After reading this article, no one should ever complain when people “don’t respect their boundaries.” The hacker group, Anonymous, has not only never heard of boundaries, but they will also go through emails, financial transactions, credit card data, and anything else they can get their hands on. The scariest part about them isn’t that they’re anonymous, but it’s who they are targeting, the information they’re accessing, and the fact they publish it. They’re the world’s biggest gossip, but the stakes are so much higher than blabbing their mouths to someone about a secret they learned.
Because Anonymous stays true to its name by being, well, anonymous, there aren’t many ways to tell their story because no one knows who they are. It’s not as if they will end up on Dr. Phil with the heading “I’m In Love With An Abusive Internet” displayed below their name. Most of what the public knows about them is through Tweets and YouTube videos only. To the general selfie posting public, what Anonymous does is very technical and confusing.
So, the public is only left with the 10 craziest secrets they’ve ever released. Oh, and a word to the wise: start changing passwords.
10. Anonymous Exposed Government Contractors Who Were Paid to Hack Wikileaks
At HBGary, the company and some of its friends had plans to discredit Wikileaks. Wikileaks, like Anonymous, keeps some companies and governments honest by hacking into the company systems and spilling the beans on their operations.
To help understand this, it’s kind of like a buddy’s ex who shares on Facebook she found out he emailed naked pictures of himself to Justin Bieber. She’s like Wikileaks and the buddy is like a lot of companies; there’s just some sh*t you want to stay under wraps and will do anything to stop it.
Anyway, Anonymous found out what HBGary was going to do their B.F.F. Wikileaks and hacked into HBGary’s system. They found emails from the head dude that talked about their plan and published it to the world. Ultimately, all hell broke loose for the company and its CEO left. The most interesting part? HBGary’s whole purpose is to keep the government safe from these kinds of attacks. Well done, Anonymous.
9. Anonymous Exposed the Russian Government Paying Hackers to Help Putin
An independent youth group thought Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, was just simply the greatest. During his reelection campaign, they went on and on about how great he was, until Anonymous found out the truth. Apparently, Putin’s people were paying the group to hack into anti-Putin websites and stage pro-Putin rallies.
Well, Anonymous laid the smackdown on this group and exposed emails between the Kremlin, Russia’s government, and this supposed independent group. Putin still won the election, though, despite all this illegal stuff. Merriam-Webster is thinking of changing the definition of “corrupt” to just “Putin.”
8. Anonymous Exposed the Location of Top-Secret Canadian Spies
The world’s most underrated spy group, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, has even had to deal with Anonymous. Didn’t know Canada had a top-secret spy group? Don’t worry, no else did either. This is because unlike the CIA or British intelligence, Canadian spies prefer to fly under the radar, sipping on a Molson instead of a martini. Plus, half of the spy movies made center around someone from Langley or London; not Ottawa. This covert nature, in turn, makes them the perfect spies.
Unfortunately, Anonymous, almost blew their cover when they released information on spy forces working for Canada across the world. Apparently, this was to retaliate for the Mounties (Canadian police) shooting an Anonymous supporter wearing a Guy Fawkes’ mask. As a result, the world’s best kept secret nearly imploded. Because of this, CSIS may have to go back to the drawing board.
7. Anonymous Exposed a Company Who Kept Records On Its Citizens For the Government
G’day! Most of people don’t know what the crikey AAPT is or why it’s important to Australia, so grab a Foster’s, sit back and read.
AAPT is similar to what AT&T or Verizon is in the U.S. Basically, they provide internet and telephone services, except a wallaby is the customer service manager. They fired the koala for sexual harassment.
All insults aside, the Australian government actually requires that companies like AAPT hold onto sensitive customer data in the event the government needs it. Basically, the government can take customer information whenever they want without the customer’s consent. The Australian arm of Anonymous didn’t like this and released this sensitive customer data to the public, making it an easy target for identity thieves. Their purpose was to expose was AAPT and the Australian government was doing and to encourage them to stop. Why couldn’t Anonymous just re-release a pirated copy of Crocodile Dundee instead?
6. Anonymous Exposes Westboro Baptist Church Members’ Information
There aren’t a lot of churches that cause a stir like the Westboro Baptist Church. For the uniformed, just Google their name and enjoy hours of being horrified at their antics. Just as an example, they’re known for protesting the funerals of deceased military members. Basically, they’re a group that hates just about everything except Snickers bars. Everyone loves a Snickers bar.
Anonymous, in a response to the Church’s decision to picket the funerals from Sandy Hook Elementary, decided to publish their members’ personal information. As controversial as they may be, it is not likely that even their strongest supporters would appreciate unwelcome visits from strangers.
5. Anonymous Released a Phone Conversation Between FBI and Scotland Yard About Taking Down Hackers
Does anyone remember, usually in the days before cell phones, when someone would eavesdrop on a call? Remember saying “I love you,” to a significant other and then having mom say, “How sweet of you!” Total embarrassment. For the FBI and British police forces, their love affair was swiftly interrupted by the mom of the internet: Anonymous
The FBI and Scotland Yard (The FBI for Brits) were canoodling to take down a hacker they fingered in some attacks. But like a defensive back in football, Anonymous intercepted the phone conversation and published it to the web as part of their “F**k FBI Friday” campaign. Couldn’t they have just used TGIF instead? Probably not.
4. Anonymous Releases Source Code for Security Software Firm
A company’s only as good as its reputation. For so many businesses, their reputation is the only thing that keeps their competitors at bay and people coming through the door. For example, Harvard University is a good school, but they are not teaching something magical about sociology other schools don’t. Apple makes good computers, but their reputation causes hipsters to wait in the snow with their tight pants on before the release of each product for hours. Basically, reputation matters.
In the security software arena, Symantec is one of those giants in the industry that protects people from malware threats. They have made a substantial fortune on helping suckers who download viruses on their computer. Symantec realized that people who open emails with the title, “Girls in your area want to meet xxx,” will pay anything to protect their computers from future harm. But as far as Anonymous is concerned, Symantec is the sucker.
Anonymous managed to hack into the servers of one of Symantec’s customers and get the source code for one of Symantec’s flagship software protection systems. They published it online as retaliation for the FBI taking down some other hackers. The source code is like the basic DNA for the product and if it falls into the wrong hands, say Dr. Evil from Austin Powers, they could work around it and still scam people. Plus, Symantec has to protect the unique code from competitors who are chomping at the bit to beat them.
3. Anonymous Released Personal Identification of People Who Gave it to the U.S. Census Bureau
The crowd that believes wearing a tin foil hat will prevent the government from reading minds will rejoice over this next one. The U.S. Census Bureau, the group who researches the makeup of people in the U.S., had their servers hacked by Anonymous. Anonymous took the information of people collected by the Census Bureau, supposedly in an effort to protest a trade agreement between the U.S. and other countries. For the Census Bureau, they pride themselves of keeping people’s information private and reporting only objective data. So, this was a huge deal because it would probably prevent people from giving out their information in the future to this government entity. Those tin foil hat people don’t seem so crazy about it now, do they? Wait, yes. Yes they do.
2. Anonymous Released the Personal Information of the St. Louis County Police Chief
The protests in Ferguson, MO are a touchy subject because of the issues of race, politics, and policing. But for Anonymous, they’re like, “Ok, how can we just make this situation worse?” Fortunately for them, they found out a way to make it absolutely terrible.
To protest the St. Louis County’s handling of the protesters in Ferguson, Anonymous decided to post the private information of the St. Louis County Police Chief to the public. At this point in the divide between the people and the police, it’s likely the Chief won’t receive a Christmas ham on his door step with the letters, “Thank you for your service!” attached to it. Thanks again, Anonymous.
1. Anonymous Released the Personal Information of KKK Members
There’s a person right now who just moved to Pittsburgh from Baltimore. They grew up in Baltimore. Their family is from Baltimore. They live and breathe Baltimore. But, a job took them to Pittsburgh. This person is also a huge football fan. They’re a die-hard Baltimore Ravens fan. They have photographs with Joe Flacco, a teddy bear with a Ravens jersey on, and just ordered up NFL Sunday Ticket so they don’t miss a Ravens game.
But Pittsburgh is Steeler country. There’s no doubt about it. To get along, this person has to hide their love for the Ravens at all costs. They have to smile politely when people say things like, “Go Steelers!” when, deep inside, they want to barf.
Public figures who are members of the KKK probably feel the same way when operating around non-crazy people. Anonymous isn’t going to let them hide anymore. They have released the names of at least a thousand people they confirm to be members of the group. Somehow getting the internet out to the swamps, the KKK managed to allegedly recruit some politicians and businesses to follow them on Twitter. Anonymous says they found the follower’s personal information and posted it online. The accuracy of the information isn’t confirmed, but the butts of everyone involved has tightened mightily.