If one thing has been proven true this week, it is don’t mess with Anonymous. I’m sure a lot of you are wondering who Anonymous is? Well, Anonymous, Anon for short, are members of the popular image board 4chan. (NSFW, do not go unless you are not easily offended.) Many of the things Anonymous does are pretty tame. Many of the internet memes you see across the internet, LOLcats for example, were ideas started on 4chan, and it’s most popular board, /b/.
However, as of late 4chan has stepped into the role of activism. The site has been very public in its dislike of Scientology, and has even created large protests against the church. They have gained a bit of notoriety in their role of identifying a number of cat abusers. Their latest crusade has been the Wikileaks site, which last week saw numerous setbacks, including removal from DNS servers, and tiffs with Visa, Mastercard, and Paypal.
Anonymous responded in force launching the first battle in what some are calling “The Internet Wars”. The group managed to take down the websites of Visa, Mastercard, and Paypal for almost an entire work day recently. The latest attacks were to the popular news aggregator media group, Gawker, who seem to have drawn the ire of Anon.
“Our user databases appear to have been compromised. The passwords were encrypted. But simple ones may be vulnerable to a brute-force attack. You should change your Gawker password and on any other sites on which you’ve used the same passwords.
We’re deeply embarrassed by this breach. We should not be in the position of relying on the goodwill of the hackers who identified the weakness in our systems. And, yes, the irony is not lost on us.
Currently the site has left 1.3 million passwords vulnerable due to the hacking. I’m not really sure what this has to do with Wikileaks, in fact I think it actually demeans the importance of the site, and the material in which they are leaking. Although, I’ve never been a fan of Gawker, and their sites, so I can’t help but take a little bit of pleasure in this.
So, who is next in “Operation Payback”? Let us know what you think in the comments!