When Bay Area Rapid Transit decided to cut cell phone service in attempt to disrupt and dispel protests over the agency's shooting of Oscar Grant in 2009 and, more recently, Charles Hill, the peaceful protesters weren't the only ones pissed off. Hacker collective Anonymous also took offense to BART's actions and decided to hack into the agency's "myBARTway" website and released over 2,000 e-mails, usernames, and passwords—crazy, right? Yes, but it's on par with Anonymous's past exploits and hacks which have targeted governments, security firms, rap websites, and consumer electronics companies all in the name of freedom. If you look at the group's track record, a lot of its hacks have been inconsequential, while a small number of them have been big. These are the 10 Craziest Anonymous Hacks.
Date: February 25, 2011
Victim: Fine Gael Irish political party
Looking at the list of victims hit by the hacker group, the Fine Gael seems like a pretty small fish, but the hack was pretty epic nonetheless. During the 2011 Irish General Elections, Anonymous took over the group's new website and posted the above image with the following text: "Nothing is safe, you put your faith in this political party and they take no measures to protect you. They offer you free speech yet they censor your voice. WAKE UP!"
Date: September 9, 2009
Victim: Austrailian government
In 2007, Stephen Michael Conroy, the Minister for Broadband, Communications, and Digital Economy for Australia, went on a crusade to censor the Internet to block malicious content which included child pornography, but wound up encompassing any website that displayed sex, drugs, or violence. In protest, Anonymous used a denial of service attack to take the Prime Minister's website offline for about an hour.
Date: February 10, 2010
Victim: Austrailian government
Anonymous is for the people. All the people. Even the ones that like watching porn featuring small-breasted women. In response to the Australian government passing a legislation that would block porn featuring female ejaculation and women who looked underage due to their lack of Twos, Anonymous threatened to, and then shut down the Australian Parliament House website and almost took down the Department of Communications website.
Date: June 2008
There's nothing harsher than a hip hop message board. Anonymous leanred this the hardway when members of the group discovered some members of SOHH's "Just Bugging Out" forum were taking shots at the group. Anonymous's response happened in three waves: First they flooded the site's message boards forcing it to shut down, then they hit 'em with a bunch of DDoS attacks which crippled the site, then it went in for the kill and defaced SOHH's homepage with racist slurs and images.
The site was then taken down and the FBI was contact to investigate the nature of the attack, which SOHH employees saw as a hate crime due to its racist nature.
Date: January 2011
Victim: Tunisian government
The Tunisian Revolution, which led to the ousting of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, was fought over a number of things—government corruption, unemployment, poor living conditions—but a major sticking point was the lack of freedom of speech. A major instigator in the protests was a WikiLeaks wire that described, in detail, the corruption present in the Tunisian government. Anonymous recruited a number of Tunisian hackers to help take down eight government websites with DDoS attacks.
Date: January 6, 2010
In reponse to YouTube suspending the account of an Anonymous member who uploaded music videos to his channel, Anonymous encouraged all of its users to create fake user accounts, create videos containg a mixture of porn and safe-for-work images, and upload them to YouTube under friendly names. There's no telling how successful the attack was, but the BBC reported that one 12-year-old who viewed one of the videos and responded: "I'm 12 years old and what is this?"
Date: February 6-11, 2011
Victim: HBGary Federal, Aaron Barr
After claiming to have infiltrated Anonymous, HBGary Barr and its CEO Aaron Barr got hit with one of the hacker group's strongest attacks to date. Anonymous first took over the hompage of the security company and replaced it with the above letter (click here for full-sized image) which read in part: "You brought this upon yourself. You've tried to bite at the Anonymous hand, and now the Anonymous hand is bitch-slapping you in the face."
The group went on to shut down the company's phone system and hack into the company's e-mail system, making public over 68,000 private e-mails which included presentations, information on competing firms, and info on HBGary Barr's plans on taking down WikiLeaks. It didn't stop there. The group to over Aaron Barr's Twitter account and posted his home address along with his phone number.
Date: December 2010
Victim: Visa, MasterCard, Amazon, PayPal, PostFinance
When the U.S. Government demanded that WikiLeaks stop releasing top secret diplomatic cables to the public, a number of companies that supported WikiLeaks in the past turned against the website by freezing accounts and shutting down the site's servers. Anonymous decided to step in on behalf of Julian Assange's cause and declared war on Visa, MasterCard, PayPal for refusing to do business with WikiLeaks. On December 8, 2010, both Visa's and MasterCard's sites were taken down by the group.
Date: March 14, 2011
Victim: Bank of America
In an effort to expose Bank of America's alleged corrupt and unfair mortage practices, Anonymous leaked a trove of internal e-mails reportedly sourced from a seven-year employee of the bank on bankofamericasucks.com. While seemingly a big deal, the drop failed to make much of a splash due to the fact that BoA was already in the news for shady loan practices and the e-mails didn't really show any obvious wrongdoing.
Date: April 2, 2011
Victim: Sony Computer Entertainment
Remember when a different Sony website was getting hacked every week? Or when the PlayStation Network was shut down for what seemed like a the second half of the NBA season? That all started with an attack by Anonymous on April 2. After Sony decided to take George Hotz to court for creating and distributing software that allowed PlayStation owners to run homemade software on their consoles, Anonymous launched #OpSony and took down the PlayStation Network. The rest, as we saw, was history.
Yes, they have done all of that, but what is the result of all of it?
How much have changed for all they are doing?
I need to research it more. I surmise, just to make people aware they are here,
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