Steve Jobs said, “It’s better to be a pirate than to join the navy.” That was, of course, long before Apple had iTunes to protect. Some web subcultures took that to heart: the Pirate Bay, the Pirate Party, and, of course, those most notorious of masked web marauders, Anonymous.
Anonymous has cut a swathe across the Internet, taking aim with its Low Orbit Ion Cannons (a piece of software) to TANGODOWN (take offline) sites all across the cybersphere in DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. But sometimes, rarely, the nebulous and unpredictable collective is the fall guy for even more shadowy characters.
Saturday, Zeiko Anonymous, an account with Anonymous-themed banner photo and an avatar swiped from @YourAnonNews ostentatiously announced it was against piracy and against torrents and would DDoS torrent sites for being so evil, which it proceeded to do: six of them, in fact. Anonymous as a collective was horrified, and swiftly denied involvement.
Torrent news site Torrentfreak identified the original purpose of the attacks: According to IRC transcripts, Zeiko had earlier demanded an invitation to the private What.cd site, and threatened to DDoS it if he didn’t get one. This was, naturally, not forthcoming. At that point, Zeiko decided that instead of wanting to be on the inside of a torrent site, he hated them. He went on the offensive, taking down What.cd, BroadcastTheNet, SceneAccess, PassThePopcorn, and HDBits for periods of time up to several hours, in a rampage much like a petulant teen turned away from the door of a club who turns firebreathing anti-club crusader. The attacks eventually petered out and Zeiko still hasn’t gotten the coveted invite.
As of now, all sites are back online and the Zeiko twitter account appears to be taking a little “time out.”
This isn’t the first time—or even the first time in the past couple of months—that someone has falsely tried to pin an attack on Anonymous.
Just shy of a month ago an apparent Anon calling itself Fawkes Security tweeted a bomb threat, to detonate in an undisclosed location on Election Day. The threat was a dud, the bomb didn’t exist, and within minutes the hivemind of Anonymous had disavowed and isolated the account, saying it was a false flag attack meant to make Anonymous seem hostile and dangerous.
The founder of the Facebook group has now deleted her account, called out as a fake by Anons, and the Twitter account is engaging in stagy shadowboxing with “patriot hacker” The Jester, although the two are widely rumored to be the same individual.
Photo via norita6bonita/Instagram