Timeline of events associated with Anonymous

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Anonymous is a decentralized virtual community.[1] They are commonly referred to as an internet based collective of hacktivists whose goals, like its organization, are decentralized. Anonymous seeks mass awareness and revolution against what the organization perceives as corrupt entities, while attempting to maintain anonymity. Anonymous has had a hacktivist impact.[2] This is a timeline of activities reported to be carried out by the group.

Contents

2006–07[edit]

Habbo raids[edit]

See also: Habbo raids

A frequent target for organized raids by Anonymous is Habbo, a social networking site designed as a virtual hotel.[3] The raid pre-dates, and was not inspired by, the news of an Alabama amusement park banning a two-year-old toddler affected by AIDS from entering the park's swimming pool.[4] Users signed up to the Habbo site dressed in avatars of a black man wearing a grey suit and an Afro hairstyle and blocked entry to the pool, declaring that it was "closed due to AIDS,"[3][5] flooding the site with Internet slang,[5] and forming swastika formations.[5] When the raiders were banned, they complained of racism.[5]

Hal Turner raid[edit]

According to white supremacist radio host Hal Turner, in December 2006 and January 2007 individuals who identified themselves as Anonymous took Turner's website offline, costing him thousands of dollars in bandwidth bills. As a result, Turner sued 4chan, eBaum's World, 7chan, and other websites for copyright infringement. He lost his plea for an injunction, however, and failed to receive letters from the court, which caused the lawsuit to lapse.[6]

Chris Forcand arrest[edit]

On December 7, 2007, the Canada-based Toronto Sun newspaper published a report on the arrest of the alleged Internet predator Chris Forcand.[7] Forcand, 53, was charged with two counts of luring a child under the age of 14, attempt to invite sexual touching, attempted exposure, possessing a dangerous weapon, and carrying a concealed weapon.[8] The report stated that Forcand was already being tracked by "cyber-vigilantes who seek to out anyone who presents with a sexual interest in children" before police investigations commenced.[7]

The Global Television Network report identified the group responsible for Forcand's arrest as a "self-described Internet vigilante group called Anonymous" who contacted the police after some members were "propositioned" by Forcand with "disgusting photos of himself." The report also stated that this is the first time a suspected Internet predator was arrested by the police as a result of Internet vigilantism.[9]

2008[edit]

Project Chanology[edit]

Main article: Project Chanology
"Message to Scientology", January 21, 2008

The group gained worldwide press for Project Chanology, the protest against the Church of Scientology.[10]

On January 14, 2008, a video produced by the Church featuring an interview with Tom Cruise was leaked to the Internet and uploaded to YouTube.[11][12][13] The Church of Scientology issued a copyright violation claim against YouTube requesting the removal of the video.[14] In response to this, Anonymous formulated Project Chanology.[15][16][17][18] Calling the action by the Church of Scientology a form of Internet censorship, members of Project Chanology organized a series of denial-of-service attacks against Scientology websites, prank calls, and black faxes to Scientology centers.[19]

Protest by Anonymous against the practices and tax status of the Church of Scientology.

On January 21, 2008, individuals claiming to speak for Anonymous announced their goals and intentions via a video posted to YouTube entitled "Message to Scientology," and a press release declaring a "War on Scientology" against both the Church of Scientology and the Religious Technology Center.[18][20][21] In the press release, the group states that the attacks against the Church of Scientology will continue in order to protect the right to freedom of speech, and end what they believe to be the financial exploitation of church members.[22] A new video "Call to Action" appeared on YouTube on January 28, 2008, calling for protests outside Church of Scientology centers on February 10, 2008.[23][24] On February 2, 2008, 150 people gathered outside of a Church of Scientology center in Orlando, Florida to protest the organization's practices.[25][26][27][28] Small protests were also held in Santa Barbara, California,[29] and Manchester, England.[26][30] On February 10, 2008, about 7000 people protested in more than 93 cities worldwide.[31][32] Many protesters wore masks based on the character V from V for Vendetta (who, in turn, had been influenced by Guy Fawkes), or otherwise disguised their identities, in part to protect themselves from reprisals from the Church.[33][34]

Anonymous held a second wave of protests on March 15, 2008 in cities all over the world, including Boston, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Vancouver, Toronto, Berlin, and Dublin. The global turnout was estimated to be "between 7000 and 8000," a number similar to that of the first wave.[35] The third wave of the protests took place on April 12, 2008.[36][37] Named "Operation Reconnect," it aimed to increase awareness of the Church of Scientology's disconnection policy.[11]

On October 17, 2008, an 18-year-old from New Jersey described himself as a member of Anonymous, and he stated that he would plead guilty to involvement in the January 2008 DDoS attacks against Church of Scientology websites.[38]

Protests continued, and took advantage of media events such as the premiere of the Tom Cruise movie Valkyrie, where the venue was chosen in part to reduce exposure to the protests.[39]

Epilepsy Foundation forum invasion[edit]

On March 28, 2008, Wired News reported that "Internet griefers"—a slang term for people whose only interests are in harassing others[40]—assaulted an epilepsy support forum run by the Epilepsy Foundation of America.[41] JavaScript code and flashing computer animations were posted with the intention of triggering migraine headaches and seizures in photosensitive and pattern-sensitive epileptics.[41] According to Wired News, circumstantial evidence suggested that the attack was perpetrated by Anonymous users, with the initial attack posts on the epilepsy forum blaming eBaum's World. Members of the epilepsy forum claimed they had found a thread in which the attack was being planned at 7chan.org, an imageboard that has been described as a stronghold for Anonymous. The thread, like all old threads eventually do on these types of imageboards, has since cycled to deletion.[41]

News.com.au reported that the administrators of 7chan.org had posted an open letter claiming that the attacks had been carried out by the Church of Scientology "to ruin the public opinion of Anonymous, to lessen the effect of the lawful protests against their virulent organization" under the Church's fair game policy.[40]

Defacement of SOHH and AllHipHop websites[edit]

Main article: SOHH: Defacement
The second in a series of five defaced SOHH banners and headline feeders, vandalized by hackers.

In late June 2008, users who identified themselves as Anonymous claimed responsibility for a series of attacks against the SOHH (Support Online Hip Hop) website.[42] The attack was reported to have begun in retaliation for insults made by members of SOHH's "Just Bugging Out" forum against members of Anonymous. The attack against the website took place in stages, as Anonymous users flooded the SOHH forums, which were then shut down. On June 23, 2008, the group which identified themselves as Anonymous organized DDOS attacks against the website, successfully eliminating 60% of the website's service capacity. On June 27, 2008, the hackers utilized cross-site scripting to deface the website's main page with satirical Nazi images and headlines referencing numerous racial stereotypes and slurs, and also successfully stole information from SOHH employees.[43] Following the defacement, the website was temporarily shut down by its administration. AllHipHop, an unrelated website, also had its forum raided.[42]

Sarah Palin email hack[edit]

Shortly after midnight on September 16, 2008, the private Yahoo! Mail account of Sarah Palin was hacked by a 4chan user.[44] The hacker, known as "Rubico", claimed he had read Palin's personal e-mails because he was looking for something that "would derail her campaign."[45] After reading through Palin's emails, Rubico wrote, "There was nothing there, nothing incriminating — all I saw was personal stuff, some clerical stuff from when she was governor."[45] Rubico wrote that he used the Sarah Palin Wikipedia article to find Palin's birth date (one of the standard security questions used by Yahoo!.[46]) in "15 seconds." The hacker posted the account's password on /b/, an image board on 4chan, and screenshots from within the account to WikiLeaks.[47] A /b/ user then logged in and changed the password, posting a screenshot of his sending an email to a friend of Palin's informing her of the new password on the /b/ thread. However, he did not blank out the password in the screenshot.[48] A multitude of /b/ users then attempted to log in with the new password, and the account was automatically locked out by Yahoo!. The incident was criticized by some /b/ users, one of whom complained that "seriously, /b/. We could have changed history and failed, epically."[49]

2009[edit]

No Cussing Club[edit]

In January 2009 members of Anonymous targeted South Pasadena, California teen McKay Hatch who runs the No Cussing Club, a website against profanity.[50][51] As Hatch's home address, phone number, and other personal information were leaked on the internet, his family has received hate mail, obscene phone calls, and bogus pizza and pornography deliveries.[52]

2009 Iranian election protests[edit]

Front page of The Pirate Bay, June 20, 2009. Anonymous, together with The Pirate Bay, launched an Iranian Green Movement Support site.[53]

Following allegations of vote rigging after the results of the June 2009 Iranian presidential election were announced, declaring Iran's incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the winner, thousands of Iranians participated in demonstrations. Anonymous, together with The Pirate Bay and various Iranian hackers, launched an Iranian Green Movement Support site called Anonymous Iran.[53] The site has drawn over 22,000 supporters world wide and allows for information exchange between the world and Iran, despite attempts by the Iranian government to censor news about the riots on the internet. The site provides resources and support to Iranians who are protesting.[54][55]

Operation Didgeridie[edit]

In September 2009 the group reawakened "in order to protect civil rights" after several governments began to block access to its imageboards. The blacklisting of Krautchan.net in Germany infuriated many, but the tipping point was the Australian government's plans for ISP-level censorship of the internet. The policy was spearheaded by Stephen Conroy and had been driven aggressively[56] by the Rudd Government since its election in 2007.

Early in the evening of September 9, Anonymous took down the prime minister's website with a distributed denial-of-service attack. The site was taken offline for approximately one hour.[57]

2010[edit]

Operation Titstorm[edit]

External video
Message To The Australian Government From Anonymous,[58] directed at Kevin Rudd and Seven News hours before Operation Titstorm began.[59]

Occurred from 8 am, February 10, 2010 as a protest against the Australian Government over the forthcoming internet filtering legislation and the perceived censorship in pornography of small-breasted women (who are perceived to be under age) and female ejaculation. Hours earlier, Anonymous uploaded a video message to YouTube, addressed to Kevin Rudd, and Seven News, presenting a list of demands and threats of further action if they were not met.[59] The protest consisted of a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) on Australian Government websites. Australian anti-censorship groups complained that the attack only hurt their cause, and Australian government members dismissed the attack and said that they would just restore the service when the attack finished.[60][61] Analysis of the attacks cited their peak bandwidth at under 17Mbit, a figure considered small when compared with other DDoS attacks.[62]

Oregon Tea Party raid[edit]

In July 2010, there was a reaction to the use of one of Anonymous' slogans by the Oregon Tea Party. The Party's Facebook page was flooded with image macro and flames. Within a few hours, the Tea Party posted a message saying "Anonymous: We appreciate your resources and admire your tactics. You have taught us more than you know. As requested, we are no longer using the 'anonymous' quote." Following this raid, the Party's Facebook page was removed, and its Ning page limited to member-only access.[63]

Operations Payback, Avenge Assange, and Bradical[edit]

Anonymous releases their fliers and press releases to the public domain.
Main article: Operation Payback

In 2010, several Bollywood companies hired Aiplex Software to launch DDoS attacks on websites that did not respond to software takedown notices.[64] Piracy activists then created Operation Payback in September 2010 in retaliation.[64] The original plan was to attack Aiplex Software directly, but upon finding some hours before the planned DDoS that another individual had taken down the firm's website on their own, Operation Payback moved to launching attacks against the websites of copyright stringent organizations, law firms and other websites.[65] This grew into multiple DDoS attacks against anti-piracy groups and law firms.

On April 2, 2011 Anonymous launched an attack on the media giant Sony, named #opsony, as a part of Operation Payback.[66] Anonymous claims the attack a success after they took down the PlayStation Network and other related PlayStation Websites. Anonymous' actions also included personal harassment of employees and their families. The PlayStation Network subsequently has had lengthy outages, although Anonymous claims that this is not due to any officially sanctioned action on their part, but may be due to sub-groups of Anonymous.[67]

Sony Corp. came to Anonymous' attention after it took legal action against George Hotz (a.k.a. GeoHot), the coder behind a popular tool that allows homebrew software to run on the PlayStation 3 (PS3). In addition, Sony is also taking legal action against Alexander Egorenkov (a.ka. Graf_Chokolo) for his efforts to restore Linux to the PS3. The reason why Hotz and Egorenkov did that follows on from Sony's decision to remove the system's OtherOS feature, which enabled the use of Linux. While the pair has earned respect for their research and technical skills, they have also gained the attention of Sony's legal team. With a lawsuit now against Hotz this attracted the attention of Anonymous. They claim that Sony is breaching the free speech border, and this is the reason for their actions.[68]

In December 2010, the document archive website WikiLeaks (used by whistleblowers) came under intense pressure to stop publishing secret United States diplomatic cables. In response, Anonymous announced its support for WikiLeaks,[69][70] and Operation Payback changed its focus to support WikiLeaks and launched DDoS attacks against Amazon, PayPal, MasterCard, Visa and the Swiss bank PostFinance, in retaliation for perceived anti-WikiLeaks behavior. This second front in the December offensive was performed under the codename Operation Avenge Assange.[71][72][73][74][75][76] Due to the attacks, both MasterCard and Visa's websites were brought down on December 8.[77][78] A threat researcher at PandaLabs said Anonymous also launched an attack which brought down the Swedish prosecutor's website when WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in London and refused bail in relation to extradition to Sweden.[79]

After suspected leaker Bradley Manning was transferred to Marine Corps Brig, Quantico in July 2010, allegations of abuse arose around Manning's isolation in a maximum security area, and the suicide-watch he was put under which included constant verbal checks by guards and forced nudity.[80][81][82][83][84] Military officials denied the treatment was abuse or abnormal. In an event that led to his resignation, State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley made statements condemning the treatment.[85][86] In response to Manning's imprisonment and treatment, Anonymous threatened to disrupt activities at Quantico by cyber-attacking communications, exposing private information about personnel, and other harassment methods.[87][88] Dubbed "Operation Bradical",[89] Spokesperson Barrett Brown stated that this would be in direct response for the alleged mistreatment.[90][91] Military spokespersons have responded that the threat has been referred to law enforcement and counterterrorism officials and requested an investigation.[92][93]

Operation Leakspin[edit]

Main article: Operation Leakspin

Zimbabwe[edit]

The websites of the government of Zimbabwe were targeted by Anonymous due to censorship of the WikiLeaks documents.[94]

Visa, Mastercard, Paypal[edit]

Anonymous launched several Denial-of-Service attacks on the Visa, MasterCard and PayPal companies for cutting off their services to Wikileaks.[95]

2011[edit]

A member holding an Anonymous flier at Occupy Wall Street, a protest that the group actively supported, September 17, 2011

Attack on Fine Gael website[edit]

The website for the Irish political party Fine Gael, a centre right party and currently in coalition government with the Labour Party, was hacked by Anonymous during the 2011 general election campaign according to TheJournal.ie.[96] The site was replaced with a page showing the Anonymous logo along with the words "Nothing is safe, you put your faith in this political party and they take no measures to protect you. They offer you free speech yet they censor your voice. WAKE UP! <owned by Raepsauce and Palladium>".

Arab Spring activities[edit]

The websites of the government of Tunisia were targeted by Anonymous due to censorship of the WikiLeaks documents and the Tunisian Revolution.[97] Tunisians were reported to be assisting in these denial-of-service attacks launched by Anonymous.[98] Anonymous's role in the DDoS attacks on the Tunisian government's websites have led to an upsurge of internet activism among Tunisians against the government.[99] A figure associated with Anonymous released an online message denouncing the government clampdown on recent protests and posted it on the Tunisian government website.[100] Anonymous has named their attacks as "Operation Tunisia".[101] Anonymous successfully performed DDoS attacks on eight Tunisian government websites. The Tunisian government responded by making its websites inaccessible from outside Tunisia. Tunisian police also arrested online activists and bloggers within the country and questioned them on the attacks. Anonymous's website suffered a DDoS attack on January 5.[102]

During the 2011 Egyptian revolution, Egyptian government websites, along with the website of the ruling National Democratic Party, were hacked into and taken offline by Anonymous. The sites remained offline until President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.[103]

Anonymous was divided on the 2011 Libyan civil war, while they hacked into Libyan government websites, and persuaded the host of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's personal website to take it down, other members of the group sided with the dictator in what they called "Operation Reasonable Reaction".[104] The pro-Gaddafi attacks were fairly unsuccessful, only managing to take down minor opposition sites for a little while.[105]

Anonymous also released the names and passwords of the email addresses of Middle Eastern governmental officials, in support of the Arab Spring.[106] Countries targeted included officials from Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco.[107]

Attack on HBGary Federal[edit]

One man, who calls himself Owen, says his Anonymous colleagues broke into the company's servers. Hackers have a name for what they did. "They decided to just rape his servers and take all the information they wanted," he says. "Forgive that term ... 'Rape' is an Internet term, you know, as to go in and take everything out of somebody's server." Whatever the term, it was not a nice thing that Anonymous did to HBGary Federal. But now that the company's e-mails are out, it appears it was also willing to do some not-nice things.
E-Mails Hacked By 'Anonymous' Raise Concerns, NPR[108]

On the weekend of February 5–6, 2011, Aaron Barr, the chief executive of the security firm HBGary Federal, announced that his firm had successfully infiltrated the Anonymous group, and although he would not hand over details to the police, he would reveal his findings at a later conference in San Francisco. In retaliation for Aaron Barr's claims, members of the group Anonymous hacked the website of HBGary Federal and replaced the welcome page with a message stating that Anonymous should not be messed with, and that the hacking of the website was necessary to defend itself. Using a variety of techniques, including social engineering and SQL injection,[109] Anonymous also went on to take control of the company's e-mail, dumping 68,000 e-mails from the system, erasing files, and taking down their phone system.[110] The leaked emails revealed the reports and company presentations of other companies in computer security such as Endgame systems who promise high quality offensive software, advertising "subscriptions of $2,500,000 per year for access to 0day exploits".[111]

Among the documents exposed was a PowerPoint presentation entitled "The Wikileaks Threat", put together by HBGary Federal along with two other data intelligence firms for Bank of America in December.[112] Within the report, these firms created a list of important contributors to WikiLeaks; they further developed a strategic plan of attack against the site. As TechHerald explains, "the plan included pressing a journalist in order to disrupt his support of the organization, cyber attacks, disinformation, and other potential proactive tactics." The report specifically claims that Glenn Greenwald's support was key to WikiLeaks' ongoing survival.[113][114][115]

Anonymous also personally attacked Aaron Barr by taking control of his Twitter account, posting Mr Barr's supposed home address and social security number.[116]

In response to the attacks, founder of HBGary Federal, Greg Hoglund, responded to journalist Brian Krebs, "They didn't just pick on any company, we try to protect the US Government from hackers. They couldn't have chosen a worse company to pick on."[116] After the attacks, Anonymous continued to clog up HBGary Federal fax machines, and made threatening phone calls.[117]

Operation Ouraborus[edit]

WBC taunts Anonymous.

On February 16, 2011, the group supposedly[118] wrote an open letter to the Westboro Baptist Church, stating: "Cease & desist your protest campaign in the year 2011... close your public Web sites. Should you ignore this warning... the propaganda & detestable doctrine that you promote will be eradicated; the damage incurred will be irreversible, and neither your institution nor your congregation will ever be able to fully recover."[119][120][121] On February 19, 2011, the church responded, telling Anonymous to "bring it on" and calling them, among other things, "a puddle of pimple-faced nerds."[122][123][124] Anonymous subsequently denied the authenticity of the threat,[118] suggesting that someone from outside Anonymous had made the posting.[124][125][126] Due to their website being openly editable by anyone, it is unknown who made the post at this time. Anonymous responded with a press release calling the Westboro Church "professional trolls" stating that they believe that it was a member of the Westboro Church making an attempt to provoke an attack, thus acting as a honeypot which would both allow the church to retaliate against Internet service providers in court, and to gain it further publicity.[124][127] They also claimed that they had more pressing matters to attend to, namely the support of the protests that led to the 2011 Libyan civil war.[128] That said, Anonymous later suggested tactics for those who wished to attack Westboro nevertheless, avoiding DDoS in favor of sending "prostitutes, preferably male," and in general to "rape their asses in the most unpredictable ways possible."[127]

"Our best guess is that you heard about us on that newfangled TV of yours and thought we might be some good money for your little church."
—Anonymous response to the Westboro issue[126]

Anonymous also indicated that an attack would be self-defeating, stating: "When Anonymous says we support free speech, we mean it. We count Beatrice Hall among our Anonymous forebears: 'I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.'"[129] Nonetheless, Westboro's website at godhatesfags.com suffered an attack.[130][131][132] Another hacktivist by the name of Jester claimed to bring down the websites from the Westboro Baptist Church on his Twitter account.[133][134][135] Nonetheless, people are still unsure who actually attacked the Westboro Baptist Church. In a thread on 4chan, several members revealed their confusion and wondered about Jester's motives.

2011 Wisconsin protests[edit]

On February 27, 2011, Anonymous announced a new attack on Koch Industries[136] as a response to the Wisconsin protests. Between 1997 and 2008, David and Charles Koch collectively gave more than $17 million to groups, such as Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth and Citizens United, lobbying against unions.[137][138] The Kochs are one of (Republican) Governor Walker's largest corporate supporters.[139] Anonymous accused the brothers of attempting "to usurp American Democracy" and called for a boycott of all Koch Industries products.[140][141]

2011-2012 Operation Empire State Rebellion[edit]

On March 14, 2011, the group Anonymous began releasing emails it said were obtained from Bank of America.[142] According to the group, the files show evidence of "corruption and fraud", and relate to the issue of improper foreclosures. They say that a former employee named Brian Penny [143] from Balboa Insurance, a firm which used to be owned by BofA, appeared to be a reputable insider in the force placed insurance market,[144][145] a market which, in 2012, began getting more and more coverage from various government and media sources, including the New York Department of Finance,[146] 50 State Attorney General Coalition,[147] the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,[148] and large class action lawsuits.[149] Balboa Insurance is now owned by Australian Reinsurance company QBE,[150] while Brian privately consults various agencies and institutions on the inside workings of mortgage/insurance tracking systems and force placed insurance[151] while maintaining a blog about his experience as a whistleblower.[152][153][154][155][156][157]

Operation Sony[edit]

Anonymous announced their intent to attack Sony websites in response to Sony's lawsuit against George Hotz and, specifically due to Sony's gaining access to the IP addresses of all the people who visited George Hotz's blog as part of the libel action, terming it an 'offensive against free speech and internet freedom'[158][159] Although Anonymous admitted responsibility to subsequent attacks on the Sony websites, Anonymous branch AnonOps denied that they were the cause behind a major outage of the PlayStation Network in April 2011. However, as Anonymous is a leaderless organization, the possibility remains that another branch of the group is responsible for the outage, though screenshots of AnonOps promotion of the attack still exist.[160][161]

Spanish Police[edit]

On June 12, 2011, there was a DDoS attack on the website of the Spanish Police, starting at 21:30 GMT. Anonymous claimed responsibility the following day, stating that the attack was a "direct response to the Friday arrests of three individuals alleged to be associated with acts of cyber civil disobedience attributed to Anonymous." The site was down for approximately an hour as a result of their efforts.[162]

Operation India[edit]

The group has come out in support of a civil movement against corruption in India. This cyber movement has been named as 'Operation India'.[163][164]

Operation Malaysia[edit]

On June 15, 2011, the group launched attacks on ninety-one websites of the Malaysian government in response to the blocking of websites like Wikileaks and The Pirate Bay within the country, which the group labels censorship of a basic human right to information.[165]

Operation Orlando[edit]

On June 20, 2011, members of the group took down the websites of the Orlando, Florida Chamber of Commerce and inserted a message into the website of the Universal Orlando Resort requesting that users "boycott Orlando". The group did so in response to the arrests of members of Food Not Bombs for feeding the homeless in Lake Eola Park against city ordinances.[166] The group had planned and announced the attack on their IRC channel.[167][168] The group has vowed to take a different Orlando-related website offline every day, and have also targeted the re-election website of Mayor of Orlando Buddy Dyer and the Orlando International Airport. A member of the group left a Guy Fawkes mask outside of the mayor's home; the police are treating the picture taken of the mask as a threat against the mayor.[169] On July 11, the group took down the website of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orlando and the Rotary Club of Orlando.[170]

Operation Intifada[edit]

On June 28, 2011, Anonymous announced that within the next 24 hours, it would hack into the website of the Knesset, the legislature of Israel, and knock it offline. It was stated that the planned attacks were a response to alleged hacking attacks by Israeli intelligence such as the Stuxnet virus, a computer virus which allegedly was created by Israeli and U.S. intelligence and targeted the Iranian nuclear program.[171]

Operation Anti-Security[edit]

Main article: Operation AntiSec

The group collaborated with LulzSec to hack the websites of a number of government and corporate sources and release information from them.[172][173] As well as targeting American sites, Anonymous also targeted government sites in Tunisia, Anguilla, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Turkey, and Australia. On July 21, Anonymous released two PDFs allegedly taken from NATO.[174]

Operation Facebook[edit]

In August 2011, someone created an account on Twitter with the name OP_Facebook and announced the "Operation Facebook". According to the links on the post, Anonymous was going to take down Facebook on November 5, 2011.[175] The date "November 5" is believed to be attributed to the comics V for Vendetta, where the character "V" conducts his major plans every fifth of November in memory of Guy Fawkes. This operation isn't assuredly an Anonymous one. There was an earlier OpFacebook that was abandoned, and this current plan is a revival of the communication channels previously used.[176] The plan is contentious and does not appear to be supported by the majority of those who say they are part of Anonymous. Operation Facebook, against popular belief, never showed any signs of itself. Facebook continued to run after the supposed Operation Facebook was to begin. On that day, Anonymous tweeted that they never announced Operation Facebook and that this was some guy's idea of a joke.[177]

Operation BART[edit]

In August 2011, in response to Bay Area Rapid Transit's shutdown of cell phone service in an attempt to disconnect protesters from assembling in response to a police shooting, as well as the shooting itself, Anonymous sent out a mass email/fax bomb to BART personnel and organized multiple mass physical protests at the network's Civic Center station.[178] Anonymous also hacked the BART website, releasing the personal information of 102 BART police officers,[179] as well as account information for about 2,000 customers.[180]

Shooting Sheriffs Saturday[edit]

In an event dubbed "Shooting Sheriffs Saturday," Anonymous hacked 70 (mostly rural) law enforcement websites and released 10 GB of leaked information.[181] The name is likely a reference to the song "I Shot the Sheriff" by Bob Marley.

Support of Occupy Wall Street[edit]

Several contingents of Anonymous have given support to the Occupy Wall Street movement, with members attending local protests and blogs run by members covering the movement.[182][183][184]

Operation Syria[edit]

In early August, Anonymous hacked the Syrian Defense Ministry website and replaced it with a vector image of the pre-Ba'athist flag, a symbol of the pro-democracy movement in the country, as well as a message supporting the 2011 Syrian uprising and calling on members of the Syrian Army to defect to protect protesters.[185]

Operation DarkNet[edit]

In October 2011, the collective campaigned against child pornography protected by anonymous hosting techniques.[186] They temporarily DDoSed 40 child porn sites, published the usernames of over 1500 people frequenting one of those websites, and invited the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and Interpol to follow up.[187]

Opposition to Los Zetas[edit]

On October 6, 2011, Anonymous released a video stating that Los Zetas had kidnapped one of the group's members, and threatened that unless the hostage was freed, they would publish personal information about members of the cartel and their collaborators in politics, police, military, and business, which might lead to their prosecution by Mexican authorities, or targeting by rival cartels. The website of Gustavo Rosario Torres, a former Tabasco state prosecutor, was subsequently defaced with a message suggesting his involvement with the organization.[188][189][190][191][192][193] Early November, Los Zetas reportedly freed the kidnapped victim without knowledge of its Anonymous affiliation, as announced on Anonymous Iberoamerica blog.[194][195] However, following widespread news coverage of the video, reporters did not find evidence of a previous Anonymous action matching the description given, and found little evidence of support among Anonymous members, particularly in Mexico.[196] Many blogs run by members of Anonymous also report on this.[184]

Operation Brotherhood Takedown[edit]

On November 7, 2011, Anonymous released a warning threat to the Muslim Brotherhood that they would take down major websites belonging to their organization.[197] On November 12 the Muslim Brotherhood released a statement detailing the extent of the attack and that four websites were temporarily taken down.[198] On November 12, 2011 another video was released claiming the attack would continue until November 18.[199]

John Pike incident[edit]

In response to the UC Davis pepper-spray incident, Anonymous released the personal information of John Pike, the officer that pepper-sprayed peaceful protestors.[200]

Attack on Stratfor[edit]

On December 24, claims were made that Anonymous stole thousands of e-mail addresses and credit card information from security firm Stratfor. Reportedly, Anonymous commented that this is because the data was unencrypted, however Anonymous put out a press-release stating "This hack is most definitely not the work of Anonymous".[201]

Operation Pharisee[edit]

Operation Pharisee was an attack organized via social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube[202] against the Vatican website for World Youth Day 2011. It was unsuccessful, despite a denial-of-service attack resulting 34 times normal traffic, and well-documented[203] due to the efforts of Imperva, the security firm employed by the Vatican.[204]

Operation Deepthroat[edit]

Anonymous, along with 4chan's /b/ board, Reddit, Twitter and Funnyjunk, teamed together to make a raid on 9gag called Operation Deepthroat. The raid was separated in multiple teams: The first team, the Alpha Team, spammed child pornography, gore, furries and scat on 9gag's site, followed by fake accounts made by 4chan, Anonymous, Reddit, Twitter and Funnyjunk voting the spam up, effectively overloading the servers. The second team, the Gold Team, used the Low Orbit Ion Cannon and the High Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC and HOIC, respectively), and fired on 9gag, which DDoS'd the entire site down. The third and final team, the Red Team, was tasked to spread the information of the OP on 4chan, Reddit, Twitter and Funnyjunk, and also supported the other teams. The reason behind this whole operation began when 9gag took several of 4chan's memes and called them theirs, followed by making a legion called the '9gag army', a ripoff of Anonymous. The operation began on 21 December 2011 at 12:00 AM, and ended at 11:59 PM. 9gag was mainly offline for the next few days, except for some servers which managed to protect themselves from the LOIC and HOIC. Prior to the operation, 4chan users used fake accounts to trick 9gaggers into DDoS'ing themselves, saying the coordinates were that of 4chan. The pre-raid attack was mostly ineffective, however, as only a few servers went down.[citation needed]

2012[edit]

CSLEA hack[edit]

In January 2012, Anonymous hacked the website of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association to protest police brutality.[205]

Occupy Nigeria[edit]

In solidarity with Occupy Nigeria, Anonymous has joined forces with the People's Liberation Front and the Naija Cyber Hactivists of Nigeria. Anonymous promised “a relentless and devastating assault upon the web assets of the Nigerian government” in support of Occupy Nigeria. This was in protest to the removal of fuel subsidy that the majority of impoverished Nigerians depend upon for their very existence, causing the price of fuel and transportation to skyrocket and therefore extreme hardship for the majority of Nigerians. On January 13, the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission website was hacked, with a false report of the arrest of people involved in the oil sector replacing the normal page.[206]

Operation Megaupload[edit]

In retaliation for the shut down of the file sharing service Megaupload and the arrest of four workers,[207] Anonymous DDoSed the websites of UMG (the company responsible for the lawsuit against Megaupload), the United States Department of Justice, the United States Copyright Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the MPAA, Warner Brothers Music, the RIAA, and the HADOPI the afternoon of January 19, 2012.[208] The operations by Anonymous were speculated to have been driven further by anger over the House of Representatives' Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate's Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).[209]

Anti-ACTA activism in Europe[edit]

On January 21 a series of DDoS attacks on Polish government websites took place, for which the Anonymous took responsibility and referred to as "the Polish Revolution".[210] The group via their Twitter account stated it was a revenge for upcoming signing of ACTA agreement by the Polish government. Starting with websites of the Sejm, Polish Prime Minister, President, Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, later on websites of the police, Internal Security Agency, Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also blocked. The presumed attack was further strengthened by the media coverage which resulted in extremely high interest of public opinion, followed up by blackout of popular Polish websites on 24th[211] and protests of thousands of people on January 24 and 25, in major cities of Poland,[212] against signing ACTA. Other suspected targets were the websites of Paweł Graś - the government's spokesman (blocked after Graś denied the attacks ever took place), the website of PSL (blocked after Eugeniusz Kłopotek, a member of the party, supported ACTA on air of the major TV station). Governmental sites in France's presidential website[213] and Austria's Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Economy and also the website of the Federal Chancellor [214] were also cracked and paralyzed.

Anonymous in Slovenia announced opposition against the Slovenian signing of the ACTA and have posted video threats on various websites against the government officials, as well as against Nova Ljubljanska Banka (commonly known as NLB), accusing the latter of corruption.[215] On February 4, 2012 The NLB was a victim of a cyber attack and was offline for one hour, while public demonstrations were held in the capital of Ljubljana and in Maribor. Some estimated 3000 people gathered in the capital, while around 300 protested in Maribor.[216]

Operation Russia[edit]

Unidentified hackers cracked email boxes of some prominent pro-Kremlin activists and officials, including Vasily Yakemenko, head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, Kristina Potupchik, press secretary for Nashi youth movement, and Oleg Khorokhordin, deputy head of the Department for Internal Affairs at the Presidential Administration. Since February 1, links to contents of the mailboxes have been appearing on @OP_Russia Twitter account. The hackers confirmed they consider themselves a part of the Anonymous movement; "We are Anonymous", they stated in an interview.[217][218] The information discovered enabled many to accuse Yakemenko and his colleagues in paying some influential bloggers, as well as numerous trolls, for publishing stories and commenting in favour of Vladimir Putin on negative press articles on the Internet.[219][220][221]

Boston Police Department attacks[edit]

On February 3, 2012, Anonymous hacked a website belonging to the Boston Police Department to protest the eviction of Occupy Wall Street protestors.[222] BPD later responded with a sarcastic video of their own.[223]

Syrian Government E-mail Hack[edit]

On February 6, 2012, Anonymous broke into the mail server of the Syrian Ministry of Presidential Affairs, gaining access to some 78 inboxes of Bashar al-Assad’s staffers in the process. One of the email files was a document preparing Assad for his December 2011 interview with ABC's Barbara Walters. One of the passwords commonly used by Assad’s office accounts was "12345." [224]

In July 2012, Anonymous gave over 2.4 million e-mails to Wikileaks.[225]

AntiSec Leak and CIA Attack[edit]

On Friday, February 10, Anonymous claimed responsibility for taking down the Central Intelligence Agency's website for more than 5 hours. Several servers went back up while others stayed down.[226] This followed a conversation leak, in which Anonymous took responsibility, between FBI and Scotland Yard officials discussing members of Anonymous being put on trial as well as other topics on the group, which took place a week before.[227] On March 6, 2012 Donncha O'Cearbhaill was charged in connection with the leak.[228] He was released 24-hours later.[229]

Interpol Attack[edit]

Following Interpol's announcement on February 28 that they made arrests of 25 suspected members of the hacking activist group Anonymous in Europe and South America, their site went down briefly. [230]

AIPAC Attack[edit]

On March 4, Anonymous took down the American Israel Public Affairs Committee website. An AIPAC spokesman was questioned on the matter but did not respond.[231] A video titled "Anonymous: Message to AIPAC" was uploaded on YouTube earlier the same day.[232]

Vatican website DDoS Attacks[edit]

The official website of the Vatican was brought down temporarily by a DDoS attack from Anonymous on March 7. Later that day the website recovered. Anonymous has also attempted to take the site down in 2011 but the attempt did not succeed. They claimed that their attack was not targeted against the followers of the Catholic Church but against the Church itself, which Anonymous viewed as corrupt.[233]

On March 12 the Vatican's official website was brought down for a few hours by a second DDoS attack. Anonymous also hacked Vatican Radio and gained access to the Vatican Radio database in protest against the Vatican Radio allegedly using "repeaters with power transmission largely outside the bounds of the law."[234]

Criticism of Kony 2012[edit]

Anonymous described the Kony 2012 campaign by Invisible Children as "propaganda". Although they support the campaign against Kony, they felt that the campaign is mainly a scam.[235]

Bureau of Justice leak[edit]

On March 21, 1.7GB of data was stolen from the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics by Anonymous. The leak reportedly contained “shiny things such as internal emails and the entire database dump.”[236]

Taking down Monsanto's Hungarian website[edit]

On March 16 the official website of Monsanto's Hungarian website collapsed and wasn't restored until March 26.[237][238][239][240]

Symantec source code leak[edit]

In March 2012, people claiming to be a part of Anonymous leaked the source code for old versions of Norton AntiVirus and Norton Utilities.[241]

April 2012 Chinese attack[edit]

In April 2012, Anonymous hacked 485 Chinese government websites, some more than once, to protest the lack of democracy.[242]

Operation Bahrain and Formula One attacks[edit]

On April 21, Anonymous defaced the official site of Formula One, in protest against the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix. The race was the subject of ongoing controversy, as it was being held during ongoing anti-government protests, with the support of the government.[243][244] Anonymous posted a press release criticising the decision to hold the race despite the violent crackdowns,[245] and posted data of ticket sales for the event with sensitive information — particularly the credit card numbers of spectators — redacted. Other sites related to the sport and the Bahraini government were also the subject of Distributed denial-of-service attack.[246]

Occupy Philippines[edit]

On April 21, 2012 A member of Anonymous attacked the China University Media Union website, as a retaliation against alleged Chinese hackers who defaced the University of the Philippines website, which claimed that the Scarborough Shoal is Chinese territory. Anonymous left a message that the Scarborough Shoal is the Philippines' territory. On April 25, 2012, users of Anonymous #OccupyPhilippines warned that they had not yet started their attack against Chinese websites. The members that can be counted in hand called the cyber attacks were a result of the 2012 Scarborough Shoal standoff.[247][248]

Operation India[edit]

On May 17, 2012, Anonymous launched an attack against the websites of the India Supreme Court and the current-ruling Congress party in reaction to internet service providers blocking popular video sites like Vimeo as well as file-sharing sites like The Pirate Bay.[249]

Operation Quebec[edit]

Guy Fawkes mask seen at a protest in Montreal on May 22, 2012 against Bill 78 as part of the 2012 Quebec protests.

On May 20, 2012, Anonymous launched Opération Québec in reaction to the adoption of Bill 78 by the government of Quebec, an act restricting the freedom of association in this Canadian province after several weeks of student protests.[250] A video was released urging the governing Liberal Party of Quebec to let the citizens protest.

On May 21, the websites of the Liberal Party of Quebec, of the Ministry of Public Security of Quebec as well as a government site on police ethics were DDoSed.[251][252]

Anonymous then threatened to disrupt the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Canada, to be held between June 7 and 10 in Montreal, the same way they did for the Bahrain Grand Prix.[253] They claimed to have accessed personal information stored in the F1 website.[254]

On May 30, Anonymous leaked a video called "DVD Gouverne(mental)", a 2 hours long footage from Sagard, Quebec where a party for the wife of Paul Desmarais of Power Corporation had been held in 2008.[255] Among the guests were former US president George H. Bush, premier Jean Charest of Quebec, former Canadian prime ministers Jean Chrétien and Brian Mulroney, former Québec premier Lucien Bouchard, former governor general of Canada Adrienne Clarkson, journalist Charlie Rose, singers Robert Charlebois and Hiromi Omura, lyricist Luc Plamondon and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin.[256]

Operation Cyprus[edit]

An Anonymous video was released on June 8 claiming that an attack against the government of Cyprus would take place due to reasons of government corruption, media misinformation and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement[257] On June 26, DDoS attacks took place against 47 websites of the Republic of Cyprus, which were taken down for 15 hours.[258] The government stated that it was a coordinated attack by Anonymous.

Operation Japan[edit]

On June 26, the website of the Japanese Business Federation, was taken offline, with Anonymous claiming this was part of "Operation Japan". The reason for their action was the new amendments to the copyright laws in Japan.[259] For those caught with pirated material such as music or pirated DVDs and Blu-ray discs, fines could run as high as $25,000 and carry a sentence of two years in prison, according to CNET Japan.[260]

Operation Anaheim[edit]

On July 25, 2012, Anonymous launched an online protest in response to the Anaheim police shooting. It began with the release of the personal information of some of the top officers, including police chief John Welter.[261]

AAPT attack[edit]

In July 2012, Anonymous hacked Australian ISP AAPT and later leaked 40 GB of partially redacted customer data to protest data retention policy.[262]

Attack on the Mexican PRI party[edit]

On July 6, 2012, as part of the Yo Soy 132 student protest movement, the Mexican branch of Anonymous defaced the PRI party website, the party that held the power of the country for 70 years and that the 132 movement accused of human rights violations during that period. Anonymous hacked the site leaving slogans against the electoral fraud and the imminent return of the PRI party to power.[263][264][265]

Peña's birthday pressent[edit]

On July 20, 2012, a second attack on a PRI related website was performed as part of the Yo Soy 132 student protest movement, by the Mexican branch of Anonymous. This time Anonymous did it on the birthday of president elect Peña Nieto, and as "a gift" they left a picture of Peña next to slogans against electoral fraud and a penis shaped birthday cake.[266]

Operation Myanmar[edit]

On August 10, 2012, Anonymous launched a DDoS attack and defacement of more than 100 Myanmar websites, all hackers from all over the world joined this operation as a protest for killing Muslim Rohingya in Myanmar.[267] Even Anonymous has done with it, the cyber war still continues until now,[268] the hackers that joined the operation have established a new world ranking group of hackers, Danger Hackers.[269] Myanmar's hackers also made a lot of counterattacks.[270]

Uganda LGBT rights[edit]

On August 13, 2012, Anonymous hacked two Uganda government websites to protest the country's strict anti-gay laws.[271]

Hong Kong National Education[edit]

In mid-September 2012, Anonymous hackers threatened the Hong Kong government organization, known as National Education Centre. In their online video, Anonymous members claimed responsibility for leaking classified related government documents and taking down the National Education Centre website, after the Hong Kong government has repeatedly ignored months of wide-scale protests against the establishment of a new core Moral and National Education curriculum for children from 6–18 years of age. The new syllabus has come under heavy criticism and international media attention, as it does not award students based on how much factual information is learned, but instead grades and evaluates students based on their level of emotional attachment and approval of the Communist Party of China.[272]

Philippine Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012[edit]

busabos of Anonymous Philippines lead and started a series of attacks against several websites of the Philippine government to protest against the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. The hackers urged for the revisions of the cybercrime law. On September 26, Anonymous defaced several websites, including that of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Philippine National Police.[273] They claim that the law violates freedom of expression and described the law as “most notorious act ever witnessed in the cyber-history”. On October 1, they hacked again several government websites in an operation dubbed as "Bloody Monday" and asked for "a revision of the [Cybercrime Law] for the betterment of the Filipino netizens."[273]

Release of Westboro Baptist Church Personal Information[edit]

Anonymous re-posted the names, addresses, and emails of the prominent members of the Westboro Baptist Church on December 16, 2012 due to announced plans to picket the funerals of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.[274] They did this after the Westboro Church said God would protect their site.

2013[edit]

Steubenville rape case[edit]

In early 2013, the group released an incriminating video, photographs and tweets from the Steubenville High School football team allegedly involved in a gang rape of an underage girl in rural Ohio. They also released a number of e-mails and photos hacked from the e-mail account of one of the football programs boosters, whom they alleged to have helped cover up the case.[275]

Attack on the Mexican Army website[edit]

On January 13, 2013, the SEDENA (the Mexican Army) website was vulnerated by the Anonymous branch in Mexico, and all the information found on the vulnerated servers was disclosed (including usernames and passwords).

The content of the site was changed for a video with images of the riots that occurred during Peña Nieto's presidential inauguration (on December 1, 2013), and a voice in the background pronounces the Zapatista manifesto.

The reason behind this attack was a retaliation against what they call the return of an oppressive government imposed by electoral fraud.[276][277]

Aaron Swartz Suicide[edit]

In January 2013, the group attacked and defaced the United States Sentencing Commission website turning it into a game page repeatedly after which traffic to the website made it crash following the suicide of Reddit co-founder and activist Aaron Swartz. Swartz was accused of stealing materials from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with intent to distribute them freely.[278]

Federal Reserve[edit]

The Federal Reserve was hacked by Anonymous in February 2013.[279][280][281]

Operation North Korea[edit]

On April 2, 2013, a professional IT webzine BGR carried out an article stating that hacker group Anonymous has started the ‘Operation Free Korea.’ This calls for ‘controversial leader Kim Jong-un [to] resign’, ‘install free democracy’ ‘abandon its nuclear ambitions’ ‘uncensored Internet access’ etc. The hackers also proclaimed that if North Korea do not accede to their demand, they will wage “Cyber War.”[282] On April 3, 2013, hacker group identifying itself as Anonymous claimed it had stolen all 15,000 user passwords as part of a cyberwar against the DPRK.[283] A few days later, Anonymous claimed to have hacked into the Uriminzokkiri main website, and the Twitter and Flickr pages representing the website.[284]

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.” [285]

On June 22, 2013, Anonymous claimed that it managed to steal military documents from North Korea, and that the documents would be released on June 25, the day the Korean War started.[286] However, no such documents appear to have been released.

Op Israel[edit]

OpIsrael was a coordinated cyber-attack by anti-Israel individuals and Anonymous-affiliated groups that target websites perceived as Israeli[287][288] The attack, mostly denial of service assaults, was coordinated to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day.[289] OpIsrael's stated goal was to "erase Israel from the internet".[290][291][292] The attack targeted several government online operations banking and commerce sites, but most of the cyber attacks were repelled, with no significant damage done, although an attack may have succeeded in temporarily taking down the Central Bureau of Statistics site. Media and small business sites were also targeted, and some attacks succeeded in temporarily replacing some of homepages with anti-Israel slogans.[292][293] However there were several Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and web sites from the alleged hackers making false claims to have “caused Israel to lose $5 billion” and “Tel Aviv loses all Internet connection.” [294]

Nir Goldshlager a famous “white hat” hacker and CEO of Break Security Goldshlager, told reporters that OpIsrael hackers “lacked the sophistication and knowledge…while they told many lies to enhance their reputations.”[294] Israeli hackers responded to OpIsrael by taking down the OpIsrael website and replacing it with facts about Israel and the Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah. In addition, they brought down anti-Israeli sites like Hezbollah’s and Islamic Jihad’s websites and targeted servers belonging to hackers.[294][295]

2012 Cleveland police shooting incident[edit]

In December 2012, Cleveland police fired 137 rounds at a car, killing its two occupants.[296] Anonymous responded in April 2013 by releasing the personal information of the officers involved.[297] 12 officers were later fired or disciplined for their role in the shooting, although criminal charges are still being considered by a grand jury.[296]

Rehtaeh Parsons[edit]

In response to the suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons and the lack of action on the part of Canadian authorities, Anonymous threatened to release the personal information of the rapists. However, the group claimed to back down from the threat following pleas from Parsons' mother, Leah.[298] The group has staged protests outside the Royal Canadian Mounted Police headquarters in Halifax.[299]

Philippine Coast Guard incident[edit]

In May 9, 2013, a number of Philippine Coast Guard soldiers fired at an unarmed Taiwanese fishing boat and killed a Taiwanese fisherman in international waters. On May 10, Hackers recognizing themselves as "AnonTAIWAN" hacked into Philippine Official websites asking for the Philippines' government to apologize to Taiwan's government. They interfered with government official websites of the Philippines, causing inconveniences for the Philippine General Election. Its results were great disturbance, difficulty, and delay in making general access through the Philippine government websites at the time of elections.[300][301][302][303][304][305][306]

EDL[edit]

In May 2013, Anonymous published the personal information of various English Defence League members online.[307]

NSA document release[edit]

On June 7, 2013, Anonymous released what was claimed to be secret documents related to the NSA. In reality, the documents were already publicly available.[308]

Hawthorne dog shooting incident[edit]

On June 30, 2013, a Hawthorne, California police officer, Jeffrey Salmon of Torrance, was filmed shooting a dog and arresting his owner. Anonymous responded by issuing a video threat to the police department.[309] The city website also suffered a DDoS attack, although it is unclear if Anonymous was involved.[310]

Nigeria anti-gay laws[edit]

On July 4, 2013, Anonymous hacked the national website of Nigeria after the country passed laws that would make homosexuality punishable by up to 14 years in prison.[311]

The GCSB[edit]

Anonymous NZ, a New Zealand-based offshoot of Anonymous, carried out its first operation by staging a DDoS on the web site of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), following the passage of law changes that allowed the electronic intelligence agency to surveil New Zealand citizens. In addition, the web sites of politicians who supported the law changes were also shut down by Anonymous NZ.[312]

Operation Singapore[edit]

From August 20, 2013 to November 5, 2013, the group launched attacks on various websites -

National Party-linked websites attacks[edit]

Anonymous New Zealand claimed attacks on National Party-linked websites in protest against the GCSB Bill have had no thanks from spied-on internet mogul Kim Dotcom.[312]

Support of anti-PDAF movement[edit]

Anonymous Philippines has hacked 115 government websites, prompting Philippine law enforcement agencies to go after them, citing the unnecessary use of hacking.[315] The NBI has been ordered to probe into the hacking of government websites.[316] While a few Senators have downplayed the attacks, they were wiling to listen to their grievances,[317] Senator Trillanes IV expressed alarm with the group's capabilities, suggesting the possibility of the group to hack government websites since "it could compromise State operations and data storage.”[317]

Operation NSA[edit]

On November 20, 2013 Anonymous announced plans to target the National Security Agency and other U.S. Government Organizations for their spying on the internet activity of all Americans and their censorship of free press on the internet.[318]

2014[edit]

Operation Ferguson[edit]

Anonymous posted a video warning to the Ferguson, Missouri, police, admonishing them for fatally shooting Mike Brown, an unarmed African American teenager, and swearing revenge if any protesters demonstrating against the police are harmed. The group, which has adopted the Guy Fawkes mask as its symbol and frequently becomes involved in contentious legal matters, said in the video late Sunday Brown’s death Saturday is just the latest example of police misconduct having deadly consequences.[319]

On August 12, a series of doxes were released against Jon Belmar, the St. Louis County Police Chief. There were two reasons for this target. 1) Because he refused to release the name of the officer who shot Mike Brown and 2) Because he challenged Anonymous, calling their threats hollow. A Twitter account affiliated with Anonymous by the name of "TheAnonMessage" struck back with information regarding Belmar's location, phone number, family members, and their accounts on social media.[320] That same account also released information claiming to be the dox of the officer who shot Brown, but wound up being incorrect.[321]

Operation Hong Kong[edit]

Anonymous posted a video warning on News2Share[322] to the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on October 1 announcing the engagement of Operation Hong Kong, condemning the government's police's use of force in the ongoing protests.[323] The group stated that it supports the protesters' fight for democracy[324] and promised the government that if the protesters are further harmed or harassed they would attack all web based assets of the Hong Kong Government including but not limited to the taking down of government websites, seizing of government databases, and releasing the personal information on government officials. Anonymous stated that it is time for democracy for the people of Hong Kong and condemns the police for harming the citizens and calls for them to instead protect the citizens.

Neither the Hong Kong Government nor the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China have commented on this announcement up to date.

On October 2, there have been reports that Anonymous have already taken over a few company websites in Hong Kong in accordance to a Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily.[325]

The Hong Kong Government responded that its servers and web assets are functioning normally, and have arranged to strengthen its cyber defences. The Government further stated that it is prepared against any attempts by Anonymous hackers on its servers and web assets.[326]

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Further reading[edit]