A massive cyber strike against Anonymous’ AnonOps this week wrested control of numerous sites from the collective proper, launched DDoS attacks and possibly compromised user information, including names and passwords. While the infamous hacker brigade has made countless enemies over the years, the attack came from an unlikely source: an Anonymous member.
The attack is said to be the work of “Ryan” and several other disgruntled members of the group who are unsatisfied with the general direction of AnonOps.
Following the attack, Anonymous members posted a message at anonops.in (which has since also been closed down) that warned users to steer clear of two other Anonymous-sanctioned URLs.
From the statement:
We regret to inform you today that our network has been compromised by a former IRC-operator and fellow helper named “Ryan.” He decided that he didn’t like the leaderless command structure that AnonOps Network Admins use. So he organised a coup d’etat, with his “friends” at skidsr.us . Using the networks service bot “Zalgo” he scavenged the IP’s and passwords of all the network servers (including the hub) and then systematically aimed denial of service attacks at them (which is why the network has been unstable for the past week). Unfortunately he has control of the domain names AnonOps.ru (and possibly AnonOps.net, we don’t know at this stage) so we are unable to continue using them. We however still have control over AnonOps.in, and will continue to publish news there.
After the news broke, UK site thinq published an interview with the alleged mastermind.
What “Ryan” described to the site reads like a paperback mystery novel rife with conspiracy theories – that Anonymous, despite self-professed claims that it’s a completely headless entity, is mostly operated by a handful of people.
The hacker went a step further, telling the site that media coverage of Anonymous’ grandiose (mis)adventures via AnonOps has empowered the group’s attacks and even fueled the alleged power grab.
“Ryan”‘s end-game, apparently, is a new form of AnonOps that’s markedly different from the previous incarnation.
The old guard isn’t flinching.
“It’s not like AnonOps is going to die because .net and .ru got taken,” said a member of the group identifying itself as ‘The “Old” AnonOps netstaff.’ “Currently we are predicting to get some semblance of network online on .in in the next 24-48 hours.”
The members further clarified that “AnonOps does not equal Anonymous” and that “AnonOps is just an IRC network and a few other services that anyone can use.”
“AnonOps doesn’t have any corporate secrets, its run by the people for the people on a basis of mutual trust,” said the staff members. “Drama happens almost 24/7, occasionally drama overspills the network. The only reason this is more important than most drama is because AnonOps has let its users down.”