Happy New Year 2013
The year 2012 was quite unusual in many aspects as many new and varied hacking incidents were reported across the globe and hackers spared no chance to challenge existing security measures irrespective of the geographical location. Interestingly, various hackers used hacking to voice their concern over the degrading condition of the society and redefined hacking in the process.
It will not be wrong to state that the year belonged almost completely to the elite and elusively notorious hacking congregation known as Anonymous. The hacking collective performed the most famous hacks this year and gave stern retaliation to many governments and organizations across the globe. The group continued its method of hacking for bringing about a change in the society and to
express disgust at the several oppressive practices being perpetrated by many governments, which they call their “hacktivism”. They gained much appreciation for their hacking efforts when they protested strongly against Internet censorship during the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) incident and further during the Pirate Bay and Megaupload incident which happened during the start of the year. They continued attacking many government sites, prominently the UK government during the mid year period and they organized protests outside the London Stock Exchange and also protested outside the British Parliament on the Guy Fawkes Day against rising poverty and inflation. Anonymous did not spare religious organizations and attacked the Church of Scientology considering them to be proponents of censorship. Furthermore, they took on the social networking site Facebook and promised to destroy the site on Guy Fawkes Day if they did not oppose the shelving of workforce by their partner gaming site Zynga. They rounded up the year with attacks on Israeli government for their air strikes on Gaza which killed many innocents and also attacked the Syrian government sites after the state imposed an internet blackout. Moreover, they also helped in nabbing some criminals, notably the persons who harassed a young student on Facebook to the extent that she committed suicide, and also a pedophiliac internet predator whose whereabouts were made known to the police by the members of Anonymous. However, the reception of the group remains mixed as many agencies still take them to be “hackers on steroids” and many are still skeptical of their hacktivism.
Many other hackers, individually and in groups, performed many acts of hacktivism and exposed the vulnerabilities in their security apparatus of many organizations which has definitely made them take a hard look at their security. Moreover, numerous security organizations, prominently the Kaspersky Lab are in the process of developing new hacking proof software for preventing unwelcome intrusions.
Evidently, not all hackers have taken the route of social hacking and many hackers with malicious intents also remained active and performed attacks and obviously did a lot of damage to many organizations, and there were some who were dealt with strictly by the law, notably the teenage haker UG Nazi who was handed a restraining order and was banned from the internet for six long years.
However, it can be asserted that the year belonged to the social “hacktivism” overall which was further fueled by the actions of Anonymous and other hackers which is a good sign about the changing mentality of hackers. Surely, the coming year will also have many memorable hacking incidents and one can bank on Anonymous and other talented hackers for enough fireworks in the coming year as well which will be appreciated by some and despised by others. On that note, it is time to wish Happy New
Year to one and all.