The Organization of Anonymous Operations

As promised, here is my story about Anonymous Operation, which goes into the nature and structure (or lack of structure) of the organization.

I interviewed a group of them on their official IRC chat for journalists (#reporter).

It’s mostly just a group of people from all over who are running an organization similar to a chat room—anyone can come and go, operations are joined by whoever wants to join, and anyone can start an operation (for the most part).

Many of their activities are malicious. Among the hacker community, in particular, using DDoS attacks to get a point across is also not looked well on.

Hacker 2600 Magazine stated it well in a press release following Anonymous Operation’s DDoS attacks against MasterCard, Visa, and a few other companies.

“These attacks, in addition to being a misguided effort that doesn’t accomplish very much at all, are incredibly simple to launch and require no technical or hacker skills.”

It states that the attacks “must not be allowed to be associated with the hacker community … That has not been, and never should be, the hacker way of dealing with a problem.”

More on 2600 and the hacker war started around WikiLeaks.

Here is the intro to today’s story on AnonOps:

The world is still somewhat perplexed over Anonymous Operations, the group of online activists who temporarily shut down the websites of PayPal and Mastercard in retaliation for actions against WikiLeaks.

The organization, composed of anonymous users, has few if any official stances and no political orientation. Their activities have ranged from helping activists in Iran and Egypt, to launching cyberattacks against Amazon.com, to providing information that led to the arrest of an animal abuser.

While the FBI is targeting its members for arrest—particularly those involved in the Mastercard cyberattacks, and more recently against security company HBGary—finding a group with no leadership and whose members may or may not engage in illegal activities could prove difficult.

“Anonymous has no definite structure or leadership. It is merely a name that people use. Therefore, it’s hard to put a number on Anonymous at all, let alone the amount of people that engage in such actions,” said a member of Anonymous in an e-mail interview, who requested to be cited as “Anonymous.”

Read the rest here.