On November 5th in the distant past, a man named Guy Fawkes, along with others, failed to blow up Britain’s House of Lords. He failed so famously that November 5th was thereafter celebrated by burning effigies in his likeness on bonfires. Anonymous does this differently. Yesterday, on the 5th of November, 2012, they hacked everything.
Allegedly, mind you.
“Everything” in this case means the websites of Symantec, ImageShack, ZPanel, NBC, the Argentina Government Bank, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and others. Most of the attacks defaced websites with Anonymous messages protesting anti-freedom initiatives by governments. According to the Verge, Argentina’s Caja Popular sported a message supporting Jeremy Hammond (arrested as part of an anti-LulzSec raid) before going down. Things got a bit more worrying when the rumors that PayPal had been hacked started spreading. Antivirus giant Symantec was also apparently breached, and a database dump containing some 4000 user accounts posted online.
The hacking spree began with the Anonymous press arm’s tweet: “Preparing #OpVendetta Remember, remember 5th of November.” This was followed by a torrent of announcements, jeers, cheers and abuse as various sites were defaced and the hashtag spread.
Most of the security breaches have not been confirmed by the sites’ owners (probably because nobody wanted to admit they got their teeth kicked in. Virtually). In light of investigations, it has been revealed that PayPal was not breached (as far as PayPal admins can find out) – the exploit targeted ZPanel. This Pastebin document chronicles what appears to be server information and data dumps from ImageShack and ZPanel, along with commentary by the hackers. In it Anonymous publishes a disturbing claim:
“ImageShack has been completely owned, from the ground up. We have had root and physical control of every server and router they own.