Is Cybercrime a Dominant Threat?

// Posted by on 02/25/2013 (2:20 AM)



In class on tuesday we had a very interesting conversation about the online group that goes by the name Anonymous. Located on the Anonymous twitter is their mission statement which says “We are Anonymous, We are legion, We never forgive, We never forget, Expect us. As official accounts do not exist, we’re an Anonymous account amongst many.” Anonymous is a hacktivist group of an unknown number of people who are very gifted with hacking computers and accounts. The group was creted over the internet thanks to the website 4chan, whos mission statement is “4chan is a simple image-based bulletin board where anyone can post comments and share images. There are boards dedicated to a variety of topics, from Japanese animation and culture to videogames, music, and photography. Users do not need to register an account before participating in the community. Feel free to click on a board that interests you and jump right in!”  This is the platform that the members of Anonymous first met and started the  group.

Anonymous is  a very interesting idea, members of the group pretty much pick and choose things they agree with and things they are against, and if they dont agree with someone or a company, they will hack it. The hacks can be mild such as taking over a site and changing things such as the pictures or information on the website, to a more intense hack such as shutting down a site for a few days. Anonymous is known most for  things such as Project Chanology, a youtube video that protested the church of scientology, their attack on the Department of Justice website, and their take down of the Master Card and Visa websites. Anonymous is a very serious group that as the potential to hack many important government documents and big businesses. This bring up the question, should we be scared, and if so what can we do?

This group has the potential to fight for things that ordinary people cant. It also has the power to abuse their hacking skills for legitimate online terrorism. The ordinary human has nowhere near the internet and computer prowess that the members of anonymous have, which makes us not only vulnerable but completely helpless if they decide to hack one of our computers.

Thinking about it we are all at risk from them and other hackers. How does the average person stop a cyberattack from such a powerful group? The sad but true reality is that we really are powerless. if Anonymous decides to hack your computer there is pretty much nothing you can do to stop it. Its a scary thought, to know that we are hopeless to the whims of an online group.

We talked in class about  increasing globalization due to amazing new technologies that are constantly being invented and upgraded. Culture around the world is revolutionizing to a digital world as technology continues to improve. I am interested to see how hackers, online criminals, and groups like Anonymous evolve as well. Will they become more efficient at identity left, hacking computers for information, and taking over websites as a personal vendetta. The group Anonymous is sure to be around for a while and with their future hacks unknown it will be interesting the path they decide to take.


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Celia said...

Since we first mentioned Anonymous in class, I started following them on Twitter. They probably tweet the most out of the hundred something accounts I follow, next to the Huffington Post. The posts include a vast range of topics and are often somewhat sarcastic in tone. They almost always include a probing question. I think for right now it feels like the people behind Anonymous, whoever they are, are on our (the public) side of things. I give Anonymous the benefit of the doubt that if anything not in our best interest pops up they would immediately shut it down. The biggest questions for me are what is the organization really capable of and who are these people? There could be one our campus but would we ever know it? And what happens if Anonymous changes its allegiance or one member decides to use his/her power to phish the accounts of innocent civilians and steal? I worry what the organization is potentially capable of, given that there’s no “application process.”

// 02/26/2013 at 10:10 am

Vicky said...

Patrick makes some good points, but what I think he fails to address is the fact that thousands of people have been involved in this kind of hacking before Anonymous and will continue long after them. He writes “The ordinary human has nowhere near the internet and computer prowess that the members of anonymous have, which makes us not only vulnerable but completely helpless if they decide to hack one of our computers.” But what we need to remember is that the Government and big industry has been doing this long before Anonymous came to power, in fact the Government has some of the most intelligent hackers working for them! We are vulnerable either way…and I think Anonymous is working more for us than against us. In addition, Anonymous’s twitter account was recently hacked by an outside group, proving that they themselves are vulnerable. So in conclusion I think we are all vulnerable, no one is really safe in this digital age, but if I had to pick a side to stand on I’d be with Anonymous.

// 02/26/2013 at 1:53 pm