Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Minipost: Operation: Payback origin

Yesterday in our story about Crowds, Mobs, and Anonymous, Internet Anarchy: Anonymous Crowds Flex their Muscles, we mentioned that Operation Payback started back in September. Here is the letter that was sent to the media on September 19th:

After seeing Salon's story A brief history of Operation: Payback, which lists November 29, 2010 as the starting date, we thought it especially important to point out that this is NOT the start. The adoption of Wikileaks was an expansion of a three month old campaign in an effort to legitimize and expand the number of attackers Anonymous had at their disposal. For more on that "crowd action" mindset, the reader is referred back to yesterday's blog post.

Some have been asking "how do you know this is 4chan related?" Again, we refer readers back to early posts by Anonymous.

(Click to enlarge)
"I know that many of you, many of you whom I have seen on 4chan over the years, have grown cynical of the usefulness of anons as an army, especially since the mess that was Chanology*."

One of the places this image was posted back on September 20th was a hacker website run by a South African hacker. To put the message into context, the post immediately before this one read:

Anonymous vs Aiplex, MPAA, RIAA
This is happening right now. Join if you can.
/join #savetpb

We're targeting all the sites mentioned in the topic, but Aiplex first.

For piracy, for freedom, for victory.

* - While Operation Payback began September 19th, Anonymous has been involved in DDOS Protests since early 2008. (Project Chanology refers to the DDOS campaign that 4chan users waged against Scientology. The concept of that campaign was that because Scientology tried to remove all copies of a controversial Tom Cruise interview from the Internet, they were "censoring the Internet" and should be stopped. The campaign included DDOS attacks, fax campaigns, protests, and even an attempt to get the IRS to take away Scientology's tax exempt status. LOIC was one of their tools. Anonymous vs. Scientology ran "daily news" on YouTube documenting their in-person protests and raids. The same YouTube channel has been used for Anonymous messaging since at least April 20, 2008 (See: Reinstate Mark Bunker XENUTV1) and as recently as this week (see: Anonymous: Operation Leakspin.

Chanology was covered by:

Dan Kaplan at SC Magazine: "DDOS Hack Attack Targets Church of Scientology" - Jan 28, 2008.

John Leyden at The Register: "Critics Split over DDOS attacks on Scientology" - Jan 25, 2008. has the "" description of the project from July 2008, which showed substantial evolution from the original January 15, 2008 post archived here, by Encyclopedia Dramatica (caution, ED has crude and offensive messaging and is not 'work-friendly').

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