“Everyone is vulnerable.”
— Andy Purdy, former head of the national-cybersecurity division of the DHS, tells the New Yorker that government representatives don’t speak out against the hacking collective Anonymous because of “a fear of retaliation.” After all, Anonymous has targeted everyone from PayPal to government websites to individuals. The hackers’ weapons of choice: For websites, distributed denial of service attacks (DDOS). And releasing people’s personal information, also known as doxxing. Most recently, before the police in Ferguson, Missouri, released the name of the officer who shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown, Anonymous doxxed the wrong guy, one who wasn’t even a cop. He was actually a police dispatcher, and he told the New Yorker: “I don’t see how they can ever think they can be trusted again.” Anonymous — or at least whoever is tweeting under the handle OpFerguson — later apologized.
Photo of Guy Fawkes mask, a symbol associated with Anonymous, from Reuters archives