links to this tool on Twitter.
At the time of writing, the links are dead, so we couldn't check and see if the DDoS tool came with other malware built-in. Users should not download and run this tool because (1) they would be carrying out an illegal activity; (2) they would be exposing themselves to possible malware infections.
quote:4chan is running out of money—and Martin Shkreli wants to help out | Ars Technica
4chan, the infamous message board whose users once labelled it "the asshole of the Internet," is nearly out of money and will have to take drastic action if it wants to survive, according to its new owner. Meanwhile, the notorious hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli has offered to help out.
The site, which hosts notoriously racist and sexist message boards, and which in the form of its /b/ board launched 1,000 unpleasant trolling campaigns, has long suffered money troubles, with users unwilling to subscribe and legitimate advertisers put off by unpalatable content. Its founder, Christopher "Moot" Poole, sold up in January 2015 to Hiroyuki Nisimura, the man who founded the board that inspired 4chan, Japan's almost equally unpleasant 2Channel.
In a post on Sunday, entitled "Winter is Coming," Nisimura wrote that he "had tried to keep 4chan as is. But I failed. I am sincerely sorry." He added:
Some notice there are no more middle ads and bottom ads on 4chan.
Ads don't work well. So we reduced advertisement servers cost.
4chan can't afford infrastructure costs, network fee, servers cost, CDN and etc, now.
He went on to describe three options to cut costs, none of which is likely to impress the site's fractious users. To stay afloat, the site apparently would need to halve traffic costs by closing some boards, limiting image sizes, and using slower servers; or have more pop-up or even "malicious" ads; or have more paying users.
However, an unlikely saviour has seemingly emerged. Shkreli—who erupted to notoriety of his own last year when his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, acquired the manufacturing licence to the antiparasitic drug Daraprim and jacked its price up by 5,556 percent, from $13.5 to $750 per tablet (ú10.60 to ú588)—tweeted Nisimura to indicate that he would be "open to joining the Board of Directors of 4chan."
Nisimura replied, and the two apparently took the discussions away from public view.
Shkreli is currently on bail, pending a trial over federal charges for alleged securities fraud, after his arrest by the FBI in December last year. He also recently offered people the chance to punch him in the face for $50,000 for charity, to support the young son of his former PR guy Mike Kulich, who passed away suddenly a few weeks ago.
It looks like 4chan still has a few allies in the tech world, despite its unpleasant reputation. In a now-deleted but still-cached tweet, billionaire Minecraft founder Marcus "Notch" Persson apparently also expressed an interest in helping the site, writing: "Assuming it's not too expensive, and assuming I don't have to do any actual work myself, I'm in."
Poole, meanwhile, has scored himself a job at Google, where he is "building online communities."
Expand full story
Tom Mendelsohn / Tom is Ars Technica UK's Contributing Sub Editor. Descriptivist, not prescriptivist.
Je gaat deze even moeten aanpassen. Het lijkt erop dat Google het heeft gecensureerd.quote:
Twee mogelijke verklaringen voor die interesse van de Hedgefund-knul:quote:
0quote:Anonymous speaks to WIRED about taking on terrorist group Daesh | WIRED UK
On the sweltering morning of June 16, 2015, Selfeddine Rezgui ran a handful of gel through his hair, then snorted a line of cocaine.
College was over and Rezgui, a 23-year-old electrical engineering student from GaÔfour, in north-west Tunisia, had the day off. He piloted a boat to the beach at Port El Kantaoui in Sousse, 145km south of the Tunisian capital. As he disembarked, Rezgui looked just like any other young local: barefoot and dressed in swimming trunks and black T-shirt. He strolled through the wash, a parasol dangling from one hand, as he made a call on his white Samsung Galaxy smartphone. Moments later he threw the phone into the sea, as if skimming a pebble.
"Go now," Rezgui told a few locals, as he continued his stroll. Then, at 12.10pm, the young man pulled a Kalashnikov from its hiding place inside the umbrella, raised the gun and began to fire, first at a paraglider overhead, swooning in the breeze, then at the tourists bronzing on sunloungers. Reguzi first swept the beach with gunfire before entering the nearby Imperial Marhaba Hotel, where, the night before, 565 guests had slept. At times he laughed through his drug-smeared haze, which perhaps caused him to forget the crude home-made bomb tucked in a belt slung around his chest. Twenty minutes after Rezgui fired his first bullet, armed police shot him in the street. During his brief rampage, he had claimed 38 victims. Thirty-nine more lay injured. As he lay dying, Rezgui seemed to reach for the bomb's detonator, which had tumbled from his pocket on to the ground, a few metres away from his head. More shots. Then silence.
Somewhere in the middle of America, a man who calls himself Raijin Rising was sitting in his pyjamas at his desk in his home office when he saw the first breaking news report of the attack. Raijin opened Telegram, the encrypted messaging service, and set up a new chat room titled "Tunisia". Then he issued an invitation for colleagues to join him there. Even before the full details of Rezgui's attack had been reported, the chat began to fill with columns of troubling links - not to news stories describing the attack, but to Twitter posts celebrating its effects.
One message in particular gave Raijin cause for alarm. "What happened in Tunisia was just the starters," read the tweet from Abu Hussain Al Britani, nom de guerre of Junaid Hussain, a notorious young British hacker who left his home town of Birmingham in 2014 to travel to Syria and join Daesh (also referred to in the west as "ISIS", "IS" and "ISIL"), the militant jihadi group that had claimed responsibility for Rezgui's attack on the beach.
"I had a theory," Raijin told WIRED recently. "Hussain's Twitter accounts would be silent for weeks or months. Then, whenever he started tweeting again, a major attack would immediately follow. I started to believe he was sending trigger messages." In this context, Hussain's next tweet was even more worrying. "Today you are scared to go on holiday," it read. "Tomorrow you will be scared to step foot outside your door."
Raijin opened Telegram and began to type: "There's going to be another attack in Tunisia."
Rezgui never left his home country. This clean-shaven breakdancer, brought up in a moderate Muslim family, was instead radicalised online, specifically in the CafÚ de la RÚpublique, a Tunisian internet cafÚ where he was a regular. He is typical of many Daesh sympathisers around the world who have been turned to violence not through the words of local hate preachers, but rather inside online chat rooms: Daesh runs its own news service, employs online press officers and, in May, launched an Android app to teach children the Arabic alphabet and jihadi-related terms. It even uses hacker groups - including one that was, for a time, run by Hussain - to take down the websites of its enemies and flood the internet with images and videos of atrocities. In this way social media has become both an ideological battleground and a tool for the most effective recruitment-cum-incitement campaign of any terror group.
In recent years, the rise of terror groups that co-opt the internet as a medium for spreading hatred and ideology has been matched by an opposing army of young vigilantes. The energy of these groups has been sustained by the online outrage that follows each new attack by Daesh or al-Qaeda affiliates. Many grew up frequenting the same online communities from which Daesh plucks recruits. And, in recent months, these vigilantes have matched the organisational efforts of their Daesh counterparts.
Raijin was 19 years old when Saddam Hussein attacked Kuwait in 1990. "I was in college and we were all shitting ourselves thinking we were about to be drafted," he says, having chosen, after a week of trust-building back and forth via email, to tell WIRED his story. "We were glued to CNN. Ever since that day I've been a geopolitics junkie."
Years later, Raijin began to see news about a jihadist militant group called Daesh routinely appearing in his Twitter timeline. "There was so much information that wasn't hitting the US news, so I started an ISIS watch list." Shortly after that, Raijin heard about an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel - an invitation-only chat room - where members of Anonymous, the disparate hacktivist group, collated details of pro-Daesh Twitter accounts, then reported them to the social media company in batches. Raijin wanted to help. He began adding to the stream.
To sift through the mass of information, Raijin wrote some tools using Twitter's API to capture the names of accounts that followed prominent Daesh members. He kept a database of pro-Daesh relationships, noting who tweeted what, when and which accounts, then shared those same tweets. After six weeks of sifting the intel, Raijin realised that the information he had gathered might be of greater use than as a mere tool for reporting Twitter accounts. "That's when I heard about 'IS Hunting Club'," he says.
IS Hunting Club was one of the most prominent anti-Daesh accounts. It was run by a member of Ghost Security Group, a close-knit team of open-source intelligence gatherers. "I believe our youngest is 18 and our eldest is in his forties," says Raijin. "We know very little about each other - it's safer that way."
Following Hussain's warning about another attack, Raijin and the other 11 members of Ghost Security Group narrowed their searches to northern Tunisia, looking for signs of a follow-up. Raijin noticed the hashtag "#jerba" appearing in pro-Daesh accounts, a reference to the island of Djerba, 220km from Sousse. "The tweets didn't feel right," Raijin says. "So we dove in and started looking for areas of the town that might be another tourist hotspot that could make for a suitable target for another terrorist attack."
Using Google Maps, Raijin says that the group identified Houmt El Souk, a popular market for European tourists, which had been mentioned in some tweets alongside threats, written in English, about a potential attack on a nearby synagogue. They gained access to two of the accounts ("You'd be surprised how many of accounts use 'AllahAkhubar' as a password," he says), harvested their private direct messages and the IP addresses, which gave a geographical fix on the tweeters. They passed the information to Michael Smith, an adviser on terrorism to members of the US Congress, whom they'd read about online. Smith, in turn, passed the intel to the FBI.
A few days later, French media reported that four arrests had been made in Djerba in relation to a planned terror attack. Raijin and his colleagues wasted no time in claiming responsibility for the captures. They put out a statement. "Ghost Security Group detected multiple accounts on social media citing threats and co-ordinating what appeared to be an attack targeting British and Jewish tourists in Djerba, Tunisia," it stated. "Information was forwarded to law enforcement and subsequently a total of 17 arrests were made and a terror cell… disrupted."
Claiming glory in this way - against Smith's advice - was risky, especially when the group had no way of knowing to what extent its information had led to the arrests. Smith, not wanting to deny Ghost Security Group its moment (or, perhaps, to discourage them from sharing further intel by doing so), showed a Newsweek journalist email correspondence in which a law- enforcement official verified that the intel had led to the arrests (something which, Smith says, resulted in a call from the FBI). It was enough to prove that hacktivists could have an effect; that their efforts could save lives. Suddenly, online vigilantes had a role model.
Five months after the beach attack in Tunisia, seven gunmen shot and killed 130 people in Paris. It was an act of vivid and appalling hatred. On November 18, five days after the spree, a video was posted to the official Anonymous YouTube channel. In it, a man wearing the group's signature V for Vendetta mask, and with his voice distorted to conceal his identity, stated: "Hello, citizens of the world. We are Anonymous. It is time to realise that social media is a solid platform for ISIS's communication as well as neutering their ideas of terror amongst youth. However, at the same time, social media has proved it is an advanced weapon. We must all work together and use social media to eliminate the accounts used by terrorists."
Although vigilante outfits had been passing open-source intelligence gathered from pro-jihadi social-media accounts and forums to authorities for months (Ghost Security Group was founded on January 10, 2015, and existed in different forms and under different monikers before then), Anonymous's message offered a rousing call to every young hacker who felt helpless when faced with harrowing news reports. "ISIS, we will hunt you and take down your sites, accounts, emails and expose you. From now on, there is no safe place for you online. You will be treated like a virus, and we are the cure," the spokesman concluded.
A rallying hashtag - #OpParis - was created. Anonymous users set up a dedicated IRC channel filled with manuals for how anyone could get involved in taking the online fight to Daesh. As well as starter guides such as "How To Help", these documents include tutorials for "Noob hackers"; lists of jihadi-related keywords to search for on social media; tutorials for how to report offensive material; how to mount DDoS attacks on jihadi websites in order to overwhelm them with traffic and take them offline; the names of specific people within Daesh to be on the lookout for, and even a dictionary of Arabic. There were video tutorials for "approved" members and know-your-enemy style links to Daesh's own guides on how to improve online security and hack others.
Much of what followed was tinged with Anonymous's brand of humour. One pro-Daesh website hosted on the dark web was replaced with a link to an online store that sold Viagra. The group declared December 11, 2015 "Troll Day" against Daesh, encouraging followers to Photoshop rubber ducks and goats into previously grotesque propaganda images, alongside the jeering hashtag #Daeshbags. Daesh, which itself has dedicated online teams around the world managing its messaging, responded in kind. "Anonymous hackers threatened in [a] new video release that they will carry out a major hack operation on the Islamic State," the statement read. "Idiots."
However, adventurous Anonymous members began to infiltrate Daesh social media networks and forums - but failed to alert authorities to the names of accounts they were using. In numerous cases, according to Smith, these rogue accounts became subjects of official investigation, distracting efforts away from genuine targets. In a video release, self-proclaimed members of #OpParis announced that they had alerted law enforcement to an alleged planned Daesh attack on a WWE wrestling event in Atlanta. The FBI publicly discredited the information, stating: "We do not have specific or credible information of an attack at this time."
Misinformation soon curdled to infighting among members. Hacktivist "th3j35t3r" described the #OpParis campaign as a "comedy of errors". On November 22, 2015, the Anonymous Twitter account joined in. "Seriously, after #OpISIS there have been too many fame whores," one tweet stated. "It's not about the follows or RTs. It's about the truth. Have some integrity."
These missteps added weight to criticisms of such well-meaning but amateur efforts. Besides - who cares about a few social-media accounts when people are being gunned down on beaches? The online vigilantes, however, knew only too well how much of an effect just one of their number could have in the terror arena. After all, Junaid Hussain, the hacker from Birmingham whom Raijin believed was triggering attacks through his Twitter messages, was a former Anon.
Hussain grew up in Birmingham but, like many of those involved in #OpParis, was raised on the internet. At the age of 15 he co-founded "TeaMp0isoN", a hacker group with whom he operated under the moniker "TriCk". Hussain's activity, in his early days, was little more than digital vandalism, the hacker's equivalent of daubing a penis on the side of a railway carriage. He first gained notoriety for publishing the name and addresses of members of LulzSec, the hacker collective renowned for breaching the security of high-value targets such as the CIA and Sony Pictures. Hussain's crimes were serious, but tinged with the mocking irreverence of the teenage internet troll. He was jailed for six months, for example, for stealing the personal address book of former prime minister Tony Blair.
In time, Hussain's work gained a political bent, often falling in line with pro-Palestinian causes. In 2011, for example, TeaMp0isoN claimed to have helped "clean Facebook" of more than 1,000 pages that, the group claimed, contained what it regarded to be racist or Zionist content. The operation's targets also included British far-right groups such as the English Defence League. "I started using hacking as my form of medium by defacing sites to raise awareness of issues around the world, and to 'bully' corrupt organisations and embarrass them via leaks," he told the website Softpedia in 2012. "That is how I got into hacktivism."
Although Hussain's splinter group still rolled with Anonymous, a supposedly apolitical movement, he became increasingly zealous in his beliefs. Hussain was quoted in The Daily Telegraph in 2012: "Terrorism doesn't exist. They create the terrorism and fabricate it to demonise a certain faith." At the time he claimed that TeaMp0isoN did not follow a particular religion or political group. After his arrest in 2012, however, he swapped the pro-Palestinian rhetoric (the avatar on his Twitter account, for example, displayed a child's face decorated with a Palestinian flag) for a pro-Daesh stance (in his new Twitter avatar, Hussain looked down the sights of a machine gun aimed at the camera, his mouth covered with a black scarf).
Hussain arrived in Syria with his wife, Sally Jones, a former punk rocker from Kent, whom he reportedly met via Anonymous, in August 2014. "You can sit at home and play Call of Duty," he tweeted from one of his many now-deleted accounts. "Or you can come here and respond to the real call of duty… the choice is yours."
He became known as one of "The Beatles", the four British jihadists nicknamed by western captives because of their British accents. As his standing grew, Hussain began to employ in the service of Daesh the skills and techniques that he'd learned as a teenage hacker working under the banner of Anonymous. In January 2015, he claimed credit for an audacious hack on the Twitter and YouTube accounts of the US Central Command, which co-ordinates strategy from the Middle East to Central Asia. On April 5, 2015, Hussain's group, the Cyber Caliphate, seized control of a French television network for several hours in one of the highest-profile hacks of the year. These attacks mirrored those for which Anonymous was known.
The symmetry is not coincidental. "Counter-terrorism analysts have struggled, without much success, to discern some religious, economic or even psychological trend among the more than 30,000 foreign fighters who have joined the Islamic State," says Emerson Brooking, a consultant to the New America Foundation. "What they most have in common is a sense of alienation and disempowerment in the places where they've grown up - a yearning for a greater purpose that they somehow find in the Syrian desert."
This sense of alienation and disempowerment is shared by the hacktivists who now hunt Daesh. Both groups find their purpose in the equalising power of the internet. Both groups are attracted to the online fight both for and against Daesh that they are uniquely equipped to handle.
The ideological knife-edge on which many young hackers sit is no clearer demonstrated than in the circumstances surrounding Hussain's death. On August 24, 2015 - less than two months after the foiled attack in Djerba - the US Department of Defense declared that the 21-year-old had been killed by a US drone strike outside Raqqa, Syria. "[Hussain] was involved in recruiting ISIL sympathisers in the west to carry out lone wolf-style attacks," US Air Force Colonel Patrick Ryder told Pentagon reporters. "He had significant technical skills and expressed a strong desire to kill Americans… He no longer poses a threat."
Two months later, a former member of Hussain's childhood hacker group claimed to have been responsible for supplying the Department of Defense with a lead on Hussain's location just before the strike. In a series of tweets posted in November 2015, the hacker claimed to have sent Hussain a link that, when clicked, inadvertently revealed his location. This drew the Sauron-like eye of the drone hovering in the sky above. If true, the anecdote shows how easily previously allied members of hacktivist groups can be recruited to opposing sides. If untrue, it reveals another wrinkle: in the amateur intelligence community, everyone wants to claim their place in history.
This was not their achievement," says Mikro, regarding Ghost Security Group's claim to have foiled the attack in Djerba. Mikro is founder of Control Sec and the man who claims to have coined the hashtag #OpISIS. "Sorry for my sharp reaction, but everyone I speak to asks about their role in that case. I am honestly a little fed up." Mikro, who says that he is in his twenties and lives in Europe (his Telegram avatar shows, revealingly perhaps, a photograph of a dog at the wheel of a British police car), contradicts Raijin's account of what happened in the foiling of the second Tunisian terror plot.
"It happened like this," he says. "We got a tip from one of our sources in Tunisia who has a connection to Daesh that there was something going on. I guess they were pretty proud of the beach attack the week before, so they were starting to brag about their next move. We knew the name of the market and the fact a second attack was planned to target Jews."
There was no searching of Twitter for the #jerba hashtag, Mikro says. Nobody guessed the password of incriminating Twitter accounts ("We did that kind of thing a while back, but the info is reachable for authorities so why waste time on it?"). Although, Mikro concedes, Control Sec and Ghost Security Group shared information "in the working environment" at the time, he also insists that all that the rival organisation did was pass his information on to Smith and the FBI.
When Ghost Security Group claimed responsibility for foiling the attack, Mikro was furious. "Working together was a bad move," he says. "The fact that I have to sit here and sound like a big-headed idiot to get the story out there says enough, doesn't it?" This wrangling for credit could be cleared up if the intelligence services were willing to publicly praise their informants. According to Raijin, however, this will never happen. "I don't think any law enforcement would publicly admit they relied on information from hackers to stop a terrorist event," he says. "It would either make them look crazy for trusting us, or embarrass them that we could find that information when they couldn't."
This scramble for credit reveals a contradiction at the heart of vigilante action. Young hackers often enter these groups hoping to gain prominence and glory for their successes, something to elevate their standing within a group where esteem can be measured in the primary currencies of our time, those dopamine-injecting "Likes" and "retweets". Anonymous may benefit from anonymity, but the allure of fame and notoriety is equally powerful. Much intelligence work, however, is clandestine by design. Sources must be protected. Victories are often left unannounced so as not to reveal techniques and strategies to the enemy. Narcissists are a poor fit for intelligence services.
This lack of co-ordination between the amateurs and professionals creates deeper problems. Although police and others are generally in favour of removing harmful, jihadi-related content from the internet, unless this whitewashing work is co-ordinated, valuable intelligence can be lost. "For intelligence agencies interested in open-source-intelligence collection, the elimination of these accounts can be a source of frustration," Emerson Brooking says. "Then, of course, there's the issue that Anonymous has been responsible for the takedown of a large number of accounts that have absolutely nothing to do with jihadis: the websites of academics, activist and journalists. There is a significant hit-and-miss aspect to all of this."
Twitter is adamant that it does not rely on vigilante information to monitor accounts. In a statement published last year, a company spokesperson said that the company is not using the lists generated by Anonymous, as research has found them to be "wildly inaccurate". Another representative of a social media company, who asked for both her and her employer's name to be withheld, was even clearer: "Tech companies ignore vigilante lists because they're garbage," she said.
Mikro disagrees. "That's not even close to the truth," he says. "Every day I see ISIS-related profiles that have been up for 12 to 16 hours. Seconds after we target them they go down." To prove his point, he tells WIRED to watch the CtrlSec Twitter feed as he tweets out the names of jihadi Twitter accounts for his followers to report en masse. Just as he promised, the accounts are taken offline shortly afterwards.
Maura Conway, a researcher at Dublin City University on the impact of violent online political extremism, also believes that social-media companies benefit from crowdsourced moderation. "Flagging activity has a fairly long history," he says. "YouTube has a 'trusted flagger' programme, that allows agencies and individuals to fast-track the reporting and deletion of terrorist material." Many believe, however, that Twitter, Facebook and the rest should do more, that their willingness to rely on their audience's self-policing exacerbates the problems associated with vigilantism. Some, such as Brooking, have even suggested that social-media companies deputise and pay hacktivists who spend hours per day hunting and reporting ISIS accounts.
Whether it's paid for or offered gratis, vigilante action is evolving. Mikro claims to work on OpISIS for 18 hours a day (he refuses to explain how he earns a living). Raijin spends much of his spare time loitering in ISIS-run Telegram message groups ("this second I am sitting in more than 100 ISIS Telegram channels writing variously in Arabic, Russian, Indonesian and English," he tells WIRED), sifting through the messages which include links to YouTube videos on how to make bombs, or material that identifies targets in the Iraqi and Syrian armies, their faces circled in red on digital photographs. Raijin, Ghost Security Group's technical lead, has developed tools with elaborate graphical interfaces that show, in pictorial terms, the connections that exist between individual suspects on the web, a substantial undertaking.
"We shed our 'underground' ways and now work within legitimate means," he tells me. "In the old days you may have found someone DDoSing an ISIS website, or perhaps hacking into their social-media accounts or forums. In most countries, information obtained via those methods can't be used in a legal procedure, so we needed to work above board. All the data in the world is useless if people won't take it from you."
Despite these efforts to professionalise their operations, it's unlikely that any vigilante group, Anonymous or otherwise, will ever be able to work openly with intelligence agencies. "Even in the case of the best intentioned vigilantes, their co-operation with the US government could set a precedent whereby another nation such as Russia could justify its own use of organised trolls to stifle political dissidents," Brooking says. "The world is currently united against ISIS, but future scenarios are unlikely to be this clear-cut."
This absence of legitimacy does nothing to dampen the resolve of Mikro, who spends so many hours trying to stem the flow of propaganda. For him, the sense of community and belonging - the same traits offered by the terrorist group against which he works - is enough. "I take my inspiration from the people I do this with," he tells me. "That is the driving power behind all this. That is enough of a pay-off."
quote:.Commander X Press Release - Behind The Mask: An Inside Look At Anonymous
Thursday - September 29, 2016 10:00 AM ET
On November 1, 2016 at Noon ET I will release to the public my first book entitled "Behind The Mask: An Inside Look At Anonymous". In order not to give any advantage to the government of the USA, who may try and disrupt the publication of my book - I will not be pre-announcing the name of my publisher. "Behind The Mask: An Inside Look At Anonymous" will be released in stages as follows:
On November 1st at Noon I will release the First Edition - Hardbound version of "Behind The Mask: An Inside Look At Anonymous" via an announcement on Twitter. It will ba available from our publisher directly at that time, or on Amazon soon after. Local bookstores will be able to order copies via their normal procedures, and readers can request this. The book itself will be gold embossed cloth covered harbound with a full color high-gloss paper dustjacket. It will be industry standard 6" by 9". Final page count is not available at this time. Retail cost will be approx. $18.00 to $20.00 USD depending on final page count.
On November 15th at Noon ET I will release the First Edition - Paperback version of "Behind The Mask: An Inside Look At Anonymous". It will ba available from our publisher directly at that time, or on Amazon soon after. Local bookstores will be able to order copies via their normal procedures, and readers can request this. The book itself will be softbound with a full color high-gloss cover. It will be industry standard 6" by 9". Final page count is not available at this time. Retail cost will be approx. $9.00 to $10.00 USD depending on final page count.
On November 28th at Noon ET, which is "cyber monday" I will release the eBook and audio book versions of "Behind The Mask: An Inside Look At Anonymous". They will be in industry standard formats, and available directly through my publisher, on Amazon - and other outlets. The eBook will retail at $3.00 to $5.00 USD depending on final page count. The audio book will be approx. $2.00 USD. And that will complete the release cycle. There is a countdown timer to release day on the website for "Behind The Mask: An Inside Look At Anonymous".
There will be absolutely no pre-release copies distributed prior to publication. After publication, media outlets and individual journalists may request a complimentary PDF of "Behind The Mask: An Inside Look At Anonymous" for review purposes directly from the author (me).
Main Website: www.CommanderX.cf
Book Website: www.BehindTheMask.cf