(TFC)– The notorious hacktivist group Anonymous is back, announcing sweeping cyber assaults on government websites. Entities believed to be affiliated with the cryptic group pinned the threats to a murky website, according to International Business Times. Although the Federal Communications Commissions net neutrality vote is scheduled for the 14th, Anonymous’ announcement followed Trump moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
News started breaking just days ago, refuting recent suspicions that Anonymous was dead. Rather, the hacktivist collective relayed its new project against the Israeli and American governments. “Our patience is exhausted”, a statement which appeared on the website Cyber guerilla, International Business Times reports. The group provided a list of domains associated with the US and Israeli government websites, including White House and military pages.
Although we can expect the usual bag of tricks including DDoS (Denial of Service Attacks), website defacing, and plenty of Easter eggs, who knows what Anonymous has cooking? What’s clear is the collective wants the world to know “now it’s Anonymous’ time.”
Under the banners #OpIsreal, #OpUSA, and #FreedomInTheWorld, they plan to bombard the list of websites as a show of force. Links were provided by the group, including one to a tucked away Cyber Guerilla blog where updates on the Op’s will appear.
Greetings citizens of the world , we are Anonymous. It has come to our attention that the Israeli government has ignored repeated warnings about the abuse of human rights, and mistreating innocents Palestinians. The end of the 2017 year will be a month to remember for the Israeli defense forces and internet security forces. We will strike any and all websites that we deem to be in Israeli Cyberspace in retaliation for the mistreating of people in Gaza and other areas. Anonymous has been watching you, and you have received fair warning of our intent to seize control of your cyberspace in accordance with basic humanitarian rights of free speech and the right to live. We will treat each additional death as a personal attack on Anonymous and you will be dealt with swiftly and without warning. Our hearts are with the women, children and families that are suffering at this very moment, as a direct result of the Israeli Governments misuse of its military. Brothers and sisters of Anonymous, we urge you to protest the Israeli Government and any associated hostile forces. Now is the time for anonymous to help the people that are hurting. Help the people that are being taken advantage of. Help the ones that are dying and it will further the collective as a whole and we can help bring a peace within the Gaza region to those people that so desperately need it. We call on the Anonymous Collective to hack, deface, docks, hijack, database leak, admin takeover, four oh four and DNS terminate the Israeli Cyberspace by any means necessary. To the Israeli Government, Anonymous has grown tired of your bullying, and now you will see the result of your actions. Cyber war has been declared on Israel government and you will see exactly what we are capable of.
We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
To the Government of US and Israel, it is too late to expect us !–Statement by Anonymous
On December 11th, 2017, entities believed to be associated with Anonymous posted a new thread in the forum. An older list of downloads for Window’s XP, as well as tutorials for installing it and other features. The purpose, it seems, was to provide open source instructions for joining the planned attacks. Days before that, on December 4th, an article was posted on Cyber Guerilla titled “Teach The World About Hacking Hacktivism.”
“Our goal is to educate. And we hope you came to learn. No one here will ask you something that would compromise your identity nor ask you to do anything illegal. We may, however, give you the tools and knowledge necessary to commit what some would consider a crime. Creating secure communities is about more than being educated”. — Anonymous Article
Information is scarce at this time regarding the planned cyber assaults or the government’s response. Trump’s announcement that the US embassy in Israel would move to Jerusalem instantly sparked controversy and anxiety. It catalyzed unrest throughout the region, including massive protests and violent crackdowns by Israeli authorities.
The clashes are quickly morphing into armed conflict, as reports of rocket launches from Palestinian zones, and even Israeli airstrikes begin to circulate. Fire from Israeli jets reputedly injured 15 people, with the government claiming it was targeting a Hamas training and ammunition zone. Hamas, on the other hand, reported that it recovered the bodies of just two of their men.
Although a separate jihadi group, Nasser Salahuddin, claimed responsibility for the rocket attack, Israel is holding Hamas responsible for “all hostilities”. Nasser Salahuddin is an armed militia which, in 2014 at least, had around 3000 fighters. The group consisted of brigades which fought in the second intifada in 2001.
In Gaza, thousands of protesters turned out to decry the embassy move and Israel’s stiff military responses. According to Chicago Tribune, the west bank also erupted in violent clashes as 3000 Palestinians marched on Israeli soldiers and through the streets. Most of the crowds, however, evaporated by nightfall likely to avoid becoming military targets.
Trump’s plans to move the US embassy not only upset the Palestinians, but also the international community. Several countries including China, Japan, Britain, France, and Italy all condemned the announcement. Trump Administration officials, specifically US Ambassador Nikki Haley shrugged off criticisms stating the US won’t be “lectured” on the matter, Chicago Tribune reports. It’s important to note that both American allies, and competing countries expressed the same sentiments. These kinds of threats to cyber security, however, perhaps caught administration officials off guard.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Reuters reports, has planned to discontinue a meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence over the ruling. Not only will the US move its embassy to Jerusalem—an internationally acknowledged and protected world religious pilgrimage site– but it’s calling Jerusalem Israel’s capital. That’s where the real meat of the issue is, with teeth which sank in thousands of years ago.
It’s in the midst of this chaos that Anonymous has resurfaced from dark web’s infinite recesses. Very little is currently publicly available about the op’s, their members, or what the planned attacks will entail. The coming days will reveal what’s to be had. However, one thing is clear, especially when considering Cyber Guerrilla’s web designs: Anonymous is not dead.