Considered the most famous hacktivism group in the world, Anonymous has been in the popular imagination since the first decade of this century. With direct actions and attacks aimed at politicians, businessmen and other personalities, the collective became one of the main facets of the global internet.
With several cells active, including in Brazil, Anonymous came back into the spotlight this week after “declaring war” against President Jair Bolsonaro (no party). In addition to saying that Bolsonaro “would pay for the crimes committed”, the group’s division called “EterSec” applied a defacement blow to the Fib Bank website.
This is not the first time, in fact, that the head of the Executive of Brazil has been targeted by the group. To remember this and other direct actions, the TechWorld produced a list of seven other attacks claimed by the group’s cells.
1. Ministry of Defense
At the time candidate for the presidency of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro was targeted by Anonymous in 2018. In this case, the Ministry of Defense was hacked in an action that aimed to expose Hamilton Mourão, vice president, and General Villas Bôas, former commander of the Army.
“This is a direct message to fascism and authoritarianism that threatens Brazilian democracy through its generals Eduardo Villas Bôas and Mourão, aka Bolsonaro’s deputy, who always send messages with an authoritarian bias through interviews, wanting to protect democracy through force and fear,” said an excerpt from a message from the AnonOpsBR cell.
2. Bolsonaro family and government
More recently, in June of last year, Anonymous leaked data from family members and ministers of the Bolsonaro government, including Flávio Bolsonaro (Republicanos-RJ), Carlos Bolsonaro (Republicanos-RJ), Abraham Weintraub (former minister of Education), Damares Alves (Minister of Women, Family and Human Rights) and others.
In a “second wave” of attacks, Economy Minister Paulo Guedes; the former governor of Rio de Janeiro, Wilson Witzel; Michele Bolsonaro, First Lady of the Republic and Olavo de Carvalho, considered to be Jair Bolsonaro’s “ideologist”, were attacked and had personal data exposed.
3. JBS and Friboi
In May 2017, Brazil saw a major corruption scandal erupt involving companies in the animal protein sector such as JBS and Friboi. Anonymous said at the time it had hacked into companies’ systems and accessed the email accounts of hundreds of employees, including directors.
“To the workers of these companies, know that the problem is not with you, but with this bunch of thieves, corrupt and bastards who are destroying our people and our country”, read a message published by the group of hacktivists.
4. National Association of Federal Police Delegates
In November 2017, a cell of the group invaded the website of the National Association of Federal Police Delegates (ADPF). The action was not aimed at disclosing any personal information, having been a protest against the end of Operation Lava Jato.
“[…] it is an act to show that the people are alert with the appointment of the new director of the PF (Fernando Segovia) by President Temer, at this moment when investigations into the car wash operation reach the PMDB summit, where, in addition to President Michel Temer, they are targets Eliseu Padilha (Casa Civil) and Moreira Franco (General Secretariat) and former deputies Geddel Vieira Lima and Henrique Alves who are imprisoned,” said an excerpt from a text on the website.
5. Michel Temer
The management of former president Michel Temer (PMBD) was, more than once, impacted by Anonymous. In May 2018, the group’s Brazilian cell launched the #OpCaminhoneiros operation in support of truck drivers (who were protesting at the time) and against the President of the Republic. At the time, Temer’s personal data were even exposed on the internet.
6. Aécio Neves
In October 2017, the Anon H4 cell carried out an attack against then-senator Aécio Neves (currently federal deputy for the PSDB). The politician’s official website went offline for a few hours.
“Indignant with the current political situation in Brazil, with the votes in favor of corrupt senator Aécio Neves, we are going to start a series of attacks on the websites of all those who decided to screw up the Brazilian by returning power to the corrupt parliamentarian,” said the cell on Facebook, at the time.
7. 2016 Olympics in Rio
The 2016 Olympic Games, held in Rio de Janeiro, were met with great resistance from various internet groups, including Anonymous. In August of that year, the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), the body responsible for providing the official images of the championships, was hacked by AnonOpsBrazil.
“We have already expressed in other communiqués our repudiation of the realization of mega-events amid the glaring social inequalities in this country. Even so, even after so many words, so many manifests or protests carried out in the streets (all always fully watched by repression, when not repressed with brutal violence ) the government seems to continue ignoring the voices of its own people”, pointed out the cell at the time.