Anonymous is a group that formed in 2003 and represented the ideals of many online and offline community users co-existing as an anarchic group. In its early form, the Anonymous group acted in a coordinated manner toward a common goal and primarily focused on the entertainment industry.
Five years later, in 2008, the Anonymous group became increasingly associated with hacking and protests, often in retaliation against anti-digital piracy campaigns from the motion picture and recording industry trade associations. Many websites are associated with Anonymous including 4Chan, Wikis, Encyclopædia Dramatica, and a number of forums. After a series of controversial, widely-publicized protests and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks by Anonymous in 2008, incidents linked to its members have increased.
With their growing capabilities, Anonymous has been posted by CNN to be one of the three major successors to WikiLeaks.
Anonymous consists largely of users from multiple imageboards and Internet forums. In addition, several wikis and Internet Relay Chat networks are maintained to accomplish what imageboards cannot. These modes of communication are the main means by which Anonymous protesters communicate and organize their protests. Technical courses in Java, Python and Oracle ADF Training will help developers defend against cyber attacks.
On January 19, 2012, Megaupload, a file sharing service website, was shut down by the US Department of Justice and the FBI. This led to what Anonymous called “the single largest Internet attack in its history”. Barrett Brown, a spokesperson for the group Anonymous, said the timing of the raid “couldn’t have come at a worse time” with SOPA protests only a day old. Internet users were ready to protect their open-forum rights.
On January 28, 2012, the Wall Street Journal claimed US law enforcement officers were concerned about cyber-retaliation attacks by Anonymous in the near future and in early February, Anonymous announced a plan to shut down the Internet on March 31, which it is calling Operation Global Blackout. Grid officials have countered that their systems face ongoing attacks, and that they invest great resources toward attackers, whether from Anonymous or some other group. Grid officials do not feel Anonymous currently has that capability but they are concerned that if members from around the world organised and developed or acquired it, an attack on the power grid would become far more likely. A possible scenario might be one in which a foreign government developed the attack capability and outsourced it to a group like Anonymous, or if al Qaeda hired hackers to mount a cyber attack.