Nov. 5 has passed, and with it, some government officials might be breathing a sigh of relief.
The day — and days leading up to it — was used by hacktivist group Anonymous to launch a series of cyberattacks and international protests against perceived injustices. There were reports and rumors of cyberattacks in the Philippines, Australia and, most notably, Singapore, where the group claimed credit for shutting down The Straits Times, the country’s largest newspaper.
According to the BBC, the attack occurred a few days after an Anonymous YouTube video where a spokesman donning a Guy Fawkes mask threatened Singapore’s data infrastructure as a protest against the country's new licensing regulations for news websites, a move it denounced as unjust censorship.
During the hack, the BBC reported seeing the message, "Dear ST: You just got hacked for misleading the people!" written on a page of the newspaper's website.
The message was said to reference a Straits Times article covering the group’s YouTube threat. Anonymous alleged the article had altered its statement from a threat against the Singapore government to a threat against the people of Singapore, a statement it did not endorse.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told reporters Singapore would spare no effort to find and prosecute the Anonymous hacker.
Other happenings during the day included reports from Anonymous Philippines that it had hacked more than 100 government websites. Similarly, Anonymous Indonesia said it had hacked more than a hundred Australian websites. These attacks, however, were not confirmed.
The group’s Million Mask March was made up of various marches that took place in different international cities. Some areas reported just a few dozen participants while others, such as the protest in London’s Trafalgar Square, numbered in the thousands. Comedian Russell Brand was in attendance at the London event to protest a lack of voting power in the UK.
The date itself commemorates Britain’s Gunpowder Plot of 1605, a.k.a. Guy Fawkes Day, when revolutionaries attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament.