Cyber activism on the rise.
HACKING may be a serious crime but ‘‘ cyber activists’’ tackle it for different reasons.
Anonymous and LulzSec are two inter-related hacking activist groups that go about activism in very distinct ways.
Anonymous is a group initiating active civil disobedience through the internet, while staying hidden.
Originating about 2003 on the imageboard 4chan, Anonymous represents the concept of online community with users simultaneously acting as an anarchic, unorganised group.
Anonymous hacks are relatively serious and politically-motivated. The free-form organisation has launched computer attacks against corporations such as MasterCard, Visa, PayPal and others that had blocked donations to whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.
While there may be up to 15 Anonymous participants behind bars worldwide and another two UK teens set for court in January, it is impossible to catch them all.
The brand of leaderless resistance has a phantom cell structure; small, independent groups ( covert cells) and individual participants ( solo cells) work together remotely towards a group ( opensourced) aim.
LulzSec’s actions can be far from laughable, but LulzSec ultimately makes a parody of security organisations to make its point.
AntiSec, or Operation Anti-Security, is a series of co-ordinated hacking attacks performed by members of hacking group LulzSec, the group Anonymous, and others.
LulzRaft is the name of a Canadian hacktivist group that has gained international attention recently after a series of high-profile attacks on Canadian websites, including the Conservative Party of Canada and Husky Energy.
WHAT THEY DO
Cyber hacktivism often entails website defacements, redirects, denial-of-service attacks, information theft, website parodies, virtual sit-ins, and virtual sabotage.
WHY THEY DO IT
Hacktivists use computer networks as a means of protest to promote political ends, advocating expressive politics, free speech, human rights, and information ethics through software development. Last year Anonymous mounted Operation Payback to punish pro-copyright groups that had cracked down on internet piracy or come out against WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, including MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, and the website of Assange critic Senator Joe Lieberman.