A team of "dissidents" claiming to be former members of Anonymous have apparently failed in their rather transparent efforts to intimidate the cyber activist group.
The latest initiative to discredit Anonymous was conducted by (at least) two so-called representatives of Backtrace Security, who threatened to post "identifying information" on key "centralized" personnel within the enigmatic organization.
"[Anonymous] has truly become moralfags. Anonymous has never been about revolutions," Hubris, BackTrace's so-called director of psychological operations, proclaimed to Forbes on Friday.
"It's not about the betterment of mankind. It's the Internet hate machine, or that's what it's supposed to be."
BackTrace rep A5h3r4 expressed similar sentiments to Gawker before handing over what he considered to be incriminating evidence against Anonymous later that day.
"The bastards are becoming arrogant sociopaths. Acting first, not thinking of the consequences. They're recruiting children. I am a pretty far left person - I believe in privacy and free expression, but Anonymous is a vigilante group now," A5h3r4 told the publication.
"A mob without conscience. And I worry they will radicalize even more. In short, I believe they're on their way to becoming a genuine threat."
However, Anonymous member Barrett Brown, who describes himself as a spokesperson for the decentralized group, said the "security breach" which yielded the purported logs was actually detected quite a long time ago.
"We're aware of the security breach as other logs from 'HQ' have been posted before. I should note that HQ is not really HQ anyway - you will [see] the actual coordination of performed hacks [does] not appear in those logs.
"I can [also] tell you those who were responsible for pulling off HBGary no longer use that room due not only to this security breach, but other factors as well."
Meanwhile, p2pnet's Jon Newton scoffed at Backtrace for attempting to discredit Anonymous and criticized Gawker for facilitating the feeble scheme.
"It's the second time. Ask Aaron Barr and Greg Hoglund of HBGary infamy. But Gawker is just as wrong now as Barr and Hoglund were then. Not that it'll stop vested interests which desperately want there to be names so people can be found, arrested and jailed, from grasping at this latest straw.
"[Yes], Gawker may be well pleased with itself, and Forbes for a 'scoop,' and it isn't beyond the realms of possibility the 'exposure' isn't much more than a way to launch a new business to profit off Anonymous. Whichever and whatever, Anonymous is now firmly established as a hard-edged presence online and, off, and it isn't going away."