Anonymous to Launch Month-Long Assault on Financial System

The hacktivist group plans to target organizations such as PayPal, Visa, NASDAQ, the IMF, and major banks.
Katie Kuehner-HebertMay 5, 2016
Anonymous to Launch Month-Long Assault on Financial System

Hacktivist group Anonymous on Wednesday posted a YouTube video statement that it was embarking on a 30-day cyberattack called “Operation Icarus,” in which it would target numerous financial organizations including the London Stock Exchange, PayPal, and NASDAQ.

“We will not let the banks win, we will be attacking the banks with one of the most massive attacks ever seen in the history of Anonymous,” the speaker said, using the characteristic Anonymous mask and electronically-altered voice.

“We will be giving many tools to each and every ‘Anon’ all over the world, and we will be holding down PayPal, MasterCard, VISA, NASDAQ, Bank for International Settlements, all central banks, IMF, London Stock Exchange, and every major banking system … [they all] will be targeted by Anonymous,” the speaker added.

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While the group did not say what cyberattack tools it plans to use, in the past Anonymous has launched distributed denial of service (DDos) attacks — heavy waves of malicious traffic that can slow a website or shut it down entirely, according to the American Banker.

“This time around, the group says it wants to punish the financial system for a broad range of actions, including high fees and interest rates, foreclosures, and bailouts,” wrote American Banker.

The news comes after hackers successfully disrupted the website of the Greek central bank by using a DDoS attack, according to the International Business Times. The motivation, according to the hackers responsible, was to protest alleged corruption in the global banking system.

However, a Bank of Greece official told Reuters that the cyberattack “lasted for a few minutes and was successfully tackled by the bank’s security systems. The only thing that was affected by the denial-of-service attack was our website.”

Anonymous earlier posted a YouTube video statement on Monday, claiming responsibility for the DDoS attack on the Bank of Greece, the initial salvo of Operation Icarus.

“How fitting that Icarus found his way back to Greece,” the speaker said.

“Like Icarus, the powers that be have flown too close to the sun, and the time has come to set the wings of their empire ablaze, and watch the system their power relies on come to a grinding halt and come crashing down around them. We must strike at the heart of their empire by once again throw[ing] a wrench into the machine, but this time we face a much bigger target — the global financial system.”