Friday, July 1, 2011
The Rise of the New Global Hacktivists ...
SAN FRANCISCO—When the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s John Perry Barlow tweeted last December, “The first serious infowar is now engaged. The field of battle is WikiLeaks. You are the troops,” many in the mainstream media rolled their eyes and dismissed his words as hacker hyperbole.
But the events of the past few days, in which the hacktivst “group” Anonymous launched a major campaign called Operation Anti-Security, show that many more Julian Assanges are indeed waiting in the wings—ready, willing and able to continue what the embattled WikiLeaks founder started when he released a trove of classified State Department cables on the Internet last year. And governments and corporations will find these leakers far more difficult than Assange to capture or control.
The first new batch of classified documents leaked last Thursday came from Arizona law enforcement and Border Patrol, in protest of Arizona’s anti-immigration policies. The next day, Operation Anti-Security released massive amounts of information from NATO, the U.S. Navy, the FBI, and AOL.
Anonymous has successfully leaked information before, including more than 10,000 “top secret” emails from Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on June 3 and emails from Bank of America in March, but the new campaign will be exponentially larger.