Earlier this month, a video from Anonymous announced the pending invasion of Wall Street. Shortly after, Anonymous denounced the invasion plans, suggesting they were promoted by law enforcement. Confused? Don’t be. Trap or not, some think it’s a great idea and may choose to take part anyway.
“The events transpiring within Wall Street have caught our eye,” the video announcement promoting Invade Wall Street starts.
“This is why we choose to declare our war against the New York Stock Exchange. We can no longer stay silent as the population is being exploited and forced to make sacrifices in the name of profit. We will show the world that we are true to our word. On Oct. 10, NYSE shall be erased from the Internet. On Oct. 10, expect a day that will never, ever be forgotten.”
The Occupy movement, which started on Wall Street and has since moved to Main Street, as similar gatherings take place across the U.S., was always in the eyes of Anonymous. The statements made by the Pro Invasion Anons are nothing new, and represent the sort of propaganda that has come to be expected from the loosely associative group.
The Invasion calls for a DDoS attack, using LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon), against the main domain of the New York Stock Exchange. Taking this website offline will not harm trading, or cause any sustainable damage to the NYSE itself. But that isn’t the point of Invade Wall Street, the point appears to be attention. A sentiment mirrored by statements released to the public earlier today.
“There’s been some conflict, as always. Many people refuse to accept that Operation Invade Wall Street is a reality. Some say it is a COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) agent tactic to set the map for a false flag operation…,” commented someone going by TheAnonMessage in a video on YouTube.
“I am here to clarify that factions of Anonymous are going with the operation. Other factions are opposing it… Earlier today there was a short hack on N Y S E dot com. I am not authorized to reveal any other information other than that it was down for 30 minutes in a matter of seconds. Those who are going to be part of the attack have a message to the N Y S E: We hack you because we don’t like you.”
The latest statement encouraged those taking part to use open hotspots and TOR as a means to remain undetected while using LOIC.
“We have taken notice to a planned attack which has been named #InvadeWallStreet, which is to be held out on October 10th. We strongly advise against this action and everything it entails to. Many of our brothers and sisters have gone down in the fight for using such tactics, like the WikiLeaks defendants who took down Visa, PayPal, and MasterCard, which led to mass arrests,” a message denouncing the DDoS proposal explains. “We do not want history to repeat itself, and are sincerely worried. Using such a tool such as LOIC to get your message across would [be deemed] irresponsible and you would be signing your own ticket to jail. Please change these tactics for this Op to spare our movement the loss and to spare OccupyWallStreet of the bad press.”
The idea of bad press for the Occupy movement, and the fear that the Invasion plans could ruin what they hope to accomplish, is very real to those on the ground. It took a great deal of effort, including suffering at the hands of police, to gain media attention in the first place. In the weeks that followed the start of Occupy Wall Street, the number of protesters has steadily climbed. The unions are starting to take notice, joining the movement when they can.
However, where Anonymous is concerned, good and bad press often happen at the same time. Just because someone uses the name Anonymous, does not mean everyone else using the name Anonymous agrees with their actions.
“This is not a sign of disorganization or corruption within Anonymous. We are stronger than ever, and are not unfamiliar with issues such as this. Enjoy your view into the political side of Anonymous, but do realize that this exact process is what keeps Anonymous strong,” an Anonymous statement released earlier this month explained.
“[The two operations] need to be kept apart entirely. Invade Wall St has to be done to support Occupy Wall St, but not as a part of it. The protesters are making progress, getting the support of unions and important figures. They don’t need a DDoS to make them strong. A DDoS will show how insecure the banks and other institutions are, however, and expose them for the frauds they are in a way the protesters can’t.”
The idea that something direct needs done is exactly why some will load LOIC and target the NYSE website. They do it because they can, and because they want to, and media spin – positive or negative – will still count as attention to the cause. The same can be said for those who may attempt to deface the NYSE website. They want the attention such an action is sure to bring.
Split of opinion within Anonymous is the norm. Sometimes such a split can cause an operation to grind to a halt. On the other hand, they can create turmoil while promoting an operation further.
In this case, the biggest threat to Anonymous and their support of the Occupy movement is Anonymous themselves.