A look at the rise of the hactivist group Anonymous, and why they’ve targeted certain organizations:

“On February 5, 2011, the Financial Times quoted Aaron Barr, CEO of a security company called HBGary Federal, as saying that he had uncovered the leadership of Anonymous. He claimed the group had around 30 active members, including 10 senior hackers who made all the decisions, and he purportedly had linked their IRC handles to real names using social-network analysis. He was planning to announce all this, he said, during a presentation at an upcoming security conference.

“Anonymous responded with inhuman severity and swiftness. Within 48 hours, all the data on the email servers of HBGary Federal and its former parent company, HBGary, had been stolen and then released in full on the Pirate Bay. Anons further humiliated Barr by seizing his Twitter account and (they allege, though this has never been confirmed) even erasing his iPad remotely. Barr’s Anonymous presentation was posted on the net and laughed at for its supposed inaccuracies. The notice on HBGary Federal’s site read, ‘This domain has been seized by Anonymous under section #14 of the rules of the Internet.’ (Rule 14 is a real thing, from a ‘Rules of the Internet’ list that often made the rounds on /b/. It reads as follows: ‘Do not argue with trolls—it means that they win.’)”