An new report out Wednesday shows the how the determined Anonymous-affiliated group Ghost Squad targeted and attempted to take down a Black Lives Matter website to make the point that “All Lives Matter.”
Since its original attack on blacklivesmatter.com earlier this year, Ghost Squad and similar hacktivist groups targeted websites affiliated with BLM by launching “over a hundred denial-of-service attacks” on the group. Janisha Gabriel, founder of Haki Creatives which builds websites for social justice groups including BLM, told Ars Technica hackers have launched at least 127 attacks on blacklivesmatter.com over the past six months.
The attacks began in April, when Ghost Squad inundated blacklivesmatters.org and blacklivesmatter.com with a barrage of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, shutting down and defacing the social justice sites.
Twitter user @_se1ge, a member of Ghost Squad, claimed responsibility for the attack, charging the Black Lives Matter Movement with “[attacking] innocent individuals over cultural appropriation while speaking English.” The hacktivist collective had previously shut down a website with ties to the Ku Klux Klan, calling “their form of beliefs is monolithic and evil.”
“I, s1ege, started this operation after attacking the KKK [because] I realised the individuals in the Black Lives Matter movement were acting no better – some even promote genocide of the Caucasian race,” @_se1ge wrote about his attack on BLM. “This will not be tolerated. What angered me and the other members of Ghost Squad was that the leaders also do not speak on this topic. This was not the dream of Martin Luther King Jr, and should not be supported or promoted by any movement. All Lives Matter!”
— s1ege (@_s1ege) April 30, 2016
Now, the full extent of Anonymous’s attacks on Black Lives Matter show a concerted effort by the hacktivist collective to attack the social justice organization. Deflect, a nonprofit DDoS mitigation service, said after the April incident the company was able to mitigate the immediate threatt against BLM, but larger-scale attacks later in the summer eventually required near-constant monitoring by Deflect.
Eva Galperin, a global policy analyst for Electronic Frontier Foundation, said groups like BLM face unique concerns because their attackers are unpredictable.
“[BLM’s] concerns are actually rather complicated, because their potential attackers are not necessarily state actors,” Halperin told ARS Technica. “In some ways, an attacker that is not a nation state—and that has a grudge—is much more dangerous. You will have a much harder time predicting what they are going to do and they are likely to be very persistent. And that makes them harder to protect against.”