Based on collected threat intelligence and social media hype, SurfWatch Labs says that Anonymous maintained its position as top trending hacktivist group, followed by Turk Hack Team (THT), New World Hacking (NWO), and Ghost Squad Hackers.
The data reveals that, compared to other years, hacktivism has slowed down and lost momentum but has still managed to cause enough damages to gain mainstream media attention.
The security firm says that government agencies were hit the hardest by hacktivism campaigns, with the most hype having been generated around the now-infamous COMELEC hack by Anonymous Philippines and Lulzsec Philippines, during which details for around 50 million Filipino voters were leaked.
2016 is a down year for hacktivism, but groups generated enough hype
Besides this incident, hacktivist groups generated a lot of attention to their causes via the massive DDoS attack on BBC at the start of the year, the DDoS attacks on Donald Trump’s websites part of #OpTrump, the DDoS attacks on the Bank of Greece part of #OpIcarus, and the ones on Nissan part of #OpKillingBay.
Other smaller hacktivism incidents that also brought a lot of attention to causes and the groups behind them were the attacks on the Bank of Cyprus, the takedown of ISIS Twitter profiles following the Belgium attacks, and the leak of data from NASA’s internal network.
The top five hacktivism campaigns during the first months of 2016 were #OpTrump, #OpKilling Bay, #OpWhales, #OpIsrael, and #OpAfrica. #OpIcarus was not included since it’s supposed to last for the entire month of May, but the campaign is sure to become a mainstay in Anonymous’ standard operations.
SurfWatch Labs also points out in its report that former big names such as the Syrian Electronic Army and Lizard Squad seem to have fallen off the face of the earth, with the company seeing no to little activity from its members. Taking into account that the US has filed former charges against members of the Syrian Electronic Army, the group’s members are probably busy avoiding getting arrested.