Introduction

<p> You may love the hacktivist collective Anonymous for its effective shaming of sex offenders, or you may hate it for its inelegant DDoS attacks, but it&#39;s one of the most influential groups on the Web.</p> <p>With a legion of amateur hackers at its disposal and a media that can&#39;t quite wrap its head around its ubiquity, Anonymous has done both great and terrible things.</p> <p>Here are some of its most memorable moments.</p>

Arab Spring: January 2011-Ongoing

<p> Anonymous&#39; political beliefs can probably best be summed up as &quot;populist&quot;: It wants everyday people to wield as much information and power as possible.</p> <p>Nowhere was this more evident than during <a href="http://www.technewsdaily.com/6555-anonymous-hacktivists-attack-egyptian-websites.html">Arab Spring</a>, the wave of democratization that swept the Middle East in 2011. Anonymous took down the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology websites in Egypt, hijacked the Syrian Ministry of Defense&#39;s website with a pro-insurgent message and crashed government sites in both Tunisia and Zimbabwe.</p>

HBGary: February 2011

<p> You can do a lot of things to earn the ire of Anonymous, but the easiest way by far is to threaten its members.</p> <p>Following its rough treatment of both businesses that disavowed WikiLeaks and Egyptian and Tunisian government websites, Aaron Barr of the <a href="http://www.technewsdaily.com/6584-the-wrath-of-anonymous-security-snitchs-entire-life-hacked.html">HBGary Federal</a> security firm told a newspaper reporter that he planned to expose key members of Anonymous.</p> <p>Things happened quickly after that: Anonymous crashed Barr&#39;s website, hacked his Twitter, stole his email, wiped his iPad, harassed his boss and finally leaked the compromising document that he had planned to release himself.</p> <p>HBGary&#39;s private files revealed that it was planning to spy on left-wing journalists as part of a media smear campaign, and researchers are still mining the data for information.</p>

Lolita City: October 2011

<p> Anonymous hates child pornography almost as much as it loves WikiLeaks. Lolita City, a child pornography file-sharing site, was part of the darknet: a nearly invisible part of the Internet where &quot;illegal file sharing&quot; refers to exploiting children and exchanging terrorist plots, not pirating music.</p> <p>The (in this case) fairly dauntless hackers of Anonymous ventured into Lolita City and extracted the names of almost 1,600 active members. After <a href="http://www.technewsdaily.com/3316-anonymous-hackers-child-porn-sites.html">taking down</a> Lolita City (however temporarily), Anonymous targeted an organization that hosted more than 40 other child pornography sites and crashed it as well.</p> <p>All told, it denied the denizens of darknet more than 100 gigs of child pornography, and promised to continue its relentless assault on similar sites.</p>

Stratfor: December 2011

<p> One common thread with Anonymous is, &quot;Don&#39;t hide information.&quot;</p> <p>Austin, Texas, think tank <a href="http://www.technewsdaily.com/7422-anonymous-hackers-stratfor.html">Stratfor</a> found itself on the wrong end of Anonymous once the hacktivists decided that Stratfor was a kind of information-hoarding, private CIA (in actuality, it&#39;s just a consulting group).</p> <p>Anonymous succeeded in stealing more than 200 gigabytes of private data, including passwords, emails and credit-card details. This hack was supposed to teach the Stratforians a lesson about database security while using the 90,000 stolen credit cards to donate $1 million to charity.</p> <p>The plan didn&#39;t work out as intended: The group raised only $500,000, and most transactions never went through, since vigilant banks and consumers kept tabs on their credit-card expenses.</p>

Montreal Grand Prix: May 2012

<p> In May 2012, the National Assembly of Quebec passed a controversial law in the form of Bill 78.</p> <p>As student protests about university tuition hikes heated up, the government used the new law to crack down on protesters by requiring them to seek police approval before airing their grievances.</p> <p>Anonymous retaliated against the local government in a bit of a roundabout way: It shut down the site for the upcoming <a href="http://www.technewsdaily.com/7819-anonymous-montreal-grand-prix.html">Formula 1</a> race in Montreal, sent threatening emails to attendees and posted ticket-holders&#39; personal details online.</p> <p>Anonymous had a noble goal, perhaps, but with a somewhat confusing implementation.</p>

UK Government: August 2012

<p> One might expect the <a href="http://www.technewsdaily.com/8029-anonymous-uk-govt-ddos.html">British government</a> to have immaculate online security, but it wasn&#39;t enough to stop a concentrated Anonymous attack.</p> <p>The Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Department for Work and Pensions and Prime Minister David Cameron&#39;s official website all fell victim to distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on Aug. 20, 2012. (Service was restored by the next day.)</p> <p>The rationale behind the attack involved the British government&#39;s attempts to extradite Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, from Sweden. Anonymous felt that the British government&#39;s quest for Assange was a witch hunt, and wanted to make it pay.</p>

Amanda Todd's 'Tormentor': October 2012

<p> After a rash of cyberbullying, British Columbia teenager Amanda Todd committed suicide on Oct. 12, 2012.</p> <p>Anonymous has a history of giving bullies a taste of their own medicine, and it promptly identified the purported 32-year-old &quot;pedophile&quot; who <a href="http://www.technewsdaily.com/8292-anonymous-outs-amanda-todd-tormentor.html">blackmailed</a> the 15-year-old into sending nude pictures.</p> <p>The man, however, turned out to be the wrong target &mdash; something the members of Anonymous only found out after publishing his address, harassing him and threatening to kill him. Anonymous eventually found a second likely suspect, but by then the damage had been done.</p>

Revenge Porn King: December 2012

<p> &quot;Revenge porn&quot; is a particularly nasty facet of Internet behavior, in which spurned lovers post nude photos of their exes online.</p> <p>Bay Area resident Hunter Moore is one of the most prominent providers of revenge porn, but <a href="http://www.technewsdaily.com/15820-revenge-porn-king-anonymous.html">Anonymous</a> took issue with his scummy repository, and launched an attack to both knock his site offline and steal its information &mdash; which included, Anonymous asserts, photos of minors.</p> <p>Even after Anonymous acquired Moore&#39;s Social Security number, credit card information and parents&#39; names, Moore put his site right back up and defended his actions. Not a resounding victory for the hacktivists, but a victory nonetheless.</p>

Nova Scotia Alleged Rapists: April 2013

<p>In April 2013, Rehtaeh Parsons, a 17-year-old Nova Scotia girl, committed suicide a year and a half after allegedly being raped by four local boys.</p> <p>The boys had allegedly also spread compromising photos of her ordeal throughout their high school. The boys were never charged with any offenses, which only exacerbated the situation.</p> <p>An influential Toronto political blogger <a href="http://www.technewsdaily.com/17742-anon-parsons-dox.html">called</a> on Anonymous to find &quot;the names of the little bastards who did this,&quot; and the hackers did just that.</p> <p>Local law enforcement, however, did not approve of the group&#39;s &quot;vigilante justice,&quot; and the girl&#39;s mother asked Anonymous to withhold the names out of respect for her grieving family.</p> <p>In a rare show of restraint, Anonymous complied, and the investigation proceeded without outside intervention.</p>

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Anonymous' Greatest Hits