Wikipedia defines Anonymous as a “decentralized virtual community” that is a “collection of hacktivists” with decentralized goals. It is famous for digitally revolting against alleged corrupt organizations and persons in power.
Mentioned below are some of the popular hacks carried out by Anonymous.
1. Black Lives Matter
The killing of George Floyd created heavy unrest in the United States. Anonymous declared a gigantic hacking series for three days after the racial killing of George Floyd in 2020 by taking down the website of The Minneapolis Police Department. It was not easy to trace down what and who was behind it.
2. Operation Tunisia
The revolutions that took place in Tunisia were due to high unemployment, inflation, and poor living conditions. There were also restrictions on freedom of speech. Anonymous took down the government websites of Tunisia during the revolutions that took place in 2010-11 and distributed anonymizing software to the protesters.
3. Operation India
Before this, many hacking sites were noticed in a cyber war between India and Pakistan, but something different happened in 2011. Anonymous digitally supported the civil movement against corruption in India in 2011. Anonymous put up a message with a logo for the then-prime minister of India.
4. Operation DarkNet
In October 2011, Anonymous temporarily took down 40 child-pornography websites and published the names of nearly 1500 active visitors of such websites, inviting the police force to investigate further.
5. Operation LeakSpin
It had the purpose of sorting through the WikiLeaks releases to identify allegedly overlooked cables. This stirred a new revolution altogether.
6. Project Chanology
The first and most popular attack by the collective was against the Church of Scientology for what Anonymous claimed was aimed at protecting freedom of speech and stopping the financial exploitation of church members.
7. Bureau Of Justice Leak
This was widely talked about in the newspapers and media. The file consisted of a wide range of database dumps. This file had been uploaded as a torrent. 1.7GB of data from the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics was leaked by Anonymous in 2012 that exposed emails regarding ongoing corruption.
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8. Operation Free Korea
In April 2013, Anonymous claimed to have hacked into the state-controlled website of North Korea and stole 15000 “membership records.” The year 2013 witnessed not one but two major cyber attacks. Firstly, the television stations, along with a bank, noticed a frozen computer, and then in June, there were several hacking attacks on government websites.
9. Uganda LGBTQIA+ Rights
Uganda was a bit conservative in its dealings with minorities and other genders. On 13 August 2012, Anonymous hacked two Uganda government websites to protest against the nation’s stringent anti-gay laws.
10. Nigeria Anti-Gay Laws
Nigeria, too, was home to various discriminations and violence, and some of them were based on gender directly. Anonymous took down the national website of Nigeria after the country passed laws that made homosexuality punishable by up to 14 years of imprisonment.
11. Operation Death Eaters
Operation Death Eaters was initially founded by Heather Marsh in 2014, and it was a collaborated mass operation. Anonymous launched Operation Death Eaters to collect and publish evidence against international pedophile circuits. It exposed pedophile rings.
Websites of the government of Zimbabwe were tampered with by Anonymous due to censorship of WikiLeaks documents.
13. Visa, MasterCard, and Paypal
These three companies were targeted by hacktivists for severing services to WikiLeaks. The main reason behind these attacks was to take revenge on these companies as they had withdrawn their support for payments to WikiLeaks.
14. Operation Malaysia
The group released an attack on 91 websites of the government of Malaysia for the government’s efforts at censorship. Anonymous’ reason behind this was to teach the government a lesson.
15. Operation Anti-Security
Anonymous collaborated with another group of hacktivists who identify as LulzSec to carry out a series of hacks against various targets.
There is an uncanny resemblance between the mask used by “Guy Fawkes” in the movie “V For Vendetta” and the mask used by Anonymous; however, the real resemblance is in the intention of both, which is to end corruption and to bring in a more equal and just society.
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