Anonymous Threat Forces US Navy To Shut Down Wi-Fi Networks
May 21, 2013

Anonymous Threat Forces US Navy To Shut Down Wi-Fi Networks

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

Last week the hacker collective Anonymous began advertising another one of their “campaigns” to attack the US government as a form of protest. Taking to Twitter, the group said they planned to “disrupt activities” at US Naval Base Guantanamo Bay in protest of the way prisoners have reportedly been treated there.

In a preemptive move, the US military shut down their Wi-Fi networks at the base yesterday and blocked all social networking access from military networks. Army Lt. Col. Samuel House told The Associated Press (AP) the decision to shut down social networking access and Wi-Fi networks were a response to the hacking threats from Anonymous.

The hackers have responded to this shutdown, saying: "You shut the Wi-Fi down in GTMO, we will shutdown Guantanamo,” according to a post on the Crypt0nymous News Facebook page.

Anonymous first began making these threats earlier this month, claiming the “operation” would run from May 17 to May 19. The group asked their Twitter followers to take part in a “Twitter Storm Package” by retweeting several posts calling for President Obama to shut down the base at Guantanamo.

“Steal this tweet: President @barackobama @whitehouse keep your promise to Close Gitmo. Start transfers today! #GTMO19” reads one of the Tweets found on Twitter, reported

This strike was also meant to be a sign of solidarity for hunger-striking prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. According to the Associated Press, 103 of the 166 prisoners currently at Guantanamo have taken part of the hunger strike for over 100 days. These prisoners are protesting the length of their imprisonment as well as the conditions at the camp.

Anonymous is still claiming they´ll be able to affect the network at Guantanamo and disrupt normal activities, though so far they´ve been unsuccessful. It´s left to be seen how long the Navy will keep Wi-Fi service shuttered at the base during this operation.

Though the US Military has taken the defensive approach of simply removing themselves from the fight, this isn´t the first time Anonymous has promised to damage and disrupt without delivering.

This group of hackers tried to put together another operation meant to launch distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) against US banks and government agencies earlier this month. OpUSA, as it was called, was meant to “wipe” these organizations “off the cyber map,” according to one of Anonymous´ traditional lengthy manifestos.

“Do not take this as a warning. You cannot stop the internet hate machine from doxes, DNS attacks, defaces, redirects, ddos attacks, database leaks, and admin take overs,” threatened the ineffective hackers.

Though the hackers tried to raise attention for their actions on May 7, very few organizations said they saw any attacks. In fact, many of the websites targeted weren´t located in the USA, demonstrating the lack of planning that went into this operation.

Anonymous tried a similar operation one month before with “Operation Israel.” The group lobbed the same kind of threats at Israeli websites, but the government later said the nation´s cyber infrastructure faced little “real damage” following the attacks.