The hacker group has a history of attacking major groups including ISIS, PayPal, Mastercard, and the US Government.
The Hacktivist group 'Anonymous' is back and they announced their return to the mainstream by orchestrating an attack on the websites of the Minneapolis Police Department and the city of Minneapolis. The hackers took down the websites and warned the US government they would reveal more of its secrets if it didn't deliver justice in the death of George Floyd. Anonymous posted the message in a video and threatened to expose America's crimes. Both the websites were temporarily inaccessible on Saturday as protests raged against police brutality targeting the African-American community, reported Time.
Anonymous posted a video on Twitter and Facebook, addressing the Minneapolis police and slammed them over their horrific track record of violence and corruption. A person wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, a well-known symbol of the group, could be seen talking in a disguised ominous voice. "Sadly, in the vast majority of police killings, the only one left alive to tell the story is the officer who took the person’s life,” said the narrator in the mask. “This travesty has gone on for far too long... and now the people have had enough. This week’s brutal killing of George Floyd, which has sparked protests and national outrage, is just the tip of the iceberg in a long list of high profile cases of wrongful deaths at the hands of officers in your state”
The Minneapolis PD website has been taken offline by Anonymous & they're threatening to take down any government website for any organization attacking protestors— William LeGate (@williamlegate) May 31, 2020
The narrator concludes the video saying, "We do not trust your corrupt organization to carry out justice, so we will be exposing your many crimes to the world. We are a legion. Expect us.” The group also reportedly hacked Chicago PD radios and played the track Fu*k the Police, to stop them from communicating as the protests broke out through their city.
Hijacked chicago police radio plays NWA's "Fuck The Police" pic.twitter.com/I3NWWYZwem— doomer zoomer (@doomerzoomeer) May 31, 2020
The group known as Anonymous or Anon made its debut, on digital platforms, in the early 2000s. The group is thought to have emerged on message board 4chan. A secret group of hacktivists took on popular nexuses including ISIS, FBI, Clintons, and Scientology. Some of the high profile attacks include MasterCard and Ku Klux Klan. During the Arab Spring in 2011, the group took down government websites in Tunisia and Egypt. The group also cost PayPal millions for shutting its service to Julian Assange’s Wikileaks in 2012. They also exposed white nationalist figurehead Hal Turner as an FBI informant in 2006.
The group is believed to be highly decentralized but had petered out in 2016, raising doubts if the group currently exists. Many hackers purported to be members of the group were arrested for various computer crimes over the past few years. Deric Lostutter was sentenced to two years in federal prison for hacking a high school football team’s website in relation to a 2012 rape case. In November 2019, James Robinson was sentenced to six years in prison for attacks on police and local government in Akron, Ohio in 2017.
Their methods reflected eccentricity and humor, which they used to expose crimes and delivering justice. Anonymous has also previously raised its voice against police brutality. The group attacked Ferguson City Hall’s website after Michael Brown was shot and killed, which had sparked widespread protests in the city, in 2014. The group had threatened to release St. Louis County police chief's personal family information. They also threatened the government with more cyber attacks if any of the protestors were harassed or attacked.
Filmmaker Brian Knappenberger made a documentary on the group, titled, We Are Legion, in 2012. "They rise up most forcefully when it comes to Internet freedoms and technology, particularly technology that is being abused in some way," said Knappenberger, at the time of making. "They're sort of protectors of the Internet. This is their territory, and if it's abused, they're personally offended." Anonymous also claimed to have proof that Donald Trump was involved with child trafficker Epstein extensively, and that Princess Diana was killed by the royal family.