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What Can Anonymous Teach Us About Cyber Security?

Even though we haven’t heard from Anonymous in a while, the group is still active and ready to make an appearance. We got a confirmation when Anonymous declared a cyberwar against Russia on Twitter after this country invaded Ukraine.

These so-called hacktivists emerge every time there is an injustice or a social cause they believe in. One of their more famous cyberattacks was on Westboro Baptist Church in 2012. The church announced they would stage a protest in Newtown, Connecticut, where the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred. As a response, Anonymous got their hands on the members’ personal information and threatened to leak it.

But the activities of Anonymous are also very educational for businesses and companies around the globe. They teach us to amp up our online security and be more aware of the possible dangers we face on the internet every single day.

What is Anonymous?

Anonymous is a group of international hackers who became famous after cyberattacks on various governments, companies, and even the Church of Scientology. They first emerged sometime in 2003 on a website called 4chan and are easily recognized because they disguise their faces with a Guy Fawkes mask. The mask itself can be seen in the movie V for Vendetta.

The group wasn’t all about hacktivism at first. Many critics accused them of cyberbullying. However, Anonymous became a celebrity overnight after a DDoS cyberattack on the Church of Scientology in 2008. They took over the church’s webpage and placed numerous prank calls to their headquarters. Additionally, the attack also included faxing entirely black pages. As a result, the printers ran out of ink.

Since there is no actual hierarchy in the Anonymous group, it is hard to determine who could be their next target. But one thing is for sure – Anonymous oppose any censorship or inequality. Authorities did arrest many Anonymous activists, so they are more careful and not as active as they used to be. But the group does make an appearance now and then.

Anonymous became a part of the pop culture of the 2000s and 2010s and are praised internationally. Their iconic Guy Fawkes masks can be seen on protests all around the globe and are a symbol of resistance to oppression. Some people also wear it as a form of support for the group.

How do anonymous teach us about cybersecurity?

Anonymous is not a club or a small group of people. They are a network of international hackers who are knowledgeable about cybersecurity. Even though there is no leader, Anonymous is willing to collaborate and work together for the beliefs they stand for. So what have we learned about cybersecurity from Anonymous?

Website vulnerability: If we look at some of the most well-known Anonymous attacks, it is clear they first try out the obvious vulnerabilities, namely easy to guess passwords. Simple login credentials are usually a downfall of most websites. Therefore, users need to pay close attention when they create a password.

Additionally, any device connected to the internet can be a target for Anonymous. It means that everyone should focus on security measures. Hackers shouldn’t find a hole or an exploit because the consequences could be terrible.

Hackers like fame: Cybercriminals want to prove themselves to their peers, and chances are they would attack any website just to put their name on it. We have seen this several times with the Anonymous group, but they are primarily concerned about the injustices in the world. The perfect example is their attack on the Russian government and news websites in February and March 2022.

Members of Anonymous often leave the group’s banner on a web page to ensure everyone sees that the page is compromised. But these hackers would never come out publicly about what they did because they won’t be a part of Anonymous anymore.

How to protect your business from a cyberattack

Anonymous proved to everyone that hacking a webpage is not super complicated, mainly because of low security. But protecting your business from a cyberattack is simple, especially if you have the right tools and the support from your employees. Let’s dive in!

Strong passwords

Using strong passwords should be mandatory in the 2020s. Talk to your employees and urge them not to create simple login details. And make sure everyone is on the same page! Furthermore, recycling passwords should be discouraged. Every password should be unique and impossible to guess.

The right tools

Cybersecurity tools could be a real gamechanger for businesses. For instance, NordVPN Threat Protection is a brand new service that dives deeper into internet safety than ever before. NordVPN Threat Protection helps you identify harmful websites, avoid unnecessary trackers, and stop those pesky popups right in their tracks. Also, it prevents any suspicious downloads to your device.

Of course, using a VPN on its own is perfectly okay, but if your goal is to elevate the overall cybersecurity of a business, trying out new tools is smart. Combine NordVPN’s Threat Protection with quality antivirus software, and you can be sure that your device will have a full defense.

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Photo by Igal Ness on Unsplash

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