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Tag - Anonymous

Protect your content

The recent cyber attack on the Australian Defence Force shows that hactivists are targeting online content to make their mark

Anonymous are at it again. Back in February, The Message questioned whether the loosely connected network of hactivists was facing extinction as a result of concerted, coordinated action by international police forces.
This article led to the comment ‘We are still here’ being posted on our messageboard.
They most certainly are. It seems that barely any news event passes without Anonymous (or someone who would dearly like to be part of Anonymous) posting warnings. The recent, tragic radio station prank call furore is a case in point. As a result of nurse Jacintha Saldanha committing suicide after being duped by two Australian DJs, Mel Greig and Michael Christian from Sydney’s 2Day FM, Anonymous posted a threatening message on the Internet.
The message itself has been taken down from YouTube ‘as a violation of YouTube’s policy on depiction of violent activities’. However, this ABC News report on the sad affair carries extracts from it (from 1:12).

Some commentators have been quick to point out the irony of an organisation that dedicates itself to ‘trying to fight criminal activities by governments and corporations’ aligning itself with the Establishment response to the event. There is certainly some truth in that, but it also serves as proof that policing the world of online content is almost impossible.
ADF hacked

Indeed, online content itself is a prime target – as the Australian Defence Force can testify.
The Canberra Times reports that last month, a lone hacker committed ‘one of the worst known cyber attacks on a government organisation in this country’ by breaching a university database at the Australian Defence Force Academy and stealing the personal details of thousands of Australian military staff. The details were then posted on websites linked to Anonymous.
The hacker, known only as Darwinare, is quoted as saying that he was acting ‘for fun’ and was shocked at how easy it was to gain access to the information, adding that the whole attack ‘took like three minutes’.
It serves as a salient reminder to businesses and individuals alike that while utilising online and social media content is a wonderful marketing tool, you have to take steps to protect it and the malicious access that can be gained through it.
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Are Anonymous’ days numbered?

It seems the authorities now have hacktivists firmly in their sights…
In a blow to hacktivists everywhere, news is breaking that police in Latin America and Europe have arrested 25 suspected members of the Anonymous hacking group.
Anonymous claims its actions are ‘trying to fight criminal activities by governments and corporations’ by disrupting websites and services. The group also strongly advocates free speech and the openness of the Internet, while its Guy Fawkes mask has become a protest-movement icon.
According to Interpol, the arrests – in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain – came after the websites of the Colombian Ministry of Defence and the presidency, Chile’s national library, and the Chilean electricity company Endesa were attacked. Around 250 items of IT equipment and mobile phones were also seized.
Although Anonymous is hardly likely to be shut down by the arrests – as a loose international network of online activists it is too nebulous an organisation for that – it is clear that authorities have it very much in their sights.
UPDATED NEWS: But although it is being targeted by international police forces, Anonymous clearly isn’t going to go quietly. Within hours of the news of the arrests, Interpol’s website was unreachable for about 30 minutes – with Anonymous (or its supporters) prime suspects…

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It is difficult not to compare this film to Shakespeare in Love, and in many ways Anonymous suffers as a result.
While the plot is busy being torn apart by history and literature buffs alike on social media, that wasn’t the problem. In fact, it was well thought-out and engaging. Come to think of it, with the exception of Shakespeare himself, the characters were as well. Rhys Ifans played a powerfully intense Edward de Vere (the Earl of Oxford), and Vanessa Redgrave was unsurprisingly brilliant as Queen Elizabeth.
There is unrequited love, mystique, intrigue and a fair dose of swashbuckling action. The special effects were spectacular, which is unsurprising as this is clearly where director Roland Emmerich (the man who brought us such films as Independence Day, 2012 and The Patriot) is most comfortable.
And perhaps this is where Anonymous comes unstuck. People who go to see a film about Shakespeare generally want to revel in the veiled references, the parallel storylines and the clever jokes. After all, this is what Shakespeare (or de Vere, or whoever else is thought to have written the works) did so well.
The film isn’t about Shakespeare the man, it is about the work that is his legacy. This, more than ever, should have been reason to let the magic of those works craft and shape the story. Sure, present your conspiracy theory, but be clever. Use the gifts of language and humour and weave them into your tale, and you’ll have a much better time convincing people that you know about Shakespeare – whoever he was.
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