Hack Update – Anonymous #OpIcarus

The Anonymous hacktivist collective has been fighting for free speech and open Internet for many years. Some applaud their spirit in going after elitist groups, but others have criticized them not only for their actions but for the seeming ineffectiveness of their vigilantism. After their recent hack operation on world central banks, however, those who say that the collective is just full of hollow threats and dry promises will have to rethink their assessment of the group.


The name of this huge operation to bring down the central banks of the world has been dubbed Operation Icarus. The operation is a planned 30-day attack on these biggest banks in the world, and reports have come in that they have already gained access to at least 20 Central Reserve Banks.

3 international banks were among the first to be shut down during the second week of May by 2 hacker groups connected with Anonymous. S1ege and Scrub claimed responsibility for shutting down the National Reserve Bank of Tonga on May 9, then hacking the Central Bank of Sweden and crashing the Central Bank of Bhutan’s website on May 10. The websites of the Central Bank of Montenegro and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand were also down for a time on that day. This was followed by reports of a shutdown of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority. On May 12, the Central Bank of Jordan was brought down as well.

By May 13, not ironically a Friday, there were 13 completed attacks on international banks, which we are sure is not an accidental number. In the name of #OpIcarus, Anon-affiliated groups crashed the Bank of England’s internal mail servers and its website. The websites of the Bihar Gramin Bank, the Bank of Korea, the Central Banks of Laos and Myanmar, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. 5 more attacks followed, hitting the Bank of France, the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, the Central Bank of Tunisia, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates, and the Philippine National Bank.

We should also be expecting an attack on the US Federal Reserve, if Icarus goes as planned. Anonymous previously hacked the Federal Reserve Bank in 2011, taking about 4000 banker credentials to expose these bankers’ behind-the-scenes movements that were aimed at exerting influence in the political arena. 72 bankers have committed suicide since 2011, which to some indicates a connection with the Anonymous hack. The political influence of banks has not seemed to diminish since that time, however.

S1ege has been connected with a branch of the Anonymous collective called the Ghost Squad. They explained the hacking operation as a move against monopolistic banking giants that are causing disorder and throwing us into eternal confusion. Operation Icarus was named as part of the effort to begin an online revolution that would strike back against these elitist institutions. Central banks are not the only targets, said S1ege, but the collective had focused on these and has targeted NASDAQ, NYSE and Paypal for the next round of attacks. The ultimate goal of this operation is to upset the flow of central banks all over the world. Judging from the effects of the collective’s previous operations, we are not sure if such a revolution is likely to gain momentum or have any real impact.

The banks that have been attacked so far have not released any statements or in fact any information at all about the degree of penetration by Anon hackers. We therefore only know from the statements of the hackers themselves as to what they did, and then can only imagine what kind of damage has been done. The reality is that although some will yell foul at the collective’s hacktivism, it is likely that these hacks are a mere blip in the life of these banks. The powers that be, with decades of capitalist experience and wealth flow management, are not so easily swayed by a few hours or even days of downtime. The most that we can honestly hope for is that the public will become more aware of the true sway that these banking giants have over every significant aspect of the workings of our world.

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