By Aaron Kesel - AcPo - 19. November 2019
Anonymous has hacked into various Chinese websites and databases dumping files from government employee data to corporate data including user names, mobile phone numbers, email addresses, passwords for databases, IP addresses and more. It is all a part of what the collective is calling #OpHongKong and they vow these actions will continue until Hongkongers’ demands are met and Hong Kong is free.
This writer spoke to OpHongKong via email who sent a tip that the decentralized hacktivist collective, Anonymous, has initiated “OpHongKong” no-holds-barred hacks against China for the escalation against Hong Kong protesters, holding students hostage at Polytechnic University; and for what China is doing to Muslim Uighurs in concentration camps, as well as its own people with its Orwellian facial recognition surveillance-state.
Hong Kong seems to be escalating more and more each passing week. Last week protesters used gasoline bombs and shot fire bows-and-arrows in their fight to keep riot police backed by armored cars and water cannons off of two university campuses in Hong Kong.
There were dozens of injured people at Polytechnic University on Monday night, while others escaped by climbing down ropes. The surroundings remained under police control with over 500 people still trapped inside the University, according to RHTK.
The news agency added that “police fired tear gas near the campus despite a ceasefire agreement, the students’ union warned that hundreds of people were still stuck inside – many badly injured and suffering from hypothermia following the multiple bursts of police water cannon since Sunday.”
In a coordinated effort, tens of thousands of Hongkongers sought to protect their comrades at the PolyU campus and break the siege, as clashes simultaneously raged with police nearby in Kowloon. Protesters rescued each other with dozens of motor bikes showing up to save those trapped who climbed down from a nearby bridge. The ongoing tragedy is trending with the hashtags #PolyMassacre #SOSPolyU #HongKongProtests #StandwithHK.
Dramatic getaway of some #PolyU protesters, who abseiled down from a bridge, and sped away on the backs of motorbikes that came out of nowhere on a flyover. Police pelted them with tear gas and projectiles as they perched on precarious ledges #HK #HongKongProtest
RHTK interviewed one of the students who escaped, expressing that the “situation was getting desperate on the campus by dawn with supplies running out and people gripped by fear.”
This piles on top of previous police brutality and random attacks happening in Hong Kong by triads against resistance leaders of the Free Hong Kong movement.
In early October, one of the leaders of the Hong Kong resistance, Jimmy Sham, was assaulted by an organized group of four to five people wielding hammers, according to Civil Human Rights Front, the organization he heads, SCMP reported. This isn’t the first time that Sham and others have been attacked by mercenaries seeming to act at the behest of China. In September of this year a 15-year-old boy and a 44-year-old man were arrested over assault with a baseball bat and a rod against Sham and his assistant, Law Kwok-wai.
Many others have had the same attacks happen to them by what have been deemed “triads” within China going back as recently as July. In a recent article, Channel News Asia writes, “Since late August, eight well-known dissidents have been beaten by unknown assailants as fear swirls that some ‘triad’ crime networks have flocked to Beijing’s cause after five months of protests. The victims include rally organizers, opposition lawmakers, student leaders and people standing for upcoming polls.”
The Guardian also reported the following incident during that month showing protesters getting beaten in a subway by suspected hired hands of China or Hong Kong to intimidate them.
Snippet of a live broadcast from lawmaker Lam Cheuk ting, showing self-professed pro-Gov't mobsters attacking passengers in train cars at #MTR #YuenLong Stn. #HongKong has 1 of the world's highest cop to population ratio. Where were @hkpoliceforce? Lam was injured as shown live.
Triads are otherwise known as the Chinese mafia, and there are at least half a dozen main groups in Hong Kong with some 100,000 members, according to the South China Morning Post newspaper. The three best-known groups — 14K, Sun Yee On and Wo Shing Wo — also operate just across the border in southern China and as far afield as the U.S., according to the Washington Post. The newspaper further notes that attacks by triads go back to at least 2014, “when thousands of student-led pro-democracy protesters occupied Hong Kong’s major retail and business districts, there were arrests after triads beat up demonstrators.” Actions which even the likes of mainstream media like the New York Times reported as early as July of this year.
But the triads aren’t the only ones attacking protesters, it is also the legal militarized arm of Hong Kong and China, the police, as The Guardian has reported.
Months of increasingly violent pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong were sparked by protests against an extradition law which would have allowed suspects in Hong Kong to be sent to various destinations, including authoritarian mainland Communist China.
Yahoo News reports the case of Chan Tong-kai, 20, who was wanted in Taiwan for the 2018 murder of his pregnant girlfriend, Poon Hiu-wing, as one of the catalysts that started the protests, which was an attempt to change the law.
This proposal that spurred outrage was scrapped last week; however, activists continue flooding Hong Kong’s streets and subways. Additionally, there are other things piled on that continue to enable the protests like the killings and police brutality against civilians protesting. One officer has even been caught brandishing a shotgun and aiming it at a crowd of protesters on video.
Just a few weeks ago another civilian was shot and killed by police. In this video you can see the officer being attacked by a student; the officer then decides to use lethal force, pulling out his revolver firing a shot into the 18-year-old’s chest. Couple this with the fact that in August a woman had her eye shot by police in an extremely graphic video, and you can see why the protests are still raging strong across Hong Kong. Although, in a win for the Hong Kong protesters, a court has ordered that a woman identified only as ‘K’ can sue the Hong Kong police for their actions, SCMP reported.
However, make no mistake, violence is also happening on the side of Hong Kong protesters; this fight has been going on for almost half a year at a massive 118 days according to a Bloomberg report on October 4th. During August, a pro-Hong Kong police journalist from the Chinese mainland was beaten and tied up by rioters at Hong Kong International Airport. After the mob tied the journalist’s hands and feet, the man said: “I support the Hong Kong police, you can beat me!”
Police have also been accused of agent provocateur behavior by infiltrating protest groups and getting violent for no reason, or using lethal force when they could have just used nonlethal methods — but potentially still deadly — bean bag guns, rubber bullets or tear gas, edging on the violence as can be seen with these videos and more (here, and here), and also with this clip of police vans driving into protesters:
Another key issue is that some of the weapons being used by Hong Kong police including tear gas, pepper spray, and batons, are coming from U.S. companies producing the chemicals and ammunition. So far, two lawmakers in early August called for a ban on those weapons of war that are being used for crowd control, The Epoch Times reported.
Amnesty International has identified several U.S.-based companies that are supplying the crowd control equipment to police, according to a statement by the humans rights organization.
U.S. President Donald Trump promised Chinese President Xi Jinping in a June phone call that he would stay quiet on the protests in Hong Kong in exchange for progress in the trade war, Business Insider reported.
Although in September during a meeting at the UN after the trade deal seemed to fizzle out, Trump criticized China by stating that it must respect the city’s democracy and abide by the decades-old agreement giving it semi-autonomy, CBS reported.
However, recently President Donald Trump said in an Oval Office meeting with China’s Vice Premier, Liu He, that he thinks protests in Hong Kong are slowing down and they will take care of themselves, and that a partial trade accord the two leaders reached on Friday will be a “great deal” for the city’s residents.
“We discussed Hong Kong and I think great progress has been made by China in Hong Kong, and I’ve been watching and I actually told the vice premier it really has toned down a lot from the initial days of a number of months ago when I saw a lot of people, and I see far fewer now,” Trump told reporters.
Trump added, “I think that’s going to take care of itself. I actually think this deal is a great deal for the people of Hong Kong to see what happened. I think this is a very positive thing for Hong Kong.”
Wow. Listen to this Hong Kong protester talk about his desire for freedom. They are fighting for "survival" and trying to achieve what we have in America.
Perhaps the luxury of unprecedented freedom has made many in this country forget how fragile liberty truly is.
Hong Kong protesters largely agree that China is threatening their limited autonomy as defined by basic law. While Anonymous says they are more concerned by China’s recent aggression against the protesters, fearing another Tienanmen is possible if the world doesn’t react.
“We have hacked 4 Chinese mongodb databases.and had donated its user data to vigilante.pw now. The latter has today loaded the leaks into their directory – go to the directory list and sort it by latest date and you’ll see the following:”
|8,870||Ningxia Water Department||plaintext||Government||2019-11|
|157,751||Xiaopiu.com||MD5 & no passwords|
This writer asked the hacktivists 10 questions to better understand their motive and mindset for the aforementioned hacks.
Hacktivists provided this author with a preview of the data to show they weren’t bullshitting, the data showed it to be an accurate authentic leak from a Chinese website. The data is being held back from publication by Activist Post but the threats are very real. The hackers replied sternly that they “did a private leak now but in the future they won’t be as forgiving if policy makers escalate violence in Hong Kong, security is an illusion,” Anonymous said.
China has vowed it will “never be soft” in its crackdown in Xinjiang, after a massive leak of government documents shed new light on the mass detention of Muslims in the far-west region.
Over 400 pages of internal papers obtained by The New York Times showed that President Xi Jinping ordered officials to act with “absolutely no mercy” against separatism and extremism in Xinjiang.
The documents, which are now known to be leaked by an unnamed official, included unpublished speeches by Xi as well as directives on the surveillance and control of the Uighur minority, Business Insider reported.
China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang accused the Times of “turning a blind eye to the facts” while “taking meaning out of context to publicize so-called internal documents, slander and smear counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts in Xinjiang”.
“China will never be soft in its fight against violent terrorists,” Geng said at a press briefing.
China has expressed much of the same rhetoric towards Hong Kong protesters and their supporters with the Chinese President Xi Jinping stating that any attempts to cause division in China “will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones.”
“Anyone attempting to split China in any part of the country will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones,” Xi told Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli , according to China’s state broadcaster CCTV.
Chinese state media added that Nepal’s leader pledged to “firmly support China in safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity and stand firm in upholding the ‘One-China policy,'” which refers to China’s position against Taiwan. To make matters worse for protesters, China’s military is on the ground in Hong Kong “cleaning up” according to several reports.
Actually, China begun building up its military in Hong Kong at the end of September according to Reuters which reported that there were a total of 12,000 Chinese troops in the city at the time. That number has surely doubled or even tripled by now, two months later, given the situation.
What Xi references above about crushed bodies and shattered bones is very clearly a tongue-in-cheek hit at Tienanmen Square when tanks rolled over the bodies of protesters, crushing and eviscerating them with the weight of the armored vehicles, Hong Kong FP reported.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says campus protesters must surrender if the three-day stand-off was to be resolved peacefully, Channel News Asiareported.
As Activist Post reported, Hongkongers recently joined Anonymous in celebration of November 5th, i.e. Guy Fawkes day, defying a law against wearing masks which on Monday was turned down in Hong Kong as unconstitutional. However, China is threatening to upend Hong Kong’s legal system, CNN reported.
1. Question: OpHongKong, when did you breach the servers?
Answer: We breached the servers on the end of October and throughout early this month.
2. Question: What have you breached data wise, any gems you would like to share with the world?
Answer: A particular gem we wanna share with the world is the possibility of solving both Hong Kong and North Korean crisis all at once like two birds in a stone. Long story short, adapted from Sheperd Iverson’s “Stop North Korea” book a lone singular hacker Cyber Anakin proposed on his blog that in a wider political bargain, China can be induced to have HK voluntarily cave in to all the protesters demands in exchange for a greater role in making two Koreas become one in peace by bribing all of them and became a ‘great hero’.
As he seemed to have trouble bringing it to the fore we decide to lend help with that for purely humanitarian reasons. Although to be fair many might’ve thought about this beforehand but don’t have right channels to get it out.
We found it interesting for that doesn’t involve the Chinese PLA on one hand, and the greedy military-industrial complex at our side on the other hand. This looks controversial to most, but it offers the best chance to solve all of these without tragedy and bloodshed. It’s ultimately up to all the policymakers (be it from China, Hong Kong, both Koreas, and the US) on whether to take up this offer.
3. Question: What are the motives behind these hacks, can you tell our readers what has been going on in Hong Kong?
Answer: We wanna support the Hong Kong protests with this op. Free Hong Kong, Revolution of our Times! Blitzchung did nothing wrong! RIP Alex Chow! With respect to computer hacking, all is possible, nothing is secure.
4. Question: We see the Chinese military is now publicly on the ground in Hong Kong, do you think another Tienanmen square is possible?
Answer: We fear a Tienanmen is possible unless the gem at #2 is brought to the fore just in time.
5. Question: Are there any other operations planned?
Answer: If talking about Anonymous as a whole, yep certainly there are many operations in the making. Right now we in particular are offering all the policymakers an option of a peaceful endgame. This time to avoid going too far we did a limited release of the leak like for instance giving these to vigilante.pw. But we, Anonymous as a whole, won’t be as forgiving and kind as now should the policymakers choose to double down on the path to violence.
6. Question: Are other cells of Anonymous new fags and old fags working together for the Hong Kong people?
Answer: One of few things we’re certain about is like you said, new fags and old fags are working behind the scenes to support the Hong Kong people, if we’re talking about Anonymous as a whole. Heck, there’s a nice list of HK government DNSes for targeting out there: https://pastebin.com/R1s890qK
7. Question: Are we witnessing 2019’s OpTunisia? Which saw the overthrow of Egypt’s corrupt leader at the time and spurred Arab Spring.
Answer: Hopefully yeah especially if the gem at #2 succeeded to be brought on the fore and the policymakers courageously act on it. After all Asian countries like China and Hong Kong are known for their ‘face culture’ so they might gladly accept it if a solution that let them ‘save their face’ is offered.
8. Question: What’s really at stake here if the Hong Kong people fall to the Chinese tyrannical dictatorship?
Answer: If Hong Kong is suppressed then China would eye Taiwan as the next target, which can precede a World War 3. We wouldn’t want WWIII would we?
9. Question: Why should the public support Hongkongers? And what can someone to do to help? Has anyone set up a dial-up connection for Hongkongers to connect to in case China or Hong Kong cuts the internet like we have seen in Egypt and Turkey in the past?
Answer: MLK Jr. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
In addition to usual methods like this one, here we wanna urge our brothers and sisters to spread the gem we’ve mentioned at #2 across as many Lennon Walls as you can to get the politicians aware of this. Furthermore you can as well get it onto MSM by posting as op-ed or letters to the editor to garner further attention on that. When defacing websites remember to put it in too. If you know how to hack billboards and printers, great. There’s no fate but what we make for ourselves but time is running out fast so we all gotta act very quick especially when people are still trapped in Hong Kong Polytechnic now.
10. Question: A leak dropped over the weekend of documents on China’s Muslim mass detention policies that show President Xi Jinping urging the ruling party to use the ‘organs of dictatorship’ to round up the ethnic minority, did Anonymous have anything to do with this leak?
Answer: We in particular are not involved in the leak, though other parts of Anonymous might. Ultimately Anonymous is not just a group; it’s an idea.
We are anonymous.
We are legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Other members subscribed to the idea of Anonymous within the collective are echoing the same consensus that Hong Kong and China is a massive target for hacktivists against oppression. Many see China becoming a dictatorship, but the truth is it’s already a tyrannical oppressive power that is now expanding into Orwellian surveillance including the social credit system. Still, what many fail to realize is that for the Hong Kong people this is freedom or death. If the Western world knew what has happened to China and lived in the vicinity of the country facing an influx of those same systems, then they too would stand up with Hong Kong. If China gets its way and Hong Kong falls, the next country is Taiwan without a doubt.
In other words, unless you are there and a part of this momentous time in history you won’t realize what’s at stake here (Hongkongers’ human rights and future) to fully understand the situation.
China has begun rolling out an Orwellian surveillance state with facial recognition cameras in bathrooms, on street corners, required to use the internet, for transportation and even in classrooms, as Activist Post has previously reported. If that’s not bad enough, China is planning to merge its 170+ million security cameras with artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology to create a mega-surveillance state. This compounds with China’s “social credit system” that ranks citizens based on their behavior, and rewards or punishes depending on those scores as well as the now leaked undeniable concentration camps.
Hongkongers have begun covering their faces due to the rise of facial recognition technology used by police, threats from police and triads and security cameras on the streets themselves. Activists are often seen shining laser pointers to disrupt the facial recognition technology used by police. U.S. citizens haven’t quite gone that far, yet, but there is an interactive Fight For The Future map, which shows everyone how they can begin fighting back through legislation, and contacting state senators, as well as organized efforts to fight the police state surveillance agenda, as Activist Post has reported.
Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post.