Anonymous has once again targeted a despicable group, and like the hacker group’s recent attack on pedophiles,[i] I find myself reluctantly cheering. It’s hard to feel sorry when a bunch of drug running thugs who dabble in other crimes like extortion get the tables turned on them.
It’s almost like Anonymous really is evolving into a band of digital superheroes – clear down to their masked appearance (as Guy Fawkes) in their YouTube video.
Unfortunately, like the superheroes of fiction, they’re operating as vigilantes – imagine the good that could be accomplished if their considerable skills were applied more directly towards collaborating with law enforcement.
According to the Anonymous YouTube video, it was the kidnapping of one of their hacktivists that triggered their threats against the Zetas, an ultra-violent Mexican drug cartel that in addition to their drug trafficking is also involved in extortion, assassinations and kidnappings.
The hacktivist group also set a Nov. 5th deadline for the release of their member timing it to coincide with Guy Fawkes Day, the anniversary of the discovery of the 1604 plot to blow up the British Parliament.
Anonymous threatens to release photos and names of everyone involved with the Zetas – from taxi drivers and journalists and on up the chain and says they want “the army and the navy to know that we are fed up with the criminal group Zetas.”
If the hackers really can pull off the exposure of the cartel’s participants – and given their track record the threat doesn’t seem idle – the cartel appears to be in an untenable position. Giving in to Anonymous’ threat makes them appear weak and leaves them vulnerable to other attacks in what is already a brutal struggle for dominance in the drug trade. On the other hand, ignoring the threat and being outed by name and with pictures leaves their entire cartel exposed in an open hunting season by law enforcement and competing thugs.
It will be curious to see how this unfolds. My hope is that the kidnapped hacktivist is returned safely AND the cartel is still served up on a platter.