Hacktivism: An Analysis of the Motive to Disseminate Confidential Information

Anonymous, LulzSec, and the AntiSec movement are Internet-based organizations seeking to obtain and disseminate confidential data. Governments worldwide have made an attempt to crack down on these groups in response to the actions taken by them. Several countries, including the United States (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2011a; 2011b; Department of Justice, 2011), the United Kingdom (Halliday, Arthur, & Ball, 2011; Halliday, 2011b), Spain (Tremlett, 2011), France (Manach, 2012), the Netherlands (Associated Press, 2011), Italy, Switzerland, Turkey (Harris, 2011), Argentina, Chile, and Colombia (Associated Press, 2012) have made arrests and have raided residences belonging to Anonymous and LulzSec members. It is believed that hacktivist groups were responsible for more stolen data than cybercriminals during 2011 (Verizon, 2012), the first year that cybercriminals’ participation in hacking was surpassed by another type of cyber actor. The infamy and notoriety gained by these organizations makes it clear; disseminated confidential information is a threatening phenomenon on the rise in the 21st century affecting governmental security worldwide. The Internet, the most crucial element for the facilitation of these groups’ actions, is responsible for bringing them together.

Tags: cybercrime, hacktivist