Anonymous attention grab - hack 'the brothers'

Photo by Tanya Nagar
The Muslim Brotherhood is the latest organization named as a target for the hacker group Anonymous via a YouTube video. The string of (mostly false) hack alarms raises questions as to whether the movement has mutated into a prank club.

Anonymous’ threat against the Islamist movement operating in several Middle Eastern countries says the attack on its website will be carried out on November 11.

The video, featuring the trademark figure in a suit with a question mark in place of its head and speaking in a computer-altered voice, says the Brotherhood seeks “to destroy the sovereignty of the people of Egypt as well as other nations including the United States.”

The Anonymous hackers will allegedly launch a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the party’s website, which will make it unavailable to visitors.

The group has already marked several high-profile targets for attacks, including Facebook, Fox News TV channel, the New York Stock Exchange, Israeli official websites, the Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas and next year’s Iowa Caucus among others. Many of the threatened attacks were widely publicized, but never actually materialized.

The anarchist group came to prominence in 2010 following hacks in support of online piracy and the whistleblower website WikiLeaks. Now, apparently, it is becoming more interested in media coverage than in any actual results.

This may be due to the nature of the loosely-tied network with no strong leadership that can set goals and plan operations. Or perhaps the people who were behind the original drive are now out of action, and those currently using the Anonymous logo are just a bunch of notoriety-hungry pranksters.

Another possibility is that the string of false alarms is actually aimed at discrediting the whole notion of hacktivism. After all, Anonymous allegedly claimed last month that its name was used to smear the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Either way, the situation clearly indicates that the folk behind the Guy Fawkes masks have problems.