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Censorship

Angles On Anonymous 383

Posted by kdawson
from the nature-of-my-game dept.
A number of readers are sending in links related to Anonymous, the Internet phenomenon — don't call them a group — behind the controversial DDoS attacks on commercial entities that fail to support WikiLeaks. The best insight into Anonymous comes from the Economist's Babbage blogger, who hung out in one of their IRC channels. Reader nk497 points out that UK users looking to join Anonymous's DDoS army should be aware they could face a jail term of up to two years; simply downloading the LOIC software used in the DDoSing could suffice to earn a conviction. One 16-year-old has been arrested in The Netherlands and is charged with participating in the DDoS. Reader ancientribe sends in coverage of a claim by one security outfit that several existing criminal botnets have joined forces with Anonymous's Operation: Payback. And reader Stoobalou notes a Thinq.co.uk story on a manifesto of sorts that purports to come from "ANON OPS," even though Anonymous disclaims any central spokesperson or entity (press release here, PDF).
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Angles On Anonymous

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  • by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Friday December 10, 2010 @01:52PM (#34515648) Homepage Journal
    The most successful part of their trolling is that major news outlets still don't understand the joke. They're anonymous. They're not a group. You could just as easily say "bunches of people who have never met"
    • by DurendalMac (736637) on Friday December 10, 2010 @01:58PM (#34515702)
      The second most successful part of their trolling is convincing people that they're actually some kind of hacker group when 99% (at least) are nothing more than skiddies with no empathy and a healthy dose of misogyny.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 10, 2010 @02:01PM (#34515736)

        They have a healthy dose of hating women? Do you mean a health dose of misanthropy? Or maybe Anonymous just hates women, I don't know. I'm too scared to be anonymous.

        • by GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) <almafuerte@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Friday December 10, 2010 @02:03PM (#34515742)

          Now, TITS or GTFO.

        • by clone52431 (1805862) on Friday December 10, 2010 @02:04PM (#34515760)

          No, I’m guessing he did mean misogyny. He apparently hasn’t figured out that it’s mostly for show, just like the racism and hatred of furries.

          I take that back, the hatred of furries is real.

          • And the joking about child pornography. Anonymous revels in the violation of social rules. It is precisely because these things are socially unacceptable that members of anonymous celebrate them.
            • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Friday December 10, 2010 @02:39PM (#34516208) Homepage Journal

              We're no strangers to love. You know the rules and so do I.
              A full commitment's what I'm thinking of. You wouldn't get this from any other guy.
              I just wanna tell you how I'm feeling. Gotta make you understand.

              Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you.
              Never gonna make you cry, never gonna say goodbye, never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.

              We've known each other for so long Your heart's been aching but You're too shy to say it
              Inside we both know what's been going on We know the game and we're gonna play it
              And if you ask me how I'm feeling Don't tell me you're too blind to see

              Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you.
              Never gonna make you cry, never gonna say goodbye, never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.

              Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you.
              Never gonna make you cry, never gonna say goodbye, never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.

              (Ooh, give you up) (Ooh, give you up) (Ooh) Never gonna give, never gonna give
              (Give you up) (Ooh) Never gonna give, never gonna give (Give you up)

              We've know each other for so long Your heart's been aching but You're too shy to say it
              Inside we both know what's been going on We know the game and we're gonna play it
              I just wanna tell you how I'm feeling Gotta make you understand

              Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you.
              Never gonna make you cry, never gonna say goodbye, never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.

              Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you.
              Never gonna make you cry, never gonna say goodbye, never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.

              Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you.
              Never gonna make you cry, never gonna say goodbye, never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.

      • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Friday December 10, 2010 @02:07PM (#34515788)

        XKCD [xkcd.com]. They need to watch out who they troll though. It could backfire.

        • 4Chan (or more specifically, /b/) is not Anonymous, though they are anonymous. I think that capital A is starting to become the real point of distinction between the two terms.

          Honestly though, if Anonymous decided to make Stephanie Meyer their next target, I would not have any problems with it.

          Maybe I should hop on IRC and build a case against her...

      • The second most successful part of their trolling is convincing people that they're actually some kind of hacker group when 99% (at least) are nothing more than skiddies with no empathy and a healthy dose of misogyny.

        In my opinion, I think thats what makes them more dangerous.

      • ...was their oldest member. They're like a bunch of chipmunks without an Alvin.

      • by GoneAwry (1953340) on Friday December 10, 2010 @05:13PM (#34518166)
        A group of people, young as they might be, who willingly download LOIC, willingly give control over to a hive mind, willingly put themselves at risk for arrest, all for combating censorship and governmental corruption that they feel strongly about, and you're saying that this is a group that's 99% children with no empathy? Disregard Payback - what about when they hit affiliates of the RIAA? Or the corruption of Scientology? Hal Turner? Gene Simmons, who suggested that if people downloaded some mp3s, that they should have their livelihoods taken from them? I mean, yeah sure, I'll agree that there's probably a lot of people/kids that go along with it without really understanding the implications (as is shown in a lot of the stupid shit that's undertaken, like trolling various forums or CWC or Habbo), but I'd hazard that a large portion of Anonymous is likely cognizant of what they're doing, and are being driven by personal values and intelligence as well as mass appeal. Your suggestion is biased; I can tell from some of the exaggerations and from having seen quite a few people upset with 4chan in my life.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        The second most successful part of their trolling is convincing people that they're actually some kind of hacker group when 99% (at least) are nothing more than skiddies with no empathy and a healthy dose of misogyny.

        You know, I'm starting to tire of this macho attitude regarding "hacker groups" and who qualifies.

        First, I give these "skiddies" a lot of credit for deciding that actually trying to do something, however misguided, about a worldwide political situation was more important that discovering some n

    • Yeah. I did a major double-take when I read “the Internet phenomenon — don't call them a group” on a kdawson story. I had to go back up and check again.

      kdawson has actually posted something that is very much not seeming like FUD.

    • by robthebloke (1308483) on Friday December 10, 2010 @02:03PM (#34515744)
      I dunno, I'm getting very tired of the continual 'news' regarding anonymous on the bbc website. It's typically involves some random 'source' who is apparently affiliated with anon, who hasn't been involved with any of anon's activities, doesn't speak for them, but feels compelled to spout some non-newsworthy opinions. It's not news. It's just 15 year olds on 4chan. Enough already.
      • by clone52431 (1805862) on Friday December 10, 2010 @02:05PM (#34515774)

        It's not news. It's just 15 year olds on 4chan. Enough already.

        They’re feeding the trolls. It’s hilarious. Laugh.

        • By that I assume you mean me? Seeing as I'm one of the many people who actually pay for that news service?

          Wikileaks, Co$, and any other campaign that anon has decided to act upon *are* causes worthy of bringing some serious media attention to. Do you really think having a 15 year old as the spokesperson for that cause (of which it is obvious they have no understanding) is a good idea? If you knew nothing of the wikileaks organisation, the most you will find out in the British media about it, is that some
          • I'm one of the many people who actually pay for that news service

            You pay for news?

            Do you really think having a 15 year old as the spokesperson for that cause (of which it is obvious they have no understanding) is a good idea?

            Some anonymous person on the internet saying something doesn’t make them a valid spokesperson for a cause.

            and their leader is a rapist

            Only in Sweden, where having consensual sex is rape if the condom breaks. Or something like that.

            Do they have to figure out who really broke the condom? I mean it might not have been the male, it might have only broke because of the friction caused by the vagina. Since the condom is to protect the male just as much as it is to protect the female (STDs aren’t choosy), isn

            • You pay for news?

              If he's British he does. The BBC is funded by British taxpayers. Also, I wish the BBC would give us Yanks the option of paying some portion of the TV tax to get access to the BBC One player...

            • by ivucica (1001089)
              AFAIK, BBC subscription is mandatory in the UK. So yes, if GP's British, s/he's paying for the news.
        • by Reziac (43301) *

          Great, now we're gonna have a bunch of obese trolls. ;)

      • It's standard journalistic procedure to seek a representative. In this case, they desperatly try, but there just isn't a true representative. So they go for the best they can find.
    • by Duradin (1261418)

      Must be a pretty quiet irc channel if no one has ever met another member.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Friday December 10, 2010 @01:57PM (#34515684) Journal
    Or they'll DDoS you.

    Who laugh? Hmmm? Who was it? Speak up so you can be added to the list. We'll see to it that your internet connection never functions right again.

    I heard [slashdot.org] that if you post something bad on Slashdot, CmdrTaco hands over your IP address to Anonymous -- where do you think all the GNAA/Goatse trolls went?

    Did somebody just sneeze? That's a DDoS. Who laughed when the witnessed testified that Assange has a smaller than average penis? That's a DDoS. If you're replying to this post? Oh, boy, you better believe that's a DDoS. In fact, if you're reading this right now let's just say there's not a lot you can do to stop from being DDoS'd by Anonymous for trying to find out more information about that particular group %*&#$^#%@#$ no carrier
  • by oic0 (1864384) on Friday December 10, 2010 @01:58PM (#34515696)
    Bored people looking for a little excitement and a cause. Not a bad cause really, if nothing else it has brought attention to the fact that these companies bent under the governments will and cut off funding to wikileaks even though our government hasn't figured out anything to charge them with yet.
    • Good idea, crappy implementation. All this does to the public perception of Wikileaks and their supports is make them look like a bunch of hackers and deviant cybercrooks. It won't make a damned difference in the long run.

      I've always found it sadly ironic that Anonymous, who very much wants to keep online anonymity alive, is doing more than almost anyone to destroy it. Their antics just keep giving politicians reasons to clamp down on the internet. Way to go, idiots!
      • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday December 10, 2010 @02:13PM (#34515844) Journal

        Their antics just keep giving politicians reasons to clamp down on the internet. Way to go, idiots!

        Politicians don't need reasons to clamp down on the internet, they are going to do it either way. Just like they have with airline security, it's gotten worse over the years despite nothing happening after 9/11.

        Their antics are at least trying to bring about some change or awareness before the internet gets clamped down. Think about it, some script kiddie in junior high has contributed more to the world situation these past few months than you might ever in your life. If you think they are idiots, why don't you try and stop them for ruining things for you?

      • by unity100 (970058) on Friday December 10, 2010 @02:18PM (#34515922) Homepage Journal
        What you have done, on your part, really ? at least, these people are implementing a good idea, with a crappy implementation. that's something there. nothing on your side to show for it yet ?
        • by Duradin (1261418)

          Doing something isn't always better than doing nothing.

          • by unity100 (970058)
            we should just keep doing nothing, because doing something is not always better than doing nothing.

            and when we actually do anything, we should go back to doing nothing, because there will always be someone who himself does nothing but comes up saying "doing x is better than doing the thing you are doing" ...

            please, act, or shut up. world has enough people who never act, but talk.
        • How is a DDoS a good idea? It's a bad idea, and it's WORSE than doing nothing because:

          A) It does absolutely nothing to help Wikileaks. It's just a revenge tactic. The decisions have been made.
          B) It makes Wikileaks and their supporters look like a bunch of hooligans.

          So tell me how that's a good thing, please.
          • by unity100 (970058) on Friday December 10, 2010 @02:53PM (#34516376) Homepage Journal

            A) It does absolutely nothing to help Wikileaks. It's just a revenge tactic. The decisions have been made.

            it does.

            paypal was at frist blabbering about 'tos violation' regarding wikileaks cut-off. after what anonymous did, they have come up saying that they did it due to political pressure.

            other companies will probably follow suit or take similar routes to unload responsibility. this will put the blame where it lies.

            this, if anything, is much more important in that it will make it clear that censorship is being attempted by politicians.

            • And that still means that Wikileaks isn't getting money from Paypal. Furthermore, did it take a DDoS to do that or just bad press and a lot of angry emails?
      • But one of the problems is more conventional means of protest are equally liable to garner negative publicity.

        Either you are carted off to freespeech zones which are equivalent to no protest at all, or some instigator turns the whole event into a riot, garnering the derision of the public.

        Even commenting to your congressman is pointless if the one topic that drew the largest public disapproval is passed anyway (bailouts).

        So what options do you have left?

        I'm just pleased that there are enough folks paying at

        • DDoSing is not the answer. You know what options are left? KEEPING WIKILEAKS ALIVE. Help get mirrors up and maintained. Make sure that info has somewhere to go and that the public can access it. Support sites like OpenLeaks that do largely the same thing. That's how you can show the politicians that their efforts will not succeed, because enough people will support these sites to keep them going and that the flow of information will not stop.
      • by Tom (822)

        Their antics just keep giving politicians reasons to clamp down on the internet. Way to go, idiots!

        As if.

        Politicians make up reasons if you don't give them some. It really doesn't make a difference. What do you suggest instead? Bending over and taking it like a man?

    • by Chakra5 (1417951)
      So they bent to government pressure...when exactly did PayPal sign on to be revolutionaries. The key to living free is letting people (and thus their businesses) go their own way. This is not an act of freedom no matter how high the ideal, rather an act of repression because they don't agree with someones politics. You can shout at them, you can call them names and boycott them all you want. that's freedome of speech, but the second you impede them from their own freedoms, you are out of bounds as they have
  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Friday December 10, 2010 @02:09PM (#34515814) Homepage Journal

    then how can you official say no one is in charge?

    • I don't follow.

    • Because they don't have a theater to shout, "fire" in.

    • by Rysc (136391) * <sorpigal@gmail.com> on Friday December 10, 2010 @03:19PM (#34516730) Homepage Journal

      This is a fair question and hard to answer in a way that is convincing. I know no one is in charge because I know who anonymous is. Explaining the back story (and thus the joke) takes a lot of ink; you kind of had to be there. All I can say, briefly, is "Trust me," which is not going to be convincing to you.

      There *are* some clueless people who are trying to be "Anonymous the group", which I call captial-A Anonymous because this is what reporters have insisted on saying since the Scientology raid. That was a bad raid, because even though it was funny it brought in too much attention by supporters who were not in on the joke. Ever since then, and just before then with the Fox News piece on "Anonymous", reporters trying to cover this have been saying "Anonymous" like it's an organization or group of some kind. If you were anonymous at the time, even if not participating in the raids, it would have been obvious how silly this was. Actually, a lot of fun was had making fun of this mistake. A lot of fun is still being had.

      Some anonymous are definitely out to be activists and like trying to incite the mob for their personal agendas, but mostly they are not successful. The mob will react when it is interesting to do so.

      By now, thanks to reporting, there are people out there who want to "join" the "Anonymous protest group." I assure you that 99.99% of these people are ineffectual and are not involved in any actual site takedowns. Some who try are like the guy who got arrested. Arrests like that won't stop the DDoSes because they're just picking off the fringe hangers-on.

      The thing to keep in mind is that anonymous is a name, not a plural, or it is a description of a characteristic. Anonymous is no more a group than "Youth" is a group; yes, it's a group in the sense that it's a classification, but in no other way. A bunch of kids in a schoolyard may represent Youth in a certain sense, but they do not speak for Youth. In a similar way many are anonymous and many groups of anonymous exist, but no one speaks for anonymous. More accurately no one speaks *directly* for anonymous; anonymous tends to make his opinions known in the form of memes--not image macros or catch phrases, but ideas that appear without apparent direction in the minds of many different people and spread through word of mouth. You can get a broad sense of what anonymous thinks and feels from the aggregation of a lot of things. These thoughts and feelings are by necessity few and/or general, and they may not be universal to every anonymous. It's just that, on the whole, anonymous tends to agree. Quintessential example: furries are bad.

      • by agrif (960591)

        Your description is good, so I'll attempt to ride your coattails and tack on my own. It's not an original idea, but I think it's a good one.

        Anonymous is a Stand Alone Complex [wikipedia.org], or a group of copycats with no original. Or, a sort of similar thinking (and action) caused by a confluence of similar media and the rapid exchange of ideas (such as over the internet). Particularly (from above link):

        A Stand Alone Complex can be compared to the emergent copycat behavior that often occurs after incidents such as serial murders or terrorist attacks. An incident catches the public's attention and certain types of people "get on the bandwagon", so to speak. It is particularly apparent when the incident appears to be the result of well-known political or religious beliefs, but it can also occur in response to intense media attention. For example, a mere fire, no matter the number of deaths, is just a garden variety tragedy. However, if the right kind of people begin to believe it was arson, caused by deliberate action, the threat that more arsons will be committed increases drastically.

        What separates the Stand Alone Complex from normal copycat behavior is that there is no real originator of the copied action, but merely a rumor or an illusion that supposedly performed the copied action. There may be real people who are labeled as the originator, but in reality, no one started the original behavior. And in Stand Alone Complex, the facade just has to exist in the minds of the public. In other words, a potential copycat just has to believe the copied behavior happened from an originator-when it really did not. The result is an epidemic of copied behavior having a net effect of purpose. One could say that the Stand Alone Complex is mass hysteria over nothing-yet causing an overall change in social structure.

  • I stopped after I got to "www.irc.paypal" being named as critical infrastructure. It's also reported that at least *two* ISPs have been found supplying an internet connection to Anonymous. Two! That's probably all of them right?

    I swear this must have been written by a quick AWK script (not even perl)

  • All that one needs to do is to go visit those websites and hit F5 a few times to see whether they come up or not. like, sec, let me see .... nope, they are not coming up. and i even checked 4-5 times ...
    • You managed to cause 5 requests in the course of about 5 seconds, whereas LOIC can do that tenfold.

      • by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex@nOs ... t-retrograde.com> on Friday December 10, 2010 @04:56PM (#34518010)

        You managed to cause 5 requests in the course of about 5 seconds, whereas LOIC can do that tenfold.

        50 requests in the course of about 5 seconds? That's 10 requests a second... a puny (and false) figure.

        Meh, just hold ctrl while clicking the links to those sites as fast as possible.

        Then, click: Bookmarks > Bookmark all tabs.

        Then use the "Open all in tabs" option multiple times. Then right click the tab bar and select: "Reload all Tabs". I can easily use Firefox to generate hundreds of requests per second; This is still very small amount of traffic.

        My hardware can send more than 1 packet per 10 milliseconds, but we'll go with that nice round number.

        A true DDoS attack works by sending spoofed SYN packets to many servers while including the target IP as the spoofed "origin" IP. Then, one machine can cause many hundreds of machines to send the target "syn-ack" packets. One attacker is distributing the denial of service flood attack, hence the name: DDoS.

        When an "ack" packet is not received, the TCP protocol states that multiple "syn-ack" packets should be sent -- one spoofed "syn" and we generate 5 or more "syn-ack" packets. Spoof a hundred TCP syn packets a second and you easily generate 500 or more distributed packets per second. 100 spoofed packets per second to 2000 different IPs in a rolling list, remember, one syn gets you 5 syn-acks from that host, spoof a few syns, move to the next.

        Get a large number of machines to do this type of DDoS attack and it can generate an order of magnitude more traffic than just the network itself can produce... very devastating, much more so than reloading browser pages. 50 machines can produce 25,000 packets per second directed at one IP.

  • What does this have to do with Germanic-speaking people who took their name from the ancestral cultural region of Angeln? Are they saying all Germanic-speaking people who took their name from the ancestral cultural region of Angeln are behind this, or just some of them?
  • Who is Anonymous? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 10, 2010 @02:19PM (#34515926)
    Anonymous is everyone you depend on. They're the people who do your laundry and cook your food and serve your dinner. They make your bed. They guard you while you're asleep. They drive the ambulances. They direct your call. They are cooks and taxi drivers and they know everything about you. They process your insurance claims and credit card charges. They control every part of your life. "They are the middle children of history, raised by television to believe that someday they'll be millionaires and movie stars and rock stars, but they won't. And they're just learning this fact."
    • by Dachannien (617929) on Friday December 10, 2010 @04:54PM (#34517992)

      No, I'm pretty sure 99% are unemployed college students, with the other 1% having dropped out of college to write DDoS scripts.

      In other words, 1% evil, 99% hot gas.

    • by Facegarden (967477) on Friday December 10, 2010 @07:29PM (#34519478)

      Anonymous is everyone you depend on. They're the people who do your laundry and cook your food and serve your dinner. They make your bed. They guard you while you're asleep. They drive the ambulances. They direct your call. They are cooks and taxi drivers and they know everything about you. They process your insurance claims and credit card charges. They control every part of your life.

      "They are the middle children of history, raised by television to believe that someday they'll be millionaires and movie stars and rock stars, but they won't. And they're just learning this fact."

      While poetic, that's not very true (I realize you probably know this, but I feel like I should chime in). Yes, I know that's just an interesting quote from Fight Club, but its not accurate for 4chan's anon. 4Chan's anon is mostly just fat teenage boys. And some older people. But mostly fat teenage boys. Although anon is no one in particular, it tends to be the people that have jack shit else to do other than spend time on 4chan. So they don't guard anyone, or drive ambulances, or direct your call. Though they will run your raids in WOW, or x-ray some picture you got off of facebook of a girl you want to see naked.
      I wish it was as poetic as Fight Club, but it's just not.
      -Taylor

  • Not this s**t again (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TideX (1908876) on Friday December 10, 2010 @02:24PM (#34515984)
    I am so sick of hearing about /b/. Its not that I'm against wikileaks or julian assange, I'm all for freedom of speech and transparent government. I'm against how everyone misuses the name Anonymous constantly. They are not the only board on 4chan for gods sake. Every time the media focuses on them it makes the rest of us look like idiots. For the record pretty much every other board on 4chan is against this nonsense. Anonymous is not a terrorist organization, its just a name nothing more. Anyone wearing a Guy Fawkes mask doesn't know the first damn thing about freedom and just follows the trend of his fellow /b/tards and its been this way since project chanology. Conformism and ignorance is the very thing were against. Theres no reason why they do it except maybe for some false sense of righteousness. They disgrace our name and our website. Call them /b/tards, terrorists, idiots, but not Anonymous. That name belongs to us and were sick of being grouped with them.
    • by Xaedalus (1192463)
      The problem is, Anonymous is falling victim to a mis-applied "No True Scotsman". I get what you're saying, but the very nature of Anonymous allows the /b/tards to come in and co-opt it, ultimately becoming Anonymous in the process and rendering your defense moot.
    • You know, just yesterday I came to a very sad realization: That they're not really that different from the religious loonies that blow up abortion clinics. No, wait, well, they are. But the motivation is the same: Boredom, the feeling of emptiness in their life and finally finding something "righteous" to fight for.

      The difference is that the average /b/tard isn't too religious to begin with, so the whole "fighting for the will of God" thing doesn't really fit well with his set of believes. But aside of that

  • All these skiddies are doing is providing fodder to the politicians to enforce more internet control. The governments will get more in bed with every internet hub and access point in their respective countries to monitor all traffic and block encrypted traffic (that they don't have the keys for) and traffic that looks like a hacking or DDoS attack. We will all be paying higher taxes and higher access charges to use what was the open internet. Don't get me wrong, I think the release of these docs is warrante
  • Am I the only one that misread the title as "Angels on Anonymous?"
  • DOWNLOAD: loic.sourceforge.net

    Works OK.

  • How ridiculous to define Anonymous and issue "press releases from the group."
    Simultaneously they explain that the "group" is decentralized and ad-hoc'ly organized, yet they present quotes and info on "group activities" as if they're interviewing authorities within the "group", or "leaders" or something.

    Because Anonymous is NOT a defined group, anyone can claim to be Anonymous and anyone can define it. In fact, I'll go on the record as an "authority" and define Anonymous thusly:

    Anonymous is any individual wh

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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