Emails, passwords, and files from Chinese government websites were leaked online by the tens of thousands on Oct. 11, in the largest leak yet from hackers supporting the Hong Kong democracy protests.
Members of Anonymous, a loose collective of hackers, posted an announcement on Oct. 11 declaring “China Attacks Success!” The leaks were part of a campaign they started around Oct. 3 called Operation Hong Kong, or #OpHongKong.
“This is just the beginning or a series of attacks we have planned,” said Strudalz, one of the prominent members of Anonymous, in an online chat.
When the announcement was made, the hackers also launched distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against 16 Chinese government websites to overload and take them offline. Among them were those of China’s military, cyber police, and government offices.
Strudalz noted that Anonymous and another hacking group LulzBoatMafia used StrudalNet, which are networks using StrudalPacket, to bring down the sites with DDoS attacks. Many of the websites were still offline by late Saturday night.
The Chinese regime’s Hong Kong Liaison Office told Reuters, in reference to the ongoing cyberattacks from Anonymous, “This kind of internet attack violates the law and social morals, and we have already reported it to the police.”
The statement from the Chinese regime comes with a tinge of irony, given that cyberattacks on individuals and foreign businesses are frequently traced back to a unit of China’s military.
“We found it funny when they said they reported it to the police,” said Strudalz, “because we had already taken them down.”
Anonymous claims they have already infiltrated more than 50 databases in Chinese government websites. They said they had previously leaked 50,000 usernames and emails from the databases, and still had more than 100,000 that had not yet been leaked.
The files in the Oct. 11 leaks allegedly contained all the documents Anonymous had taken from Chinese government websites from the time OpHongKong had started.
Strudalz said by launching the cyberattacks, Anonymous is showing the students protesting for democracy in Hong Kong that they aren’t alone, and that people around the world support them.
He said “it shows that the people (Anywhere) have more than they think backing them.”