We are Anonymous. We are Legion

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pages: 478 words: 149,810

We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency by Parmy Olson

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4chan, Asperger Syndrome, bitcoin, call centre, Chelsea Manning, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Firefox, hive mind, Julian Assange, Minecraft, Occupy movement, pirate software, side project, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

Naturally, anonymity made it easier to do the odd illegal thing, break into servers, steal a company’s customer data, or take a website offline and then deface it. Stuff that could saddle you with a ten-year prison term. But the Anons didn’t seem to care. There was strength and protection in numbers after all, and they posted their ominous tagline on blogs, hacked websites, or wherever they could: We are Anonymous We are Legion We do not forgive We do not forget Expect us. Their digital flyers and messages featured a logo of a headless, suited man surrounded by U.N.-style peace branches, supposedly based on the surrealist painting of a man with a bowler hat and apple by René Magritte. Often it included the leering mask of Guy Fawkes, the London revolutionary embellished in the movie V for Vendetta and now the symbol of a faceless rebel horde.

On January 26, someone calling himself “Anon Ymous” sent an e-mail to Gawker’s “tips” address, about a forthcoming protest outside the Church of Scientology in Harlem. “Wear a mask of your choosing,” it said. “Bring a boombox. Rickroll them into submission. We will make headlinez LOL.” There was also a tagline at the bottom, which was appearing on YouTube, blogs, and forum posts: We are Anonymous We are Legion We do not forgive We do not forget Expect us. This now infamous closing signature, reminiscent of Star Trek bad guys the Borg, comes from the 47 Rules of the Internet. After rules 1 and 2, which were to never talk about /b/, came: Rule 3. We are Anonymous. Rule 4. Anonymous is legion. Rule 5. Anonymous never forgives. Some say the twisting of rule 4 into “we” are legion comes from the Bible passage of Mark 5:9, wherein Jesus approaches a man possessed by demons.

Topiary wrote it up and passed the statement to Tflow, who sent it to Sabu, who used it to replace the official site of Tunisian prime minister Ghannouchi. “Greetings from Anonymous,” the home page of pm.gov.tn now read. “We have been watching your treatment of your own citizens, and we are both greatly saddened and enraged by your behavior.” It carried on dramatically before ending with the tagline: “We are Anonymous, We are legion…Expect us.” Sabu stared at the new page and then sat back and smiled. “You don’t know the feeling of using this guy’s Internet to hack the president’s website,” he later remembered. “It was fucking amazing.” The Tunisian government had set up a firewall to stop foreign hackers from attacking its servers; it had never expected attackers to come from within its own borders. “Thanks, brother,” Sabu said.


pages: 226 words: 71,540

Epic Win for Anonymous: How 4chan's Army Conquered the Web by Cole Stryker

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4chan, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Chelsea Manning, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, crowdsourcing, Firefox, future of journalism, hive mind, informal economy, Internet Archive, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mason jar, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, wage slave, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

Your methods, hypocrisy, and the artlessness of your organization have sounded its death knell. You have nowhere to hide because we are everywhere. We cannot die; we are forever. We’re getting bigger every day—and solely by the force of our ideas, malicious and hostile as they often are. If you want another name for your opponent, then call us Legion, for we are many. Knowledge is free. We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us. Thus began Project Chanology, kick-started by anonymous users of 4chan and other chan-style boards where anti-Scientology discussions were held following the release of the Tom Cruise video. I got in touch with “c0s,” an Anon who claims to be the guy who created and uploaded the “Message to Scientology” video, in AnonOps, an anonymous IRC channel devoted to Anonymous’s operations.

Remember, all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. This information is everywhere. It is your duty to expose it. It is easy to find. Google is your friend. This is not Religious Persecution, but the suppression of a powerful, criminal, fascist regime. It is left to Anonymous. The Church has been declared fair game. It will be dismantled and destroyed. We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not Forgive. We do not Forget. This is only the beginning. Expect us. Anonymous continued harassing the Church of Scientology websites through the spring. They also engaged in Google Bombing techniques. A Google Bomb occurs when Google search results are successfully manipulated by spamming the search engine with specific keywords. For example, 4chan once bombarded Google with the key phrase “Justin Bieber syphilis.”


pages: 537 words: 99,778

Dreaming in Public: Building the Occupy Movement by Amy Lang, Daniel Lang/levitsky

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Bay Area Rapid Transit, bonus culture, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deindustrialization, facts on the ground, glass ceiling, housing crisis, Kibera, late capitalism, Naomi Klein, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Port of Oakland, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, the medium is the message, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, white flight, working poor

This is a paradigm the lumbering hierarchies of the last century struggle to keep pace with – in the same way that the US army has struggled with guerrilla warfare (or ‘insurgencies’) ever since Vietnam. For me, the masks of Anonymous say more about the culture that neoliberalism creates than they do about the people who wear them. The mask means more than just anonymity, it is strength in numbers. In one of their calling-card phrases, Anonymous say: ‘We are Anonymous, We are legion.’ It answers a human need to sometimes be one of many, not just a ‘self’. In anonymity, people can hope to escape the exhausting egoism of our age, the atomizing force of late capitalism where the pressure is all on the self and particularly the self-image. Retreating into the crowd can feel like a relief. But within the theme of disguise there also exists a paranoia and suspicion not just within the Occupy camps but within all direct action movements at the moment.


pages: 587 words: 117,894

Cybersecurity: What Everyone Needs to Know by P. W. Singer, Allan Friedman

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4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blood diamonds, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business continuity plan, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Edward Snowden, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fault tolerance, global supply chain, Google Earth, Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, M-Pesa, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, packet switching, Peace of Westphalia, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, ransomware, RFC: Request For Comment, risk tolerance, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

HB Gary’s reputation as a security firm was destroyed in what Wired magazine described as an electronic version of a “beatdown.” By the end of the month, a congressional committee was investigating inappropriate contracts by the firm, and Barr had resigned in disgrace. As Anonymous concluded its message on HB Gary’s website, “It would seem the security experts are not expertly secured. We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.” With exploits like this and its signature use of Guy Fawkes masks (in honor of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot, popularized as an antigovernment symbol in the movie V for Vendetta), Anonymous may be the most noted of the hactivist groups. Ironically, its notoriety is due to its anonymity. It is not a single, easily identifiable organization.


pages: 537 words: 149,628

Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War by P. W. Singer, August Cole

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3D printing, Admiral Zheng, augmented reality, British Empire, energy security, Firefox, glass ceiling, global reserve currency, Google Earth, Google Glasses, IFF: identification friend or foe, Just-in-time delivery, Maui Hawaii, new economy, RAND corporation, reserve currency, RFID, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, stealth mode startup, trade route, Wall-E, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, zero day

Hu’s body slumped off the chair, and her helmet bounced on the wood floor; the officer didn’t know whether to run to her or the system control station. Before he could decide, the auditorium’s projector lit up the center of the room. A massive white blaze of light crystalized into a holograph, the pinpricks of light forming a smiling black-and-white mask. A digitized voice boomed across the room’s speakers and into each of the linked helmets: “We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget . . . And we are back!” Then the room went dark. Directorate Command, Honolulu, Hawaii Special Administrative Zone So the Russian had really done it. General Yu’s aide-de-camp had seen them on the security camera, and her identity had been confirmed, but he hadn’t been truly sure until he saw them up close. The thought knotted the major’s stomach as he led the two of them into the general’s office.


pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

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23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

While Assange, Manning, and Snowden have been propelled onto the covers of newspapers around the world, other hacktivist groups prefer that their individual members remain discreetly hidden in subordination to the organization itself and its broader agenda. One such notable example is Anonymous, a self-described leaderless organization whose members have become recognizable in public for wearing Guy Fawkes masks. The group’s motto, “We are Anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us,” manifests its organizational ethos: “The corrupt fear us. The honest support us. The heroic join us.” When MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal all agreed to stop funneling donations to Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks organization, Anonymous responded by launching a series of effective cyber attacks against the financial firms. Anonymous is strongly against what it perceives to be rigid antipiracy laws, and it took credit for an earlier attack against the Sony PlayStation Network in response to Sony’s support of U.S. antipiracy legislation known as the Stop Online Piracy Act.


pages: 684 words: 173,622

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright

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Albert Einstein, call centre, Columbine, Naomi Klein, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks

Until then, they had never protested anything, but they considered the Internet their turf and were offended that the church would attempt to control what they watched. In truth, they knew little about Scientology, but the more they learned, the more aroused they became. “We shall proceed to expel you from the Internet and systematically dismantle the Church of Scientology in its present form,” Anonymous declared in a creepy video of its own. “We are anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.” Some members of the Anonymous coalition waged denial-of-service attacks on church computers, shutting down their websites for an extended period. On February 10, 2008, Anonymous organized protests in front of Scientology churches and missions in a hundred cities across the world. Many of the demonstrators were wearing what has now become the signature of the Anonymous movement—the Guy Fawkes mask, taken from the film V for Vendetta.


pages: 743 words: 201,651

Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Ayatollah Khomeini, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Clapham omnibus, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, financial independence, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global village, index card, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War

Moreover, even persistent pseudonyms can be abused. Anonymous is generally at the harder edge. On the one hand, it is the hallmark of the torturer, the paedophile and your bog-standard online scatologist. On the other, it is a mark of protest against established powers. An influential group of hacker activists, or ‘hacktivists’, uses the Twitter account @AnonymousWiki. Their motto is: We are Anonymous We are Legion We do not forgive We do not forget Expect us. Parmy Olson, in her book We Are Anonymous, points out that ‘we are Legion’ derives from a passage in the King James translation of the Bible where Jesus approaches a man possessed by demons and asks his name, to which the man replies: ‘My name is Legion: for we are many’.143 Anonymous, in this incarnation, hacks into the accounts and websites of companies and organisations (including even the FBI), makes public their internal communications and posts messages of protest.