Anonymous is an international hacking collective which undertakes well-publicised attacks against powerful institutions.
Anonymous has a very loose and decentralised command structure, with individual hackers around the world responding to a loosely self-agreed objective.
The group is driven by a critique of modern society, rooted in opposition to consumerism and the influence of money in society. In this sense Anonymous can be called a ‘hacktivist’ group, rather than a cyber criminal gang driven by profit.
Anonymous members often appear in videos, wearing the Guy Fawkes mask that was popularised in the film ‘V for Vendetta’.
What hacktivism attacks have been carried out?
The collective first became associated with hacktivism in 2008 when it began ‘Project Chanology’, a series of actions, including DDoS attacks, against the Church of Scientology.
Recent operations from the group include #OpParis, in which Anonymous responded to the ISIS 2015 Paris attacks by declaring: Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down. You should know that we will find you and we will not let you go.”
The hacktivist group claimed to have taken 20,000 Twitter accounts down, although that list included the Twitter accounts of Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton and most of the accounts listed remained active.