Anonymous split over invading Wall Street

Summary:The "Occupy Wall Street" protest in the US may soon take up more than the streets, with some members of Anonymous starting a new movement, Invade Wall Street, aimed at bringing down the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Yet, not all members of Anonymous agree, for the first time expressing worry that they will be arrested.

The "Occupy Wall Street" protest in the US may soon take up more than the streets, with some members of Anonymous starting a new movement, Invade Wall Street, aimed at bringing down the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Yet, not all members of Anonymous agree, for the first time expressing worry that they will be arrested.

(Credit: Occupy Wall Street Anonymous 2011 Shankbone image by David Shankbone, CC BY 2.0)

In a press release to the media, one member of Anonymous prompts users to conduct a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against Wall Street on 10 October that it has dubbed "Operation Invade Wall Street".

"[We] choose to declare our war against the New York Stock Exchange. We can no longer stay silent as the population is being exploited and forced to make sacrifices in the name of profit. We will show the world that we are true to our word. On October 10th, NYSE shall be erased from the internet. On October 10th, expect a day that will never, ever be forgotten."

However, there has been a large negative response to the operation, with many members largely warning against the movement on Twitter, and others going as far as to call the operation a set-up.

A message posted on PasteBin calls the operation "a fake planted operation by law enforcement and cybercrime agencies in order to get you to undermine the Occupy Wall Street movement", stating that Anonymous would never advise its members to use the Low Orbit Ion Canon (LOIC) denial-of-service tool, following the arrests and failures of Operation Payback.

In a different press release, created by another member of Anonymous, the group warns against participating in the operation under the fear of seeing members go to jail.

"Many of our brothers and sisters have gone down in the fight for using such tactics, like the Wikileaks defendants who took down Visa, Paypal and Mastercard, which led to mass arrests.

"We do not want history to repeat itself, and are sincerely worried. Using such a tool such as LOIC to get your message across would [be] deemed irresponsible, and you would be signing your own ticket to jail."

It's difficult to determine which claims, if any, are the consensus of the majority of Anonymous members, since anyone can join the group and anyone can propose an operation. Unlike a corporation that has a direction and a chain of command, members of Anonymous act on whether they agree with a proposed operation, rather than taking instructions.

The news comes after the defacement of Anonymous' social network, AnonPlus, by Syrian hackers. Anonymous first defaced Syria's Ministry of Defence website, which then prompted the Syrian counter strike.

Occupy Wall Street continues on its run since beginning on 17 September as a protest against corporate greed and the fallout from the economic crisis. It has now spread beyond Wall Street to other parts of the US, and has a small following in Australia, with small splinter groups set up in most capital cities.

Topics: Security

About

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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