Anonymous, the international network of activist that comprises mainly of online hackers, is well known for its cyber-attacks on government, corporate, and religious websites since its inception in 2003.
Anonymous has been in media frontlines recently as a result of the group’s targeted attacks on the government of Thailand.
As reported by Hackread, Anonymous’ most recent of the attacks targeted the Thai government job portal.
According to the report, crucial data obtained from a variety of government jobs websites was conveniently separated into a number of links and leaked on the dark web.
Part of the data that Anonymous leaked was the names and personal details of government officials and employment applicants.
Hackread apparently scanned the leaked data in order to determine its legitimacy and made a positive confirmation.
The various sources of the data include, but are not limited to, job postings from: The Administrative Court, Revenue Department, Department of Cooperative Auditing, Public Debt Management Office, Fine Arts Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Digital Economy Ministry, Department of National Parks, Provincial Waterworks Authority, and Wildlife and Plant Conservation.
Anonymous specifically targeted the respective domains and sub-domains assigned to the affected Thai government websites.
Specifically included in the trove of data are names, website databases, surnames, phone numbers, email addresses, encrypted passwords, payment details, bank account details, and the companies targeted by the job applicants.
At the moment, the exact number of affected accounts has not been conclusively determined. What is known is that thousands of accounts have fallen victim to Anonymous’ recent data breach.
As it has come to be expected, Anonymous only leaks a certain percentage of the total data that they manage to obtain, for various reasons.
The main reason given by Anonymous for this practice is that some of the data can negatively affect the lives of the citizens whose rights they are fighting for if it is leaked.
The Thai government job portal breach is the latest in a series of attacks by Anonymous, largely motivated by the passing of the controversial 2015 Thailand Computer Crime Act.
These new sets of cyber laws have been widely criticized as infringing on the freedom of expression and, more importantly, on human rights. Among the most controversial parts of the law are sections 16 and 20.
Section 16 assigns the criminal status to the possession of illegal information while section 20 gives additional power via the disputed ethics committee to the Digital Economy Ministry.
The latter requires for all service providers to provide access to the Digital Economy Ministry enabling the department to delete perfectly legal content that the ethics committee deems immoral.
Ever since the bill was unanimously passed by the Thai legislature, Anonymous has gone “all out” in targeted attacks towards the government of Thailand.
It is important to note that the bill was passed despite a petition by Thai Netizen Network and Amnesty International that was endorsed by 300,000 internet users.
Anonymous, it would seem, did not take this lightly. Under the hashtag #opSingleGateway, Anonymous has carried out a wave of attacks leading to the recent Thai job portal leaks.
The very nature of this attack is revealing in that the efforts seem to be getting revamped with each subsequent attack.
In the earlier stages of the operation, Anonymous only focused on website defacement, occasional doxing, and data dumping.
It quickly escalated to entire takedowns of official government websites including the central government and Revenue Department using distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Anonymous has not been shy to state that “more is yet to come.”
The Anonymous attacks have, as expected, aroused varied sentiment among people for and against the new laws.
Those supporting the laws view the attacks as a reason why they should be implemented in the first place,whereas there seems to be a divide among those opposed to the laws.
While the novelty and necessity behind the actions of Anonymous is admired, much criticism has arisen from the potentially dangerous leaking and doxxing of personal information.
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