Anonymous Strikes Again
The cyber hacking group known as Anonymous has reportedly struck yet again. At first, various police agencies did not know or perhaps did not want to acknowledge the possible threat that these cyber criminals pose. But after a series of recent hackings, including the Polish government sites, the CIA websites, an FBI phone call, and the theft of personal information of nearly 46,000 citizens in the Alabama state area, law enforcement agencies are starting to take this group a little more seriously. The number of attacks greatly amplified after the proposal of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA. And as of today, the dangerous group has announced that they have completed a new series of attacks.
In concordance with their latest announcement, Anonymous also released a statement to the internet which said that they had targeted and successfully hacked the website for the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer protection business center. They also hacked the website for the website of the National Consumer Protection Week.
The Trade Commission responded to these announcements by confirming that their sites had indeed been hacked. They then released an email that stated that their site had been taken down internally and would not be returned to operational status “until we’re satisfied that any vulnerability has been addressed.”
Earlier today, the sites had been replaced; instead of going to the regular website when users tried to visit it, they were instead brought to a violent German-language video satirizing which was made to deliberately satirize the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, also known as ACTA.
The goal of this international treaty is to stop the illegal acquisition of copyrighted materials, such as illegal film downloads, CDs, games, software, and more. Many activists, however, stand greatly opposed to this preposition for fear that it may prevent common user from using copyrighted material for trivial or entertainment purposes, such as making homemade music videos, montage videos, or remixing music for enjoyment purposes.
It was the latter point of the opposition to the bill that the hackers were attempting to emphasize with the Germen language video they posted to the various sites today. In the video, it shows a typical computer user being shot to death by several “ACTA enforcers” for sending a picture to his mother. Clearly, this is meant to demonstrate that the punishment is far too severe for something that many consider to be not that big of a deal.
In addition to the announcement of the intended and successful hacking, Anonymous also bragged and boasted about their successful theft of the personal information of several employees of the Trade Commission. The information that Anonymous claims to have stolen is very expansive, ranging in everything from personal and business banking statements to dating website moderation and information. In the wrong hands, access to this information could do some serious harm. This is a continuation of personal theft that has continued since the theft of personal information from 46,000 people in the Alabama state area. Clearly, Anonymous does not mind resorting to these tactics to make a point. The claim of the theft, however, could not be verified or immediately confirmed.