Hacker infighting has begun between two opposing factions of Anonymous members.
While hacker group Anonymous has become known for attacking various corporations, religious organizations, and musicians, the latest target of the organization is Anonymous itself. Recently, a group of disgruntled Anonymous members split off and seized control of certain Anonymous websites previously used to coordinate operations.
Anonymous is said to be a non-centralized, democratic group of hackers that doesn't have any real generals, just a bunch of soldiers that enact operations based on support by other soldiers. A "rogue admin" named "Ryan" is said to be behind the seizure of these Anonymous sites due to his belief that Anonymous members were taking leadership positions and focusing operations on acquiring media attention.
Speaking to Thinq, Ryan said that certain Anonymous admins such as "Owen" began to abuse their roles, in fact creating a leadership hierarchy where there wasn't supposed to be one. Ryan launched a "coup d'etat" of sorts, taking control of AnonOps.net and AnonOps.ru and also leaking the IP addresses of Anonymous members. "There is a hierarchy. All the power, all the DDoS - it's in that channel," Ryan said.
"The media is part of the problem. It's why AnonOps still exists," Ryan added. He and his supporters believe that Anonymous' power was wasted on "stupid operations" only launched to gain publicity, including OpSony (which Anonymous still denies is involved with the current PSN downtime). Ryan hopes that his acts, which have reportedly taken some of Anonymous' power away, will change Anonymous, saying: "More groups will pop up. Probably many different ones. AnonOps just won't be the flagship."
Anonymous members opposed to Ryan deny his claims. "Like the speaker of parliament, we didn't make laws but we ensured an environment existed in which they could be made," one Anon said. "So most of the talk in there was network maintenance, server issues, floods, attacks on us and how to counteract them, etc. If you wanted to start your own operation on AnonOps, all you have to do is create a new channel for it, register it, and get people interested ... If Anonymous really wants to do something, no one person can stop them."
They add that Ryan is intimidating Anonymous members with the threat of an up to 800,000 hijacked computer botnet, which could be used to attack AnonOps if it's taken back. The Anons say they knew Ryan was "dangerous" due to his outbursts, revealing: "We knew one day there would be a massive one, but we were never sure when." They call Ryan's motivation into question, especially after his outing of IP addresses from largely innocent Anonymous members.
"I don't see how anyone could claim to be working for the general good of Anonymous by putting hundreds of Anons in danger of being arrested," an Anon said. "Most of the people on that list aren't operators, they are just ordinary users who aren't involved in administrative drama between server owners."
There have always been separate groups of Anonymous members, but until now they were usually on the same side. The "core" of Anonymous is currently trying to regain control, but what happens after that is anyone's guess.
Thanks for the tip Starke!