Anonymous Wikileaks Avengers: We Don’t Want Your Credit Card Info or to Prevent You From Shopping

Anonymous Puts Out Press Release

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"Anonymous" is an "Internet gathering" of people that has perpetrated Operation Payback, which took down MasterCard.com, Visa.com and others, because of how they’ve handled their relationships with Wikileaks, has issued a press release in attempt to clarify what it is trying to do. 

Anonymous paints itself as non-threatening to consumers, and emphasizes that its goal is to spread Wikileaks awareness. "We do not want to steal your personal information or credit card numbers. We also do not seek to attack critical infrastructure of companies such as Mastercard, Visa, PayPal or Amazon. Our current goal is to raise awareness about WikiLeaks and the underhanded methods employed by the above companies to impair WikiLeaks’ ability to function."

Anonymous says it did not attempt to bring Amazon down, though the company said in a statement that it successfully blocked numerous attempts (it’s possible that these were unrelated). Anonymous says, "We felt that it would affect people such as consumers in a negative way and make them feel threatened by Anonymous. Simply put, attacking a major online retailer when people are buying presents for their loved ones, would be in bad taste."

The entire release is below:

Anonymous issues press releaseWho is Anonymous

In their most recent public statement, WikiLeaks is the only group of people to identify Anonymous correctly. Anonymous is not a group, but rather an Internet gathering.

Both Anonymous and the media that is covering it  are aware of the percieved dissent  between individuals  in  the  gathering.  This  does  not,  however,  mean  that  the  command  structure  of Anonymous is failing for a simple reason: Anonymous has a very loose and decentralized command structure that operates on ideas rather than directives.

 We do not believe that a similar movement exists in the world today and as such we have to learn by trial  and error.  We are now in the process of better communicating some core values to the individual atoms that comprise Anonymous – we also want to take this opportunity to communicate a message to the media, so that the average Internet Citizen can get to know who we are and what we represent.

Anonymous  is  not  a  group  of  hackers.  We  are  average  Interent  Citizens  ourselves  and  our motivation is a collective sense of being fed up with all the minor and major injustices we witness every day.

We do not want to steal your personal information or credit card numbers. We also do not seek to attack critical infrastructure of companies such as Mastercard, Visa, PayPal or Amazon. Our current goal is to raise awareness about WikiLeaks and the underhanded methods employed by the above companies to impair WikiLeaks’ ability to function.

What is Operation: Payback

As stated above, the point of Operation: Payback was never to target critical infrastructure of any of the companies or  organizations affected.  Rather  than doing that,  we focused on their  corporate websites,  which is  to say,  their  online "public  face".  It  is  a symbolic  action –  as  blogger  and academic Evgeny Morozov put it, a legitimate expression of dissent.

The background to the attacks on PayPal and the calls to attack Amazon.com Amazon, which was until recently WikiLeaks’ DNS provider, was one of the first companies to drop support for WikiLeaks. On December 9th, BusinessInsider.com reported that Amazon.co.uk were hosting the recently leaked diplomatic cables in e-book form. (Amazon.co.uk has since ceased selling the bundle of the diplomatic cables.)

After this piece of news circulated, parts of Anonymous on Twitter asked for Amazon.com to betargetted. The attack never occured. While it is indeed possible that Anonymous may not have been able to take Amazon.com down in a DDoS attack, this is not the only reason the attack never occured. After the attack was so advertised in the media,  we felt that it would affect people such as consumers in a negative way and make them feel threatened by Anonymous. Simply put, attacking a major online retailer when people are buying presents for their loved ones, would be in bad taste.

The continuing attacks on PayPal are already tested and preferable: while not damaging their ability to process payments, they are successful in slowing their network down just enough for people to notice and thus, we achieve our goal of raising awareness.

Anonymous Wikileaks Avengers: We Don’t Want Your Credit Card Info or to Prevent You From Shopping
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  • Aaron

    Anonymous says they are “not a group of hackers.” Then they proceed to attack and hack their way into company infrastructures. The truth is that they are indeed criminal hackers. They are more like a street gang or terrorist organization than a concerned citizen’s group. Whether you agree with a company or not, attacking their infrastructure is both unethical and criminal. This group certainly does not represent “average internet citizens.”

    In their press release, Anonymous emphasizes the idea that used restraint in only attacking corporate websites, so as not to compromise privacy, and only inconvenience consumers. That’s true this time. But, what about next time? What if their demands are not met? Will they exercise restraint then? Who is to prevent them from perpetrating crippling attacks on companies, governments, and other organizations that they do not agree with? Rather than arguing about whether or not these terrorists have legitimate concerns, we should be focused on catching and punishing members of Anonymous who have perpetrated these illegal attacks.

    If the members of Anonymous have legitimate concerns, instead of resorting to violence and terrorism, they should come out in the open and create a public discussion. They can file lawsuits, engage the media, and provide online information. Instead, they prefer to remain anonymous and simply hack and attack. These are terrorist of the worst kind.

  • http://www.ishqballe.com/ Matrimonials

    How does this organization even get their hands on these important government files. If they are so private how do they end up in the hands of “terrorists”? Any explanations people, clearly I’m dumbstruck?

  • http://www.bluelightit.com IT guy

    I wonder how many of the so called ‘anonymous members’ would physically block entrance to a brick and mortar store, or disrupt traffic on a main road. These actions (of anonymous) are actions of cowards. What’s the difference between them and terrorism?

  • http://www.bestugandajobs.blogspot.com Andrew from Uganda

    According to Anonymous, they say they are fighting injustice. Well it is a good thing to fight for justice but the way you do it matters. Though i believe wikileaks has a right for a fair hearing and to stay online. I also think Anonymous should respect other people’s rights to stay online.

  • Guest

    I’m fed up with these anarchist organizations claiming they’re doing something on my behalf to make the world a better place.
    First, Hacking a website is a criminal offence just about everywhere in the world and sane thinking people understand this
    Second who decides – it doesn’t matter how “loose” the organization is – someone decides and then the anarchist sheeple go have their fun.
    Third – this is just more people with little brain doing damage for damage’s sake – it’s like the student protests in the UK – legitimate protest taken over by wanna be terrorists who hide themselves and can only run in crowds – Anonymous is the same however much they bleat about doing good for the sake of mankind.
    I’m sure they’re already being hunted hard and so they should otherwise next time it could be my site or anyone else’s they hit on just because they think I should be a target.

  • johnny

    please hack tripadvisor.com

  • http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com ron

    Where is the wikileaks information about the truth behind 911 we wait with bated breath…

  • Guest

    “underhanded methods employed by the above companies”

    Are these Anonymous people aware of how WikkiLeaks gets it’s information?

    • Not very Anon

      Wikileaks is given the information, that is the point of it, somewhere whistleblowers can expose wrongdoing without being hunted down themselves. Wikileaks do not actually go out and hack into the pentagon or break into anywhere to get info.

      I think the main media focus has been far too much on the recent documents from diplomats, I don’t think there is anything too shocking, we all say things behind people’s backs 😉 The really shocking ones were from the Iraq War and aftermath, the BBC Panorama showed an hour long programme on these, anyone would struggle to say Wikileaks is wrong after seeing this

  • http://brianelwinpomeroy.posterous.com/ Brian Pomeroy

    Some people will over react because MOST bend over kiss ass. If the passive do not act soon all of the money and power will be at the top and then the real violence will start. Write a letter or send an email, the people in power will get back to you soon, maybe.
    Brian Elwin Pomeroy

  • Adsense Publisher

    I believe in what Wikileaks is doing because unless we have accountability crimes done in the name of the American people will go unpunished, but those who say they’re fighting for the Wikileaks cause is going about it in the wrong way.

    I thought freedom meant we can pick and choose who we associate ourselves with?
    If you’re painting a questionable image companies pull their associations all the time.
    Just look at Tiger woods and how many millions he lost when big endorsement contracts were pulled for his behavior.

    Anybody who attacks another for who they support or do not support is no more a terrorist than those who attacked the USA on 9/11. There was no peaceful solution brought forth by this group’s attacks in the name of Wikileaks. They just decided one day to attack and make terrorist demands. While what Wikileaks is doing is not illegal, the crimes done in their name by this hacking group are. When they are found out, they’re going to jail for a very long time. It’s a very sad day when people have to resort to violent measures to try and force people to do what they want.

    What I find disturbing is all 3 companies who were being the middle man in processing the donations all process donations to more questionable organizations, like the KKK and other white supremacy groups. Kinda funny to see things like the Mastercard logo on a donation form form that asks “Are you a white supremacist?” and yet Wikileaks was the one they decided to pull away from? How about a policy that covers everything from racial intolerance to top secret documents. Why the pick and choose? Did the US government perhaps pressure them with the threat of possible treason charges for supporting such a site?

    • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

      This isn’t JUST about the American people, which the US seems to make the mistake of only thinking about all too often.

      I do NOT agree with the cables being released until after there had been a chance to redact any and all incriminating evidence which could be used against dissidents in countries where being a dissident is life shortening.

      Sure, there are some mentioned in the cables that deserve embarrassment or even job termination but there is a very good chance there will be those whose lives will be terminated because of what has been published whose only ‘crime’ was trusting someone from a country they shouldn’t have.

      At the same time, any actions taken against Wikileaks NOT in the name of possible copyright issues, as Amazon seems to have a legitimate claim, is something I don’t agree with either.

  • http://assistingaffiliates.com Jan

    Wikileaks is being made the scapegoat here simply because they dared to make public previously secret documents.

    These documents were stolen by a disaffected US citizen who is ‘fed up’ with all the dishonesty, lies and deals done in private between people that the citizens of a country trust and have elected to represent them and make important decisions on their behalf that affect their /our lives.

    These published private documents showing these elected officials dishonesty, lies and personal gains are something that should be readily available to the voting public. Do you want to elect someone to represent you whose primary interest is not your best interest? No, neither do I.

    I guess my .o2 cents worth here is twofold:

    (1) Don’t shoot the messenger
    (2) Why the secrets have been exposed.

    And to do this, we shouldn’t be buying into the terrorist hysteria that is designed to cause confusion and attention away from the information exposed.

  • Guest

    Dear Arron, the quesion is …. who is the “average internet citizens.”?
    What set of rules or guidelines you use to define the “average internet citizens.”
    i personally think that there is no “average internet citizens.”… There are no boundaries.
    Can you set Corporate Policies? Do they CARE about consumers, or they only driven by Maximise profit objective!?
    I could be wrong… and defiantly am not a supporter of Anonymous, but I strongly believe that the big corporate, should respect that wikileaks is serving “average internet citizens.” With documents and facts that SHOULDNT be hidden.

  • http://docsheldon.com Doc Sheldon

    Initially, I had mixed emotions about Wikileaks’ actions. As former military, I know how lives can be endangered by seemingly innocuous bits of intelligence, and I found their actions both foolish and reprehensible. Still, I find the government’s mode of attacking them to be equally reprehensible.

    With that said, the actions undertaken by Anonymous are, in my opinion, both irresponsible and illegal. DOS attacks are unquestionable illegal, and should and do bring stiff penalties. Moreover, the attacks by Anonymous are misguided. How does any group, individual or “gathering” claim to be defending the rights of someone, by attacking the rights of someone else? That smacks of killing my neighbor’s dog because someone killed MY dog!

    I see this as nothing more than a misguided exercise by a group of people that have more spare time than they do collective intelligence. Their boredom may land many of them behind bars!

    • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

      And, if any of their cellmates are those put their by their names showing up in the cables, they will have an excellent opportunity to see the effects of the actions they are trying to protect.

      That would be if this were a perfect world, which we all know this isn’t.

      Those who perpetrated the ‘pay-back’ actions are more than likely in countries where their being a dissident wouldn’t get them thrown into prison and never heard from again.

      It’s funny, in a perverse sort of way that the people who are most likely to be concerned about their privacy are the one’s whose lives least depend on it, literally.

  • Guest

    I think calling these people hackers and terrorists suggests that you really do not understand what they are doing or even what DDoS is. They are not hacking into any of these sites, merely directing a large amount of traffic there to slow them down or block access, please do your research before spouting wild accusations.

  • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

    Not that I would be mentioned but were I a dissident in some country known for putting dissidents in prison, or worse, I would be hoping my name doesn’t come up anywhere as having spoken to someone who might have included mention of such a conversation in a diplomatic cable.

    This is a field day for oppressive governments looking for enough evidence to hang someone, literally.

    Information at any and all costs?

  • Guest

    To think that everyone that is a part of Anonymous is a hacker would be just plain ignorant of the fact that there is a public movement underway. I believe that Anonymous is being humble when they state that they are just average users; there is no doubt in my mind that they are, at the very least, above average.

    On another note:
    Does anyone else here find it interesting that Amazon was selling the bundle of leaked documents?!
    “Amazon.co.uk has since ceased selling the bundle of the diplomatic cables…”

    • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

      Just about anyone can get just about anything listed on Amazon whether it violates Amazon’s rules or not.

      The question is how long something that violates Amazon’s rules survives on Amazon.

      What I find interesting is how long it took Amazon to finally remove the documents. Had they been in collusion to bury the documents or ‘punish’ someone, it is likely they would have been removed much sooner.

      Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and content for which copyright is questionable is just content for which copyright is questionable, no aluminum foil hats required.

      And, someone stealing documents and giving them to someone does not mean the person receiving them has any claim to copyright or is excluded from having copyright claims made against one. Usually that’s referred to something more mundane such as being in receipt of stolen goods.

  • Guest

    “Then they proceed to attack and hack their way into company infrastructures” – really? did you not read this? Anonymous clearly stated they are not hacking. the program LOIC just distributes a load of data at a certain site until the site overloads and goes offline. that is not hacking, “hacking” is when u re-modify or re-program a system. knocking off for a few hours is not re-modifying or re-programming.

    Clearly they are not “average internet citizens” because they actually stand for something not just bend over whenever the government says something and be brainwashed by the media, like most people. Countries say they are a democracy. yet cannot tell the people things for “fear of national security” i see how much the people are trusted. Anonymous is backing a site which tells the people what their government is actually doing and saying.

    Stop jumping on the bandwagon and shouting “hacker, hacker!” with out learning the actual definition of the term…


    We are ANONYMOUS and we have no face. Please watch this, a message from one of our own, before you judge us by the media….


    We are ANONYMOUS
    We do not forgive
    We do not forget

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