Anonymous screwed up.
The shadowy collective of hacktivists, a hydra with many tentacles but no clear leader, invested itself into the race-tinged mayhem unleashed by the community of Ferguson, Missouri, where an overzealous cop killed an unarmed black teenager earlier this week.
Anonymous launched a massive DoS attack on Ferguson’s city servers Thursday, which caused them to crash and forced cops to use text messages to communicate. Predictably, it also went after the cops themselves, hacking city servers for personal information about the police chief and his kids, which they posted online, press reports said.
To top it off, the hackers erroneously released the name of the cop who they believed murdered Michael Brown, 18, on Sunday. In fact, the name they released was an innocent local resident who wasn’t involved. The Ferguson police chief named the cop who killed Brown: Darren Wilson.
Interestingly, Anonymous members took to online forums before the DDoS attacks. Some discussed potential targets and methods to be used, all helpful information for federal law enforcement who monitor the chats in order to get a leg up on Anonymous methods and communications.
The dissent between Anonymous members that ensued with the online posting of the wrong guy played itself out on a Twitter account, @TheAnonMessage, which has since been taken down and was used to release the name. A backup account has been established, @TheAnonMessage2.
The murder of a seemingly innocent kid by a cop is odious to say the least. And Anonymous, which wields considerable power and whose aims are oftentimes good, blew a chance here to help affect change and create a dialogue on race.