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From: InfoSec News (alertsinfosecnews.org)
Date: Thu Jun 14 2012 - 06:56:00 CDT
By Parmy Olson
The Daily Beast
June 13, 2012
The sound of a milk steamer roars in the background in a coffee shop,
where William is sitting at a table and drinking idly from a cup. He is
a young man, early 20s, dressed in a checkered red shirt and low-slung
jeans, who wouldnâ€™t look out of place wandering around his local
shopping mall or riffing with friends over a beer. William has a few
secrets, though, and one of his biggest is that he aligns himself with
Anonymous. This is the online community of hacktivists and Internet
trolls thatâ€™s been running riot across the Web for the past few years.
William (not his real name) is somewhat hardcore. He insists that he is
part of the original Anonymousâ€”like a Roman Catholic who sees himself as
being part of the â€śone true church.â€ť He says this part of Anonymous
started it all, laying the foundations for the current nebulous
community and injecting it with all the necessary elements of
subculture: the memes and the lingo, the profound social acceptance and
the disdain for authority, the intent to harass people for fun or
â€ślulz.â€ť Things that made it attractive and fun.
The â€śhacktivistâ€ť Anons who attacked Stratfor last year, and PayPal and
MasterCard the year before, the ones who wear the Guy Fawkes masks and
protest against acronyms like CISPA and ACTA: theyâ€™re a â€śjoke,â€ť William
grumbles. A pair of elderly ladies at the table next door look in his
direction over their cups of tea, and he lowers his voice a little. The
real, true Anonymous lives on 4chan, William says, a website visited by
millions of people each month. So-called trolls who are the Joker to the
hacktivistsâ€™ Batman. Young men who, like William, are happy to watch the
world burn. In essence, itâ€™s his home.
William first found 4chan when he was in his early teens, around the
same time he and his friends were â€śpedo-batingâ€ť on MSN chat and other
websites. They would come online with a nickname like â€śsexy_baby_girlâ€ť
and pretend to be an underage teen who wanted to see an older man
masturbate on a Web cam. Once a man showed up on video, theyâ€™d suddenly
type out a fake IP address, say it was his and that they were from child
protection services. As the men suddenly fumbled for the mouse to turn
it off, theyâ€™d fall about laughing. William always wanted to take the
joke further, to get the man more excited. When it was over, heâ€™d go
home and carry out the pranks on his own.
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