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Anonymous’ Ferguson Cyberattacks: Helping Or Hurting?

Operation Ferguson is the name of Anonymous' new mission, and the unknown hackers have been making good on their promise for disruption in Ferguson.
Posted at 2:23 PM, Aug 14, 2014

The cyberhackers collective Anonymous seems to have placed its sights on a new target: the authorities of Ferguson, Missouri, where 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed by a police officer Saturday. 

Thursday morning, this Anonymous Twitter account — which Twitter has since suspended — released what they say is the name and picture of the officer who shot Michael Brown. His name had not been released — officials said because of death threats.

The St. Louis County Police Department has denied that the photo released by Anonymous is, in fact, the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown. 

One Anonymous Twitter account claims this audio file is from the St. Louis Police Dispatch before and after the shooting. Brown was unarmed. 

"Let us all stand in solidarity with Mike Brown. ... We are calling for a national day of rage."

And those are just the latest releases from the hacking group. Operation Ferguson is the name of the collective's new mission, and throughout the week, the unknown hackers have been making good on the promise of disruption in the St. Louis suburb. 

Since the hacker group got involved, it has managed to tap into the city government's computer network and disrupt email, phones and City Hall's website. 

KTVI"Much of city government over the last few days has been run by text message, and many city employees have rushed their family members out of town — all this because of a group of cyberattacks."

It also has released what it claims is the address and phone number of several St. Louis officials as well as their family members. 

And while Anonymous has received loads of support online for their involvement, the country is torn on how what to make of their actions. 

"Well, that's incredibly inflammatory to me because we don't know what happened."

"It's creating fuel for the people that are angry."

A member of the hacktivist group reportedly spoke to the outlet Mother Jones, telling the reporter, "We are not exactly known for being 'responsible.'" 

 

Mother Jones goes on to note, "Half outlaw, half idealist, Anonymous has always operated at the margins of legitimacy."​

According to Bloomberg, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is set to announce the St. Louis County Police will be relieved of duty Thursday.