Anonymous have been a topic of conversation almost every week this year, thanks to their high profile attacks on businesses and government organisations. Federal investigators are saying that this small group of pranksters has turned into a serious national security threat.
The FBI have placed Anonymous high on their radar, with 75 raids and 16 people arrested this year in association with the hacking group. The group are rather disorganised however, with some claimed threats later being distanced by the core group.
A Homeland Security bulletin said “Anonymous insist they have no centralized operational leadership, which has been a significant hurdle for government and law enforcement entities attempting to curb their actions. With that being said, we assess with high confidence that Anonymous and associated groups will continue to exploit vulnerable publicly available Web servers, websites, computer networks, and other digital information mediums for the foreseeable future.”
Readers who follow the group regularly on Twitter and other networking channels will know that they claim they have no ‘single' leader, even if a few members handle the majority of the organising. They posted online “Anonymous is not a group, it does not have leaders, people can do ANYTHING under the flag of their country.”
A DHS bulletin issued in recent weeks says that the hackers have been urging their followers who work in the financial industry to sabotage their employers computer systems.
Josh Shaul, the chief technology officer of Application Security Inc, based in New York said “Anonymous is incredibly active. It's rare to have a hacking group willing to work outside of the shadows. These guys are quite brazen.”
A report by the Associated Press said “FBI investigators in court filings said that the raids and arrests were made from a list of 1,000 computer users that Paypal cyber-security workers identified as the most active attackers. The fourteen appearing in San Jose federal court have pleaded not guilty and were released on bail after promising not to access Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.
Most of the defendants were younger than 30. Security experts and the Department of Homeland Security say most of Anonymous followers are so-called “script kiddies,” young people who carry out the attacks and who are “less skilled hackers” than the vocal group members who call for the protests and attacks.”
Kitguru says: Will the Feds be able to arrest the people running the group?