Showing posts with label Project Chanology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Project Chanology. Show all posts

Cyber Warfare - ANONYMOUS GROUP.


    Anonymous is the term given to a worldwide group of hackers, hacktivists, human rights activists, and online activists.

    The organization as a whole is nebulous, making it difficult to pin down objectives, members, or activities.

    • The organization professes to be without a leader, and members are typically unfamiliar with one another since the only thing that binds them is a mutual respect for anonymity.
    • Anonymous is best known online for their logo, which features a suited man whose head has been replaced by a question mark surrounded by peace branches. It's said to be inspired by Rene Magritte's surrealist artwork.
    • Individuals claiming to be members of Anonymous also often post movies in which they hide their voices and don Guy Fawkes masks, as shown in the film V for Vendetta.

    Anonymous Tagline:

    We are Anonymous.

    We are Legion.

    We do not forgive.

    We do not forget.

    Expect us.

    What Are The Origins Of Anonymous? 

    The group's origins may be traced back to the 4chan discussion board on the internet.

    • Users may post on a variety of subjects without needing to establish an account on this bulletin board.
    • Rather, they may use the user name "Anonymous" to post anonymously.
    • The moniker Anonymous was derived from this forum.

    Anonymous began in 2003 on the imageboard 4chan, embodying the idea of numerous online and offline community members operating as a "anarchic," digitized "global brain" or "hivemind" at the same time. 

    The internet message boards of 4chan, are an anonymous social community website launched in 2003. 

    • Even today, 4chan postings from people who don't identify an identity are classified as "Anonymous." 
    • Users would regularly arrange collective pranks termed "raids" in the early days of the website, filling chat rooms in games and other online communities to create disturbances. 

    After critics accused participants of cyberbullying and publishing inappropriate information, 4chan started clamping down on the raids. 

    Anonymous' activities were founded on these raids: 

    • a decentralized network of like-minded internet individuals who communicated in encrypted chat rooms to organize online disturbances. 
    • Initially, the goals were primarily for inexpensive amusement. 
    • They eventually became more focused on social or political goals. 

    In 2008, 4chan members lead by early Anonymous hacker Gregg Housh initiated a concerted operation against the Organization of Scientology, utilizing methods such as denial-of-service (DDoS) assaults on the church's websites, hoax phone calls, and faxing the church black pages to waste their printer ink. 

    The hacks, dubbed "Project Chanology" by Anonymous, were reprisal for what the hackers saw as censorship attempts: 

    • After Gawker published a hacked video of star Tom Cruise enthusiastically promoting Scientology, the church threatened Gawker with legal action. 

    • Following that, a wave of anti-Scientology demonstrations erupted throughout the globe, with many Anonymous supporters donning Guy Fawkes masks symbolizing the 17th century British insurrectionist. 

    Those masks have subsequently become synonymous with a hacking collective. 

    Anonymous Hacktivism's Main Targets, Mission, And Philosophy.

    Anonymous generally criticizes governments and companies that it believes are involved in censorship or promote inequality. 

    • Because there is no actual structure or leadership in the organization because it is decentralized, there is typically a lot of internal dispute over which ideas or causes to support. 
    • Anonymous members are described as "working class folks seeking a better future for mankind" in a pinned 2019 tweet on the @YourAnonNews Twitter account - which, again, professes not to speak for the collective as a whole. 
    • "Freedom of information, freedom of expression, accountability for businesses and governments, privacy and anonymity for individual persons" are listed as Anonymous' guiding values. 

    Anonymous members have targeted a lengthy variety of parties since "Project Chanology," including the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), who attempted to block pirating websites from spreading copyrighted music and pictures. 

    After federal authorities shut down file-sharing website in 2012, the US Department of Justice and FBI investigated. 

    PayPal has stopped accepting contributions for Wikileaks and its controversial founder, Julian Assange. 

    As part of the 2011 Arab Spring pro-democracy rallies, official websites in Tunisia, Egypt, and other Middle Eastern and African nations were defaced. 

    Following the terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015, ISIS took control of the city. 

    Hundreds of hackers with apparent connections to Anonymous have been detained throughout the globe, including at least 14 persons convicted for breaching PayPal in 2011. 

    Barrett Brown, a journalist and self-described Anonymous spokesman, was sentenced to more than four years in jail in 2012 after being arrested on counts of cybercrime and threatening a federal officer. 

    After some of those arrests, Anonymous' operations faded, but it reappeared last year when it claimed credit for hacking the Republican Party of Texas in protest of the state's contentious abortion legislation. 

    Anonymous also claimed responsibility for a September breach of web hosting business Epik, which resulted in the release of more than 150 terabytes of data on far-right organizations such as QAnon and the Proud Boys.

    In 2003, the organization started organizing Internet trolling actions, the most well-known of which was an online raid on the chatting service and virtual teen hangout Habo Hotel.

    The gang used the same identity, a black guy in a gray suit with an Afro, to penetrate the website.

    They swamped the website before organizing themselves into different shapes, such as a swastika.

    Initially formed to troll for the sake of amusement, or "lulz," the organization gradually started to coordinate activities against groups they thought were attempting to suppress freedom of expression.

    In 2008, the Church of Scientology was the target of one of the first politically motivated organized assaults.

    A leaked video of Tom Cruise speaking against Scientology was used by the church to try to silence him.

    The "hive," as they were known at the time, organized a 4chan message board under the name "Project Chanology" to rally hackers against Scientology in the first large-scale concerted operation.

    • Followers attempted to disrupt the Church of Scientology's Web site with a series of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) assaults, prank phoned the Scientology hotline, and sent faxes that printed nothing but giant black blocks to waste ink.
    • Following that, a video was uploaded in which an unknown speaker warned that they would expel and dismantle the Church of Scientology in a systematic manner.
    • This was followed ten days later by a major demonstration in which Anons, or members of Anonymous, assembled in person to condemn Scientology in several locations.

    The greatest protest took place in Los Angeles, when a thousand people marched outside the Church of Scientology facility, many wearing Guy Fawkes masks.

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began to take the threat posed by Anonymous seriously later that year.

    Following the success of the Scientology protests, internal strife arose over whether the organization should continue to engage in politically motivated activities.

    The group's popularity waned, but by late 2010, the Anons had resurfaced to launch Operation Payback against the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

    • These groups aimed to take down file-sharing websites like The Pirate Bay.
    •, PayPal, and Visa were among the targets of their assaults, which they said were attempting to silence Julian Assange or WikiLeaks.
    • The FBI later arrested 14 hackers as a result of this assault.
    • Anons also aided the Arab Spring protests by distributing software to shield Web browsers from government monitoring and staging DDoS attacks on official websites.

    Anonymous, or its offshoot LulzSec, is also suspected of being responsible for attacks on HBGary Federal, the Ugandan government, the Westboro Baptist Church, and Sony.

    • Anons have attacked many child pornography and revenge pornography sites in favor of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
    • Currently, Anonymous, a hacking group, is claiming credit for a range of acts in both real life and cyberspace.
    • The organization planned the Million Mask March and has since gotten active in Ferguson, Missouri demonstrations.
    • Anonymous has also attacked Islamic extremist organizations and the Ku Klux Klan's websites.
    • The organization has a YouTube account where people may keep up with its current activities.

    Anonymous's Cyberwar On Russia. 

    Cyber battles are often conducted in the shadows, but in the case of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Anonymous has issued the most public declaration of war. 

    A hacking organization tied to Anonymous, @YourAnonOne, claimed that it was targeting Vladimir Putin's administration. 

    In the days after, the organization has claimed responsibility for a number of cyber mishaps, including distributed denial of service assaults, which have shut down government websites as well as Russia Today, the state-run news agency. 

    • On a Sunday afternoon, the DDoS assaults looked to be working, with the Kremlin and Ministry of Defense official websites remaining down. 
    • Anonymous also claimed to have stolen the Ministry of Defense database, and on Sunday, the hackers claimed to have hacked Russian official television networks, broadcasting pro-Ukraine material like as patriotic songs and photographs from the assault. 

    Because Anonymous is an informal collective, attribution of these assaults to Anonymous is challenging. 

    • "It may be difficult to explicitly trace this action to Anonymous, since targeted businesses would likely be unwilling to reveal associated technical data," Jamie Collier, a consultant with US cybersecurity company Mandiant, said. 
    • The Anonymous collective, on the other hand, has a track record of carrying out this kind of action, and it is very much within their capabilities." 
    • The CIA, the Church of Scientology, and the Islamic State have all been targets in the past, and although the group was shaken by a series of arrests in the United States in the early 2010s, it reactivated following the death of George Floyd. 

    Anonymous' guiding ideology has been defined as "anti-oppression" by one former member. 

    • Russia Today explicitly blamed Anonymous for the website's issues, claiming that the assaults occurred after the organization released their "declaration of war." 
    • "After Anonymous' declaration, RT's websites were the target of huge DDoS assaults from approximately 100 million devices, largely situated in the United States," a representative for the channel stated. 
    • In contrast, despite popular expectations that a Russian military attack on Ukraine would be accompanied by digital shock and awe, cyber activity against Ukraine has been very quiet thus far. 

    DDoS attacks were launched against Ukrainian websites ahead of the offensive, including the Ukrainian defense ministry and PrivatBank, Ukraine's largest commercial bank, but nothing compared to the NotPetya attack in 2017, when a devastating malware attack blamed on Russia destroyed computers in Ukraine and around the world. 

    The first denial of service sorties were "quite minor," according to Cloudflare, a US tech company that defends businesses from DDoS assaults. 

    On the 15th and 16th of February, the UK and US administrations accused Moscow for a series of DDoS assaults against Ukrainian websites. 

    DDoS salvos, like Anonymous' assaults, are intended to generate confusion and destroy morale, while malware may inflict significant and irreversible damage. 

    NotPetya, a so-called wiper virus that was placed into Ukrainian tax accounting software but spread to other nations, caused $10 billion (£7.5 billion) in harm globally by permanently encrypting machines. 

    A wiper assault was launched in Ukraine, using a novel strain of malware known as HermeticWiper, which blocked machines from restarting. 

    However, due to the attack's small size, only a few hundred computers were compromised, and the attack's geographic scope was restricted to Latvia and Lithuania. 

    There have been cyber battles in other parts of the war. 

    • The Russian government has put certain limits on Facebook after authorities accused the social media site of restricting state-backed media, causing Facebook to block adverts from Russian state media. 
    • State-run media advertisements are likewise prohibited on Google's YouTube platform. 
    • Elon Musk, another US tech billionaire, is supplying Ukraine with satellite internet access through his Starlink satellites, while the Ukrainian government is openly soliciting worldwide bitcoin contributions and has apparently received millions of dollars in return. 

    Despite this, the cyber component of the Ukraine war has remained relatively low-key to thus time. 

    Ciaran Martin, a former director of the UK's National Cyber Security Centre and professor of practice at Oxford University's Blavatnik School of Government, believes cyber has played "remarkably little role" in the fight so far. 

    Russian cyber action against Ukraine has been there for some time, but it is consistent with Russia's long history of cyber harassment of the nation.

    Similarly, as far as we can tell, the west's reaction to Russia has not included a big cyber component - instead, it has focused on imposing strict sanctions. 

    All of this might change, and the west is correct to be vigilant in the face of growing cyber activity.

    Related Topics:

    Assange, Julian; 4chan; Hacktivist; LulzSec

    Further Reading:

    Coleman, Gabriella. Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous. London: Verso, 2014.

    Olson, Parmy. We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous and the Global Cyber Insurgency. New York: Back Bay Books, 2012.