Perhaps Not as Anonymous as They Thought…

Earlier this week the hacking group Anonymous announced it was going to throw down with the Mexican drug cartel called the Zetas.[1]  Specifically, Anonymous aimed to “post the names, photos and addresses of taxi drivers, police, journalists and others allegedly working with the Zetas.” This was an interesting approach.  Anonymous basically planned to out all of the Zeta criminal infrastructure.  The question is whether or not outing these people would be effective.

Unfortunately, we’ll never know.  Just today Anonymous changed their minds.[2]  The members of Anonymous quickly determined that the Zetas are not squeamish about killing people to make a point.  This characteristic would probably make it relatively easy for the Zetas to track down the Anonymous members leading the attack and ensure those leaders had an unfortunate accident.  Similar online outbursts have resulted in decapitations and people being hung from highway overpasses.

Clearly, the Zetas are concerned with the electronic theater of operations.  They are probably concerned for the same reasons as businesses are concerned about the online world.  The web is the modern day printing press and how information is disseminated and opinions are formed.  The Zetas are concerned with their online reputation.

I suspect that like any other large organization, they rely heavily on IT infrastructure to make their operations more effective.  I wonder if we will start seeing more attacks on this infrastructure from rival gangs or governments.  It seems pretty obvious that traditional means of fighting drug cartels are unsuccessful.  Maybe the way to gain the advantage is through cyber attacks on their IT infrastructure rather than on their logistical infrastructure.

 

[1]
Robert Lemos, “Anonymous threatens, then cancels, attack on drug ring,” InfoWorld, 01-Nov-2011. [Online]. Available: http://www.infoworld.com/t/security/anonymous-threatens-then-cancels-attack-drug-ring-177609. [Accessed: 02-Nov-2011].
[2]
Associated Press, “Narcos, Meet Hackers: 2 ‘Anonymous’ Groups Spar,” NPR, 02-Nov-2011. [Online]. Available: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=141924663. [Accessed: 03-Nov-2011].

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