Hackers have gotten somewhat of a bad reputation over the past few years. Not everyone hacks to cause massive havoc, but rather to prove a point. Several “hacktivists” take the vigilante approach to drive their point home. Several of such vigilante groups have existed over the past few years, although some of them have been forgotten by most people already. Below is a brief list of vigilante hacker collectives everyone should remember.
4. Ghost Security
Most people will have heard of Ghost Security under their abbreviated name of GhostSec. Although this group is labeled as a vigilante, that is only due to the members calling themselves so. In the early stages, Ghost Sec was created to target ISIS website promoting Islamic extremism. Some people feel this is an offshoot from the Anonymous hacking collective, albeit that has never been officially proven.
GhostSec started to make mainstream media headlines after the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting. The collective claims responsibility for shutting down hundreds of ISIS-affiliated websites and social media accounts. Moreover, the group has been – allegedly – cooperating with law enforcement and intelligence agencies ever since that time. GhostSec has been relatively quiet as of late, albeit the group is still actively taking the fight to terrorist organizations all over the world.
3. The Jester
It is difficult to tell if The Jester is just one person or a pseudonym used by multiple hackers. One thing we know for sure is how The Jester has gone after terrorists since early 2010. Additionally, he is not exactly impressed by what Anonymous brings to the table. He feels the Anonymous collective only reports social media accounts and put out a random list of names from previous hacks, rather than going after the terrorists ‘like it should be done”. An intriguing statement, that much is certain.
Very few people will have heard of the OutMine group of vigilante hackers. Rather than going after some terrorist organization, OurMine targets top executives. It is believed three people make up the OurMine group, and they are mainly trying to expose top executives who use lackluster account security on social media. Marissa Mayer and Mark Zuckerberg have been two of their targets in the past. Technically, OurMine is not vigilante under the traditional banner, albeit their hacks are dedicated to a noble cause.
It is impossible to discuss hacktivism and not mention Anonymous in the same breath. This hacking collective has achieved quite a few milestones over the past few years, as we have reported on a few days ago. Their most recent initiative to get mainstream attention is their ongoing battle against ISIL and other terrorist organizations.
However, it is also worth mentioning Anonymous has a growing list of targets outside of the terrorist sector. Various governments who oppose free speech, for example, are also on their naughty list. It is evident hacktivists come in many different shapes and sizes, most of whom are trying to use a “negative” concept for the greater good.
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