A group of hackers calling themselves Team Matrix has declared war on the Anonymous collective, promising to hack its sites and publish its members names.
The Team Matrix hackers made the declaration of war via a video posted on YouTube. In it, the Matrix hacker claimed responsibility for defacing the AnonyOps website - one of Anonymous central news centres.
Moving past the claim, the Matrix representative posted a statement promising the attack was the opening shot in an ongoing campaign against the hacktivist collective.
"Greetings anonymous, We are team matrix. For many months our hacking group has sat back and watched your actions. We have decided that the time has come, a time that you have been waiting for, a time that could go down in history. We have decided to go to war, a war that will change everything, you know this," read the statement.
Team Matrix gave no clear reason for its declaration of war past a general disapproval of Anonymous; "your actions represent those of people who hack for a reason they believe in and that is exactly what we are going to do. You may think you are untouchable, you may think you can bully people and take the law into your own hands."
Later into the video statement Team Matrix promised it would continue its campaign, targeting other sites associated with Anonymous before going on to reveal the identities of its members to the public.
"We have already defaced one of your affiliated sites anonyops.com, we will continue our attacks until we are satisfied. we will continue to target the anonymous community on face book and every website linked to anonymous. we will take down any websites you use to assist you in operations, then finally we will start revealing identities to the public."
The opening attack on AnonyOps occurred on Tuesday after a hacker operating under the Exotz moniker defaced the site posting a statement mocking the collective. "Such an unfortunate accident, hackers have been hacked! Greetings from Exotz email@example.com."
Team Matrix is not the first group to target the Anonymous collective or threaten to reveal its members' identities. In the past the identity of prominent Anon - the name used by Anonymous members to define themselves - Sabu has been the subject of heated debate. Numerous hackers have attempted and at times claimed to have learned Sabu's identity - none of which have turned out to be true.
UPDATE 16/02/2012 10:53am: The owner of the firstname.lastname@example.org email address has contacted the IBTimes UK clarifying Team Matrix AnonyOps claim is false: "I am mad about how 'TeamMatricHacking' [sic] claimed that they defaced the anonyops. They DID NOT. Exotz and 'ONE MAN ARMY' has been written there for reason," read the email.
UPDATE 16/02/2012 11:25am: Exotz went on to clarify that was and never has been a member of Anonymous and that the attack was not an act of war. " I've never been associated with anonymous in any way. So I am not "anon that went rogue" as someone said at youtube .And also: this is not a 'war', this was done just for 'lulz' but actually nothing that would hurt them in any way was done. The attack was NOT meant to hurt them in any way and I don't think it did."