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Anonymous takes on the big one
March 8, 2011 8:36 PM   Subscribe

Hactivist group "Anonymous" has declared war on the US government. "We are Anonymous. We do not forgive. We do not forget.”
posted by Chocolate Pickle (172 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
lol
posted by rebent at 8:38 PM on March 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


I think you meant to say "domestic terrorist group 'Anonymous'".
posted by bbuda at 8:40 PM on March 8, 2011


okay, lol.
posted by empath at 8:40 PM on March 8, 2011


If you'd told me 4chan would declare war on the US government five years ago I would have found it quite funny.
posted by codacorolla at 8:43 PM on March 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


A leader of the computer hackers group known as Anonymous is threatening new attacks on major U.S. corporations and government officials as part of at an escalating “cyberwar” against the citadels of American power.

“It’s a guerilla cyberwar — that’s what I call it,” said Barrett Brown, 29, who calls himself a senior strategist and “propagandist” for Anonymous.


Last time I checked, "leaders" of Anonymous tended to remain anonymous.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:43 PM on March 8, 2011 [35 favorites]


Along with Westboro Baptist and the Koch brothers they have now entered a three fornt war...isn't that one of the classic blunders?
posted by Jibuzaemon at 8:44 PM on March 8, 2011 [18 favorites]


"It’s sort of an unconventional, asymmetrical act of warfare that we’ve involved in. And we didn’t necessarily start it. I mean, this fire has been burning."

Not really sure paraphrasing Billy Joel is really the best way to instill fear in the hearts of your opponents, guys.
posted by dhammond at 8:44 PM on March 8, 2011 [47 favorites]


(D-Anonymous)
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:44 PM on March 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


As a possible example of its ability to penetrate secure information, Anonymous — in its attack on HBGary Federal -- has even claimed to have secured a version of the notorious Stuxnet computer virus, believed to have been used by Western intelligence agencies to set back Iran’s nuclear program. (U.S. officials have steadfastly refused to comment on Stuxnet.

wat

i think they are just trolling cnn and msnbc, now, tbh.
posted by empath at 8:45 PM on March 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


Seriously, "Anonymous" announces a newer, crazier target at least once a week. Are we going to discuss all of them here?
posted by muddgirl at 8:46 PM on March 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Anonymous has claimed to have obtained a copy of the DaVinci virus, which was being developed by oil company technical advisor "Plague." The virus, which if released would capsize the world's oil tankers for some reason, and was central to a plot to extort billions of dollars in assets from both the U.S. Government and the oil company. In a chat interview Anonymous told CBS news that they would "hack the planet."
posted by codacorolla at 8:48 PM on March 8, 2011 [55 favorites]


Is some part of USA-PATRIOT due to expire soon? Because y'know, there's really nothing like having your planted agents stage a kind of cyber Gulf of Tonkin incident when you need a War on something, like, say, Hackers.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:50 PM on March 8, 2011 [19 favorites]


WTF is wrong with Anonymous lately. Don't bother declaring war, just go to war. Release 50,000 emails from Wall Street executives or something that gets everyones attention and hopefully things change. Things start getting better.
posted by SirOmega at 8:51 PM on March 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Next, Anonymous will hack... THE MOON!!!
posted by NoraReed at 8:51 PM on March 8, 2011 [19 favorites]


When Anonymous declares war on MetaFilter, you better be posting that to MetaTalk. If it gets an fpp, that means they've already won.
posted by kyleg at 8:51 PM on March 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am a leader of minor splinter-group Whatchermacallit, and I hereby declare war on Luxembourg.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:52 PM on March 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


I think you meant to say "domestic terrorist group 'Anonymous'".

My van was going to explode, but then I got a curtain made of dogs.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:52 PM on March 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Anonymous has claimed to have obtained a copy of the DaVinci virus...

If you type the Konami Code, an albino monk comes to your house and drinks all your beer.
posted by steambadger at 8:52 PM on March 8, 2011 [17 favorites]


Anonymous declares war against THE MOON!

Anonymous declares war WITH VEGANS!

Anonymous declares a WAR ON TOE LINT!
posted by muddgirl at 8:53 PM on March 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Does Barrett Brown have a death wish? Or a wish to be put in jail forever and ever? Seriously, how stupid is it to be the public (!) face of an underground hacking group? They're gonna lock him up and throw away the jail.
posted by zardoz at 8:53 PM on March 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


Seriously, "Anonymous" announces a newer, crazier target at least once a week. Are we going to discuss all of them here?

An organization that successfully took Visa and Mastercard offline declares cyberwar on the American government for its torture of a whistleblower... Whatever. So boring.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:53 PM on March 8, 2011 [15 favorites]


Darnit, NoraReed. Anonymous DECLARES WAR ON NORAREED! WE ARE LEGION!
posted by muddgirl at 8:53 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


cortex you better watch your back.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 8:55 PM on March 8, 2011


An organization that successfully took Visa and Mastercard offline declares cyberwar on the American government for its torture of a whistleblower

But since we can't be sure that the Anonymous which did actual, real stuff is the same Anonymous which is "declaring war" on any other particular target, then it seems pointless to post these things until something happens. A press release is not "something."
posted by muddgirl at 8:55 PM on March 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


The message here, no matter which side you're rooting for, is that Anonymous and the US Government are two separate entities. Is there any reason to take that as a given?

(And so commences the War On The Internet. Expect your rights to be restricted, America.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:55 PM on March 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anonymous can only be stopped by a team-up between The Doctor and Chuck Norris.
posted by NoraReed at 8:57 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


this is TEH LULZ

The best bit is that it makes the inarguably awesome HBGary hack into a weird precursor move to deranged insanity while still being completely deniable.

I mean.

We're all Anonymous.

Aren't we?
posted by Sebmojo at 8:57 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know... if the internet required everyone to use Facebook Connect, there wouldn't be an Anonymous.
posted by birdherder at 9:00 PM on March 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sheesh. How many instances of LOIC can these guys run on their systems without losing the ability to post on /b/ anyway?
posted by SansPoint at 9:01 PM on March 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


An organization that successfully took Visa and Mastercard offline declares cyberwar on the American government for its torture of a whistleblower... Whatever. So boring.
Context is affecting this. We've seen announcements that Anonymous is "at war" with various targets lately (with no real major effect). This feels as much like someone taking the piss as it does an actual threat. We're attacking the fundamentalists! No, we're attacking big business! Never mind that -- we're attacking America!!!
posted by Karmakaze at 9:02 PM on March 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


This will end well.
posted by HostBryan at 9:02 PM on March 8, 2011


You know... if the internet required everyone to use Facebook Connect, there wouldn't be an Anonymous.

But there would be a lot of people named things like Dick Hussein Phallusface.
posted by NoraReed at 9:03 PM on March 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that the FBI and CIA are not taking anon very seriously. However, I also bet they have detailed dossiers on every one of those guys and a box capturing 100% of 4chan and irc traffic just in case they need it. and they can probably bust a significant percentage of them with obscenity charges tomorrow based on any random scan of /b/ traffic on a given day.

Anon are useful to the powers that be, as is 4chan. I don't think the FBI wants to shut it down until they do something more than generate headlines.
posted by empath at 9:04 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Along with Westboro Baptist and the Koch brothers they have now entered a three fornt war...isn't that one of the classic blunders?

Next week, they will commence a land war in Asia. And then assault Russia's Western border in winter.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:05 PM on March 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


For the benefit of any federal agents encountering this thread: contrary to my previous statement, which was a joke, I am not actually a member of minor splinter-group Whatchermacallit, an organization which to my knowledge does not exist. Should it in fact exist, I do not imply any endorsement of their past or future actions against any individuals, organizations or nation states, including but not limited to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:06 PM on March 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Most Anonymous activity is coordinated on IRC. I've been hanging out on IRC, trying to write a guide for Middle Eastern protesters to help them distribute information in complete secrecy, and I haven't heard a thing about this. I think this pretty much proves the worthlessness of an organization in which anyone can say anything and claim it comes from the group. If Anonymous had some sort of filter on its public announcements, this wouldn't happen.

Also, the FBI is very much interested.
posted by shii at 9:07 PM on March 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think the only lulz left is now for Anonymous to declare war on itself.
posted by fullerine at 9:07 PM on March 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


I support the hell out of Anonymous e-stalking and harassing the people responsible for torturing Manning, though. I can't imagine and it would be that hard to find out a lot of information about them that the newspapers won't publish.
posted by empath at 9:08 PM on March 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ok, so we're seeing a civil insurrection by a faceless, amorphous entity who has proven they can damage critical financial and communications infrastructure...

...unless we're not, and they're just having us on...

...or they're not the same people, and can't damage anything, unless they really are...

... and they are motivated by abuse of corporate and government power, unless they're motivated by boredom, or they're not motivated at all, or they're motivated by teh lulz.

Robert Gates must buy pepto by the gallon these days.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:12 PM on March 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Ah good, the new terrorist threat has finally emerged so the government has an excuse to rein in the internet. You'll now have to pass through an x-ray and cavity search before using the internet. ++good!
posted by doctor_negative at 9:14 PM on March 8, 2011


Yeah anyone can put out a press release as "Anonymous" The people who think "Anonymous" is a real, coherent thing are just ridiculous.
posted by delmoi at 9:14 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Any website claiming to represent anonymous is hilariously missing the point.
posted by Taft at 9:17 PM on March 8, 2011


The people who think "Anonymous" is a real, coherent thing are just ridiculous.

So the Visa and Mastercard takedowns were separate Acts of God?
posted by Joe Beese at 9:18 PM on March 8, 2011


MAKE CYBERSEX NOT CYBERWAR
posted by idiopath at 9:20 PM on March 8, 2011 [17 favorites]


So the Visa and Mastercard takedowns were separate Acts of God?

Our God is a lulzy God.

Also, a giant cat.
posted by NoraReed at 9:21 PM on March 8, 2011 [19 favorites]


Anonymous really could use some sort of standardized way to stamp press releases made in its name. Or does that defeat the purpose?
posted by codacorolla at 9:21 PM on March 8, 2011


This is quite possibly the largest namefag fail I have ever seen. This guy has automatically lost the game.
posted by jaduncan at 9:23 PM on March 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


So the Visa and Mastercard takedowns were separate Acts of God?

No, they were actions by specific individuals, who were then arrested. The feat hasn't been repeated since.
posted by empath at 9:23 PM on March 8, 2011


NoraReed: "Next, Anonymous will hack... THE MOON!!"

God damn it I was about to say exactly that thing
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:23 PM on March 8, 2011


"We are Anonymous. We do not forgive. We do not forget.”

*yawns*

*makes jacking-off motions with right hand*
posted by jason's_planet at 9:24 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


*Anonymous squints eyes, neither forgives nor forgets*
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:26 PM on March 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


""We are Anonymous. We do not forgive. We do not forget.”"

"However, we are easily distracted."
posted by klangklangston at 9:26 PM on March 8, 2011 [41 favorites]


i lol'd

I'd imagine they're trolling the moral fags too, not just CNN, MSNBC, FBI, etc.

There might however be some immature but humorous stunts that'd publicize Bradley Manning's treatment, like oh mailing pubes to the prosecutors office, reporting his prison's warden or guards on the terrorist watch list, etc.

You know, there must be photoshoped gay bondage porn of Chief Warrant Officer Denise Barnes and Base Commander Colonel Daniel J. Choike sexually abusing Manning pursuant to Rule 34. Aren't those photos useful for dual purpose publicity and lulz?

posted by jeffburdges at 9:26 PM on March 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Look what Anonymous did to Plastic.com. Fear them.
posted by Ardiril at 9:27 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meh. They took down Mastercard and Visa, true. But everyone knows the real engineers work at Amazon, which they failed to take down. I'm not really all that concerned.
posted by maryr at 9:28 PM on March 8, 2011


"Ceiling Cat is watching you torture Bradley Manning?"
posted by jeffburdges at 9:29 PM on March 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


So the Visa and Mastercard takedowns were separate Acts of God?

That was a takedown in the same sense that a traffic jam on I-5 is a siege of Los Angeles.
posted by anigbrowl at 9:34 PM on March 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


Along with Westboro Baptist and the Koch brothers they have now entered a three fornt war...isn't that one of the classic blunders?

A two-front war is a classic blunder. A three-front war is an unmitigated disaster.
posted by IvoShandor at 9:35 PM on March 8, 2011


(U.S. officials have steadfastly refused to comment on Stuxnet.)

I thought it was generally agreed upon that Stuxnet probably came from Israel?
posted by schmod at 9:35 PM on March 8, 2011


Jibuzaemon: "Along with Westboro Baptist and the Koch brothers they have now entered a three fornt war...isn't that one of the classic blunders?"

Are the Koch brothers Sicilian? Is there really death on the line?
posted by Night_owl at 9:36 PM on March 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


That was a takedown in the same sense that a traffic jam on I-5 is a siege of Los Angeles.

Actually it was a takedown in the way that sitting in to block the entrance to a store on Black Friday is peaceful but commercially painful for the store.
posted by jaduncan at 9:36 PM on March 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


As a practical matter what would you ddos if you wanted to cause the most chaos, root name servers? How about cert authorities so nobody could verify ssl certs?
posted by Ad hominem at 9:38 PM on March 8, 2011


Along with Westboro Baptist and the Koch brothers they have now entered a three fornt war...isn't that one of the classic blunders?

They haven't started a land war in Asia or gone up against a Sicilian when death is on the line, so they'll be fine.

A certain opponent of theirs started a land war in Asia, it might be worth mentioning.
posted by Marla Singer at 9:39 PM on March 8, 2011


When Anonymous declares war on MetaFilter, you better be posting that to MetaTalk. If it gets an fpp, that means they've already won.

I, for one, welcome...
posted by Marla Singer at 9:40 PM on March 8, 2011


Along with Westboro Baptist

WBC was a false flag declaration by WBC itself, BTW. Civil claim honeypot.
posted by jaduncan at 9:41 PM on March 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


Anonymous declares war on HBGary. Then, Anonymous declares war on Westboro Baptist. But then wait, no they didn't. Now they're declaring war on the U.S. Government.

I think the power of Anonymous to declare on any damn thing depends on exactly what percentage of Anonymous decides to go along with that declaration. I don't think they're really the kind of organization from which a declaration of war is meaningful unless most of them basically agree with it, because they have no top-down hierarchy.

It's merely identifying a possible target. It might have an effect in the same way you might have an effect if you were to casually remark out loud near those gentlemen in the masks and striped shirts carrying the bags with "$"s on them that someone across the street is carrying ten grand in cash. In fact, it seems far more likely that someone "infiltrated" Anonymous, if such a statement even means anything, and posted such a declaration.
posted by JHarris at 9:47 PM on March 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


JHarris, nobody means anything on the IRC channels would attach their name. Named person == not meaningful.
posted by jaduncan at 9:48 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


*nobody who means
posted by jaduncan at 9:49 PM on March 8, 2011


On the one hand, this is cool, in a 'living in a William Gibson novel' kind of way. On the other hand, it could just be part of 'cyber' (hate that word) strategy of tension, leading to new Net lockdowns. Which is not cool.
posted by carter at 9:49 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Did I miss that brief timespan when 4chan was just funny, before they jumped the shark and started doing "a very special episode"s? Damn.
posted by not_on_display at 9:50 PM on March 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


As a practical matter what would you ddos if you wanted to cause the most chaos, root name servers? How about cert authorities so nobody could verify ssl certs?

Certs aren't focussed enough, it would be a generalised attack on the internet rather than USG. People would hate that.

Lulzy: Electronic tax submission servers on tax deadline day and after. Congress email servers. FBI mail servers. False flag Yes Men style FBI press releases. Phone calls to news organisations to complain about hackers denying FBI press releases, and a request to call the FBI press office in the case of any queries. Follow this with a phone DDOS of the FBI press office. Phone DDOS/calls leaving negative opinions/lulz on anyone related to the detention of Bradley Manning. Attacks designed to trigger anti-attack firewalls. Use of spoofed IPs to indicate that attacks are undertaken from Congress networks.

I AM NOT ADVOCATING ANY OF THIS.
posted by jaduncan at 9:52 PM on March 8, 2011 [15 favorites]


I think the power of Anonymous to declare on any damn thing depends on exactly what percentage of Anonymous decides to go along with that declaration [...] because they have no top-down hierarchy.

Yeah, last I looked, there were at least two threads active on 4chan relevant to all of this. One was more or less onside with the declaration of war, the other was shouting it down for all kinds of sensibly paranoid reasons (ie: this is exactly the kind of bullshit excuse that the FBI etc have been looking for to justify going after 4chan).

interesting times
posted by philip-random at 9:52 PM on March 8, 2011


I dunno. This reads far more like a planted scare story to validate law enforcement efforts to go after Anonymous.

For one thing, I have a hard time believing that such a live-in-the-shadows group would now have a public spokesperson like this. I mean, being anonymous is sort of the point of Anonymous.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:53 PM on March 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


I get it: US intel is planting these BS announcements in an effort to get Anonymous to create a more formal hierarchy - one which declares real ops from fake ones - which the authorities can then go after in a more traditional way. I doubt it will work. Anonymous is way smarter than the US government.
posted by Marla Singer at 9:53 PM on March 8, 2011


"One was more or less onside with the declaration of war, the other was shouting it down"

... and the same people were posting to both.
posted by Ardiril at 9:54 PM on March 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Actually it was a takedown in the way that sitting in to block the entrance to a store on Black Friday is peaceful but commercially painful for the store.

Didn't they only take down visa.com and mastercard.com? Who actually goes to those sites? The backend processing is the only thing that really matters. If they were able to affect that, then I'd be impressed.
posted by kmz at 9:55 PM on March 8, 2011


You might want to look at this.

Barrett Brown is the author of Flock of Dodos: Behind Modern Creationism, Intelligent Design, and the Easter Bunny; his second book, Caught, Fat, and Clouded, will be released in 2010. He's a regular contributor to Vanity Fair,The Onion, and Skeptic, and his other work has appeared in dozens of publications including National Lampoon, McSweeney's, and American Atheist. He also serves as director of communications for Enlighten the Vote (formerly the Godless Americans Political Action Committee), a PAC dedicated to promoting the Establishment Clause as well as providing assistance to secularist candidates for office. He's appeared on Fox News and other, less ridiculous outlets.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:55 PM on March 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


I get it: US intel is planting these BS announcements in an effort to get Anonymous to create a more formal hierarchy - one which declares real ops from fake ones - which the authorities can then go after in a more traditional way. I doubt it will work. Anonymous is way smarter than the US government.

How could you have a formal hirarchy over emergent behaviour of random particles?
posted by jaduncan at 9:55 PM on March 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


lulz NBC you gotz trolled
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:55 PM on March 8, 2011


Electronic tax submission servers on tax deadline day and after

Along the same line EDGAR submission servers.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:57 PM on March 8, 2011


Having watched this turd of a news segment, it looks like more of a Marlboro commercial than anything.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:58 PM on March 8, 2011


Can I un-favorite the responses I favorited in this thread? I don't want Anonymous to show up, find out that I've favorited some responses that make them look bad, hack metafilter, and see that my IP address is 69.22.138.144 and then DDoS me off of the Internet.
posted by andreaazure at 9:58 PM on March 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am a leader of minor splinter-group Whatchermacallit, and I hereby declare war on Luxembourg.

Watch out, they don't like splinter groups.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:59 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, to unfavorite, click the minus si--I mean hyphen!
posted by Night_owl at 10:00 PM on March 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well you lot may be loling, but I'm taking this very seriously.
I figure I can get all my troops out of North America via Kamchatka, head on down to Australia and maybe hold them off by loading up Indonesia with as many cannon and cavalry as I can muster.
posted by unliteral at 10:02 PM on March 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


From a current 4chan thread (NSFW, of course)

So this fag named Barrett Brown is claiming to be a ranking general whatever the fuck that means of anonymous. He went to Brian Williams and NBC and told them about how he's in charge of anonymous and how we operate.

So whats the word guys? Am I the only one who's never heard of this faggotron?

Also Oh Noes the pentagon is totally and officially investigating us. What do?

posted by philip-random at 10:04 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, last i looked, Scientology, westburo, etc were doing fine. Not that some of these aren't noble goals, but really, getting secrets out seems to the best they can do, and should be focused on that.
posted by usagizero at 10:04 PM on March 8, 2011


But seriously, East Manitoba Regional Junior Kadaffi Champion '94, if that IS your name, everybody knows that Whatchermacallit was never affiliated with Anonymous, it's a shell organization that's also known as Thingamajig and Doohickey. The real spin offs of Anonymous are Whatsisname, Whodat, Nobody Worth Mentioning and That Indie Band That You Are The Only Fan Of.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:06 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, last i looked, Scientology, westburo, etc were doing fine. Not that some of these aren't noble goals, but really, getting secrets out seems to the best they can do, and should be focused on that.

HBGary isn't doing so well. And if you think their attack on Visa and Mastercard hasn't caused millions to be spent...
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:06 PM on March 8, 2011


You know, last i looked, Scientology, westburo, etc were doing fine.

They brought HBGary Federal to their knees, though. But you're right, it was by releasing their secrets.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 10:06 PM on March 8, 2011


see that my IP address is 69.22.138.144

*laughs* Nicely played, andreaazure.
posted by jaduncan at 10:10 PM on March 8, 2011


How could you have a formal hirarchy over emergent behaviour of random particles?

Well, there is that little problem, of course. [trollface.jpg]
posted by Marla Singer at 10:11 PM on March 8, 2011


The way they throw the f word around, you'd think 4chan would be all for the WBC.
posted by kmz at 10:12 PM on March 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


So Anonymous needs to be numerous, right? Don't understand it really, but I gather that their DoS attacks wouldn't work if there was a small, more focused group behind them, they need as many people as possible working together. So is it likely that anyone will split off and form a Really Anonymous group?
posted by Kevin Street at 10:13 PM on March 8, 2011


So Anonymous needs to be numerous, right?

Anonymous is legion.
posted by Marla Singer at 10:15 PM on March 8, 2011


Didn't they only take down visa.com and mastercard.com? Who actually goes to those sites?

Over 9000 people were affected.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:18 PM on March 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


they need as many people as possible working together.

No, not really, just getting some skilled people involved. Jester on the opposing team does a lot as a relatively lone operator. Since the game is number of hosts rather than number of humans, a botnet will do fine.
posted by jaduncan at 10:22 PM on March 8, 2011


So is likely that all this confusion and proliferation of targets might spur some members of Anonymous to form a more focused "Hactivist" organization? I suppose it might have already happened and we'd never know.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:24 PM on March 8, 2011


This whole thing really seems fishy to me. It feels like a set up.
posted by dougzilla at 10:29 PM on March 8, 2011


They are truly redefining performance art.
posted by reductiondesign at 10:40 PM on March 8, 2011


You know some anons are laughing their asses off at this. They almost certainly have no plans at all to attack "the government", but people are pooping their britches.

I ... have to admit... I'd ... I'll get me some popcorn, how about that? mmmmm tacos
posted by Xoebe at 10:42 PM on March 8, 2011


I really doubt this is legitimate. Anonymous wouldn't have survived this long by being that stupid - at least the members with actual competence and hacking skills, perhaps not all of the minions with LOIC.

My guess is it's some sort of hamfisted false-flag op - it could be the government but it could also be any of the targets they've previously hit. My money would be on the scientologists, who have the right combination of unscrupulousness, tactlessness and lack of subtlety to pull this sort of thing.
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:51 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a pretty good troll.
posted by Jairus at 11:12 PM on March 8, 2011


Everyone who attempted to discredited Anonymous in this thread is one of the U.S. government's fake online personas. Don't let them influence you! They're not even real people!
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 11:27 PM on March 8, 2011


So, the guy smoking in the NBC clips... he's just smoking cause of "The Smoking Man" from the "The X-Files", right? Good Nerdcraft.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:42 PM on March 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think they should declare War on Illiteracy.

"We are Anonymous. We do not forgive. We do not forget.”

(cue photo-ops of guys in Guy Fawkes masks handing Pedobear-themed reading materials to the disadvantaged youth)
posted by furiousthought at 11:56 PM on March 8, 2011


Well Mister President, it's the bees and spiders again!
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:10 AM on March 9, 2011


Roll 1d10:
1. Government extends Patriot Act provisions, citing threats of cyberterrorism.
3. Anonymous declares war on Facebook.
2. Jon Stewart declares war on The Onion.
4. Spontaneous economic collapse. Anonymous claims victory in its war on America.
5. Anonymous declares war on itself.
6. Widespread legalization of marijuana. Anonymous claims victory in war on drugs, declares war on snack foods.
7. MPAA declares war on Anonymous.
8. Anonymous declares war on Antarctica, funds expedition with Kickstarter, wins war on Antarctica.
9. Wikileaks releases documents conclusively demonstrating Barack Obama's involvement in the upper echelons of Anonymous leadership.
10. Charlie Sheen claims to be all of Anonymous, mysteriously vanishes two days later.
posted by NMcCoy at 12:19 AM on March 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


I didn't shop online this holiday season because I was worried about Anonymous. Attacking the groups who cut WikiLeaks donations was great
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:21 AM on March 9, 2011


I kind of think Anonymous should be a little quieter about its own existence. If I were Anonymous, I'd be kind of thinking, hey can we all just shut up and quietly do our work and be whispered about fearfully behind locked doors? The world's not ready to understand the existence of Anonymous. Please don't make me explain Anonymous to my mom.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:20 AM on March 9, 2011


Please don't make me explain Anonymous to my mom.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 11:20 AM on March 9


I hesitate to break this to you, but Anonymous IS your mom.
posted by Decani at 3:49 AM on March 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Amomynous.
posted by pracowity at 3:55 AM on March 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


Not really sure paraphrasing Billy Joel is really the best way to instill fear in the hearts of your opponents, guys.

On the contrary - I shudder every time I hear the words "Billy Joel".
posted by ryanshepard at 4:38 AM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


You'll now have to pass through an x-ray and cavity search before using the internet. ++good!

Don't laugh. Both the US and other governments now claim the right to inspect the contents of your computer and other electronic devices at international borders, up to and including taking the machines for days or weeks, running deep scanning software on them for erased or encrypted files, and the like, no significant probable cause required. And once they've burned a mirror of your hard drive, do you suppose they just delete it?

I can't tell the difference between teh lulz and holy fuck anymore.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:40 AM on March 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


Stalking horse.
posted by box at 4:51 AM on March 9, 2011


I saw the segment on NBC News last night and was almost immediately cast down into a pit of despair, all because of that lounging, smoking "spokestroll." Mainly because when I was 18, I would have really, really wanted to be that guy. Now I just want the interviewer to pull out a spray bottle and spritz his cigarette out, "Squirt squirt."

So I guess I officially need to stand in line for my rake and sign up for a shift watching over my damn lawn for those damn kids.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:53 AM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


"From a current 4chan thread (NSFW, of course)...[apparent hints of hoaxery]"

Darn it! And I thought perhaps I was on to something in deconstructing the seeming Chan-ish code of his name: Barrett Brown --> Bare it Brown --> [insert gag-inducing img file]
posted by O Blitiri at 5:11 AM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


How dumb do you have to be to try to troll both the US Government & Anonymous at the same time? I guess we'll see.
posted by scalefree at 5:59 AM on March 9, 2011


[comment removed - we do not bring people's personal information over from their profiles or dredge up old fights please do not do this, thank you.]
posted by jessamyn at 6:16 AM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anonymous just wants to know which moisturiser to use, if you ask me.
posted by infini at 6:24 AM on March 9, 2011


Maybe we should each declare war on something. I personally do hereby declare war on Brussel sprouts. To the death.
posted by newdaddy at 7:02 AM on March 9, 2011


No! To the pain!
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 7:12 AM on March 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


When oh when will Anonymous go back to writing erotic novels of lesbian awakening?
posted by chavenet at 7:15 AM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]




Folks. This story wasn't written for us. This was written for the people who don't know who the hell Anonymous is or how it operates, which is to say the vast majority of the voting public.

Most people don't know that Anonymous is mostly a bunch of 13 year old kids any one of whom can randomly make an "announcement" about what the group is supposedly going to do. Most people don't know that most of those announcements are meaningless and go nowhere. Most people don't understand that the idea of someone with a real name acting as a "spokesman" for the group is completely laughable.

What 99.99% of the readership are going to take away from this—and the wording of the MSNBC story appears clearly designed to push this idea as much as possible—is OMG there are terrorists hackers on the internet bent on taking down the US government. And your family business. Look, it's right there in the headline.

Seriously, pretend you never heard of Anonymous, and then read the first few paragraphs and just count the fnords:

"hackers threatening escalating cyberwar 'citadels of American power' guerrilla propagandist asymmetrical warfare fire burning defiant cavalier violating federal law"

They're careful to make Anonymous sound as dangerous and as credible as possible, by exaggerating the MasterCard/Visa "takedown," by blowing up a single meaningless email to PayPal as if it were a, you know, actual thing, and by choosing to quote a deputy defense secretary and—of all people—an HBGary spokesman for descriptions of Anonymous's actions.

As political theater, as propaganda, this story is a brilliant maneuver, and I bet we start seeing a lot more along these lines soon: We better crack down on net neutrality because OMG terrorists on the internet. Better crank up the surveillance because OMG terrorists on the internet. And they're tied to WikiLeaks, so let's paint them with the same brush.

I'd applaud whichever strategist came up with this line of thinking if I didn't want to throttle them. It's just brilliant; it's a lie with just exactly enough truth in it to make it practically impossible to rebut.

I hope for his sake that Barrett Brown, sometime freelance comedy journalist and pretend spokesman for Anonymous, is using secure passwords for everything he uses, because the tiny subset of Anonymous who actually do these things for real have got to be pretty fucking pissed at him right now.
posted by ook at 7:31 AM on March 9, 2011 [17 favorites]


I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I theorise this: if anything was ever set up perfectly for a false flag attack (or threat of attack), it would be Anonymous. It's not challenging to publicly attribute an attack to a group that doesn't have any official leadership or even members.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:45 AM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who aren't they at war with? I think that's part of being a loosely knit collective of snot-nosed kids, jackasses and trolls.
Press releases and declarations of war from "them" are totally meaningless, the only time they're actually news worthy is when they actually do something.
posted by Stagger Lee at 8:09 AM on March 9, 2011


Anonymous declares a WAR ON TOE LINT!

They can have my toe lint when they pry it from my cold, dead feet.
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:19 AM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anonymous has claimed to have obtained a copy of the DaVinci virus, which was being developed by oil company technical advisor "Plague." The virus, which if released would capsize the world's oil tankers for some reason, and was central to a plot to extort billions of dollars in assets from both the U.S. Government and the oil company. In a chat interview Anonymous told CBS news that they would "hack the planet."

Oh, pff. This is all viral marketing for the next Bond movie. Should've guessed weeks ago.
posted by AugieAugustus at 8:35 AM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are three kinds of people who would publicly claim to be a "senior strategist" in a group attempting to launch attacks on federal assets:
1) Someone in a secure bunker somewhere
2) Someone in a secure mental institution somewhere
3) Someone who wants a book deal to produce "LOLWAR: How I Trolled The World And Became The International Face Of 'Anonymous' Without Really Trying"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:40 AM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I theorise this: if anything was ever set up perfectly for a false flag attack (or threat of attack), it would be Anonymous. It's not challenging to publicly attribute an attack to a group that doesn't have any official leadership or even members.

The difficulty is of course that it would merely add to the mistique. Always deliver, right?
posted by jaduncan at 8:41 AM on March 9, 2011


I think the smoking cigarettes bit was a reference to Charlie Sheen.
posted by orme at 8:47 AM on March 9, 2011


1. Obtain Guy Falkes mask and contact media, claiming to be Anonymous and declaring war on ... (Zoidberg Voice: Charlie Sheen why not??)
2. ????
3. Profit!
posted by djrock3k at 9:11 AM on March 9, 2011


NBC News National Investigative Correspondent
Losing credibility right in the lede...

I like how they got James Spader to show up for an interview. Also, what's up with the gratuitous Marlboro pack shots?

Isn't there some sort of meds we can get the actual hactivists on that would make them socially productive? I know, they and even sometimes myself would say they are serving the interests of a free, dynamic, and puckered-up society through the discord they sew, but couldn't they spend time figuring out how to get IpV6 to work, or the actual formula for Coke or something?

ANONYMOUS DECLARES WAR ON ROGUE DOG POOP!!11¡¡∴!

«Gee, thanks, Anonymousse!»
posted by Ogre Lawless at 9:36 AM on March 9, 2011


I think the only lulz left is now for Anonymous to declare war on itself.

This happens every time one of these assholes claims to be "leadership". They get taken the fuck down quickly.

Lulzy: Electronic tax submission servers on tax deadline day and after. Congress email servers. FBI mail servers. False flag Yes Men style FBI press releases...

Ah, a practitioner of the old lulz.

...because the tiny subset of Anonymous who actually do these things for real have got to be pretty fucking pissed at him right now.

Yeah, I can't imagine his life is going to be very much fun for the next few weeks.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:52 AM on March 9, 2011


> Barrett Brown, 29, who calls himself a senior strategist and “propagandist” for Anonymous.

My name is Gloriana XII of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick. Prepare to die.
posted by jfuller at 9:59 AM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Doot-do-do-doot...Amomynous.
posted by clavdivs at 11:06 AM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


We have always been at war with Anonymous.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:51 PM on March 9, 2011


Wow, this thread has it all: Gibson and Orwell, 4chan, The Princess Bride, Muppets, conspiracy theories, and a stern reprimand from jessamax herself. Way to go, guys!
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:15 PM on March 9, 2011


I got spam that said "anomalous inveigles fringe provokes acropolis" ... should I be worried?
posted by pressF1 at 3:44 PM on March 9, 2011


Anonymous never gonna let you down....
posted by eviemath at 4:25 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, this thread has it all: Gibson and Orwell, 4chan, The Princess Bride, Muppets, conspiracy theories, and a stern reprimand from jessamax herself. Way to go, guys!

And now there's a dragon attack, too.
posted by philip-random at 4:58 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


"everybody needs somebody...some time"
posted by clavdivs at 5:31 PM on March 9, 2011


everybody needs a little time away, I heard her say...
posted by Night_owl at 6:12 PM on March 9, 2011


Everybody, everybody do it, do the who'd she coo?
posted by pracowity at 10:40 PM on March 9, 2011


Everybody hurts
posted by Sys Rq at 12:59 AM on March 10, 2011


"Brown, a sometimes freelance journalist, said he is not personally involved in hacking computers, stressing that he only advises the group, participates in its internal strategy sessions and serves as its spokesman"

I'm flabbergasted that anybody is taking this remotely seriously.
posted by whir at 1:53 AM on March 10, 2011


Yeah, I'm pretty sure he needed to pay rent, so he jumped on IRC for a few days and ran to msnbc and told them how he had participated in "internal strategy sessions".
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 7:44 AM on March 10, 2011


you folks know were i stand on wikileaks but this Brown fella, seems like a fern to me.
posted by clavdivs at 10:48 AM on March 10, 2011


never trust a fern
posted by philip-random at 11:47 AM on March 10, 2011


they're bitter and have been around since the Pleistocene, era what you expect from mere ferns?
posted by infini at 12:26 PM on March 10, 2011


I thought the plastic ferns came from dinosaurs.
posted by clavdivs at 1:18 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


So what I hear you saying is that anonymous is a plastic dinosaur?
posted by infini at 1:32 PM on March 10, 2011


"One was more or less onside with the declaration of war, the other was shouting it down"

... and the same people were posting to both.


Some of them intentionally.
posted by Ardiril at 5:28 PM on March 10, 2011




And I, on that hideous t-shirt design. When will the Danes learn...
posted by infini at 11:07 AM on March 11, 2011


In the trade, a plastic fern is a "plant", "Fake", "phoney", or "an open sock puppet".

Only the shadow knows who this fern is....
posted by clavdivs at 2:16 PM on March 11, 2011


That's why I got out of the plastic-flower business. Or did I?
posted by box at 4:58 PM on March 11, 2011


It's all the dusting and care related products.
posted by clavdivs at 11:41 PM on March 11, 2011




Is someone floating hypotheticals to manipulate Bank of America stock prices?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:42 PM on March 12, 2011


Is Adrien Chen a known liar?
posted by empath at 1:05 PM on March 12, 2011




OH SHIIIIIII-
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:50 AM on March 14, 2011


Yeah, but nothing much there.
posted by klangklangston at 8:42 AM on March 14, 2011


It appears to be evidence of fraud - removing loan numbers so that auditors cannot spot bad loans - but it's not presented in a very juicy or clear fashion.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:05 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]




Inside Anonymous’ Secret War Room.
Dissident members of the internet hacktivist group Anonymous, tired of what they call the mob's "unpatriotic" ways, have provided law enforcement with chat logs of the group's leadership planning crimes, as well as what they say are key members' identities. They also gave them to us.
posted by scalefree at 8:05 AM on March 19, 2011


*Chat logs that were already publicly available.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:50 AM on March 19, 2011






AnonyMiss, the yin to the Anonymous yang

You misspelled "yoni." You also misspelled "wang."
posted by Sys Rq at 4:24 PM on March 24, 2011


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