Hacktivist group Anonymous Friday declared a cyberwar campaign against the government of Nigeria in a fight against corruption, poverty and theft. In an online post, the amorphous online activist collective called on its followers to “take out” the websites of Nigeria’s Finance, Foreign Affairs and Justice ministries as well as the Federal Capital Territory Administration. All four websites were down Friday afternoon.
“Let them see we have Anonymous Nigeria,” the post stated in all caps. “They should have expected us.”
Anonymous cited rampant corruption, poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, impunity and poor healthcare as reasons for “Operation Nigeria.” The faceless group said hacking the government websites was “a warning” and threatened to “leak their data” if officials do not address these grievances.
— Anonymous (@YourAnonGlobal) January 8, 2016
This is not the first time Anonymous has attacked the Nigerian government. An Irish hacker who claimed to be part of the collective took down Nigeria’s official government website in 2013 over its intent to pass a law that would imprison lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people for as long as 14 years. The Nigerian cell of the Anonymous collective also threatened cyberassaults against the government in 2012 should its demands for “justice” and an end to violence against protesters not be met.
Anonymous is apparently an offshoot of the older 4chan online community. But unlike 4chan’s focus on trivial topics, Anonymous portrays itself as a hacktivist collective crusading for justice. The hackers meet in dedicated a Internet Relay Chat channel to coordinate tactics, allowing any user to join the channel and become a member, or an “Anon” as they refer to themselves, the New Yorker reported.
Hackers from the collective attacked at least 14 Thai police websites Tuesday to protest death sentences handed down to two Myanmar migrant workers in the 2014 murders of two British tourists. Anonymous says the workers were falsely accused of the crime.