Monday, November 11, 2013

Hacktivists protest corruption

Last week, hacktivist groups were seen holding worldwide protests to mark what has now become a tradition on Guy Fawkes Day.

On November 5th, members and fans of Anonymous, WikiLeaks, The Pirate Party, Occupy Wall Street and other hacktivist movements marched on political landmarks and institutions around the world. For example, in US capitol Washington, DC, demonstrators partook in what they called the “Million Mask March” outside the White House. In the UK, actor Russell Brand became the face of the Anonymous protest, acting as leader for the revolt.

Guy Fawkes Day commemorates the failed attempt to blow up British Parliament in 1605 - although Fawkes was not the mastermind behind the attack, he was the one holding the explosives. Anonymous begun using the Guy Fawkes mask as a symbol, which was made famous in Alan Moore's ‘V for Vendetta’ comic published in the early 1980s and subsequently made into a 2005 film adaptation.

Anonymous has a history of conducting operations and protests on 5 November, including a threat to “kill Facebook” in 2011, and has come to use the day as a rallying call.

On the day, Anonymous tweeted the popular Guy Fawkes commemoration rhyme, “Remember, remember the 5th of November”.

Understandably, many political and other organisations spent the day on edge, expecting to become targets of hacktivist attacks. This was especially true for the Singapore government who had been threatened with a Nov 5 attack by Anonymous in the event that they failed to roll back regulations imposed on media publications earlier this year.

Luckily for all, Nov 5 came and went with very little happening on the hacker front. It seems for all involved the day was more focused on peaceful protest rallies than actual damage.

This year, it is said a total of 400 cities around the world, including Johannesburg, took part in the demonstration.