Hacktivism and Deep Web

Pierluigi Paganini July 03, 2012


In today’s society technology plays a crucial role and is used as a new cultural vehicle, and even aggregation element or carrier to express dissent against the policies of governments and private companies.

Groups such as Anonymous are maximum expression of a phenomenon defined “Hacktivism” that refers the usage of computers and computer networks to express social protest or to promote political ideology. The hacktivists use to attack systems and architectures with legal and illegal tools to manifest their dissent through cyber attacks such as denial-of-service attacks, information theft, data breach, web site defacement, typosquatting and any other methods of digital sabotage. Forms of hacktivism are carried out in the belief that proper use of the technical tools will be able to produce similar results to those produced by regular activism or civil disobedience to promote political ideology.

Anonymous collective is now the incarnation of the hacktivism concept that has monopolized the world wide attention on the phenomenon.

When we think of hacktivism phenomenon immediately we connect it to the anonymity, in fact, those who for various reasons wish to express their dissent more often prefer the use of anonymity. It’s clear that the ultimate context in which these people can freely exchange ideas and information is the DeepWeb.

These hacktivists are one of the most active current of the Dark Web, many consider these professionals as the equivalent of today’s Carbonari motions. Hacktivists are interested to Deep Web not only because they need secure communication platform but also because they are also active in this cyber space. We must distinguish two different participative approaches to the Dark Web, hacktivist in fact could surf in the hidden space for information gathering purpose, the “passive mode”, and also in “active mode” conducing cyber operation similar to ones promoted in the ordinary web. The #OPDarknet has revealed in the end of 2011 over 1500 accounts from trading website for pedophiles hosted in the deep web. In that occasion Anonymous published as usually a communicate on Pastebin explains that their campaign manifested upon finding a Hidden Wiki listing called “Hard Candy” that they say “was dedicated to links to child pornography.”

During the operation where noted that most of the pedophile-content sites listed on the Hidden Wiki, “shared a digital fingerprint with the shared hosting server at Freedom Hosting”, due this reason Anonumous declared war to the hosting service that ignores denunciation of the collective.

The deep web is an ocean of information, and to find right way in this world to a first approach may seem very complicated, but with good will and some evidence from the earliest voyages is possible to obtain satisfactory results. Of course the communication platforms such as social networks are, as in the classic web as, the deep web privileged places where groups can exchange messages hacktivists, for example a micro blogger twitter like for the onion world that is frequented by many hacktivists is TorStatusNet – lotjbov3gzzf23hc.onion (http://lotjbov3gzzf23hc.onion/index.php/).

It only remains to eavesdrop and intercept any message that could lead to some hidden service set up by supporters of the organization.

Continuing the theme is common to find groups of hacktivists that communicate also posting on social networks within the Deep Web, an example is provided by the platform Mul.Tiver.se (http://ofrmtr2fphxkqgz3.onion/ )

The concept of hacktivism bride and promotes the social criticism, however, is not simply expose information that may be compromising safety and that surely can endanger those who wish to disclose.

We all know Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange, the not-for-profit organization publishing submissions of private, secret, and classified media from anonymous news sources, news leaks, and whistleblowers. Assange is an activist by definition, was found guilty of disclosing confidential documents and compromising its policy regarding the conduct of organizations and governments.

Deep Web is a precious source to collect compliant on illicit made by governments, there is a huge quantity of sites that give the possibility to publish reserved documents preserving the anonymity of the submitter. Deep web is recognized as a powerful instrument to share and divulgate compromising files, it represents an option to everybody that desire to disclose document being anonymous.

The practice of hacktivism also contemplates the use of dark web for sharing information and consultation of the sources in total anonymity.

When we speak of hacktivism in reality, we exemplify the very concept of social dissent as it is known that can be expressed in various forms and can be addressed to specific social issues. We talked for instance of child pornography, politics, intelligence, but the phenomenon is extremely complex and subject of the disagreement may also be religious institutions or nonprofit organizations.

Wander around the web in search of dark politics, occultism, Spy vs. Spy and Revolution topics we can meet the site “Heidenwut” (http://hq3hmoa4thdplmta.onion/) whose disclaimer reads:

This site is for those interested in effective revolutionary strategies, occultism, politics, and all other things in regards to overthrowing the system that we have all come to hate. I, Heiden the webmaster of this site am one of the few people on Tor who really need to be on the undernet. Which means that this site is not just another right or left wing whine-fest nor the millionth re-post of the anarchist cookbook. “

The web site proposes a lot of stuff not only related to hacktivism, but it is considered a precious source of information for those all minds that search for uncomfortable truths that could inspire their operations.

Despite Anonymous is considered the icon of the hacktivism many other groups use the Deep Web to arrange their political operations and promoting new ideas and form of protest, one of them is the

Movement of Torism an organized group of the broader tor movement that defines itself “action-oriented” to defend the right to the anonymity … it’s just a drop in the huge ocean of the information.

The article provided some examples of the close relationship between hacktivism and deep web, hidden web in fact is rich of web sites of interest to the community of activists … you just have to go in search.

Pierluigi Paganini

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