FastCompany has a good piece making the point that Anonymous doesn’t have to plan revenge attacks, at least against the media, following the ouster of Occupy Wall Street from its spot Occupying Wall Street.
Anonymous has already attacked the media – and largely won, through a mixture of chutzpah, heavy marketing, social networking and flat-out propaganda.
Much of the propaganda is from wannabes; most of the organizing and target-setting is from a core of committed leaders, according to FastCompany.
It's not that the fringe members don't matter; it's just that they're all free to go on YouTube and make their own threats, call for their own campaigns or just show off the wicked sexy mask.
Even the core leadership group isn't above using a little subterfuge to put their enemies off guard.
The fearsome universal attack tool #ref#ref, for example, "does not exist" according to the usual first source in these stories – an anonymous guy at a protest who said he's a hacker and member of Anonymous with knowledge of its next-generation attack tool.
The Dept. of Homeland Security believed it existed, according to FastCompany.
I did, too, and wrote about it.
It's basically impossible to have a single tool that attacks every type of enterprise database successfully, according to Josh Shaul of Application Security, Inc., who was quoted in the FC story. The protocols are too different.
Anonymi on Twitter have been agreeing, including AnonymouSabu, who may or may not be the Sabu who led the LulzSec attacks this summer.
Anonymous' practical guide to surviving a riot
On the other hand, Anonymous and OWS have created a pretty decent set of manuals and guides on how to conduct a long-term protest, survive outside, organize a march and keep the damage to yourselves and others to a minimum if it breaks out into a riot.
This protester-resources page has guides to everything from politics to group-organizational logistics to manuals on surviving in the outdoors. (It's worth checking out, if only to see "Feminist theory for anarchist men,"(PDF), "Blockading for Beginners" (PDF) and the "Anonymous Riot Guide" (PDF) all on the same page.
Sample recommendations (paraphrased):
Break into protest-management teams with different roles, wearing colors to identify each: Runners (white) – carry messages to HQ and other teams
Documenting (green) – pix, video, stay back and post, post, post
Observation (gray) – posted in high places to watch for police or other issues, relay info via walkie-talkies or smartphones
Front (black) – confront (non-violently) law enforcement
Medical (red) – administers first aid to wounded, marked so even police can ID the medics
Base (no color) – set up headquarters and coordinate activity of teams in the field.
March and riot in groups – buddy system, just like in kindergarten, scuba diving or combat. Form teams of no more than six, who stay together, keep track of one another, help protect one another, help pursue the goal. Larger teams are too slow; smaller ones don't have enough muscle to keep everyone safe or together.