A hacker that goes by the handle xCrotZ has been defacing various websites in protest of Valentine’s Day.
The act was discovered by security firm MalwareBytes and determined that the hacker is associated with hacktivist collective Anonymous because of the Anonymous Indonesia label as well as the #OPFvcklentineDays hashtag.
According to Robin Lutchansky of Lutchansky Communications, speaking for MalwareBytes, the defacement is a result of Muslim group that has called themselves #OP Fvcklentine Days to antagonize the celebration of Valentine’s Day as they deem it a pagan celebration.
Sites such as the Ottawa Catholic School Board, have been defaced, but it has been restored.
“Our main Board website was hacked. Our school websites, intranet and all student and staff information systems were not affected or compromised in any way. We hope to have the website up soon, we will be putting additional protective measures in place to ensure this does not happen again,” the school said.
Certainly also the use of the Twitter hashtag and “OP” to centralize the attack seems to suggest Anonymous in the hearts and minds of Internet users, however, it doesn’t seem likely that the hacktivist collective is involved.
Upon further investigation, Anonymous Indonesia, or Anonymous in general, did not launch an Anti-Valentine operation. In fact, if you do a quick search on Twitter, Anonymous Indonesia tweeted, “so where is my valentine chocolate? ” If Anon_Indonesia launched this attack, I don’t think they would tweet anything Valentine-related and their Twitter feeds would all be about the Anti-Valentine movement.
In searching for #OPFvcklentineDays on Twitter, I noticed that there was one person who constantly updated sites that had been hacked.
Ahmad Zulham A.H @AhmadZulham_, at first look, appears to be a member of Anonymous but he can’t even spell Anonymous correctly. Also, his associates or as he/she calls them “My Best Friend,” Network Connections @Dickys_ and Alfit Rizky @alfitriski_, doesn’t seem to be connected to Anonymous. Zulham might be xCrotZ or someone who just keeps tab on hacking in general.
Also, xCrotZ’s site doesn’t mention anything about Anonymous.
“It’s unlikely that Anonymous would be involved in a web defacement campaign that simply protests ‘Valentine’s Day’ without some sort of manifesto that speaks to either a moral or simply funny motivation,” says HackANGLE editor Kyt Dotson. “Also, the OP hashtag is used often as a hacker call to action–not just by Anonymous. Any group can use these calling cards. Add in the lack of collective action, calling cards distinct to Anonymous, or even common outlets picking up this #OP, and it’s highly unlikely that these hacks are anything but superficially related to the leaderless collective.”
From what I know about Anonymous, they fight for freedom. They launch attacks mostly on government website who curtail freedom of speech, knowledge, access to the Internet or freedom in general. They do not launch attacks that targets specific religions so I highly doubt that this Anti-Valentine operation was sanctioned by Anonymous.