Posted on June 16, 2020 at 8:02 PM
The mysterious hacking group is claiming responsibility for the outage of the Atlanta Police Department website on Sunday. The hackers claimed their actions were for retribution over the recent killing of an African American Rayshard Brooks.
This is the second time within two weeks that the Anonymous group has acted to show solidarity with the ongoing protest against the U.S police department. This time, the group decided to target the Atlanta police.
Atlanta’s Police Department was offline for 4 hours
The state’s police department website was not reachable on Sunday, losing connectivity from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM, as reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The attack happened barely a day after police shot dead Rayshard Brooks as an exchange between both of them escalated at a local fast-food restaurant last Friday. The shooting came when a restaurant employee called the employee after Brooks had fallen asleep in Wendy’s drive-through lane.
Brooks was shot three times after struggling with the police and resisting arrest but later died in the hospital during surgery. The local medical examiner has recorded the death as a homicide, leading to the resignation of Atlanta’s police chief. The police officer who shot Brooks has been dismissed from the department.
No more impunity, says the hacking group
The incident has led to more intensified localized protests, as the restaurant near the incident was burnt down by protesters while some other cars around the area were burnt as well.
In a Sunday tweet, the hacking group claimed responsibility for the attack on the Atlanta Police Department.
“Anonymous has taken action against Atlanta PD for the execution of #RayshardBrooks, we call for the arrest of the two murderers. No more impunity,” the group wrote.
The Anonymous hacking group also claimed they are responsible for attacking the Minneapolis Police Department, as the group is going after institutions it claimed to be aggressive in carrying out their duties. The group recently aimed at terrorist organizations like the Islamic State.
The Anonymous group is difficult to pin down
According to a senior research scholar at Stanford University, Herb Lin, the Anonymous group is living up to its name, as the group is very difficult to put down.
Although they don’t have similar goals like conventional cybercriminals, there has been no way to tell who is involved in the group or how it was formed.
He further stated that it could be individuals, criminals, or state-sponsored activists, or a combination of these. Their traditional efforts have been a bit different from the recent attacks on the U.S. police department, but it still falls within their general, self-expressed goals.
One common goal the group has been known for is their penchant for ideals of internet libertarianism and uncompromising principles on anti-authoritarianism, anti-copyright, and anti-censorship.
The recent thread on APD is seen as a bit deviating from their usual actions since there wasn’t any evident cyber dimension to George Floyd’s murder. But the efforts are still in line with their authoritarian ethos, Lin reiterated.
Attack on EPD reverberated over social media
Just as it happened in the Minneapolis Police Department, the apparent attack on the Atlanta police website resulted in a viral buzz on social media, as the Anonymous group claimed responsibility on both attacks, claiming retribution.
The Anonymous hacking group is compromised by an organization of like-minded individuals with different affiliated social media accounts and websites. Those accounts have amassed massive follower-base following their recent activities to show solidarity to protests against the police killings in MPD and APD.
This may come as a surprise for Atlanta after it spent a lot to forestall security following the ransomware attack on its IT operations.
Although the APD website did not go offline for too long, the anonymous group has already made its statement and made it go viral.
There were more social media claims, with many of the claims attributing the attack to the loosely organized Anonymous group.