Hacktivism accompanies US protests.
Sporadic hacktivism has accompanied widespread protests in the US over the death of George Floyd. Minnesota governor Tim Walz said "all state computers" were hit by a "very sophisticated denial of service attack" on Saturday, according to The Hill. Walz added, "That's not somebody sitting in their basement," although observers including StateScoop were quick to point out that DDoS attacks generally require very little skill; the software kits required to launch one of these attacks can be purchased by a basement dweller for less than $20.
The loose hacktivist collective Anonymous also made headlines this week, for characteristically underwhelming reasons. Anonymous-branded social media accounts claimed to have hacked the Minneapolis Police Department and stolen several hundred email addresses and passwords, which they subsequently published. Troy Hunt of Have I Been Pwned analyzed the data dump and concluded that it "has almost certainly been pulled out of existing data breaches in an attempt to falsely fabricate a new one."
Regardless, Anonymous-branded social media posts related to the protests have been going viral at a significant scale, and Motherboard wonders if this alone could spark a resurgence of amateur hacking under the flag of Anonymous. Reuters notes that Anonymous should be viewed as more of a brand than an actual group, since anyone on the Internet can claim membership by simply changing their social media imagery and posting ominous slogans.