The hacking collective known as Anonymous has moved from one target to the next and declared "total war" on the Donald Trump campaign. But this isn't the first time the hackers have decided Trump was a worthy target of their attacks. OpTrump is back on, and they are looking to expose the billionaire candidate in any way they can.
The announcement was made through the usual channel for Anonymous, YouTube, in which the expected masked informer makes a speech about their intentions.
"We have been watching you for a long time and what we've seen is deeply disturbing. You don't stand for anything but your personal greed and power.
"This is a call to arms. Shut down his websites, research and expose what he doesn't want the public to know. We need you to dismantle his campaign and sabotage his brand."
In late 2015, they launched a cyber attack on Trump Tower's website following a string of comments about banning Muslims from the U.S. According to the Guardian, the 2015 attack was a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) meant to overwhelm servers. And that was it. OpTrump didn't accomplish much else apart from releasing some voicemail messages.
Will Anonymous make more of an impact in their renewed effort against Donald Trump?
With the increased number of statements from Trump against Mexicans, women, the disabled and Megyn Kelly, Anonymous has decided it's time to go full force at the man deemed "the Orange One" by Esquire. But their efforts in the past have been lackluster at best. They have declared war on ISIS twice, the latest being after the Paris attacks, and were able to take down some Twitter accounts as their most substantial form of success.Anonymous also claimed to release Ku Klux Klan member contact info but later denied responsibility when the information was found to be false. Madeline Rogero, the mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee, was somehow on that list and made quick moves to dissolve any suspicion that she was a KKK member.
"For reasons unfathomable to me or anyone who knows me, my name is on the list. Given my background, my interracial family, my public record and my personal beliefs, this would be hilarious except that it is probably being seen by a lot of people who have no idea who I am."
Perhaps Donald Trump has little reason to fear the big-talking hacktivist collective, as their efforts in the past have been noble. Yet, Anonymous commands support from a huge portion of the public. In a way, you have to wonder if those who support Donald Trump for such superficial reasons as his anti-establishment attitude will defect to Anonymous' influence on the same count. After all, in a way, both parties symbolize transparency and freedom. Many Americans support Trump for his fearless and frequently offensive statements of perceived truth. Anonymous, meanwhile, works to dislodge the establishment through tech wizardry and vigilante justice.Could the involvement of Anonymous sway certain voters?
The man in they Guy Fawkes mask seems to believe that their efforts to expose Donald Trump for what he really is, based on what he's hiding and not just what he says, will have an impact on whether or not he wins the presidency. Either way, Anonymous is rallying support from inside and outside the hacker community to sabotage Trump's campaign.
"We need you to shut down his websites... We are encouraging every able person with a computer watching this video to participate in this operation. You do not need to know how to hack to support this important operation."
[Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]