Hacktivism or hactivism (a portmanteau of hack and activism) is the subversive use of computers and computer networks to promote a political agenda. With roots in hacker culture and hacker ethics, its ends are often related to the free speech, human rights, or freedom of information.
Hacktivist activities span many political ideals and issues. Freenet is a prime example of translating political thought (anyone should be able to speak) into code.
The word was coined to characterize electronic direct action as working toward social change by combining programming skills with critical thinking. But just as hack can sometimes mean cyber crime, hacktivism can be used to mean activism that is malicious, destructive, and undermining the security of the Internet as a technical, economic, and political platform.
The earliest known instance of hacktivism as documented by Julian Assange is as follows:
Hacktivism is at least as old as October 1989 when DOE, HEPNET and SPAN (NASA) connected VMS machines world wide were penetrated by the anti-nuclear WANK worm. […] WANK penetrated machines had their login screens altered to:
W O R M S A G A I N S T N U C L E A R K I L L E R S _______________________________________________________________ \__ ____________ _____ ________ ____ ____ __ _____/ \ \ \ /\ / / / /\ \ | \ \ | | | | / / / \ \ \ / \ / / / /__\ \ | |\ \ | | | |/ / / \ \ \/ /\ \/ / / ______ \ | | \ \| | | |\ \ / \_\ /__\ /____/ /______\ \____| |__\ | |____| |_\ \_/ \___________________________________________________/ \ / \ Your System Has Been Officially WANKed / \_____________________________________________/ You talk of times of peace for all, and then prepare for war.
Sources: Terror and Play, or What Was Hacktivism?, Peter Krapp
Sources: Peter Krapp, "Noise Channels: Glitch and Error in Digital Culture." University of Minnesota Press 2011.
Sources: The Curious origins of political hacktivism, Julian Assange.
Anonymous is a loosely associated international network of activist and hacktivist entities. A website nominally associated with the group describes it as “an internet gathering” with “a very loose and decentralized command structure that operates on ideas rather than directives”. The group became known for a series of well-publicized publicity stunts and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on government, religious, and corporate websites.
Anonymous originated in 2003 on the imageboard 4chan, representing the concept of many online and offline community users simultaneously existing as an anarchic, digitized global brain.
Denial-of-service (DoS) attack is an attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users. This could be CPU resources, but often involves efforts to temporarily or indefinitely interrupt or suspend services of a host connected to the Internet. A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) is where incoming traffic comes from more than one - and often thousands - of unique IP's, either from botnets or via various types of reflection attack.
The history of DDoS attacks:
Lulz Security, commonly abbreviated as LulzSec, was a black hat computer hacker group that claimed responsibility for several high profile attacks, including the compromise of user accounts from Sony Pictures in 2011. The group also claimed responsibility for taking the CIA website offline. Some security professionals have commented that LulzSec has drawn attention to insecure systems and the dangers of password reuse. It has gained attention due to its high profile targets and the sarcastic messages it has posted in the aftermath of its attacks. One of the founders of LulzSec was a computer security specialist who used the online moniker Sabu. The man accused of being Sabu has helped law enforcement track down other members of the organization as part of a plea deal. At least four associates of LulzSec were arrested in March 2012 as part of this investigation. British authorities had previously announced the arrests of two teenagers they allege are LulzSec members T-flow and Topiary.
Telecomix is a decentralized cluster of net activists, committed to the freedom of expression. Telecomix is a name used by both WeRebuild and Telecomix. WeRebuild is a collaborative project used to propose and discuss laws as well as to collect information about politics and politicians. The Telecomix is the operative body that executes schemes and proposals presented by the WeRebuild. On September 15, 2011, Telecomix diverted all connections to the Syrian web, and redirected internauts to a page with instructions to bypass censorship.
Moreover, “Telecomix circulated the ways of using landlines to circumvent state blockages of broadband networks” during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. Their most recent intervention was a large release of Blue Coat surveillance log files, allegedly revealing vast interception in Syria, which was analyzed and made public from the “telecommunist cluster” of Telecomix. The leak had previously been criticized for possibly revealing too much sensitive information about Syrian users by security researcher and hacker Jacob Appelbaum.
Barrett Brown is an American journalist, essayist and satirist. He founded Project PM, a research collaboration and wiki, to facilitate analysis of the troves of hacked emails and other leaked information concerning the inner workings of the cyber-military-industrial complex. Project PM aims to operate a wiki in order to provide a centralized, actionable data set regarding the intelligence contracting industry, the public relations industry's interface with governments, the infosec cybersecurity industry, and other issues constituting what the project's members regard as threats to human rights, civic transparency, individual privacy, and the health of democratic institutions.
In January 2015, Brown was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison for the crimes of accessory after the fact, obstruction of justice, and threatening a federal officer stemming from the FBI's investigation into the 2012 Stratfor email leak. Prosecutors had previously brought other charges associated with his sharing of an HTTP link to the leaked Stratfor data, but those charges were dropped in 2014. As part of his sentence, Brown was also required to pay over $800,000 to Stratfor.
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/01/eff-statement-barrett-brown-sentencing Interview with Barrett in prison: https://medium.com/krautreporter-stories/barret-brown-612b35784c81 Releasing 10.000 passwords: https://xato.net/passwords/ten-million-passwords/#.VNpGEXLN_H5 http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/security-researcher-releases-10-million-passwords-despite-fear-arrest-following-barrett-brown-1487408 http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/02/fearing-an-fbi-raid-researcher-publishes-10-million-passwordsusernames/ The Cult of Surveillance: https://s.yimg.com/lo/api/res/1.2/Rv3vvtI.UsFFbtF4lj4xxw--/YXBwaWQ9bWFnYXppbmVzO3c9NTAwO2ZpPWZpdA--/https://s.yimg.com/os/en_us/News/ap_webfeeds/7b1fbe0531f354046c0f6a70670095bf.jpg