(TFC)— Days ago, The Fifth Column covered #OpIsrael and #OpUSA, a series of planned cyber attacks against US and Israeli government websites. The ops were announced by entities claiming affiliation with the notorious hacktivist hive Anonymous. Shortly after publishing the first piece, TFC gained exclusive comment from those who relayed the ops to the world. And believe us, the Anon’s had a lot to say.
The pair of hashtagged ops were announced in response to President Donald Trump moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. In the same pen stroke, he declared the contested and protected religious pilgrimage site as Israel’s capital. What’s followed has been international condemnation, protests and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli authorities, and this.
“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.”– Portion of Anonymous announcement
#OpIsrael and #OpUSA were announced on the labyrinthine website Cyber Guerilla. It’s blackened forums are expansive, with some pages in foreign languages and others which seemingly lead to dead ends. One corner, however, is currently being allocated to plan, prepare, and recruit for these two ops. Within the forums, one might find older instructions for installing Window’s XP, code for participating in denial of service attacks, or an article on teaching hacktivism to a wider audience. While some outlets covering the Op’s found the posts, to our knowledge, TFC was the only one to reach out to the hive directly.
It didn’t take long for TFC’s series of questions to be scooped up, and relayed to what a liaison called “the hive”. One of our first questions involved Anonymous’ planned tactics for the coming op’s, and if we’ll expect anything new.
Traditionally, Anonymous hacktivists do everything from bringing a website down with DDoS (Denial Of Service attacks) to web page defacing, or acquiring contact information or other sensitive data and making it widely available. According to the hive working on #OpIsrael and #OpUSA “there will be no new tactics as stated.”
That was a short answer, but Anonymous had a lengthier reply when asked about the group’s current status. In recent months, observers started to wonder whether Anonymous was active, or a dead collective. Outlets including VICE have published pieces to support the notion. As we speak, many people commenting to the original TFC #OpIsrael piece wonder if they’ll even follow through.
“Anonymous is an idea”, the contact from Cyber Guerrilla stated. “Idea’s don’t die, they change, evolve.” The source compared calling Anonymous dead to “Oldfag punk’s declaring punk rock dead, same oxymoron. A way of living or idea’s can’t die, they are bulletproof.” Cyber Guerrilla’s liaison went on to ask “why are Anons, specifically in the US, still targeted and oppressed by the system? This is proof the idea is alive and kicking the system. So they ‘invest’ in suppressing an idea ‘they’ are afraid of. If they can’t control Anonymous, they call it dead!”
“In a world full of apathy, a world filled with people who don’t even bother to read the information painstakingly presented, we are trying to do something. This intrigues…. At the very least, it inspires.. hoping Anonymous continue to take newsworthy actions that ‘media’ like VICE can kopimi.”– Anonymous statement to TFC
Let’s clear the air quickly for those scratching their heads. “Kopimi” is an alternative or slang way of saying “copy me”. Anonymous is both annoyed and motivated by those proclaiming it as deactivated. These attempts to push the Internet’s rebel legion to the rear-view might only influence bigger, more noticeable future endeavors, the source suggested.
The #OpIsrael group wouldn’t directly comment on what ops might come in the future. In our message to the hive, TFC noted how it was interesting Anonymous honed in on Jerusalem in the shadow of the December 14th net neutrality vote, and Trump’s tax bill. However, they stated that whatever comes next will “depend on Anonymous itself”.
TFC was also curious if the ops would manifest ground-side in Gaza, Israel, or Jerusalem. As clashes intensify, surveillance will become an ever-pressing matter for protesters and resistance against Israeli crowd control. During the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in the US, for example, social media and internet access for protesters was systematically disrupted on multiple occasions.
“Anonymous and other groups”, TFC’s source inside the hive relayed, “are always ready to assist anyone that needs secure internet and communications.” Lastly, the group ensured, despite the dire gloom over the Jerusalem conflict, that “if we had no lolz, we wouldn’t be Anonymous!”
“We never stopped believing that there has been and will continue to be a world worth loving, caring about, fighting for and leaving for all children of the future.”~ Anonymous