Following the recent terrorist attacks in Paris by ISIS, the hacktivist group Anonymous declared war on ISIS and claimed to have taken down thousands of its Twitter accounts as well as a number of its websites including a recruitment website. Now, in the wake of the ISIS terrorist attack in Belgium, Anonymous just posted a video in which it again promised that it would be doing cyberattacks against ISIS Twitter accounts as well as threatening to steal the bitcoins of ISIS.
However, Anonymous has many targets of its wrath and on March 18th, it released what it said, at that time, was personal information of another of its enemies, namely Donald Trump. In its March 18th posting Anonymous released what it claimed was personal information of Trump including his cell phone number and Social Security number. The response of Trump, the FBI and the Secret Service was swift but now appears to be misguided because in another video just posted by Anonymous, it revealed that it did not hack Trump’s various accounts to gain the personal information it previously posted, but merely went to online sources available to everyone from public records and online search engines such as Google. As for Trump’s cell phone number, the number that was posted by Anonymous was actually one Trump himself had posted in a tweet.
Perhaps the biggest lesson from all of this to everyone is recognizing just how much personal information is available about us all from public records, websites and data banks readily available to anyone. However, it is also important to note that often we are our own worst enemies by posting too much personal information on various social media sites which can be gathered and used by cybercriminals for purposes of identity theft. It gives us all something to think about when you post your birth date or other personal information on Facebook or other social media.