Anonymous is an online ‘hacktivist’ collective active in all over the world. They stand against injustice of all kinds, they are anti-censorship and anti-oppression and can be recognised by their distinctive Guy Fawkes style masks.


Anonymous logo


Their motto is:

Knowledge is free. We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.


Anonymous first popped up in 2008 when they leaked a Scientology video starring Tom Cruise on YouTube. They were asked by the Church of Scientology to take down the video and retaliated by launching their Project Chanology attacks which consisted of multiple DDoS attacks on websites belonging to the church.

A notice sent out by Anonymous detailing their support of WikiLeaks

They have publicly supported WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. When MasterCard, PayPal and Visa refused payments to the WikiLeaks website, Anonymous launched multiple attacks against the credit card companies.



 In 2011, HBGarry Federal’s CEO claimed that his company had successfully infiltrated Anonymous and promised to post details about the members publicly.

In retaliation, Anonymous hijacked HBGarry’s website, changed the logo to their own, posted a warning message, and took 70,000 messages from their email system. Anonymous even posted links to the hijacked site on the CEO’s twitter account.


After the French terror attacks they declared war on ISIS and have since taken down numerous websites belonging to ISIS. They have also hacked the Pentagon.




LulzSec logo


LulzSec (short for Lulz Security) was founded as a sort of spin-off from Anonymous. Their slogan is:

Laughing at your security since 2011.

The Wall Street Journal labelled their attacks as ‘more internet pranks than serious cyberwarfare’.


Their attacks included broadcasting company Fox, they hacked into the X Factor contestant database which included the personal information of 73,000 applicants.

Arguably, their most high profile hack was on Sony, they attacked the database and took thousands of users personal information including names, addresses, passwords etc. They claimed to have breached 1 million user accounts but Sony claimed the figure was actually around 38,000.


LulzSec leader Hector Monsegur aka ‘Sabu’ was arrested first. He later turned into an FBI informant, revealing the identities of the other LulzSec members who were all subsequently arrested and charged. Sabu has since helped the FBI stop more than 300 cyber attacks since 2011. 

Lizard Squad


Lizard Squad logo


Lizard Squad’s first attack was in 2014 and involved taking down the servers for the game ‘League of Legends’ with a DDoS attack. On 22 December 2014, Lizard Squad used a DDoS attack to take down the internet in North Korea, the internet services were restored by the next day.

One of their more high profile attacks came in 2015, when they hacked the website of Malaysia Airlines, people wishing to use the site were redirected to a page with an image of a tuxedo-wearing lizard which read ‘Hacked by Cyber Caliphate’

Screenshot of the hacked Malaysian Airlines website (Photo: Adam Abdul Rahim)


Tarh Andishan


An Iranian hacking group made uo of 20 highly skilled hackers. The group is believed to have formed in response to the Stuxnet worm virus, which was cyberweapon backed by a joint effort from US and Israeli forces.

Map detailing countries that have been targeted by the Tarh Andishan group

Their most notorious activity is Operation Cleaver, which targets military, energy, oil, gas, airports, transportation and hospitals all over the world. Services in China, India, England, USA, France, and Germany have been hit by the Tarh Andishan attacks.