Digital Conflict

By Kevin Coleman

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Kevin Coleman

Networked resistance on the rise in 2013

There is a growing sentiment that the so called digital sit-ins, or distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks, are legitimate forms of modern-day protests. Many cyber defenders and those who manage the organizations they protect are unaware that there have been calls by individuals and private organization for Anonymous to launch one of its cyber protest (i.e., DDOS) attacks against specific organizations that the caller feels has wronged society.

These attacks merely deny general access to the online sites and services of the organization that is targeted. They typically do not cause permanent damage, nor do they involve hacking into servers of the targeted systems or stealing data from those systems.

Some refer to Anonymous as a modern-day Robin Hood, while others put the group in the same category as terrorists. There have been a number of people who have thanked Anonymous for its efforts in its fight for various freedoms. One posted comment on an article said: “Dear Anonymous, Thank you for everything you do for us.” There has been one report that claims the U.S. State Department was working “hand in glove” with Anonymous regarding Syrian issues.

Cyber activism, virtual-states, digital sit-ins are all real and pose a challenge. We have just begun to acknowledge the true power of networked resistance. This has spurred an increase in research looking into the similarities between hacktivist efforts such as Anonymous and real-world protest groups. In addition, many are interested in where those that follow the activities of Anonymous believe the future of hacktivism and virtual-states will be in three to five years.

As the perspectives and research comes in, the next step is to figure out how to deal with this virtual entity.

Posted by Kevin Coleman on Jan 03, 2013 at 9:26 PM

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