The lower profile of hacktivism by Anonymous and the state apparatus

The lower profile of hacktivism by Anonymous and the state apparatus

Sawako Uchida and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

According to IBM’s X-Force, the international community is witnessing an enormous decline in the activity of hacking by political hacktivists. Of course, the decentralized hacktivist group Anonymous is part of this huge reduction in political hacking. This is based on Anonymous taking a lower profile for multiple reasons in recent times. Hence, since 2015, according to IBM’s X-Force the decline of political hacktivism is approximately 95 percent.

Irrespective of people’s opinion about Anonymous, this group at its prime did great work. Thus, countless negative things done by the state apparatus in many nations were uncovered. Likewise, hacktivists focused on tackling serious issues like child pornography, human rights in Saudi Arabia, ISIS (Islamic State), exposing the Ku Klux Klan, and other important areas irrespective if local or international. Therefore, Anonymous and people supporting the noble goals of this group targeted covert government agencies in America, Israel, Uganda, and other nations.

Sadly, infighting, the state apparatus of several nations arresting members of Anonymous, and other factors have all led to a lower profile. On top of this, initiatives in cybersecurity and other areas have led to a recent reduction of political hacktivism.

Arrests of people related to Anonymous first took place in America, Australia, Holland, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and in other nations. This in itself highlights the effectiveness of Anonymous because great work was being done to fight back against authoritarianism and organizations that had extremist agendas. For example, Anonymous targetted ISIS and the KKK. However, covert agencies penetrated Anonymous in order to discredit and manipulate this hacktivist group.

In 2015, a reported 35 important known international hacks took place with Anonymous being in the vanguard of at least 45 percent of these events. Yet, since Anonymous began to be attacked from several angles to a higher degree – and internal splintering – then 2016 became a watershed for this group. Therefore, by 2018, only two potent international political hacktivist hacking events shook up the world of cyber news and cybersecurity.

It remains to be seen if Anonymous – or other similar groups – can rejuvenate hacktivism to the same level. If not, then the majority of political hacking will be based on government intrigues against other nations, utilizing groups like NSO, business-related spyware, criminal activity, and other important areas.


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