Anonymous Words: An Interview With Operation Payback Hackers

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 12:43 By Mike Ludwig, t r u t h o u t | Report | name.

Anonymous Words: An Interview With Operation Payback Hackers
A member of Anonymous wears a Guy Fawkes mask. (Photo: Stian Eikeland)

PayPal was a tough target. The latest web firm to face Operation Payback DDoS attacks for withholding donations to WikiLeaks was prepared for the well-publicized flood on its server. After hours of blasting PayPal on Friday, the "hacktivists" associated with a loose network called Anonymous slowed payment processing, but they could not shut down PayPal.

A new chat room was opened to discuss news reports. A teenage boy in the Netherlands had been arrested after confessing to participating in Operation Payback. PayPal announced plans to unfreeze funds withheld from WikiLeaks. Momentum seemed to be fading, and the chances of a successful attack against the mammoth Amazon site were looking slim. Was it time to call it a day and declare a victory? What happens next?

Small details came out from behind the Anonymous screen names. Quagmire_x86 lives in Russia. Stupidmonkey claimed to be an "IT goon" in the Unites States. Obvioustroll is a "eurofaggot." Arera compared Anonymous to the movie "Fight Club." Freeclinic once ran for local office somewhere in the US.

They all agreed that the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) program used to launch DDoS attacks was simple to use and has been available to the "average Joe" for years.

Of course, anyone could have been behind these screen names, even an FBI "spook." They are Anonymous, and this is what they had to say. (Only gross misspellings have been edited.)

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Operation Payback

TRUTHOUT: has it been tough organizing such a decentralized campaign?
<Obvioustroll>: pc6, this is one of the first cibernetic civil desobedience act mankind has known
<Obvioustroll>: pc6, some just dont realize it and do it 4 the lulz
<Quagmire_x86>: We don't need much organization
<arera>: There was no organization.
<arera>: It just happened.
<Quagmire_x86>: one beacon is enough
<Quagmire_x86>: and everyone flocks
<freeclinic>: yup
<arera>: People who think alike, move alike.
<pc6>: gotcha...Your responses have been very insightful!
<Quagmire_x86>: We do require justification though, we won't blindly fire.
<freeclinic>: pc6
<Quagmire_x86>: We do this for free speech, not for ourselves or the group
.<freeclinic>: here's a nice quote for you
<arera>: Who here is actually a member of the press?
TRUTHOUT: I am
<Obvioustroll>: pleased to speak to u
TRUTHOUT: same this is all very exciting
<arera>: Thanks, me too
<freeclinic>: this isn't a fight about ideologies, this is a fight about those who believe in the power of open communication and those who wish to limit it for short term profit gains
<arera>: Yes.

Anonymous

<Obvioustroll>: pc6, Anonymous is an heterogeneous group
<arera>: This entire thing is a wakeup call for human civilization
<arera>: This isn't a temporary problem to be dealt with swiftly and pushed under the rug.
<Obvioustroll>: pc6, theres people who are here because of what you call "be cool", and theres people really aware of what theyre doing
<arera>: This is the collective consciousness of humanity telling itself what the fuck guys.
<freeclinic>: yes, its about wrestling control away from interests who are only concerned with their money train

Building a Movement

<Quagmire_x86>: At this point everything depends on which cards UK Sweden and US play
<Quagmire_x86>: If [Julian Assange] ends up in the US shit hits the fan and insurance is released
<Quagmire_x86>: if not this could end up fading into obscurity
<pictsidhe>: changing peoples perceptions is the aim here, show people that they can, when annoyed enough, kick the bullies in the nuts
<Quagmire_x86>: Ceasefire will not occur until the governments and companies come to terms with what must be done to make free speech truly free.
<prototype>: this is only the beginning
<destroyer998>: Spinal i think every anon will have to decide for themzelves when they stop. I will stop with LOIC when assange is set free.
<Quagmire_x86>: Indeed
<Quagmire_x86>: a revolution has begun
<stupidmonkey>: This isnt a march on the streets, we can do this from our home so it has a substational better chance to keep moving forward.
<prototype>: a revolution hasn't begun, but hopefully someday it will.
<freeclinic>: spinal, the way /b/tards work is they will keep this up until something else grabs their attention or they feel satiated
<Quagmire_x86>: @prototype I think it has
<Bubblesfartsniffer>: even if this movement fails the meme is still planted. In a year, two years? ten years? another will come and it will be bigger than the last.
<Quagmire_x86>: they all start small
<Quagmire_x86>: wouldn't you have called the first continental congress the start of a revolution?
<freeclinic>: the discussion this issue presents, hopefully, will remain active for some times to come
<freeclinic>: yes, but this isn't a continental congress
<Quagmire_x86>: obviously
<freeclinic>: as fun as it is, it's still hooliganism
<Bubblesfartsniffer>: This started when the very first human said "maybe we should share the food?" and some one said "no

The Cops

<Quagmire_x86>: wonder how many spooks are in here
<Quagmire_x86>: willing to bet at least one
TRUTHOUT: they like to do that
<Obvioustroll>: I would like to run a statistic on how many media/law enforcement/activists there are
<Obvioustroll>: I think we would be surprised
<Obvioustroll>: lmao
<Quagmire_x86>: would all the spooks that want to completely blow their cover please say aye?
<Quagmire_x86>: no-one
<Quagmire_x86>: darn
<freeclinic>: nice try though

Anonymous Women

<Obvioustroll>: Dude's
<Obvioustroll>: Let's stick to what we can do
<Obvioustroll>: Is right here and now
TRUTHOUT: interesting question - is there a lot of dudes doing this? or are there a lot of women too? no way to know i guess
<Obvioustroll>: Femanon is the word [you're] seeking for
<Quagmire_x86>: women are involved but men are prevalent
<freeclinic>: anonymous is anonymous
<freeclinic>: we're all gender neutral
<Quagmire_x86>: yeah
<Quagmire_x86>: I made my statement based off how the rest of the net is
<Obvioustroll>: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=femanon
<Quagmire_x86>: assuming its somewhat ratiotic
<arera>: fun fact: more girls than guys play video games
<freeclinic>: then it becomes "hey let's join the rebels, at least the chicks are hot"

Legal Defense

TRUTHOUT: what about a legal defense fund? could you organize that? not on paypal, obviously
<Obvioustroll>: i think wikileaks can defend themselves pretty well economically
<arera>: Legal support will likely crop up naturally from those involved with the movement who have expertise on a given subject matter.
<freeclinic>: you're right obvioustroll
<Quagmire_x86>: ah hell
<Quagmire_x86>: http://www.neowin.net/news/operation-payback-day-2-teen-boy-arrested-more-attacks-planned
<Quagmire_x86>: not the best news
<freeclinic>: that's old news man
<Obvioustroll>: lol
<Obvioustroll>: legal support?
<Obvioustroll>: 4 what?
<arera>: Yeah, you're right actually.
<Quagmire_x86>: assange?
<arera>: If what we believe is happening is happening, it will mean the end of government as we know it
TRUTHOUT: well, anyone who gets arrested, like the dutch kid
<Obvioustroll>: police is gonna knoc in ur home stating i know u chatted on irc?
<Obvioustroll>: lolol
<freeclinic>: arera let's hope

On Victory

<Quagmire_x86>: also main channel is saying we're still on api.paypal
<Quagmire_x86>: why we still on paypal after the refund?
<freeclinic>: well this has been fun, i hope we've learned something here today
<freeclinic>: because they can't get amazon down
<freeclinic>: the battle is won here today guys
<freeclinic>: win graciously
<Obvioustroll>: Because of this: We Never Forget, We never forgive, We are anonymous.
<freeclinic>: that's right
<freeclinic>: and now it's time to move on
<Obvioustroll>: proceed to #target to discuss that

Mike Ludwig

Mike Ludwig is a Truthout Fellow.

Last modified on Tuesday, 14 December 2010 15:38