Hacker group Anonymous has been pretty tight-lipped about its political beliefs — with operations in the organization’s name conducted against Western democracies, authoritarian countries like China, and Muslim countries like Egypt, Syria, and Iran. And, of course, Israel.
But one thing has become clear in the lead-up to its next major hacking attack: Anonymous members are “gold bugs,” people who believe that the yellow metal is the proper method for the exchange of goods and services and advocate the use of precious metals as the proper currency for the sale and purchase of oil.
That’s the main reason the group will be conducting “Operation Petroleum,” according to numerous videos released on websites around the world. Scheduled for June 20, #OpPetrol will target at least a dozen countries, including the US, Britain, Canada, numerous European countries, Israel (again), and China — along with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar.
It’s an interesting combination of countries for an attack, but in the video, Anonymous makes clear the connection between them. “Because Petrol is sold with the dollar ($) and Saudi Arabia has betrayed Muslims with their cooperation. So why isn’t Petrol sold with the currency of the country which exports it? Because the Zionists own us like this [sic].”
According to the anonymous Anonymous spokesperson, the Zionists are masters of the so-called “New World Order,” an international uber-government, and the purpose of their use of the dollar — and eventually credit cards, which are replacing paper money — is to be able to “control the population of the world like robots.”
“In the future, there will be no money paper and coins. The New World Order are planning, by 2020, to make ‘Electronic Money’ (like credit cards),” the voice-over says. “It’s a money that you can’t see and you can’t touch. So, I believe that humankind will become more and more like a machine, more robotic, and even more addicted to the seeming ‘convenience’ of it.
“Historically, the currency of Muslims was not the paper money that you know today, it was gold and silver,” the voice-over continues. “We are the new generation of Muslims and we are not stupid. We do not fear anyone or anything. We represent Islam. We fight together, We stand together, We die together,” the video continues.
The video has appeared in the name of Anonymous on Middle Eastern sites, said Tal Pavel, director of the MiddleEasternNet website and a professor at Netanya Academic College, but also on sites around the world, with specific Anonymous chapters — like Anonymous #OpUSA and Anonymous Brisbane — putting their own chapter names and logos on the video as a form of endorsement, said Pavel.
“Anonymous has no official membership, no committee that clears statements, or position papers. No one can claim to be a spokesperson or chapter chairperson. It’s the ultimate anarchy,” Pavel said. But the fact that numerous Anonymous imprimaturs have appeared on the video indicates that other hacker groups support, at least passively, an operation apparently hatched by Muslim hacker groups.
The group gave no details of what the operation would entail, or how it would affect the international oil market. And it was unclear how the operation, even if successful, would change the international oil market to discourage the use of dollars as the international currency to price oil. In recent operations, like #OpIsrael, hackers used denial of service attacks as their main weapon in a failed attempt to “remove Israel from the Internet.” But it’s unlikely the hackers would be able to seriously damage the computer infrastructure of oil companies in the US, Saudi Arabia, or anywhere else, Pavel said; they most likely don’t have the skills for it.
Like in #OpIsrael — and the more recent #OpUSA, in which Anonymous was supposed to upend America’s Internet infrastructure, but in the end caused just a few sites to crash — #OpPetrol is likely to feature much thunder, but little lightning, according to Nir Goldshlager, CEO of Break Security. #OpIsrael’s DDoS attacks were merely an annoyance, indicating “the lack of sophistication and knowledge of these teams.” The exploits of the hackers were limited, Goldshlager said, “and they told many lies to enhance their reputations. In the end, though, the only damage they were able to do was to small sites that were not well-defended, with the hackers taking advantage of well-known security holes in older web servers to enter systems and deface web pages or steal data.”