Undeterred by the recent arrests of 35 alleged members in Spain and Turkey, hacker group Anonymous has officially launched a campaign against the Federal Reserve. According to the group, the United States’ central financial institution has “deliberately” driven millions into poverty in order to enrich the nation’s wealthiest, along with a slew of equally-damning populist grievances.
The action against the Federal Reserve began 90 days ago, when Anonymous called on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to step down. Obviously, he did not. So Anonymous initiated this week “Operation Empire State Rebellion,” or #OpESR, a crusade that promises to “restore the rule of law and fight back against the organized criminal class,” according to a video statement released by the group entitled “Ctrl+Alt+Bernanke.”
It is not yet clear what type of action Anonymous will take against the Fed, though it is believed they will resort to their standard tactic of taking down a website with a distributed denial of service (DDoS) “attack,” which is more an act of protest than war, as the flood of traffic does no real damage to the website, besides overloading its servers. In its video statement, Anonymous called on supporters “to occupy a public space until Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke steps down.” What a “public space” means — whether digital or physical — remains unclear.
Despite its popularity with Anonymous, DDoS is likely the least powerful weapon in the group’s arsenal. Anonymous has successfully broken into the systems of a variety of world governments, and has been blamed with the hack on Sony’s PlayStation Network that resulted in a complete shutdown of the service for more than a month, and the theft of personal data of as much as 100 million Sony customers worldwide.
This weekend, reports revealed that hackers infiltrated the systems of the International Monetary Fund, a super-governmental agency that oversees the world’s financial systems, and possibly stole data so sensitive it could cause havoc in governments around the globe if made public. While some suspect that the IMF breach was the work of a “foreign government” (possibly China), others believe that Anonymous may be behind the hack. And if they are, well, Ben Bernanke really will have a problem on his hands.