The pace of attacks by cyber vigilantes seems to be increasing in 2012. Yesterday news broke that the website of the CIA was down, an attack for which Anonymous claimed responsibility. Today CNN is reporting that attacks also hit government agencies in Mexico and Alabama, and that “information was compromised” at Alabama’s Department of Homeland Security.
In a release, Alabama Department of Homeland Security Director Spencer Collier said that his agency was conducting a forensic analysis to determine what information might have been obtained by the hackers.
The ties to Anonymous come from claims on the group’s Twitter and Tumblr feeds. As usual with the hacktivists, the attack was linked to a political protest. A page from the hacked site bore the tag line of the group and stated that this was a response to, “recent racist legislation in an attempt to punish immigrants as criminals.”
The Guy Fawkes masks worn by the group have become the symbol of their movement. They are a reference to the comic book series V for Vendetta, written by Alan Moore and first published in 1982. That story chronicles a masked man’s attempts to take down the British government.
Writing in The Guardian earlier this week, Moore said he approved of the movement which has borrowed his trademark mask. “Today’s response to similar oppressions seems to be one that is intelligent, constantly evolving and considerably more humane…As for the ideas tentatively proposed in that dystopian fantasy thirty years ago, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that whatever usefulness they afford modern radicalism is very satisfying. In terms of a wildly uninformed guess at our political future, it feels something like V for validation.”