Famous Hactivists Fighting for Internet Rights

Related eBooks

The Internet is a strange place with it’s own private wars. There are several different types of people fighting these battles; some are looking out for their own interests, some are looking out for intellectual freedom for all and some are trying to bring chaos to the decision-makers and corporations of the World. These “fighters” bring out hidden truths and shatter security and privacy boundaries for all internet users to have complete freedom.

1. Lizard Squad
640_lizard-squad-malaysia The DDoS attack on Facebook that lowered the popular social media network as well the cyber attacks on Malaysia Airlines website that directed visitors to a page which read “404 – plane not found,” were carried out by the Lizard Squad. While Facebook refused to accept being hacked, Malaysia Airlines stated that their domain had been temporarily redirected elsewhere and that they had not been hacked. Lizard Squad has also hacked Microsoft and Sony.

The intentions of Lizard Squad look dark and gloomy due to the diverse history of their work. They are not totally computer hackers as most of the hack they do is comedy. The group is responsible for a high-profile hack of Microsoft Xbox Live and Sony’s Playstation Network. In August 2014, the group posted the ISIS flag on Sony’s servers and made other indirect references to the “cyber caliphate.” The group was arrested by the authorities in the U.S. and England after the Xbox and Playstation hacks.
2. Syrian Electronic Army
Twitter-and-Syrian-Electronic-Army-go-to-battle1 The Syrian Electronic Army claims to target political opposition groups and claims to support the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It calls itself “a group of enthusiastic Syrian youths who could not stay passive towards the massive distortion of facts about the recent uprising in Syria”.

It becomes involved in the use of malware, phishing, defacement, spamming, and denial of service (DDoS) attacks with often posting the Syrian flag on a victim’s website. Some have even assumed as a fact that the group is connected with the Syrian state. The group have targeted the Facebook pages and Twitter accounts of President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, as well as technology companies and news organizations. Their tone is “serious and political to ironic and humorous.”
3. LulzSec
Lulz_Security.svg After the HBGary Federal hack of 2011, LulzSec – Lulz Security abbreviated – formed as an Anonymous spinoff. It’s slogan was “Laughing at your security since 2011.” The group announced itself with a hack against Fox.com, then Sony Pictures in 2011. The group took the CIA website offline.

LulzSec had become well known for ridiculing its victims after an attack, which made the analysts compare them to the hacks to internet pranks. In June 2011, a ‘50 days of Lulz’ statement announced that the group had fallen out. However, on July 18, the News Corporation was hacked by the group, who had posted false news about the death of Rupert Murdoch.

In 2012, the LulzSec members were arrested by the FBI after the group’s leader, Sabu, turned them in. Prosecutor Sandip Patel said the group thought of themselves as “latter-day pirates.”
4. Anonymous
anonymous_logo “We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forgive…. Expect us.”

Known most for its hacking and Guy Fawkes masks, Anonymous is a decentralized open online creation group. Reports conceive that Anonymous is made up of thousands of “hacktivists.” The group has compromised religious, corporate and government websites.

The group has declared war on Scientology and hacked the Pentagon. In 2012’s Operation Payback, they also attacked MasterCard, Visa and PayPal for refusing to process payments to WikiLeaks, which in turn led WikiLeaks to choose the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Anonymous supported Occupy Wall Street and hacked the New York Stock Exchange website in 2011.

For being involved in Anonymous, individuals have been arrested in the U.S., UK, Netherlands, Australia, Spain, and Turkey.
5. The Level Seven Crew
Rumored to be encouraged by the seventh level of hell from Dante’s Inferno, ‘the violent’ level, this hacking group hacked 60 high profile computer systems (NASA, The First American National Bank, Sheraton Hotels) in 1999. They also hacked into the US Embassy in China’s website. However, this group broke up and stopped functioning in 2000.
6. Network Crack Program Hacker (NCPH) Group

It was alleged that the NCPH Group was formed in China in 1994, whose leader Tan Dailin was apparently working for the Chinese army. It is believed that the People’s Liberation Army was funded by the NCPH. The group appears to be based out of Zigon in Sichuan Province.
7. Chaos Computer Club (CCC)
download (11) The mission of the Chaos Computer Club is to uncover the security flaws, which basically does not only depend upon illegal activities. It was founded in Berlin during the early 1980s and is one of the largest European hacking groups. The group made its point after they used the Bildschirmtext page to steal 134,000 Deutsch Marks from a Hamburg bank, only to send the money back after having completed its mission the next day, which was to expose a security flaw.

Early CCC member Andy Müller-Maguhn in an interview with OWNI stated: “we needed a lot of legal experts to advise us what we could or could not hack, and to help us distinguish between legal activities and grey areas of legality”. The group’s kindly approach has allowed the CCC to become “an accepted and recognized entity because it has worked to educate the public about technology since the 1980s,” Müller-Maguhn added. The group’s most recent focus has been on the mass surveillance complex, in order to fit in a German hacker ring. The group has strongly objected French nuclear tests, made full use of COMP128 encryption algorithm of a GSM customer card, stole money on live TV via Microsoft’s ActiveX; and examined the German federal government’s own malware. The CCC may have characteristics of a Marxist, after being caught selling source code from U.S. corporations and governments to the Soviet Union’s secret police KGB.
8. globalHell
GlobalHell-10-Grup-Hacker-Paling-Berbahaya-di-dunia-by-isthimagz globalHell was founded by street-gang member Patrick Gregory. Data on 115 websites were reportedly destroyed by the group charging millions in damages. In order to get away from street gang life, Gregory had turned to computer. His crew of hackers behaved basically the same as a street gang. “global hell will not die” was reportedly written by the group on the United States Army’s website. Gregory confessed in court to causing $2.5 million in hacking damages.
9. Iran’s Tarh Andishan
cyberattack Looks like the Tarh Andishan wants to control the world’s web-based systems. Mostly based in Tehran, Iran, the group is approximated to have 20 members. A talented hacker group, Tarh Andishan looks like grew out of a Stuxnet worm virus, which Iran claimed the US and Israel had created.

The Iranian government doubled-down on its cyber warfare. The group uses self-propagating software, backdoors, SQL injection, systems, and other techniques. The group is best known for one of the attacks called “Operation Cleaver.” This hacker group has apparently hacked security systems and airline gates. Most findings were not taken into consideration due to the “grave risk to the physical safety of the world” the group reportedly poses, according to the report.
10. TeaMp0isoN:
teamp0ison_2409154164291 A 16-year-old hacker with a pseudonym TriCk started this group in 2010. TeaMp0isoN hacked into Facebook, NATO, the English Defense League, including Tony Blair’s email account. The group broke up and stopped functioning in 2012. However, in 2015, the group rebranded itself as a white-hat computer security research group.

There are several other hacking groups who may be more deadlier than the above. We have listed only those hacker groups who have consistently been able to be in public eye due to their hacking exploits.

You can list the hacker groups which you think should have been included in the top 10 list, in the comments below.

Hactivists Individuals

1. AARON SWARTZ20130213-aaron-swartz-624x420-1360787689

Until his tragic suicide in January of 2013, Swartz was a noted internet activist who encouraged hacktivism, not least in his afterword to Cory Doctorow’s latest novel, Homeland. “It’s up to you to change the system… Let me know if I can help,” he wrote. Perhaps more than anything else, Swartz campaigned for the public to have free access to information and scholarship. His release of legal documents from a system called PACER exemplifies this. Swartz goal was free information and knowledge for the world, including stopping the passing of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and ultimately died for his dream.


Apparently one of the most prolific and mysterious hacktivists, The Jester (who is deeply critical of Anonymous) claims to be responsible for a large number of DoS (Denial of Service) attacks and hacks against WikiLeaks, Islamist sites, homophobic sites and even the President of Iran. He asserts that he helped create the popular DoS software, XerXeS.


A writer turned hacktivist, Barrett Brown was a key ally of Anonymous who, despite limited technical abilities, became instrumental in how the group represented its actions to the wider world through tip-offs and interviews with news organisations. Currently facing a string of federal charges related to hacking, Brown is also known for his connections to the group of Anons who helped “overthrow the government of Tunisia.”


Sabu co-founded the Anonymous splinter group, LulzSec. While irritating many other hackers and members of Anonymous, LulzSec achieved press notoriety following a 50-day hacking marathon which targeted websites of the CIA, Fox Broadcasting Network and the US Senate among others.


Briton Jake Davis became famous for LulzSec hacking (activities which eventually resulted in his arrest and conviction) but was prior to that, a highly active member of Anonymous while still a teenager. In court in 2011, he pleaded guilty to a charge relating to an attack on the Serious Organised Crime Agency’s (SOCA) website.

6. OXBLOOD RUFFINoxblood_ruffin-970-80

Oxblood Ruffin is a Canadian hacker and “Foreign Minister” of the Cult of the Dead Cow network of hacktivists. Cult of the Dead Cow is where the term “hacktivism” was born and members of the group are seen as stalwart proponents of hacking for purposes of political change. Oxblood himself is notable for his outspoken presence in the media, in which he frequently criticises the actions of Anonymous and LulzSec.

7. BRADLEY MANNING (Chelsea Manning)manning-306-1362085455

Manning, more correctly a “whistleblower” or “informant”, finds himself described these days as a hacktivist by some, thanks to his digital method of disseminating diplomatic cables and his association with the politically motivated group WikiLeaks. Manning downloaded 1.6 GB of classified data from the US military intranet and burnt it onto a CD on which he scrawled, “Lady Gaga.” The contents were later passed to WikiLeaks.

8. DERIC LOSTUTTER (KYAnonymous)20131127-hacker-624x420-1385567911

When two members of an Ohio high school football team were charged with the rape of an intoxicated 16-year-old girl, Lostutter decided to take matters into his own hands. In particular, he helped leak a video of the two accused joking about the rape, but also faces charges of hacking a fan page for the football team. Though he denies responsibility for this, he could face a 10 year prison sentence if found guilty.

9. ROP GONGGRIJProp-gonggrijp-preferred-image-900x900

A Dutch hacker who has spoken out about the data on citizens stored by governments and the vulnerability of public electronic voting systems. Gonggrijp was involved in WikiLeaks’ Collateral Murder leak and later granted the US Justice Department access to his Twitter account during their WikiLeaks investigation.

10. JACOB APPELBAUMrectangle

Another member of Cult of the Dead Cow, Appelbaum is noteworthy for being a key individual behind the Tor project – hacktivist-friendly software intended to enable online anonymity. It works by sending encrypted relays of information across a distributed network of computers owned by Tor volunteers so that the originator of the traffic is extremely difficult to trace.