Tag Archives: Anonymous

Anonymous, the Boston Marathon bombing, and conspiracy theories

anonymousscreen

As this is being written, social media is buzzing over arrests in Boston. This is typical, in spite of (or perhaps because of) an official FBI press conference on the matter being scheduled for later in the day. Everyone is wanting information first – the holy grail of journalism, the big scoop. Of course, the content tends to get the shaft with that mentality. Accuracy in media is one issue that rears its ugly head in the wake of any tragedy, lest we forget the debacle of Newtown, and the majority of the media initially reporting that the killer’s brother was the one that had done the deed.

Thankfully, in this case, other than the Saudi man that was questioned on the day of the bombing, there hasn’t really been a mass misreporting of a supposedly guilty party. While it might be nice to think that the media learned a lesson in Connecticut, the more likely reason for this is that there simply hasn’t been a great deal of information being leaked by law enforcement this time around. Maybe they were the ones that learned?

Regardless, there have been little rumblings about the potential involvement of the hacker collective Anonymous. That in itself isn’t surprising, given their track history of injecting themselves into various headlines (think the Steubenville rape story, for example.) And how could the Guy Fawkes wearing, voice modulating crew resist the opportunity to release yet another veiled-threat video?

And what about the folks that were supposedly blaming Anonymous in the first place? Were they bloggers, or press, or what? Well, it seems we’ve got a fledgling group – Your Rights Vigilante – out there that appears to be casting itself as a vigilante anti-Anonymous group. As if the hackers weren’t disturbing enough, now we’ll have to keep an eye on yet another group like it.

In case anyone’s wondering, that’s how conspiracy theories are born, bred, and sent around the internet to fuel a myriad of insane blog posts. As for this vigilante group, perhaps they won’t manage to get a decent following (which would be a good thing), or if they do, the whole “war against Anonymous” thing will play out in at least an amusing fashion. As for the public in general, it can only be hoped that they view this like putting a couple cobras in a pen together – let them fight it out, see which one survives, and then let the mongoose in to turn the victor into dinner.

North Korea social media hacked

petersnoopy (CC)

petersnoopy (CC)

petersnoopy (CC)


If you were keeping track of some official North Korean social media accounts and saw some odd posts from them, that wasn’t a mistake. Apparently they were hacked. Notably, the North’s Uriminzokkiri Twitter and Flickr accounts were hit, and ceased sending out typical posts depicting Kim Jong Un with the military.

Instead, a picture posted Thursday on the North’s Flickr site shows Kim’s face with a pig-like snout and a drawing of Mickey Mouse on his chest. Underneath, the text reads: “Threatening world peace with ICBMs and Nuclear weapons/Wasting money while his people starve to death.”

Another posting says “We are Anonymous” in white letters against a black background. Anonymous is a name of a hacker activist group.

Tweets, on the other hand, simply said “hacked”, and offered links to North Korea related sites. As a rule, the accounts are used to promote state initiatives, praise the North Korean system of government, and promote commentaries from the state-run media outlet – Korean Central News Agency. The Twitter account has been open since 2010, and has approximately 13,000 followers.

250,000 Twitter accounts hacked by Anonymous

Twitter hacked by Anonymous

Twitter’s information security department has confirmed that 250,000 twitter accounts may have been compromised by the hacker group Anonymous.

Twitter’s director of information security, Bob Lord,  said that they detected unusual access patterns including unauthorized attempts to access user data. The data accessed included usernames, email addresses and passwords.

This attack was not the work of amateurs, and we do not believe it was an isolated incident. The attackers were extremely sophisticated, and we believe other companies and organizations have also been recently similarly attacked.

The attack seems to have been limited to usernames, email addresses, session tokens and encrypted/hashed passwords. To protect the Twitter users who may have been compromised, the social media giant has reset passwords and revoked session tokens for accounts suspected of being hacked.

Anonymous takes credit for attack on DOJ website

Anonymous hacks DOJ

As a show of support for recently deceased Reddit founder Aaron Swartz, hacker group Anonymous has claimed responsibility for hacking into the Department of Justice’s Sentencing Commission website.

The DOJ Sentencing Commission website, www.ussc.gov went dark Saturday morning after a hacking attack by a group of hackers identifying themselves as Anonymous. The group has taken credit for several online attacks and this latest effort was intended to show their anger over Swartz’ suicide earlier this month.

Aaron Swartz was facing up to 30 years imprisonment and $1 million in fines for allegedly using MIT computers and networks to steal millions of articles from online archival and journal distribution service JSTOR.

The attack on the DOJ website is under criminal investigation by the FBI.

Hacktivist group Anonymous changes mind

In recent videos by the hacker group “Anonymous”, threats were leveled at web sites owned by the likes of Facebook, the U.N. and several banks if the file sharing site MegaUpload.com was not restored. Now the group says that the announcements were only to raise awareness and that no attacks will occur, but that #opglobalblackout (operation global blackout) is still an ongoing operation.

The previous announcement had been specific, tomorrow, January 28th was going to be d-day for Facebook. The group asked for internet users to help by downloading hacker tools and pointing them at the popular micro-blogging site.

This video, uploaded yesterday pulls all that back and leaves the possibility of attack as a open threat.

Another Government Site Down – Onguardonline.gov

Anonymous Hackers are at it again.  This time they have taken down www.OnGuardOnline.gov – The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) guardian website.  The group left a message to all US lawmakers:

“If SOPA/PIPA/ACTA passes we will wage a relentless war against the corporate internet, destroying dozens upon dozens of government and company websites. As you are reading this we are amassing our allied armies of darkness, preparing boatloads of stolen booty for our next raid. We are sitting on hundreds of rooted servers getting ready to drop all your mysql dumps and mail spools. Your passwords? Your precious bank accounts? Even your online dating details?! You ain’t even trying to step to this.”

Screenshot below:

onguardonline.gov

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Hacker group Anonymous to target Facebook on Jan 28th

In a plea to have Americans join in the Anonymous cause, the hacker group has requested that computer users show solidarity with them by participating in a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack upon Facebook.com on the 28th.

The attack requires that anyone that wants to participate install a specific malevolent tool and aim them at the social networking site precisely at a certain time on the 28h.

Facebook is firmly against SOPA/PIPA – the legislation Anonymous is seeking to protest with this attack.  It would seem that Anonymous is striking at the largest targets just because they can – with the help of millions of Americans willing to commit federal crimes.

What Anonymous does not let their less-knowledgeable public know is that anyone participating in this will be guilty of a felony, subject to civil suits from Facebook and ISP’s and risk losing the ability to use the internet for a decade or more depending upon the decision by the courts. North Carolina State University reports that, “There is a hefty penalty for getting caught disrupting someone else’s services by a DoS attack.Someone found guilty of engaging in a DoS attack will suffer a penalty of 6 months to 5 years in jail and up to a $250,000 fine.”

This attack appears to be part of the January 19th threat to target banks, the U.N. and multiple social networking sites in retribution for the shutdown of file-sharing site MegaUpload.com.

Hacker group "Anonymous" to hold internet, banks, UN hostage [Video]

Tens of millions of Americans may feel the wrath of the infamous hacker group “Anonymous” as they threaten phase one of  “Operation Global Blackout” over the recent shutdown of file sharing site MegaUpload.com.

The video states that Anonymous has gained access to servers at several banks, the U.N., Microsoft’s XBoxLive, Playstation Networ, Facebook, Twitter and more. While the video makes a short mention of the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, the groups’ threat is to “black out” the above mentioned servers if their demand for the unconditional restoration of MegaUpload is not met within 72 hours.

The video was uploaded on January 19th and so far the is no movement to restore MegaUpload or that the charges will be dropped. That would indicate that today, January 22nd would be the target date or soon thereafter.

*update* – Anonymous sets attack date as January 28th and the target – Facebook.

The video gaming and social media platform interruptions will be more of an inconvenience than anything, but a banking system blackout could pose real risk to American’s financial dealings. Outages could mean everything from out-of-service ATM’s, bank tellers unable to process transaction and online banking sites being offline to an inability of banks to process normal debit/checking transactions. The exact level of access and nature of the Anonymous threat is not available in the video nor elsewhere.

While the hackers claim to have access to the banking, gaming and social network servers and the personal information of those that use it, they claim that they won’t use the information.

While directed at members of Congress, the results of the black out will affect every day users of technology – and perhaps some that weren’t aware that their lives were so dependent upon it.

Twitter reactions to the threatened attack have ranged from fear to admiration:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think of the threatened attack?

[poll id=”38″]

Anonymous Threatens Revenge Against the NYPD and Mayor Bloomberg

The group Anonymous has answered the call from Occupy Wall Street to act for their cause.

This is the YouTube description for this video:

It is time to regain our credibility and destroy the NYPD and one man…MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG.

They leave no question what the next steps will be for them. It will be interesting to see if Mayor Bloomberg takes this group of thugs seriously now that a threat is on his life, personally!  And they say these are harmless people! Puhlease!

Herman Cain Releases Statement About Anonymous Accusers


Below is a statement Herman Cain released today in regards to anonymous accusers.  No mention was made of Sharon Bialek.

I am a serious person, seeking the opportunity to do a serious and very important job. Our nation has very serious problems, particularly of an economic nature, and Barack Obama does not have the skill, knowledge or will to solve them.

I do.

Unfortunately, the media-driven process by which one must seek this opportunity is fundamentally unserious. I have touched on this before – the emphasis on “gaffes,” gotcha questions and time devoted to trivial nonsense – and everyone knows the process only became further detached from relevance this week as the media published anonymous, ancient, vague personal allegations against me.

Once this kind of nonsense starts, the media’s rules say you have to act in a certain way. I am well aware of these rules. And I refuse to play by them.

There are several reasons for this. One is that, lest anyone forget, we actually have serious matters to talk about. Since the media went bananas over this so-called story, my schedule has not changed in the slightest. I have continued to make all planned public appearances. I have continued to answer questions about my 9-9-9 tax reform plan. I have continued to do everything else that our strategy proscribes.

Another reason I refuse to play by these rules is that, by doing it my way, I’m getting much better results. My fundraising has skyrocketed since all this nonsense began. Just this weekend, the Washington Post has come out with a new poll – taken since all this started – showing me in the lead nationally, with my numbers on the rise.

The media may be obsessed with this business, but the voters are not. And I am not.

But there’s another crucially important reason I refuse to play by these rules: These rules stink. Can the process by which we pick the leader of our nation be any more absurd? I’m not talking about the primary process or the role of the electorate. There is nothing wrong with that. I am talking about the media’s trivializing of such an important matter.

Consider: I held various executive positions in corporate America for several decades. I had thousands of employees working for me. I can’t even begin to recall how many conversations I had with people during that time, how many directives I gave, how much friendly banter might have taken place.

I also had to make tough decisions during these years. I turned around a poorly performing region for Burger King, then turned around a struggling Godfather’s Pizza organization. At some point during a career like this, someone will not like things you do, or how you do it. Someone will complain.

That is just the nature of things if you’ve ever done much in your life.

So once the editors of Politico started looking for people who would make claims against me, their chances of finding a few takers were probably about 100 percent. These people will not give their names. The so-called “witnesses” who purportedly corroborated their stories also will not give their names. That’s about what you would expect when people are engaging in a “hatchet job,” as it’s been described by Joseph Fassler, who was chairman of the National Restaurant Association board when I was there.

It’s easy to make accusations when, by virtue of your anonymity, you don’t have to be held accountable for the claims you’re making. It’s easy to publish them when, like Politico, you don’t follow basic rules of journalism by naming your sources or giving any details whatsoever about what supposedly happened.

But the process by which we choose our presidents has become so warped that, when something like this happens, the media and political strategists start grading you on whether you play an absurd game by their absurd rules.

When someone stops you on the street and hits you with an accusation like this, they subsequently write a story about the look in your eyes, and how many seconds it took you to speak some words in response. They go to “crisis management experts” who offer the usual sage wisdom about “getting all the information out” – as if you can get any “information” out (aside from telling them nothing happened, which they don’t want to hear) in response to allegations that are unsourced and nonspecific.

Then, when you haven’t “calmed the firestorm” – if only because the people wielding the blow-torches have no intention of putting them out – more experts are put on the air to say this proves you are “not ready for prime time.”

Maybe that would matter if I was trying out for the cast of Saturday Night Live. But this should be a slightly more serious undertaking than that.

Contrary to the belief of experts, so wise and learned in the ways of politics, I do know what the established rules say I am supposed to do. I simply refuse to do it. That’s because the rules are ridiculous, and they produce leaders like Barack Obama, who play the political game like experts but govern like complete incompetents.

The nation needs its tax structure reformed, its spending brought under control, its debt reduced and its overall governing structure made far more responsive to the needs of the people. The nation needs many other problems addressed. If it’s OK with the American people, I would like to address them.

If the media want to continue talking about nonsense, that’s fine. I’m not going to join them. It doesn’t look like the citizenry plans to join them either.