back to article NATO members warned over Anonymous threat

NATO leaders have been warned that the Anonymous "hacktivist" collective might have the capability to threaten member states' security. A report for the alliance by Lord Jopling, UK general rapporteur and Tory peer, provides a general (mostly factual) overview of the changing nature of the internet. One key section deals with …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    war on hackers

    "might have the capability to threaten member states' security". Combine this with the US announcement that hacks which threaten infrastructure can be treated as an act of war[1] and you get.... Declare war on hackers!

    And as everyone knows, once you're fighting a war you can pretty much do what you like to get them enemy combatants.


    1. Goat Jam
      Big Brother


      You can see where this is headed a mile off.

      There have been several authority figures making statements to the effect that "cyber attacks" are tantamount to a declaration of war and as you correctly point out, when you have a war, anything goes and all rules go out the window.

      It's both fascinating and chilling to watch first hand how easy it is for our rulers to manipulate the masses into a position where they will meekly accept whatever vast injustices the ruling class have planned for the future.

      For the most part, people neither the knowledge, inclination nor mental capacity to really care what happens around them, as long as they can still afford a gas guzzling SUV, a big screen TV and unhindered access to beer, coke, burgers and fries.

      Maybe fried chicken and pizza too.

      Time to choose an icon now, Guy Fawkes mask would appear to be entirely appropriate, HOLD ON! THERE IS NO GUY FAWKES ICON! WHY NOT? I SEE OTHER PEOPLE USING IT! GODDAMN IT.

      Big Brother will have to do then.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Of course, stupid me, I just realised that it is only anonymous people who seem to use the GF mask, it must be the default and only choice?

      I shall test it now!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In Cyber Space nobody can hear you scream......

    Nor Guantanamo Bay. Maybe the Hacktivista should watch their step.

    1. asdf


      GitMo will only start taking new victims after the Republicans get back in power and need a place to store pesky Democrats who dare question why we give welfare to mega corporations.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Let's all surrender

      Or even better, let's all surrender our last rights, freedoms, and liberties to the theofascists and just get it over with, huh?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    We are legion

    As much as the press tries to make Anonimous a "group", it really isn't. It's a legion of single people who are pissed off at authorities and are tired of seeing our leaders wasting presious resources on Ego trips.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Ego tripping leaders

      so full of themselves on account of the fact they can spell?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "We are legion"

      However the other 95% of them are 16 year old's stupid enough to download LOIC and point it at what ever they're told to...I'm sure there are members with clear aims and goals, just not many of them.

      1. muninsfire
        Black Helicopters

        The 16-year-olds serve a purpose as well

        On another board I frequent--not one of the ones associated with Anonymous--some of those of us following these stories have taken to noting the stark divisions between various Anonymous factions and referring to them as the 'Talents' and the 'Drones'

        (Those of you who remember the Sid Meier game, Alpha Centauri, will likely understand the point of this right away; feel free to skip on to the next comment)

        The 'Talents' are those who have the skills required to maintain full anonymity and to perform actual, purposeful cracks. They're typically the ones who do the infiltrating of servers, the compromise of various networks, etc.--as in the Westboro case some time ago (though, as thejester claimed credit, that was more an action on behalf of Anonymous than one by Anonymous).

        The 'Drones' are the 16-year-olds running LOIC, filling up IRC networks, and the like. They provide not only a recruitment pool of interested persons for any Talents paying attention to that sort of thing, but also serve as a smokescreen for the Talents' actions. By providing such a large noisy mob of shouty persons, they not only shield the Talents from the attentions of the police and government types but also each other--the very volume of activity that they engage in means that only distinct outliers are likely to be culled.

        Those, at least, are the divisions that I think I've seen--I can't exactly participate in Anonymous actions myself, mind, so I admit to having very little first-hand knowledge of how these things work.

        1. hplasm


          Drones are Ion Cannon Fodder

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        They're part of the effort, too

        You may have noticed that the 95% of the script kiddies are a valuable part of the whole Anonymous world-wide effort, they're heroes as well as fodder for the theofascist State. While the fascists are focused on the 95%, the talent continues to seize evidence of corporate crmies and treason, government fascism and corruption, and makes the evidence public for all to see.

        The 95% scripties are awesome for taking the hit, donig their part for Democracy.

    3. Lamont Cranston

      "a legion of single people"?

      Well, no one expected them to have girlfriends, did they?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        RE: "a legion of single people"?

        Yes away from the Hollywood stereotype. Girlfriends .. no, spots .. yes, anti-social attitude due to over consumption of fast food … yes, paranoid tendencies .. indeed, a curiously unpleasant smell .. almost certainly.

        Revising my more usual suggestion of stocks, or even horse whipping, I would have a different suggestion for the authorities. Perhaps our illustrious leaders should consider putting them in rehabilitation centres?

        They could be forced to:

        1. Shower regularly

        2. Eat food that has a nutritional content

        3. Relate to the opposite sex, or same sex if inclined

        4. Sleep at night

        It might just be cheaper than carpet bombing, and return personally adequate individuals to society. After all the penal system is supposed to be as much rehabilitation as retribution or indeed protecting society.

        1. hplasm

          Haven't you got a launch party

          to hold somewhere?

        2. nyelvmark

          anti-social attitude due to over consumption of fast food …

          Does it do that?

          <looks at pizza suspiciously>

          Is it the gherkins?

    4. scarshapedstar

      A pretty good point

      It's like hardening your defenses against the Venusian Navy.

      They just can't cope with the assymetry of it all. They're convinced themselves that, despite all protests and appearances to the contrary, there really is one Global Overlord of Anonymous who calls the shots (let's just call him Zombie Osama) and his minions all act in concert. Furthermore - most crucially - they are hellbent on destroying Western Civilization and have no demands or other motives.

      I feel like I've heard this story before...

  4. Anonymous Coward


    >the US Chamber of Commerce and Bank of America reportedly hired the data intelligence company HBGary Federal to protect their servers and attack any adversaries of these institutions. In response, Anonymous hacked servers of HBGary Federal's sister company and hijacked the CEO's Twitter account.

    That was because HBGary couldn't even secure their own servers enough before being able to give any advice for security....

    I can't believe NATO haven't even looked into HBGary was "hacked" before they can call Anonymous a threat...

    1. muninsfire

      Not only that, but...

      It's not merely that they couldn't secure their servers, but the CEO of HBGary Federal, if you recall, specifically called Anonymous out as being a target for his investigations.

      A noted American comedian proceeded to declare that action, when the story broke, as equivalent to placing one's genitals in a nest of hornets--and I must agree.

      Given the information that came out during that whole mess, it's likely that a half-blind limbless dog could have broken their security, but given that someone on whatever comittee issues these sorts of declarations at NATO was looking for a reason to justify the declaration, they needed to find somebody associated with Government who's been affected by Anonymous' actions--and HBGary Federal is more or less it.

  5. Scott Herter
    Black Helicopters

    Standard Stuff Really

    Governments have three stages of response to perceived threats.

    1) You are irritating but mostly harmless: Do nothing, occasional vague threat.

    2) You are really irritating and potentially hamful: Organize committee's make lots of threats, mobalize resources, but don't really accomplish much.

    3) You are a clear and present danger: Looks a lot like 2, but people start ending up dead. Think war on terror but without drone missle strikes in Milan.

    Right now Anonymous seems to have managed to reach stage 2. If Anonymous doesn't do anything that is perceived as beeing too damaging that is where they will stay and can continue being irritating and only having to deal with the occasional arrest and show trial. If they cool it for a while they can probably get back to stage 1 where they are mostly ignored. Heaven help them if they do something to make it to stage 3.

    1. hplasm


      don't do internets.

      TPTB need a cyberbogyman.

      Oh look- there's one!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You're Wrong

      You're wrong on all points. LOL. Anonymous is not a threat to any government that holds and harbors a Democracy or remains consistant as a nation of laws. No corporation, no government, no entity has anything to fear from the Anonymous collective unless the corporation, government, or other entity are Evil Doers (LOL) and need to be taken down, overthrown, exposed.

      At core theofascist governments fear Anonymous because they're theofascist governments with a lot to hide. Annoymous seizing evidence and making it public, assisting citizens in overthrowing the fascist State, THAT is what this shit pile politician fears.

  6. phil mcracken

    clearly no one has explained rules 1 and 2 to him...


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "oh no not our military secrets"

    Always the same the same thing isn't it.

    There's worse things that could be hacked and ripped apart - worse for governments that is. Infrastructure, secure records such as book-keeping, patent records, law records, so on and so on.

    You know, if Anonymous consisted of educated grown up people then they'd probably be able to figure out that you can make a big difference by keeping your head down and selecting targets that are foundation stones. Who gives a shit about secrets, they're usually debatable, deniable, discreditable anyway.

  8. Brennan Young

    "perpetrators persecuted"

    - did they really mean 'prosecuted'

  9. Dennis Wilson
    Thumb Up


    So if get the address of some poor soul with an open port in the Vatican i can launch an attack through them, and have the United States Airforce bomb the innocent nun at the computer at the same time.


  10. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge


    No, prosecuted means you have to have laws, and trials, and juries and evidence and all those old fashioned things.

    Persecuted means you just pick some identifiable group,decide they are the enemy of all we hold dear and be as nasty as possible to them.

    Of course identifying an anonymous group of people on the internet might be tricky so we probably have to select an easier target - like teenagers who wear hooded sweatshirts - but the principle is the same!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Message From Anonymous

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the limits of contemporary policy making

    "Anonymous is becoming more and more sophisticated and could potentially hack into sensitive government, military, and corporate files."

    Mutter about "precious bodily fluids" and it'd make as much sense.

    Yes, I'm one of those techies with no charisma, who am I kidding, negative charisma, but very long and finely honed toes trained on sloppy language use. And by going to "cyberspace", the old git entered my domain. So there.

    But the point is that this "We are legion" muttering crowd whereof he has so much trouble describing the threat profile, isn't a group. It's been said and derided before including right upthread, but the key thing is that, no matter how many of "the operatives" are hot shot pimply faced youths with a grudge, there really isn't any central leadership to the point that should one manage to dare try and arise the movement shatters and may or may not regroup, reform, retry.

    It acts like a collective. Whether it itself could become concious is more than I'm prepared to say, but for all that it's very real for its comparative lack of traditional substance.

    From a policy standpoint, it's got them completely blindsided. This is "something" that may or may not actually exist, has communication lines more tenuous than a terrorist cell, and shifts from corporate to government threat space to wherever next like a school of fish.

    And they in their bones know that should "Anonymous" manage to capitalise on that they're dead meat. In the light of this Arabian Spring thing, moreso.

    i think they're both right and dead wrong. I'll leave the details as an excercise, but I'll say this: The best defence against Anonymous is to, as a government, do what you're supposed to do; focus on the people and work on your integrity. Same thing in slightly different sauce for corporations, for that matter. But that may well be harder and less profitable than spinning a good scare story and set up some agency or other to fight the threat.

    See Anonymous as a backlash against the Wars on Stuff, if you will.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Precious bodily fluids

      That's what we need, colnel, some water on the back of the neck and the codes!

      It's funny watching the fascists scramble as they try to come up with a way to handle citizen uprising when it's the citizens who are legally and morally in the right.

  13. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Windmill Tilting. Get used to it, for it is all that the status quo can do against future champions.

    If Anonymous were as pathetic as painted in the comments here, do you imagine the suits would be as worried as they are about what can be done so silently and invisible/stealthily by their ilk. And you can be either assured and/or terrified to know that they are probably even much smarter than they are feared to be, and certainly far too clever to be wasting their prime time to be worried about anything which may be mooted to target offensive defense against them.

    Get with the program, dummies ..... the Great Game has changed and y'all are in collective denial to probably try and justify your present positions in failing systems.

    You do realise of course that such denial is perfect for it allows for rapid radical progress in the new fields which the system is fighting a losing battle to master and control for perpetuation of old dogmas and proptocols. It is not that anything is now out of control, and in need of more curbing rules and self-serving regulations, it is just that its command is in the control of others who are completely different from either the past or present roundheads/airheads/crazies/call them what you will.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Rules of Survival

    i) Do not, under any circumstances, point out that the Emperor has no clothes.

    ii) Do not, under any circumstances, look behind the curtain.

    iii) Continue with your shopping at all costs.

  15. Michael Beckwith

    Question 'Anonymous' ability to access very sensitive areas.

    Realistically servers holding very sensitive documents should be hosted on a closed system with no access to the internet. If that were the case 'Anonymous' would have to physically enter a restricted guarded building to get physical access to the network. Which would be very hard to do.

    What they possibly could do is deface a public facing server like the main page to a military website that is accessible to the public.

    1. Daniel 4

      Should is not the same as are

      "Realistically servers holding very sensitive documents should be hosted on a closed system with no access to the internet."

      And industrial control systems shouldn't be in any way networked with the Internet either. That hasn't stopped a few high profile cases of people hooking up computers to networks that they shouldn't have, with predictable results.

      I think the threat from "Anonymous" is overblown. That doesn't mean that some level of danger does not exist.


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not quite complete

      Except that the Anonymous collective has more talent than that. There are avenues in to secure systems that don't have public DARPANet access, there are fiber overlays on top of the PSTN that normal people don't have access to but which provide non-public access to secure systems.

      Anonymous has enough domain knowledge to constitute a legitimate threat to theofascist States that don't want evidence to be seized by citizens and made public. THAT is what the fascists fear. They dno't give a damn about the health and safety of actual citizens, what they care about is their own money and maintaining their fascist control over others. THAT is what Anonymous brings to the table.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is not a good thing...

    I have nothing to do with the group Anonymous, and don't agree with their actions. I do agree with some of their causes, as do a lot of people who don't think it's okay to do what they do.

    Yet to the side of my post, right now, there's a picture of one of their symbols. Oh, it the title says I'm "Anonymous" as well.

    The authorities sometimes aren't so bright when it comes to that thing is all I'm saying.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ph33r teh powah of anonymous!

    YES WE WILL DESTROY YOUR WEAK NATION STATES AND THEIR VAST MILITARIES WITH OUR .... errrr... lolcat macros and ... errrrr ... random website defacements and ..... errr... [that's all. Ed]

    You can do a fair amount on the internet, but you can't seize and hold physical territory with it. It's not really a NATO-level threat.

  18. Bernard M. Orwell

    @AC earlier on....

    "However the other 95% of them are 16 year old's stupid enough to download LOIC and point it at what ever they're told to...I'm sure there are members with clear aims and goals, just not many of them."

    How does this differ to most other organisations, especially national militaries? Just replace the LOIC with a uniform and a gun....

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More Theofascist BS!

    What an idiot! The HBGary Federal theofascist cormpany are *NOT* a "data intelligence company," it was exposed by Anonymous as virtually a foreign enemy working against the United States, working for the U. S. Chamber of Commerce that gets its money from foreign enemies of the U. S., thus making Aaron Barr and HBGary also enemies of the United States.

    Not a "data intelligence company."

  20. Leigh 5


    Anonymous probably wouldn't have gone after HBGary, if HBGary hadn't targeted Anon.

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