The Anonymous hackers who spent the weekend knocking Ecuadorian government websites offline have turned their attention to the United Kingdom, issuing a warning for the British government to “free Assange or chaos is coming for you.”
Speaking to the Gateway Pundit, a member of the hacker group who goes by the pseudonym ‘Nama’ declared they will be launching cyber attacks against the United States and Sweden after the UK.
None of this was directed by WikiLeaks or Assange himself — the hackers say they are acting on their own as an act of protest.
Over the weekend, the group took down or defaced over 30 Ecuadorian websites including the Central Bank of Ecuador, their Ministry of Interior, the Ecuadorian Assembly in the UK and the main website for the Government of Ecuador. They also posted data dumps of 728 identification ID card numbers that appear to belong to people who work in the Ecuadorian government.
— Anonymous (@your_anon_net) April 13, 2019
Many of the websites, including the Central Bank of Ecuador, have been offline for over 30 hours.
At this time the Central bank of Ecuador , Ministry of Interior , Ecuador Assembly in UK and the Government of Ecuador still #Offline for 12+ hours.
— Anonymous (@your_anon_net) April 11, 2019
After the websites had been offline for twelve hours, the hackers warned that if they were restored “we will fire again to burn their servers.”
The official website of La Maná canton in Ecuador featured a picture of Assange for over twelve hours, along with a quote from him that read, “You have to start with the truth. The truth is the only way we can get anywhere. Because any decision-making based on lies or ignorance can not lead to a good conclusion.”
The website also had a headline saying that it was hacked by “5UB5”.
Nama said that starting Monday his group will begin targeting UK government websites as well as the Ecuadorian sites, “just to show in the world the #FreeAssange message.”
“First we hit their Gov sites with a Botnet to make them unavailable and them we are leaking their stuff,” Nama told TGP.
Asked what their ultimate goal is with the hacks, Nama said “our attacks are just like the riots at the streets with police, but its more powerful because we can damage the government more. We can make them lose a lot of money.”
Responding to if they have a specific message for President Donald Trump, the hacker asserted that “Trump is a troll. He can’t hold the US. Nothing more for him.”
As far as UK officials go, Nama said that the “UK is like the US. We have send already message in UK.”
“Free Assange or the chaos is coming,” they warned.
Tomorrow ,.. Yes tomorrow we will start hitting the Government of United Kingdom websites. ( https://t.co/DvCvNtNbc1 )
Prepare for the chaos.
We are Legion. pic.twitter.com/qFFC6Z2cuJ
— Anonymous (@your_anon_net) April 15, 2019
The cyber attack is reminiscent of 2010’s “Operation Avenge Assange” which was launched by the broader “Operation Payback” effort. The movement led to hacktivists hitting companies such as PayPal, PostFinance, Mastercard, Visa, and others who had blocked services to WikiLeaks with a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. DDoS attacks are when a website is flooded with fake traffic until it crashes and goes offline.
Fourteen people were indicted and ultimately sentenced to misdemeanors over the cyber protest. They are now known as the “PayPal 14.”
The Gateway Pundit asked Nama if the hackers were worried about eventually being caught in the same way and they boldly asserted that they are not.
“I’m not worried, because I’m doing it for Freedom and for the people. We are not criminals,” Nama said. “Criminals should worried about getting caught. People like us should not get worried.”
The data dumps are written in both Spanish and Indonesian — so I asked if there are multiple groups or if they are all working together. Nama explained that Anonymous doesn’t have as many people as it used to, in the days of the PayPal 14, but that there is a small group creating operations and other groups are joining in.
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