Hacktivism refers to hacking into a system for political or social purposes, such as human rights, free speech, and freedom of information. Hacktivists target corporations and governments to disrupt activities or raise public awareness of an issue. Hacktivism tactics may include leaking information, defacing websites, or launching DDoS attacks.
Real-life hacktivism examples
In the late 1990s, a hacktivist group called the Hong Kong Blondes helped Chinese citizens access blocked websites by identifying holes in the Chinese internet system and targeting them.
In 2011, the hacktivist group Anonymous launched a DDoS attack on the PayPal website. The group aimed to expose “corporate interests controlling the internet and silencing the people’s rights to spread information.”
In 2011, a hacktivist group called Lulz Security broke into a U.S. Senate’s computer and posted several internal data files online. The group said they “don’t like the U.S. government very much.”
In 2022, Cyber Partisans, a group of pro-democracy hacktivists from Belarus, breached the systems of Belarusian Railways, demanding the release of 50 political prisoners detained in the country’s protests against Alexander Lukashenko.