IT | Security

What are Hacktivists?

By: Absolute Team | 6/10/2011

We've been hearing a lot in the news about "hacktivists". For example, here are some excerpts from the news just this week...

Authorities in Spain say they have arrested three suspected members of the "hacktivist" collective known as Anonymous, alleging that the trio took part in the now notorious hack of Sony's PlayStation Network as well as other infiltrations of governments, banks, and other businesses. Read more...

The PBS site was hacked by a group known as LulzSec in retaliation for a PBS documentary on WikiLeaks. Read more...

a NATO security report about "Anonymous"—the mysterious "hacktivist" group responsible for attacks on MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, Amazon and, most recently, Sony—has led the underground group to respond by cautioning NATO, "This is no longer your world. It is our world - the people's world." Read more...

Not only are hacks on the rise this year, in particular large-scale attacks, but there is a "trend" now towards this "hacktivism": hacks with a political activism driver. Is it 'Revenge of the Nerds'. as Huffington Post claims? Hacktivist groups, particularly the now well-known Anonymous, are actively taking a political stance, as they say here:

A lot of government and corporate comment has been dedicated to "how we can avoid a similar leak in the future". Such advice ranges from better security, to lower levels of clearance, from harsher penalties for whistleblowers, to censorship of the press.

Our message is simple: Do not lie to the people and you won't have to worry about your lies being exposed. Do not make corrupt deals and you won't have to worry about your corruption being laid bare. Do not break the rules and you won't have to worry about getting in trouble for it.

It's a sobering situation. And, given the hacktivism of the last month alone, it's going to prove to be an interesting year for security because of all of this.

Does hacktivism worry you?