Mayor Rob Ford still wants the Occupy Toronto protesters out of St. James Park despite an ultimatum issued via YouTube video by a group claiming to be hacker-activists Anonymous.
“You have said that by next week the occupiers shall be removed. And we say by next week if you do not change your mind, you shall be removed from the Internet,” proclaims the video’s computer-generated voice, typical of messages from the loosely organized collective of hackers. The mayor’s office released a statement reaffirming its position in the face of to the threat. “The mayor and city manager have been very clear over the past week. It’s time this came to a peaceful conclusion,” said the statement. “They do not have a permit and we are asking them to leave.” But should the mayor be worried about the potential cyber attack? Last week, a hacker claiming to be part of Anonymous targeted Mayor Francis Slay of St. Louis after an eviction notice was sent to the city’s Occupy protesters. “You can remove the movement from the city, but you cannot remove the movement from your systems!” said a message posted on the mayor’s website. Thousands of Slay’s emails, as well as contact information for hundreds of his political backers were also dumped online by hackers. Days later, in another operation titled “Texan Takedown Thursday,” hackers claiming affiliation with Anonymous released three gigabytes of emails that appear to be from 25 members of the Texas Police Chiefs Association. A number of the emails were racist and sexist. However other recent threats of cyber attack by groups claiming to part of Anonymous have not gone through. A plan take down the Toronto Stock Exchange earlier this month was announced in a YouTube video that has since been removed. “The one per cent has been putting their wealth in the Toronto Stock Exchange. This is why we choose to declare war against it,” said the video purportedly sent from Anonymous. “On November 7, 2011, TSX shall be erased from the Internet. And this is just the beginning.”
The threat was later withdrawn, and deemed a hoax by other possible members of the hacker group. The threat was similar to another made to the New York Stock Exchange in October. That threat was also apparently withdrawn and no attack was noted on the specified date, Oct. 10. A video posted last summer vowed to take down Facebook on Nov. 5. That attack also did not come to pass. Anonymous has claimed responsibility for a number of high profile cyber attacks since coming to mainstream attention in 2008. Last December the hacker collective attacked the websites of Paypal, Mastercard and Visa after the companies said they would no longer process donations to WikiLeaks — Julian Assange’s infamous data leaking organization. Nineteen people thought to be members of Anonymous have been arrested in the United States, United Kingdom and the Netherlands on suspicion of participating in the attacks. The group was also active during the Arab Spring, attacking government websites and providing online tools to help protesters further the revolutions. In July the group took credit for a hack of confidential NATO information, with Twitter message: “Hi NATO. Yes, we haz more of your delicious data.” Who the hacker group is actually made up of is unclear, but Anonymous is currently in second place in a poll for Time Magazine’s 2011 person of the year. In first place? The “99 per cent.” With files from the Canadian Press
I don’t get it, this “Anonymous” group is the same group of hackers who were praised for taking down a major porno ring about a month ago. Now they want to take out the entire city of Toronto and possible Facebook. Why would you start off doing a morally good thing and then start doing morally bad things? Hopefully this threat is just a hoax like the rest of them.