Hacktivism: An overview plus high-profile groups and examples

There’s no more time for activists to hit the road, sit in unlicensed places and raise awareness of causes. This is changing advocacy, and Hacktivism is a new development.

There is a new breed of activists globally, and they go by the name “hacktivists.” These people use their hacking skills to fight for human rights worldwide.

Hacktivists involve combining activism with hacking. It is used to misinterpret computer systems to expose inaccuracies. However, protest and activism can be protected while hacking is illegal. Digital defenders’ motivation and hacktivism attacks differ widely.

Hacktivism explained: Definition and FAQs.

Hacktivism involves using computer networks primarily to discover unauthorized networks and expose a perceived injustice. Hacktivism definitions are extensions of “hack” or ” activism. ” Hacktivism has its basis in an activist way.

Hacking may also be described as digital, internet, and cyberactivism.

Hacktivists can be identified by their targets. The general claim is that they operate in altruistic ways, which does not necessarily mean causing malicious damage but instead raising the awareness of a matter critical to hacktivists.

What motivates hacktivists?

Hacktivist actions often arise from perceptions that one must do something for justice. Sometimes it’s as simple as revenge or just teaching a person something. In some circumstances, the motivation behind hackers may undermine the credibility of all organizations or individuals.

Who do hackers target?

Hacktivism is often aimed at people or organizations whose practices and beliefs violate hacktivists’ values.

They target government institutions and try to expose any wrongdoing they may be involved in. Hacktivists are often associated with Anonymous, a hacktivist group that has become famous for its protests against large corporations and governments.

What are hacktivism attacks?

Although altruistic intentions exist, hacking is illegal. However, prosecutions of these crimes are often complex due to anonymity. Unlike traditional hacking attacks, hacking attacks usually do not contain real malicious intent.

Sometimes they may be considered a sort of antagonistic reaction. Even, in reality, it’s not vandalism. Defacements are considered cyber vandalism. The hacktivism we have today has a few exciting features.

Types of hacktivism

There is a wide range of options to support a hacktivist’s intent using hacktivist tools.

This might include encouraging freedom of opinion, censoring sites, or providing incriminating information.

Most Infamous Campaigns by Hacktivists

Fox.com was targeted by the Anonymous group known as Lulzsec in 2012. Anonymous has even taken over Sony’s Sony ps4 network as a private cloud and smashed the security system with hacking tools that could hack into their servers.

In 2012 WikiLeaks, attempting similar tactics to Byline to expose hidden facts on social networks, targeted Paypal, Visa, Amazon, and Mastercard, causing them to lose access to their sites. They are intended to counter demands by the United States to stop using these services to pay WikiLeaks’founder and CEO.

Black Lives Matter Movement

The hacktivist group anonymous jumped into action when it targeted Minneapolis Police Departments and began attacking racist groups for their actions. The account had over 3.5 million followers.

The attack used DDoS attacks against police websites and forced them to close their website.

Collection of Clinton Emails Leaked

The WikiLeaks hacker reportedly seized privileged information that Clinton’s campaign manager sent in an unprecedented move.

However, some argue that the hack could have contributed to Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 election results.

Hacking. Definition

Hacktivism occurs when a political or social activist uses computers to say that they support their cause.

Hacktivism usually targets government agencies and corporate targets, including several influential organizations, including drug dealers, religious groups, and pedophilia.

Hacking is hacking the computer, and activism promotes societal values. “hacktivism” combines both. Although hacktivists attack any idea or a particular ideology they view as a threat, the similarities usually stop.

Understanding Hacktivism

Hacktivism usually targets companies. Hacker is defined as a person who carries out a hacking activity. Among the targets of phishing, hackers are religious groups and terrorists.

An example of a hacking crime is a denial of service attack or doS that blocks a network for customer access.

Other examples include giving the public free access to Government-Censored websites and providing protected communications channels to threatened groups.

Hacktivism in the news

It was known in 1989 by a CIA hack to attack government networks based on terrorism.

Hacking has grown exponentially since then, and attacks have become more frequent since the outbreak of Covid19 in 2008. Here’s a quick list of the most important news stories of the 20th century.

WikiLeaks exposed Afghan and Iraq documents.

WikiLeaks has released some high-profile attacks since 2010, including the CIA — The NSA — The Taliban — The US — The Taliban — Afghanistan, and the CIA — The United States — Afghanistan.

The group wants to encourage free information and transparency within the government. The move was effective because WikiLeaks published the logs in media outlets based on the story. Almost 400,000 field reports involving the Iraq war were leaked in the aftermath.

Operation Darknet by Anonymous, 2011 + 2017

Anonymous aimed at detonating illegal child material from Darknet in 2011. Are these results valid? Anonymous DDoS accessed more than 50 anonymously hosted websites accessed by 2,000 visitors.

In 2017, Anonymous hacked Freedom Hosting II server data that hosted 57 percent of its files. The hack has shut off the Dark Internet by 20 %, according to reports.

LulzSec on Sony Corporation, 2011

The hacking allegedly uncovered the personal information of over 1million Sony customers. The company used SQL injection to collect users’ secret information like email addresses and passwords. Are there any conclusions?

For Sony customers, the data was stolen. Sony alone spent more than $600,000 on the recovery of its assets.

Syrian Electronic Army on the U.S. Executive Branch, 2013

The Syrian electronic army re-branded news on Twitter with false information. One fake apology that claimed that Barack Obama died in a bomb blast in the White House was among the cases. So, the Dow dropped by a little over 140 %.

Six notable hacktivist groups

Most hacktivists prefer anonymity. Many have a common name that uses an acronym. This list of six well-known ‘hacktivists.’


Often when you think about hacktivism, you see Anonymous. The international hacktivist groups emerged out of 4chan in 2003 and are still making news stories worldwide. Its main objective is to maintain transparency on the internet and prevent hacker attacks.

Anonymous allegedly accessed government sites and stole sensitive data by stealing a phishing website, vandalizing commercial sites, and targeting prominent politicians without leaving their computers. One exception is the Million Mask March, an annual protest which began in 2013 and is meant to represent Anonymous changes.

Cult of the Dead Cow

Also called CDC Communications, the Cult of the Dead Cow coined hacktivity in 1996. This happened in email correspondence shortly before a 1984 hacking group had started its operations.

The company then split off two other hacker groups called a “Ninja Strike force” or ” Hacktivismo ” which many considered a moral model for hacktivism. Hacktivismo firmly believes in anti-censorship so much that it backs down from the DoS threat.


The WikiLeaks website was established in 2012 by Assange, and it is a whistleblowing organization. As its name indicates, its favorite hacktivist attack type is a leak. It is also an online portal for leaks, and its publisher is also the source of the leaks.

A DDoS attack was reported in some countries. This happened in the wake of alleged U.S. government support by the U.S. government to stop WikiLeak’s donations to the site.


DkDD[||| is a French hacktivist who prefers website defacement. Motivated by political motives, this man once became among France’s hottest hacktivists.

The teenager also was alleged to have aged 16 and led some experts to believe the attacks had a motive to show technical skills against real political views.


Anonymous members founded LulzSec in 2011 and now carry its name Lulz Security.

The anonymous spinoff organization targets reputable entities such as the FBI and Sony Corporation.

Sometimes to raise awareness about the weak security infrastructure and lack of confidentiality.

Syrian Electronic Army

The Syrian Electronic Army emerged in 2011 in support of Assad in Syria. The terrorist organization is threatening the president and his ally Syria.

Generally, DDoS attacks have been used to target various government agencies.


Hacktivism uses computers and technology to promote a social or political cause. This can include anything from leaking information to defacing websites.

Hacktivists often work anonymously, using aliases online to protect their identities. While hacktivism has been around for years, it has become more prevalent in recent times thanks to the rise of the Internet and social media.


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