The war that hacking collective Anonymous promised to bring to GOP frontrunner Donald Trump's digital doorstep is supposed to launch April 1. It can be difficult for anyone not immersed in the deep dark corners of the web where Anonymous gathers to plan ops to get a feel for just how serious threats from the collective might be. Politico reports that there has actually been plenty of evidence that hackers do have it out for the real estate magnate and reality star:
A record of attacks over the past year suggests it’s no idle threat: In that time Trump has been hit by at least a half dozen embarrassing hacks that have included the defacing and spamming of his campaign and business websites, stolen credit card information from his hotel chain’s guests and the public release of his Social Security number. It’s unclear exactly what more the hackers intend to do on Friday or beyond that, but their warnings have been aggressive.
While the mid-March "hack" of Trump was actually doxing and used information that had been online for sometime—for anyone good at ferreting out such bits of personal info—it still served as a shot across Trump's bow. Speaking to Politico, a "West Coast-based hacker who goes by the name Compiled" told the DC publication that a group called New World Hackers had thrown in with Anonymous to attack websites related to Trump's hotels as well as his political campaign.
The hacktivists have indicated through videos and posts on text-pasting sites like Pastebin that Trump's sometimes heated rhetoric has set them off. What remains unclear is just how much damage they can do. As noted by Politico, fighting Anonymous could, for Trump, at least be "a costly distraction: The decentralized global group has turned into a digital thorn in the side of governments and corporations whose policies its members decide to confront."
As for Anonymous—on April Fool's Day it looked as though the Twitter account most widely identified with the collective, @YourAnonNews, had been hacked by a group calling themselves "Potato Squad."
Hacking is a shadowy game played in a hall of mirrors so as of Friday afternoon there was no telling whether the "hack" was an April Fool's prank played by Anonymous on the account followers. "Potato Squad" posted several passionately pro-Trump tweets, but that's what a good troll committed to their prank would do.
If it wasn't a prank and an actual hack, Anonymous may have more than just the IT squad at Trump headquarters to contend with.