“Anonymous” Threatens FPD, But What Is It?

anonymous-logo-1We are certainly not the first to publish that the group, Anonymous, has threatened the Fullerton Police Department. No information has yet been revealed by the PD on whether this group has made any good on their threats. Sergeant Andrew Goodrich confirmed that the threat was credible, but did not wish to reveal any details about whether attacks have happened.

When mentioned on the news Anonymous is commonly stated as a hacker-activist group, but through a little investigation other sources claiming to be affiliated with the shadow society state otherwise. These programmers are only a subset of the whole collective, and videos posted on YouTube suggest that street teams play a huge part in spreading the message. In addition they obviously use online communication networks like IRC (chat rooms) and Twitter. A key idea behind the name is that anybody in the world should have the ability to browse the web anonymously. It sees itself as a non-violent organization of human rights activists led by no individual in particular. Rather, they work like a democracy in which peers vote on the priorities of different targets. Anonymous has played a part in assisting uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya.

If attacks are happening to the police department without being so apparent, what’s the cause? Anonymous has been credited for shutting down 41 Malaysian government websites overnight and even managed to hack NATO and get 1 GB of info from their systems. They have a pretty extensive track record. It would seem that there are two possibilities to explain what’s going on:

  1. Not enough Anon users contributing to #OpFullerton are voting on increasing the priority of the target
  2. Fullerton has a skilled staff in place that can handle the attacks that Anonymous is dishing out

It’s worth mentioning the difference between hackers and what many of the members of Anonymous are doing. Denial of Service attacks are commonly used by hackers. Sometimes one user will gain remote access to a larger network of computers (called zombies), and then make that network ping the servers of their intended victim. Anonymous is doing the same thing in essence but it is several people who are pinging the server at a specified time. The main idea is to drain bandwidth and other resources from the site. Some people on twitter who comment on #OpFullerton say that Anonymous is doing a good thing. However Ron Thomas said to CBS that he does not condone the attacks.

External Links:
#OpFullerton IRC: http://cbe001.chat.mibbit.com/?channel=%23OpFullerton&server=irc.iranserv.net

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