The online "hacktivist" group Anonymous has publicly warned NATO to back off.
In both a video and online posting, the group reacted angrily to the publication last month of a NATO report which pointed to Anonymous as a potentially threatening organization, writing that it is gaining in sophistication and "could potentially hack into sensitive government, military, and corporate files." NATO's report also noted the group's apparent role in retaliating against companies that had cut off services for WikiLeaks with the launch of online attacks aimed at disrupting operations at.MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, Amazon, and other financial institutions.
"Today, the ad hoc international group of hackers and activists is said to have thousands of operatives and has no set rules or membership," the report noted. "It remains to be seen how much time Anonymous has for pursuing such paths. The longer these attacks persist the more likely countermeasures will be developed, implemented, the groups will be infiltrated and perpetrators persecuted."
Anonymous responded by dismissing NATO's depiction of the group's intentions as threatening.
"Do not make the mistake of challenging Anonymous. Do not make the mistake of believing you can behead a headless snake. If you slice off one head of Hydra, ten more heads will grow in its place. If you cut down one Anon, ten more will join us purely out of anger at your trampling of dissent. Your only chance of defeating the movement which binds all of us is to accept it. This is no longer your world. It is our world - the people's world."