It appears that Anonymous, the vigilante internet freedom-fighting group that rose to fame with their WikiLeaks-defending DDoS attacks, are still busy gathering support for their latest missions despite increasing legal issues involving the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and international law enforcement agencies.
Anonymous members and supporters are currently rallying support for two new missions: Operation Bling and Operation Tunisia.
For Operation Tunisia, the group gathered over 9,000 people online Sunday to protest government censorship of websites, including WikiLeaks, and the mission, which has resulted in a “near blackout” of the nation’s government sites, appears to be ongoing.
“This is a warning to the Tunisian government: attacks at the freedom of speech and information of its citizens will not be tolerated. Any organization involved in censorship will be targeted and will not be released until the Tunisian government hears the claim for freedom to its people,” reads the recruitment message for Operation Tunisia. “It’s on the hands of the Tunisian government to stop this situation. Free the net, and attacks will cease, keep on that attitude and this will just be the beginning.”
With Operation Bling, which is directed toward US citizens, Anonymous is taking a more subtle approach to their usual website hacking ways. Their repeated “call to action”, in the form of a video posted on YouTube Tuesday, urges supporters to write “You are anonymous” on all paper currency to “let the system do the work” through financial institutions. The tactic is being hailed by some as “brilliant”, and “very compatible with the principles of open source insurgency.”
Meanwhile, after last week’s raids on Anonymous-linked servers in Texas, authorities have followed a path of evidence through Germany, and obtained a search warrant for German ISP Host Europe. The records they have uncovered from that ISP have led back to French server, but the trail has gone cold from there.
“The multiple layers add to the difficulty,” says Jose Nazario, a cyber security expert with Arbor Networks.
It’s unclear whether authorities plan to pursue DDoS participants or just key organizers. As Nazario notes, “That may be a lot of overhead for very little gain,” however those who participate in these activities should understand that there could be legal ramifications for their actions.