David vs. Goliath: Companies Targeted By Anonymous

Joel Anderson  |

The hacker collective known as Anonymous has made a real name for itself over the last few years, and that reputation was on display again Monday when the group took down websites for the Greek Prime Minister, police, and parliament in support of the protests there. Anonymous has taken on a role as global anarchists, acting in support of protest movements everywhere. More recently, it crashed the websites for the FBI and US Department of Justice in January to protest MegaUpload being taken down, and the group also took down the CIA website briefly on February 10th.

However, Anonymous hasn't stopped at governments. The collective has also targeted specific businesses and corporation that were deemed to be acting negatively.

Bank of America (BAC)

This should probably come as no surprise given that Bank of America seems to have become everyone's whipping boy over the last few years, but Anonymous specifically targeted the company in March of last year. Anonymous produced e-mails reputedly from a former employee that exposed corruption and fraud on the part of Bank of America. The e-mails claimed that Bank of America, through subsidiaries, sold insurance to people without need for it.

Monsanto (MON)

Monsanto has gotten its fair share of bad press over the years, with a recent petition on Facebook protesting former Monsanto Vice President Michael Taylor being appointed as head of the FDA by President Obama and today's news that a French court has found the company guilty of chemical poisoning in the case of a farmer there coming as just the most recent examples. As such, it's hardly surprising that Monsanto has fallen victim to Anonymous. In July of last year, Anonymous posted names, phone numbers, addresses, and e-mail addresses of 2,500 employees and affiliates of the company on public sites. At the time, Anonymous also warned that similar attacks would be conducted against Exxon Mobil (XOM), ConocoPhillips (COP), Canadian Oil Sands (COS.TSE), Imperial Oil (IMO), and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

Sony (SNE)

One of the most recent retaliations promised by the group is against Sony for its lawsuit against George Hotz, a hacker who successfully figured out and publicly posted a way to hack into the Playstation 3. Hotz, who was also responsible for figuring out how to unlock the iPhone, was taken to court for the data about the Playstation 3 that he released to the public. More recently, Anonymous has renewed its call for attacks on Sony after the company's public support for SOPA.

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