What is Anonymous?

Anonymous contro la Russia: ecco i primi risultati thumbnail

What is Anonymous? If you are following the news, you have probably heard of this hacker group that recently declared cyber-war alla Russia. So let’s find out some more information about this anonymous character who is acting in defense of Ukraine.

What is Anonymous? The collective that declared cyber-war on Russia

I computer conflictsoften occur in the shadows, without anyone noticing. In the case of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, however, we have seen one public cyber-war declaration. Anonymousa group of hackers, has publicly taken sides against Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Over the past few days, the group has caused various computer damage on Russian websitesincluding attacks DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) which brought down i government websites is that of Russia Todaythe state-supported news service.

Anonymous also claimed to have hacked the database of the Ministry of Defence. It was also confirmed that the group hacked Russian state TV channelsposting pro-Ukraine content including patriotic songs and images of the invasion.

The nature of the group as a informal collective makes it difficult to attribute these attacks to Anonymous completely. Jamie Colliera consultant with the US cybersecurity firm Mandiant, however, said:

It can be difficult to directly link this activity to Anonymous, as the targeted entities are likely to be reluctant to publish related technical data. However, the Anonymous collective is used to conducting this type of business which is very much in line with their skills.

His goals in the past have included the CIAthe Church of Scientology and it Islamic state. The group took a hard hit following one series of arrests in the United States in early 2010. However, he then resumed business afterwards the murder of George Floyd.

Russia Today has openly attributed the problems with its website at Anonymous. He further claimed that the attacks came from United States after the group had published its “declaration of war”. A spokesperson for the channel said:

After the Anonymous statement, RT’s websites became the target of massive DDoS attacks from around 100 million devices, mostly based in the United States.

Ma what is Anonymus and why we refer to him as a collective?

A group of “hacktivists”

Anonymous is a decentralized international collective of activists e hacktivisti. It is a movement known primarily for its own various cyberattacks against different governments, institutions e government agencies, companies and the Church of Scientology.

Anonymous originated in 2003 on an old forum and, since then, represents the concept of many community users, online and offline, simultaneously existing as a “global brain” or “hive mind”, “anarchist” and digitized.

One of the distinctive aesthetic traits of Anonymous members, known as announcementare the Guy Fawkes masks in the style of the film V for Vendetta. Many of them, in public, wear these masks. Some anons also choose to mask their voices through voice modifiers or text-to-speech programs.

In its initial form, the concept was adopted by a decentralized online community acting anonymously in a coordinated way. Usually one acts towards a goal freely agreed and mainly focused onentertainment.

From Progetto Chanology in 2008 – a series of protests, jokes and hacks against the Church of Scientology – the collective Anonymous has been increasingly associated with collaborative hacktivism on a number of issues internationally.

Among the main objectives of Anonymoys hacktivism we find government agencies from the United States, Israel, Tunisia, Uganda and others; the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant; child pornography sites; agencies of copyright protection; the Westboro Baptist Church; and companies like PayPal, MasterCard, Visa e Sony. The Anons have publicly supported WikiLeaks and the Occupy movement.

The related groups LulzSec e Operation AntiSec have carried out cyber attacks against US government agencies, the media, companies; There is no shortage of attacks on military contractors, military personnel and police officers, with consequent attention by the police on the activities of the groups.

Dozens of people were then arrested for involvement in Anonymous cyberattacks in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, the Netherlands, Spain, India and Turkey. Evaluations of the group’s actions and effectiveness vary widely. Supporters called the group “Freedom fighters” e Robin Hood digital. Instead, critics have described them as “a cyber lynching” or “cyber terrorists”.

In 2012 Time defined Anonymous as one of the “100 most influential people” of the world. Anonymous’s media profile declined in 2018 but the group resurfaced in 2020 to support George Floyd’s protests and other causes. Now, in 2022, he’s back in the spotlight after getting himself sided in favor of Ukraine and after stating cyber-war al regime di Vladimir Putin.

The 5 biggest hits of the group

  • Westboro Baptist Church.
    • After a letter threatening to hack the widely detested church site turned out to be a hoax, Westboro played the role of provocative victim, calling on Anonymous to “step forward”. Days later, Anonymous hacked the Westboro website. “Take this disfigurement as a simple warning: go away,” they wrote. “The world (including Anonymous) disagrees with your hateful messages.” There is a “lesson to be learned” here, he says instead Tony Bradley at PCWorld. “When your supporters can be counted on your fingers, and your enemies outnumber the people of China, it is unwise to brazenly call for attack.”
  • I fratelli cook.
    • Anonymous turned against the brothers Koch – billionaire conservatives and prominent Tea Party supporters. The group launched a attacco denial-of-service on their support group website, Americans for Prosperity. Anonymous argued that “Koch industries, and oligarchs like them, have begun to manipulate the political agenda in Wisconsin.” It is quite “unusual for Anonymous to take such an overtly political operation,” says Adrian Chen of Gawker. But Anonymous claims that the attack concerns the unchecked corporate power.
  • The Church of Scientology.
    • Anonymous is gained fame in 2008when he declared war on Scientology. After Gawker released an infamous video of Scientologist celebrity Tom Cruise, Anonymous released his own video. He later declared that “the extent of your evil influence on those who trust you as a leader is clear. Anonymous has therefore decided that your organization must be destroyed ”. He has launched an elaborate nuisance program called Progetto Chanologywhich encouraged people to spam the church with e-mail e phone calls and ad take down his website with denial-of-service attacks.
  • I enemies of WikiLeaks.
    • In 2010, Anonymous mounted Operation Paybacka wide-ranging effort to punish groups pro-copyright who had taken action against Internet piracy. In December, the initiative expanded to include companies and individuals who had come out against WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. When MasterCard ceased processing WikiLeaks-related payments, Anonymous paralyzed the company’s websites with denial-of-service attacks. Visa, PayPal, and the website of Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Critic of Assange, have suffered the same fate. On his website, an Anonymous member explained that the group is not affiliated with WikiLeaks but he fights for the same reasons. He said: “We want transparency and we oppose censorship. Attempts to silence WikiLeaks are long steps towards a world where we cannot say what we think and are unable to express our opinions and ideas ”.
  • A big shot in cybersecurity.
    • Perhaps his biggest hit to date. Anonymous directly caused the resignation of the chief executive officer of a US security firm who was helping the government track down the cyberattivisti. Aaron Barrwho headed HBGary Federal, had bragged to the Financial Times that he would reveal the names of some of the leaders of Anonymous. The group responded by hacking into HBGary’s computer system through its public website, logging into 71.000 email private and indexing them in a searchable format by anyone. The emails revealed an institution that was comfortable employing dirty tricks to preserve his image. Barr later resigned.

Anonymous’s attack on Russia will become the most important shot of the group? At the moment we cannot know. What is certain, however, is that the group is making a serious commitment.