When people think about hacker groups, there is no group more notorious than “Anonymous.”
Believe it or not, “Anonymous” is not some “secret organization”, as the media would have us think. With all the information, and sometimes misinformation out there about this group of “cyberterrorists” there are only a few facts.
1. Anonymous is not really an organized group.
It’s easy enough to join Anonymous, as it is really more of a movement than an actual organization. All you have to do is proclaim yourself a “member”. This is the main reason the icon is a suited man with a question mark for a head, or a man in a mask. There is no designated leader, no structured ranks, no systematic order, and no secretly scheduled assignments. People within Anonymous come to the forefront when they demonstrate their hacking abilities or spearhead internet causes or rally people together online; doing it in the name of Anonymous.
2. Anonymous began with a joke.
It began on the website “4chan” in 2008, an online community of people in different groups determined by their interests and such, a site not unlike today’s mainstream internet site Reddit. It was in this year that Anonymous became a political hacking group, when it began to flood The Church of Scientology with prank calls and faxes, even going as far as to take down their website.
3. There has been a lot of inner turmoil.
Anonymous faced a bit of a civil war in its earlier years that resulted in some of the most notable hackers within the group branching off into different groups like “Lulzsec.” After the Scientology debacle, many within were divided between whether or not they wanted the movement to continue as a politically charged hacktivist group or just a bunch of trolling pranksters.
4. The Irony
It’s a little difficult to operate a group of hacktivists all pursuing one common cause while maintaining complete anonymity without people labeling particular cyberattacks or data dumps as “Anonymous led.” This is the problem Anonymous has been facing for quite some time now, and it only really adds to the occasionally laughable public profile.
5. Anonymous beliefs
When people hear about Anonymous nowadays, many roll their eyes or scoff or simply pay no mind at all. Once upon a time, it did have a set belief system. It was for the betterment of society, not just toppling websites for the fun of it but also exposing people, holding protests against the “1%” and, threatening terrorists groups.
6. The Mask
Originally seen in Warner Brothers 2005 film “V for Vendetta,” the mask has become absolutely iconic within the hacktivist group and is used to designate specific members. Funnily enough, the movie itself is very pro-copyright in some respects, which would probably offend the entire Anonymous movement, but it has somehow remained over all of these years as the “face” of Anonymous.
7. Anonymous is broken.
Conflicting beliefs, motivations and skills have caused Anonymous to crumble beneath itself and fade from the public eye. With some of its most skilled hackers like “Sabu” from Lulzsec retiring or being arrested, it has become a mockery of what it used to be. Falsely identifying two possible officers who shot Michael Brown, wrongly shutting down twenty thousand Twitter accounts of people whom those involved claimed to be a part of ISIS (but were not,) and just generally mucking it up as of late certainly hasn’t helped its reputation.
This group of internet “hacktivists” has made a profound impact on what we know about hacking and internet causes today. It has opened our eyes to things in the world that are going sideways, the movement also wreaked havoc on governments and corporations.
It is interesting to note, that while the general public thinks of them as a “serious problem”, the “members” of Anonymous don’t take themselves seriously at all.
If you need help protecting your computer from some of the internet’s nefarious denizens, contact Tech Force today!
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