OpGTMO Campaign Fuses Cyber and Kinetic Protests
We’ve talked previously about the linkages between cyber intelligence and physical warfare. But when we saw the recently executed Operation Guantanamo (#OpGTMO) campaign by Anonymous that culminated this past weekend, it was clear that there are related signals that tie together physical and digital social movements.
The OpGTMO campaign provides an example of how to pick up clues of impending hacker campaigns and intentions as well as evaluate the potential for converging physical and digital demonstrations. Let’s start with the earliest indicator of #OpGTMO:
The image above shows a “parked” Twitter account created on May 4 using variable spelling – “OpGitmo” – to hold the online property as well as redirect errant spellers to Anonymous’ impending campaign: #OpGTMO. Note: solid material for a real-time alert that should be put in place by all of you open source cyber analysts!
The chosen campaign tag of #OpGTMO matches the name of Guantanamo’s military base operator Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) rather than the colloquial “Gitmo”. Although misspellings caused consternation among some supporters, the handle of choice was ultimately successful in dominating the conversation:Credit to Topsy for data and chart
From Social Media Awareness to Mainstream Attention
For the purposes of further investigation, we’ll consider #OpGTMO and #OpGitmo conflated. This took place early on via positioning by Anon mouthpieces on Twitter, and over the course of the campaign, the intentions behind use of one or the other appear indistinguishable.
So, from the first parking of the “OpGitmo” account on May 4, the first tweet from the Operation Guantanamo account appeared early in the morning Eastern time on May 5. A video posted to YouTube followed on May 6, and Russia Today was the first mainstream source to report on the campaign. Use of the actual terms #OpGTMO or #OpGitmo was, unsurprisingly, largely found on the social web: