Recently, it seems as if the group “Anonymous” issued a warning to Wall Street, threatening to take Wall Street off the Internet on October 10, 2011. This action is meant to be in support of the Occupy Wall Street group, and other Occupy groups around the country. This threat was reported in Business Week and on the Glenn Beck program. Although Anonymous is a group that has caused trouble in the past, something doesn’t add up. While it would make sense to keep an eye on the news in the upcoming week, and to consider this a serious threat, there are some reasons to believe that this threat will not come to pass on Monday.
October 10 is a Holiday
Anonymous can be a dangerous group. In the past, the group has made attacks on Sony, Mastercard, Visa, and on the Australian government’s web sites. They seem to be an intelligent (if not misguided) group of people. Why would they choose October 10th, when most banks will be closed, as the date that they were going to launch an attack against Wall Street? Wouldn’t it make more sense to launch an attack on the New York Stock Exchange on October 11th, when more people are trading? The YouTube threat said that this attack would be one that we would never forget. Although Columbus Day is not a Wall Street holiday, it is a banking holiday, and fewer people are likely to be trading.
Anonymous Claims Compromise
There are conflicting reports about the threatened attack on Wall Street on Monday. Some people that follow Anonymous have been saying that the Invade Wall Street operation has been compromised, and will not happen. Others are saying that some factions of Anonymous are going ahead with the operation, while others are not participating. Others are saying that the message from “Anonymous” is actually a police sting operation. With so many stories floating around, it doesn’t look like there actually is a solid threat for Monday. While a few isolated hackers may try to cause some mayhem on the 10th (when the stock market is closed), it doesn’t look like we have much to worry about.
Remain on the Alert, but Hope for the Best
It makes sense to pay attention to the financial news over the next few days, as the Anonymous attack could be real, and could affect the world’s finances, if the attack extended beyond the NYSE web site (which wouldn’t really affect trading). There really is no reason to run around believing that the financial sky is falling, but there is a small amount of evidence out there that leads me to believe that it could be worthwhile to pay a little attention to the financial markets for the next couple of days.
Riley, Michael, and Mehta, Nina. “Anonymous Vows NYSE Attack to Support Wall Street Protests.” Business Week, 5 October 2011.
JLLLOW. “Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt – ‘Invade Wall Street’ Edition”. No Meritocracy, 8 October 2011.
TheAnonMessage. “A Personal Message Regarding the Validity of #invadewallstreet”. YouTube, 8 October 2011.
TheAnonMessage. “Operation Invade Wall Street – A Message to the People”. YouTube, 2 October 2011.