The cyber activist group known as Anonymous has launched a new campaign dubbed Operation Metal Gear.
According to an Anonymous press release circulated Wednesday evening, Metal Gear is primarily investigative in nature, as it seeks to track down an enigmatic, yet sophisticated military app designed to spawn multiple cyber personalities.
"This operation stems from a string of leaked HBGary emails wherein a company by the name of Booz Allen Hamilton, in direct contact with Aaron Barr, is believed to have bid on and successfully won the contract to develop an unnamed software from the US Air Force," the group explained.
"We believe Metal Gear involves an army of fake cyber personalities immersed in social networking websites for the purposes of manipulating the mass population via influence, crawling information from major online communities (such as Facebook), and identifying anonymous personalities via correlating stored information from multiple sources to establish connections between separate online accounts, using this information to arrest dissidents and activists who work anonymously."
To be sure, the software is apparently capable of allowing a single agent to command a virtual "army" of sockpuppet accounts across multiple social networking sites.
"It is sophisticated enough to develop a 'profile' for each puppet to add a level of 'realism' to each. In short, there would be no feasible way to distinguish between 100 people commenting on a subject, and 100 of these puppets doing the same," the press release claimed.
"[True], this is nothing new for those of us familiar with how the Net works. However, given recent events across the world, the idea behind Metal Gear seems to be 'weaponizing' sockpuppets, in order to influence the face of revolutions that are based within social networking sites."