The group of computer hackers called “Anonymous” has struck again. According to scmagazineus, “the loosely affiliated hacker collective has defaced the website of the hate-spewing Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas, known for its anti-gay rhetoric and purely attention-seeking protests, amid an ongoing feud between the two entities.”
Someone posted a letter stating that “Anonymous” had been responsible for the hacking incident. However, “Anonymous” has said that they did not deface the Westboro website, so no one can yet confirm who is behind the attacks. The two groups have been feuding for over a week because “Anonymous” had requested that Westboro take down their websites due to its content. Westboro has been adamant that they believe in what they are saying and will not honor their request.
“Anonymous” Versus Tunisian Government
According to mondoweiss.net,” ‘Anonymous’ recently turned its attention to the protests in Tunisia, with ‘Operation Tunisia’ which included posting a statement opposing the government crackdown on a Tunisian government website and carrying out DDoS attacks on Tunisian government website.”
The group wanted the Tunisian government to stop cracking down on protesters and allow them to assemble and protest freely without fear of being attacked or killed. They sent a message to journalists and other members of the media in which they asked that journalists show the humanity involved with the protests and show people that the protests are being done by intelligent people who want change.
“Anonymous” Versus MasterCard
According to guardian, “the website of MasterCard was hacked and partially paralyzed in apparent revenge for the international credit card’s decision to cease taking donations to WikiLeaks.A group of online activists calling themselves Anonymous appear to have orchestrated a DDOS attack on the site, bringing its service at www.mastercard.com to a halt for many users.”
The group allegedly did this because MasterCard refused to allow supporters of WikiLeaks to process their donations to the site anymore. The group did not feel that MasterCard should have done that because people should be able to financially help out causes they believe in.
“Anonymous” Versus PayPal
According to the register, “Anonymous launched a broad-ranging campaign in support of Wikileaks, starting with a DDoS assault on a PayPal website. The denial of service attack lasted for eight hours and resulted in numerous service disruptions.”
The action was in retaliation for PayPal refusing to process donations for Julian Assange. The group stated that they were not affiliated with WikiLeaks but against censorship and believe in transparency. WikiLeaks revealed a lot of classified government information that angered many politicians in the United States and abroad. PayPal could not keep processing the donations because they did not want to support such an action.
Possible Motivations behind the Group’s Actions
It seems as though the group has an agenda with the computer hacking that they are allegedly taking part in. The group’s intentions do not seem to be mean-spirited but seem to be directed at social injustices that they see.
They allegedly attacked credit card websites because they wanted to show their support for Julian Assange because they strongly believe in freedom of speech. They might have attacked Westboro’s website because they feel that the hate speech that is being posted on the site is not appropriate for anyone to read. The group seems very in touch with social issues, such as the one in Tunisia, so their intentions seem based on sticking up for those without voices.