Is the Hacktivist Group ‘Anonymous’ Still Active?


Nayely Banuelos, Author

Anonymous, a hacking group founded in 2003, is described as “The man without a head,” meaning they are a loose collective, a leaderless organization. If members show up in public, their faces are hidden behind a mask.

What does Anonymous do?
When the “hacktivist” group was formed, the idea was to fight against evil on the internet. Anonymous can hack into many devices to expose what they consider bad acts. They have launched cyber attacks against government agencies and institutions, the Ku Klux Klan, child porngraphy sites, and many others.

The individuals involved in this group hack into computers with zero permission to steal data such as message records, names, addresses, phone numbers and credit cards. It is said that there is always a “greater good” purpose behind their attacks.

Anonymous uses existing facilities of the internet. To figure out if they are involved in an action, look for terms such as “anonymous” and other keywords that might be connected to the group.

What has Anonymous done?
According to the organization Cyber Policy, “The group Anonymous broke out on to the scene in 2006 with purposely offensive trolling campaigns to frustrate and annoy web users. It wasn’t until 2008 when the group found international acclaim for Project Chanology, a globally coordinated effort to protest the Church of Scientology.

After a few months of working Project Chanology, Anonymous was accused of launching a dramatic attack on an epilepsy support website, resulting in seizures for several members, due to rapidly flashing colors on the screen.

Anonymous carried out dozens of operations in support of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, which began in September 2011 in New York City. The group aimed to advance social and economic justice and new forms of democracy, protesting against “the decaying conditions of existence” for Americans as the result of the 2008 financial crisis.

In 2012, an Anonymous hacker uncovered a football fan page that exposed a gang rape of high school students. The group is said to have helped protestors in Tunisia and other countries during the “Arab Spring” of 2012. They have responded to several police shootings by organizing cyber protests against the police departments involved. They have also declared war on the Islamic State.

So you want to join Anonymous?
Anonymous is not really an organization, a club, or even a movement. There is no charter, no membership fee, just people who share a common interest, purpose, or dislike for a period of time. A person is a member if they say they are.

In a video (, a member of Anonymous explained that people cannot simply ¨join” the group: “We come from all places of society, we are students, clerks, bus drivers, young, old. We are your neighbors. We are Anonymous.”

“People need to understand it’s not about buying a mask and creating a Twitter account,¨ an Anonymous hacker said. ¨You actually have to fight for what you believe in.”

Hector Xavier Monsegur, an American hacker, is a co-founder of the group. Rather than face 124 years in prison for hacking companies such as Mastercard and Paypal, Monsegur became an informant for the FBI to help identify other hackers, according to Wikipedia.

Where is Anonymous now?
The group shocked the world when it declared ¨total war¨ on Donald Trump and then disappeared after promising an operation that would dismantle his campaign.

People find it difficult to understand if true Anonymous hackers remain in the group. ¨This lack of leadership caused a lot of problems with many media outlets,¨ said Monsegur.

One person who claims to still be in the group said, “Join the many thousands of grassroots movements out there in the streets that are actually helping people if you want to help your fellow man and community; a storm of retweets isn’t helping anyone.”