Anonymous: hacktivist group accused of carrying out a cyberattack in USA

  • IASbaba
  • June 9, 2020
  • 0
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Anonymous: hacktivist group accused of carrying out a cyberattack in USA

Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-III – Cyber security 

In News:

  • The ‘hacktivist’ group Anonymous has been accused of carrying out a cyberattack on the websites of Minneapolis city and its police department. 
  • The attack made the websites temporarily inaccessible.

Important value additions 


  • It is a decentralised online collective with no particular political affiliation
  • It protests against causes such as opposing censorship and government control and promoting freedom of speech.
  • It also supported the Occupy movement and Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks.
  • It is believed to include anyone who wants to join. 
  • Its members are referred to as ‘anons’.
  • A signature characteristic of Anonymous is the Guy Fawkes mask, portrayed in the dystopian novel and film ‘V for Vendetta’. 
  • Cyber Attacks tactics used by Anonymous:
    • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks: hackers swamp a website’s server with data that causes it to crash, making the website inaccessible.
    • Defacement: the target website’s pages are replaced with the hacktivists’ messages and graphics
    • Redirection: a change in the chosen website’s address causes its users to be redirected to another page.
    • Doxing: private or sensitive information is stolen, 
    • Destroying data using computer viruses
    • Phishing is used for extracting personal data. 

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