Coined in 1998 by members of the hacker collective named Omega, ‘Hacktivist’ refers to using (legally or not) Internet tools for political activism i.e. hacking + activism. According to Julian Assange the earliest known instance of hacktivism,
Hacktivism is at least as old as October 1989 when DOE, HEPNET and SPAN (NASA) connected VMS machines world wide were penetrated by the anti-nuclear WANK worm. […] WANK penetrated machines had their login screens altered to:W O R M S A G A I N S T N U C L E A R K I L L E R S _______________________________________________________________ \__ ____________ _____ ________ ____ ____ __ _____/ \ \ \ /\ / / / /\ \ | \ \ | | | | / / / \ \ \ / \ / / / /__\ \ | |\ \ | | | |/ / / \ \ \/ /\ \/ / / ______ \ | | \ \| | | |\ \ / \_\ /__\ /____/ /______\ \____| |__\ | |____| |_\ \_/ \___________________________________________________/ \ / \ Your System Has Been Officially WANKed / \_____________________________________________/ You talk of times of peace for all, and then prepare for war.
Since its inception, more hacktivist groups have formed, each with their own agendas. Their acts have become frequent, and more infamous. NowSourcing.com‘s new infographic explores the operations that sent messages many of us will not easily forget.