Anonymous Calls Off Cartel Operation After Hostage Was Released
Estimated reading time: 9 minute(s)
A while ago the internet “terrorist” / hacktvist group Anonymous set out on a mission against the Mexican drug cartel. Quite a big operation seeing as both US DEA and Mexican government have been doing the same thing for many years with no success. Either way just about everyone cheered for and thought that anonymous could take the fight. Not enough to shut the cartel down, but maybe shut the cartel up. Anonymous had some information about the cartel that they didn’t want released but threatened to do so if their kidnapped member wasn’t released. Yesterday he was released, so congrats anonymous!
Read about the attack HERE
Anonymous IberoAmerica, the Latin American collective within the Anonymous hacktivist group, has called off its operation to expose members of the Zetas narcotics cartel after announcing that a kidnapped Anonymous member was released. The released hostage also reportedly delivered a message: that the Zetas would kill ten people for every name of a Zeta associate released by Anonymous.
Anonymous members launched an effort called OpCartel last week after claiming a member had been kidnapped during a “Operation Paperstorm” protest in Veracruz. The group threatened to “dox” members of the cartel, releasing names and addresses of taxi drivers, journalists, and members of law enforcement associated with the group. To collect information to aid in their effort, the group posted a “plug-in” Web application to allow would-be informants to protect their identities while providing names and other information.
Over the past few days, however, there has been growing dissention within the group about going forward with the effort; the Zetas had responded with online efforts of their own, sending death threats through Twitter and other channels, including a claim that they had tracked down the IP address of the user of one Anonymous Twitter account. According to Stratfor Global Intelligence analyst Ben West, the Zetas have their own computer security resources, and could conceivably have made efforts to identify Anonymous members as retribution.
“Since we have seen evidence of cartels employing their own computer scientists to engage in cybercrime,” he said in a video report, “it is logical to conclude that the cartels likely have individuals working to track anti-cartel bloggers and hackers. Those individuals involved thus face the risk of abduction, injury and death—judging by how Los Zetas have dealt with threats in the past.”
After briefly cancelling the effort on November 2, the Anonymous group apparently voted to move forward with the plan according to a video post by Barrett Brown, who has acted as the public face of Anonymous in the past. But just a day later, the operation was called off again, apparently because Anonymous had met its original goal.
“On this day, our anonymous friend retained by the Zetas cartel has been released,” the group said in a statement on its website. “We can say that while bruised, he is alive and well. He has sent us a message that if Anonymous reveals a name related to the cartel, the family of the kidnapped anonymous will suffer, and for each cartel member revealed, ten people will be put to death. The Anonymous collective has decided by consensus not to disclose the information that we have for now, as we understand that we can not ignore threats involving innocent civilians that have nothing to do with our actions.”