HACKTIVIST COLLECTIVE Anonymous has launched hacking campaigns against agricultural biotechnology giant Monsanto and energy companies with interests in the extraction of heavy crude oil from the Alberta tar sands.
The group's beef with Monsanto, the world's leading producer of genetically engineered seeds, stems from the company's questionable business practices that have been widely criticised over the years.
Monsanto has been the subject of many news articles, documentaries and research papers accusing it of unfair business practices, child labor, dumping toxic waste, bribery and causing environmental and health problems.
"Over the last 2 months we have pushed the exposure of hundreds of pages of articles detailing Monsanto's corrupt, unethical, and downright evil business practices. We've created a nice go-to reference guide [...] where anyone can read up on and add their own info about MonsantoCo," the Anonymous cell behind Operation Monsanto, writes.
But gathering public information was not the only thing the hacktivists did. In true Anonymous style, the group launched a two day long denial-of-service attack against the company's web sites and email servers.
In addition, it published a list of over 2,500 Monsanto employees and associates, complete with email and work addresses. The source of the information has not been disclosed.
The hacktivists claim this is the result of two months of work, but warn that there's more to come. They hint that there's an IRC server or client running on one of the company's servers.
Meanwhile, another branch of Anonymous is organizing online and real-life protests against plans to establish a transportation route for the shipment of oil refinery equipment from the US to the Alberta tar sands in Canada.
The group dubbed this new campaign Operation Green Rights and is targeting companies like Exxon Mobil, Conoco Phillips, Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., Imperial Oil, the Royal Bank of Scotland and others involved in the plan, which will allegedly have a bad impact on the environment.
"This week, activists are gathering along U.S. Highway 12 in Montana to protest the transformation of a serene wilderness into an industrial shipping route, bringing megaloads of refinery equipment to the Alberta Tar Sands in Canada. Anonymous now joins the struggle against 'Big Oil' in the heartland of the US. We stand in solidarity with any citizen willing to protest corporate abuse," the group's manifesto reads.
However, real-life protests will be augmented by the leak of corporate secrets obtained either from insiders or hackers. "We are actively seeking leaks to expose the corruption that we all KNOW is beneath this," the hacktivists write.
Meanwhile, the collective's Operation Anti-Security (AntiSec) has taken a new turn and is now targeting intelligence agencies and government contractors. Hackers associated with the campaign have announced that two major information leaks are being prepared. µ
Uses 20 percent less power than traditional systems
It's becoming more prevalent in car research and development
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ