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Hacker Group Anonymous living in Infamy

After the long string of successful attacks in 2011, Anonymous will live in infamy. Their most recent attacks on America’s 13th largest defense contractor Booz Allen pilfered 90,000 military emails and passwords – an attack that part of their - Military Meltdown Monday campaign, an element of their AntiSec movement. And before that their attack on international agri-biotech company Monsanto led to the release of contact info for 2,500 of Monsanto’s employees; in retaliation for their use of Bovine Growth Hormones.

If Anonymous sounds familiar (get it?), that’s because it is the hacker group responsible for the hacks on PayPal and major credit card companies after the financial institutions pulled their donation services for Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks whistleblower organization.

This year alone Anonymous led several attacks, including: an onslaught on the Fine Gael website, DDoS attacks on both Tunisia and Egypt, an assault on HBGary Federal, a document-release-based attack on the Bank of America, several politically motivated operations – Operation India, Operation Orlando, Operation Sony, Operation Malaysia. And to top it off their wide-reaching umbrella campaign entitled Operation Anti-Security (AntiSec).

Of course all of this pales in comparison to Anonymous’ vengeful attacks on the US-based security company HBGary Federal and its CEO Aaron Barr. After the firm, and Barr, targeted a hacker thought to be at the center of Anonymous, “Commander X”, the hacker group retaliated by attacking both the firm and the CEO – personally. The (in)famous hacking group stole 60,000 emails from HBGary – and simultaneously infiltrated Barr’s personal social media account, posting his personal information (including social security number), and posting offensive messages.

The attacks from Anonymous appear to be increasing in intensity and frequency, with recent attacks surfacing within days of one another. Anonymous recently released their ‘hacktivist’ manifesto; a document that accuses international institutions like the World Bank, IMF, and the Federal Reserve of collusion and ill-will (yes, this was a toned-down synonym).

“We are a decentralized non-violent resistance movement, which seeks to restore the rule of law and fight back against the organized criminal class,” reads their manifesto. “Until our demands are met and a rule of law is restored, we will engage in a relentless campaign of non-violent, peaceful, civil disobedience,” says the manifesto. The group has also specifically targeted Ben Bernanke, asking him to step down from Chairman of the Federal Reserve – “glorious Chairman Ben - our free advice to you: change your e-mail password stat.”

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