Hacker collective Anonymous to launch social networking site

AnonPlus will be open to anyone who wants to join, the group says

Anonymous, which has claimed credit for several high-profile cyber attacks in recent months, plans to launch what it says will be a new social networking site called AnonPlus.

The group's move was apparently spurred by Google's decision to shut down Anonymous' Google+ account for community standard violations, a report by Mashable says.

For the moment, at least, AnonPlus appears to be little more than a single, somewhat poorly formatted page that seeks to explain what the site will be about.

"This lil info dump of a site is here simply to dispence (sic) info, soon the actual site will go up and you can begin to interact with it," a message on the site notes.

"This project is not overnight and will take many of those out there who simply want a better internet," the message noted. "We will not be stopped by those looking to troll or those willing to stop the spreading of the truth."

The message makes no mention of Google shutting down Anonymous' Google+ account, but it does promise members that with AnonPlus there would be no fear of "censorship", "blackout" or "holding back." It goes on to add that the site is open to anyone who cares to join and not just to members of Anonymous.

It will be interesting to see if the effort gains any traction at all. Anonymous, which prefers being referred to as a collective rather than a group, has been in the news recently for several attacks against high-profile targets.

Most recently, Anonymous claimed credit for an attack against military contractor Booz Allen Hamilton that resulted in the compromise of 90,000 email addresses and passwords belonging to military personnel.

Early this month, members of Anonymous launched several online attacks against police union websites in Arizona to protest the state's tough immigration laws. The attacks prompted the Arizona Department of Public Safety to label Anonymous a "cyber terrorism group."

Last December, Anonymous members launched a series of dedicated denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against several organizations, including PayPal and Amazon, to protest what it claimed was their efforts to stifle whistleblower site WikiLeaks.

Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed. His e-mail address is jvijayan@computerworld.com.

Read more about cybercrime and hacking in Computerworld's Cybercrime and Hacking Topic Center.

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