Last week, Activision released a trailer for the upcoming video game Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. I've embedded it for you above. If you blink, you'll miss the implication that Anonymous is the new enemy of the United States.
The Guy Fawkes mask flashes briefly on the screen, twice. While the icon first entered pop culture in the graphic novel V for Vendetta, it has since been re-appropriated by the hacktivist group Anonymous.
At least one Anonymous member decided to hit back with a counter video. In it, Anonymous supposedly threatens to hack Activision, deface the company's website, and disrupt its online servers. Here it is:
The video was uploaded by YouTube user ALEXIUS ANON, an account which was created only last week. It's thus important to underline that official Anonymous channels of communication have not confirmed they will be targeting Activision. That being said, they are certainly aware of what the company did.
Here's what the Twitter account YourAnonNews, which has 578,000 followers, has said over the past week:
+9000 Internets for a screencap of the #Anonymous / Guy Fawkes mask in the new Black Ops trailer. Tweet it to us! :D #Anonymous featured in new COD Black Ops 2 trailer - http://bit.ly/JRr521 Hijack ALL the drones! (srsly...we're kidding DHS) COD Black Ops 2 - If #Anonymous are the bad guys it'll really ruin our gaming experience if we have to shoot ourselves. TRAILER: COD Black Ops 2 featuring #Anonymous - http://bit.ly/JRr521 Hack ALL the things!! But seriously, nice attempt to stay relevant. ^_^ Wow, the new COD Black Ops 2 trailer would make amazing pro-CISPA propaganda! #LULZ http://bit.ly/JRr521 #CISPA RT @JeremyHarbaugh - why the hell is anonymous in the black ops 2 trailer? #AskYAN
The Twitter account AnonymousIRC, which has 279,000 followers, was a bit more direct:
Call Of Duty II: Black Ops 2 "...plot that seems to pivot on the threat of a hacker takeover." Is this psyop against #Anonymous? :O lol Activision's CEO Eric Hirshberg DOX http://www.pastebay.net/830768 http://youtu.be/blWD8IbVo4Q #Anonymous #OpBlackOps2 #WhoHacksAllTheCocks
Unfortunately, the YouTube video has been set to private, so it's impossible to verify whether it's the same as the one just above, or simply the one at the top. The 20-line Pastebay link is still up, but that's to be expected since Pastebay is run by Anonymous.
Here are the first five lines:
#OpPirateAllActivision presents Activision CEO DOX Eric Hirshberg DOB: June 1968 AGE: 43
The other 15 tell you his work address, home address, e-mail address, home phone number, work phone number, fax phone number, and how much he gets paid.
In short, Anonymous is mildly amused but overall not happy with Activision's marketing move. That being said, the group has not yet collectively agreed to target the game company, although it has made public some of Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg's personal information.
- Anonymous hacks Formula 1
- Time magazine readers name Anonymous 'most influential person'
- Anonymous wants to take down the Great Firewall of China
- Anonymous hacks UK government sites over 'draconian surveillance'
- Anonymous hacks Panda Security in response to LulzSec arrests
- Anonymous hacks Vatican again
- Anonymous is not taking down the Internet