The hacker group Anonymous has decided to celebrate Guy Fawkes day (November 5th) by hacking into multiple organizations, stealing passwords, and releasing information on the Interwebs… up until this day, I mostly agreed with what Anonymous was doing. They were called “hacktivasts,” only hacking into corporations that they felt were abusing their power and taking advantage of people; of course, them being the judge, jury, and executioner of the decision making when it came to what corporations were hacked was a little one-sided and unfair, but that is a conversation for another time.
They were huge supporters of the web site WikiLeaks, and hacked into Amazon, Visa, and other corporations that pulled their services from WikiLeaks. Although this was not the best approach for gaining support for what WikiLeaks was doing, they were successful in getting their name out there as being an organization of proficient hackers that knew what they were doing, and how to stay anonymous (I suppose the most important aspect of being a successful hacker)… hence their name. Even if it was not the most ethical way of doing business, I admired that people were doing something about the corruption and greed of corporate America. I agreed with their tactics, I agreed with what they were doing… releasing information that the American public had some right in knowing and exposing the greed and corruption that had elevated so many large corporations. I was impressed with the talent that I had read about. They were vigilante justice that helped to bring down the 1% that had taken advantage of poorer people to get to the top… no longer do I agree with what they are doing.
What they are doing now, is a direct violation to Rule Number 1...they are being assholes. Or is it possible that the organization has gotten so big that any computer geek with an outdated download of Wireshark can do what they want and fall behind the veil of Anonymous now? They hacked into Paypal and released 28,000 passwords to the Interwebs today, and they hacked into Telecom Italy and released 30,000 credentials in celebration of Guy Fawkes day; the legendary day in 1605 where Guy Fawkes and 12 of his friends failed at an attempt to blow up Parliament with a stockpile of gunpowder that was stockpiled under the massive building. What Anonymous is doing now is what we here at Amanda is an Asshole call a “dick move.” They are no longer hacktivasts to me, they are now a nuisance to the American people and criminals. They are no longer hacking for the greater good or the best interest of the general public, they are hacking because they are assholes who have lost sight of what Anonymous had originally stood for.
I am disappointed that Anonymous has just become one more public nuisance on the Interwebs. I am disappointed that some very talented hackers who were once using their skills to the betterment of society is now nothing more than a bunch of assholes who are releasing private information to the Internet and contributing to the already rampant problem of identity theft.