Anonymous is back to hacking major global institutions, posting more than 1,000 usernames and passwords taken from a United Nations server and launching another quixotic campaign against the world of high finance.
It has a partner as well – TeamPoison, a U.K.-based hacktivist collective that may include only a single person, but which became one of the more prominent and effective enemies of LulzSec during the script-kid saboteur group's own crime spree last summer.
The UN hack follows the same pattern as other acts of hacktivism by the two groups: Someone cracked the United Nations Development Programme, and posted the login data on Pastebin, which someone else analyzed to point out how weak the passwords themselves turned out to be.
That's not the odd or alarming bit, though.
TeamPoison and Anonymous posted an announcement yesterday threatening a series of data breaches and robberies against major banks under the name Operation Robin Hood, which the two groups describe as a continuation of the Occupy Movement protests begun in New York two months ago.
Though the threats sound dire, and both groups have bona fides to back up their hard talk, the threats posted as part of OpRobinHood also sound unrealistic.
As a way to strike back against "the banks," TeamPoison and Anonymous will take from the rich and give to the poor through some kind of ill-defined credit-card scam, though it's not clear if the credit cards being targeted will belong to "the banks" or whether Anonymous and TeamPoison plan to make fraudulent charges on consumer credit cards that will indirectly punish the banks backing those cards.
"Operation Robin Hood is going to return the money to those who have been cheated by our system and most importantly to those hurt by our banks. Operation Robin Hood take credit cards and donate to the 99% As well as various charities around the globe. The banks will be forced to reimburse the people their money back," the announcement read.
While targeting banks isn't out of line with the two groups' previous efforts, neither has previously admitted overt involvement in large-scale fraud or theft.
There's a decent chance this part of the threat is overblown or completely faked either by trolls pretending to be Anonymous and TeamPoison, or by the organizations themselves as a diversion from some other attack.
If it is for real it will mark a significant change for both Anonymous and TeamPoison as they break out of hacking as sabotage and into bank robbery and fraud as a means of illicit redistribution of what the two call illicit wealth.
The announcement suggests friends and fellow travelers move money out of big corporate banks into smaller credit unions, which they do not plan to target.
" We are going to make the banks deliver your money back to you with a smile on their faces and hate in their heart. The only fraud happening has been the actions of the banks [de]frauding the people. It’s time for the banks to do business with Anonymous and TeaMp0isoN. And one of us is not as harsh as all of us. We are looking forward to start doing business with you pigs."
Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.