The latest "declaration of war" from Anonymous is only notable because of its target, The New York Times, but it's devoid of any specific threat, save to one reporter who sounds like he'll be collateral damage.
According to a message posted on Paste Bin, a document sharing site, Anonymous' big complaint is that The Times didn't give enough credence to a story of great concern to some in digital security circles. That story stems from a WikiLeaks dump of corporate emails, reportedly provided by Anonymous, that revealed an insidious-sounding surveillance software program called Trapwire being used by U.S. intelligence services. PC Magazine's Chloe Albanesius described it as "a secret, comprehensive U.S. surveillance effort" and The Daily Mail's Patrick Dewsbury's story went with the headline, "U.S. government is secretly spying on EVERYONE." But The Times' report from August 14 by Scott Shane called those claims "wildly exaggerated."
That assessment by Shane is what has Anonymous so mad, according to its latest Paste Bin screed, but oddly he's not the reporter the hacktivist group is calling for action against. In fact, the release doesn't even name him, simply referring to him as "some yahoo." The only specific threat in the entire "declaration of war" is against Times national security correspondent, Mark Mazzetti, who recently found himself on the receiving end of a rebuke from Arthur Brisbane for sending a Maureen Dowd column to the CIA before it was published.
"Death to this horrid paper. And dox upon Mark Mazzetti," reads the Anonymous screed. And that dox threat is the only specific action mentioned. A dox, in case you forgot from Anthony Bologna, is where all your personal information gets released online and then people order pizzas to your house and so on. Fortunately for Mazzetti, he's on the security beat, and presumably knows how to take precautions against that sort of thing.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.