Five of Anonymous's most infamous trolling operations

Louis Dor
Thursday 26 November 2015 17:00

Anonymous' origins grew from the now infamous /b/ board of 4chan - morphing from a group in the petty pursuit of ‘lulz’ into a worldwide organisation of ‘hacktivists’.

Controversial from the beginning, the group has risen to mainstream attention through increased membership, million mask marches and high-profile operations - including targets such as Isis, North Korea and the NSA.

Here are five of the group’s most typical moments of trolling:

1. Operation Isis

In response to the Paris terrorist attack, Anonymous has increased its operational output against Isis.

It emerged on Thursday that Ghost Sec, a group associated with Anonymous hacked into an Isis-supporting website, replacing it with a message to calm down alongside an advert for viagra.

The full message read:

Enhance your calm. Too many people are into this ISIS-stuff. Please gaze upon this lovely ad so we can upgrade our infrastructure to give you ISIS content you all so desperately crave.

2. Operation Sony

In January 2011, Sony Computer Entertainment filed a lawsuit against George Hotz, a hacker who reverse-engineered the PlayStation 3 to enable "rooting" - allowing users to develop and play unofficial, homemade games.

Anonymous deemed this unacceptable and caused major outages on the console’s network in spring 2011.

An associated group called Guardians of Peace (GoP) hacked Sony Pictures in late November, releasing corporate data to the public and forcing the release of the Seth Rogen and James Franco film, The Interview, in winter 2014.

The FBI investigated and the GoP posted a public message cynically praising their efforts, reading:


The result of investigation by FBI is so excellent that you might have seen what we were doing with your own eyes.

We congratulate you success.

FBI is the BEST in the world.

You will find the gift for FBI at the following address:

A link to the following video was then posted:

3. Operation Hal Turner

Way back in 2006, Anonymous took the website of the white supremacist radio show host Hal Turner offline.

Even worse, the attack cost him thousands of dollars in bandwidth bills, for which Turner sued a host of companies, including the birthplace of Anonymous, 4chan.

In December 2007, Turner's case was dismissed by a court judge.

4. Project Chanology

During an operation against the Church of Scientology, Anonymous used DDoS attacks and made the organisation’s website the top result for a google search of "dangerous cult".

The organisation also ordered hundreds of pizzas to Scientology centres and sent all-black faxes to the Los Angeles branch, to drain the machines of ink.

5. Rickrolling Isis

Using the hashtag #RickrollDaesh, and the 1987 Rick Astley classic song-turned-meme, Anonymous are currently hijacking hashtags used by Isis supporters and flooding them with the song.

The #OpParis account released the list of hashtags on Tuesday, which have since been significantly more Rick-filled.

It’s the earliest meme on the internet, but not as you know it.

More: Britain's security minister has actually thanked Anonymous for taking on Isis

More: The New York Daily News is following Anonymous' example and labelling Isis 'Daesh bags'