Anonymous Stumbles Over Operation Cartel

Los Zetas’ own hackers cause elements to cancel attack over real world consequences.

Some members of the amorphous, leaderless, group of hackers known the world over as Anonymous have urged the greater collective to cease their activities on the Los Zetas drug cartel after the real world effects of messing with the notoriously cruel and violent group have become clear.

Mexico based hackers Skill3r and Glyniss Paroubek have called for the attack to cease after the Zetas let it be known that their own group of hackers are working to identify Anonymous actors and bring violent death down upon them and their families. This “revelation” has caused not only Mexican Anons to falter, but American actors as well, having never confronted such a violent force in real life.

Now kids, this is what they say when you play with fire. I have some experience with cartels and I would hazard to guess that whether Anon aborts or not, the Zetas are going to go after you. These are the same nice people who walk into drug clinics, where junkies attempt to get clean, and lay waste to everyone inside so as to discourage long term customers from no longer partaking in their product.  If you decide to even mess with these guys, one needs to do a bit of foresight. There is a reason they can operate with the impunity they do, they are fucking ruthless. And now Anon, like it or not, pull out or not, they are coming after you. Which sucks.

Some of the higher level hackers, like Sabu, are planning to continue Operation Cartel despite the Zetas threats and the withdraw of other actors.

“# OpCartel is more alive than ever and as I told others in private, the war against corruption is on both sides of the spectrum. We are going to WAR!” – Sabu via Twitter.

Yes, you are going to war. And people die in war. Even in the best case, where Anonymous got off Scott free, outed Zetas would undoubtedly be killed by rival cartels. It should come as no surprise that the Zetas won’t take kindly to losing some of their members. They will want blood.

I recommend that all American Anons who have to date been complicit in Operation Cartel to seek protection from local authorities immediately. Option 2, of course, is to continue the operation. In my line of work, when you realize that you just bit off more than you can chew, you can either assault forward and hope to survive or try to flee and get the bullet in the back. However, you have that third option of getting the government to shield you and your families from violence, I suggest you take it.*

The internet may be serious business, but real life will fucking kill you.

*Note: If you’re in Mexico and take option 3, the result will most likely still be death. Sorry buddy, recommend border hop and domain change.

(Source: TPM)


  1. wat says

    Other than our small band of intrepid heroes, who else appears to be involved in “Operation Cartel”? I’ve checked all the usual places, and there is no mention of this operation. These guys seem like they don’t know how raids actually work and just shot off some hot steamy internet, hoping it would magically turn into epic win, by magical magic. Usually the small group of people who start a raid stay quiet and build support in private IRC, do the basic groundwork, and only announce to the greater horde when there is actually a need for legions of skiddies firin’ lazors. These guys plan seems more like 1. Make cool Anonymous video. 2. ??? 3. LOOLOLOLOLOLOOLraidzLOLOLL!!!!111!!!1one!!!

    This is what happens when people get enthusiastic about /b/ but never hear about /i/, or even all the other chans OTHER than 4chan, where they actually cook up these schemes you hear about on FOX News’ juiced-up hackers segments.

    • says

      If sabu is really onboard, then I think it has some support. I trolled the normal mIRC channels for a bit and didn’t see much going on. With Anon it is always hard to tell unless key actors come out with intent. But even if it was just the two self identified hackers’ sole plot, it seems to be remarkably stupid for Mexican nationals to do this alone in Mexico. They, more than most people, would know the consequences of doing such actions. Or, they socked Sabu and hoped to get a personal army and possibly succeeded to some degree. That is why I always am a little bit warry about giving anon credit until we have pics.

      That being said, if some newfags did get tricked into helping the offshoots then it will be bad not just for them but could impact the greater collective.

      • says

        Once you start something like Anonymous, by its very nature you can’t control what it does. Like 4chan, it will facture into subgroups and be invaded by cancer all over again.

        • wat says

          There are no key members and calling ‘it’ “Anonymous” is and always was simply another joke. The word is an adjective, not a noun. “Anonymous” is a group in exactly the same way that “America” is a group. It’s just class of people with definable shared characteristics. I wasn’t talking about them not being “real” in some fanciful way, since, by definition, every thing “Anonymous” does is just the action of unrelated groups of individuals, with the culture and symbols smeared on top. The point I was trying to make is that it seems like these guys thought that just by making a video declaring “war” on behalf of “Anonymous”, that would simply make it so. There are hundreds of dumb videos and imgboard posts EXACTLY like this every single day. It’s people getting excited about the sense of group identity and letting that distort their perception of reality.

          • wat says

            To really drive home my point about the silly way people think about this, compare it to a very similar, and somewhat related “group”: goons. “Goons” refers to members of the SomethingAwful forums, a traditional forum with sensibilities very similar to most imgboards(in fact, moot was a SA member when he dreamt up the idea for 4chan). Goons have there own injokes, idioms, shared ideas, etc. But I think we can all agree it would be silly to think of them as an organization, of any sort, no matter how decentralized. It simply isn’t.

          • says

            I get what you are saying and I agree with you on some level that it is likely that some individuals were trying to pull the greater group. But this strikes me as a particullary stuipd stunt for anyone to pull (messing with the Zetas) beacuse the blowback if your not 1337 is redrum.

            but you also might be aware that some organizations do track anon and are able to point out key actors and have created their own framework in which to visualize the groups more active IPs to make sense of what goes on, moreso because anon does so much of its planning in IRC and thus is retreivable. We just don’t care too much because state actors are a bigger threat unless we get pissed off. Sorry LulzSec, we miss you :).

            SA is not 4chan is not 7chan is not ED et all… but you see the problem on trying to write about a group that tries to structure itself to be unidentifiable. In some ways Anon is harder to unravel than terrorist cells when it comes to interconnectivity. That and when you toss socks in, you end up with a migrane if you are not constantly at the forfront of the information. Sadly, stuck in Iraq, I get to see some really intresting thing on army net but when it comes to staying on top of any good threads (other than fucking dubstep) my 56k is not doing it for me.

            In the end, it does not matter what one calls itself, but what the world calls the “one”.

  2. wat says

    I’m not saying it is a decentralized organization, I’m saying it isn’t and organization AT ALL. “Anonymous” is just a label for the culture surrounding imageboards. It is exactly analogous to the label “metalhead” for the culture surrounding heavy metal music.

  3. Steve says

    If the Zetas are going after Anon, and if there is nothing Anon can do about it save for rolling up the mattresses and loading up for bear, why not just release all the information they have at hand? At least those who collaborate with criminals will be outed.

    I suspect the reason is that most are hoping the Zetas let well enough alone once they see Anon didn’t compromise anyone. Wishful thinking?

  4. says


    As much as I hate to say it, this isn’t a target you fuck with. I hope anon has substance, really. But I don’t see much good coming from this.

    • says

      @anonymouSabu. … #OpCartel against drug cartels and DEA. …

      Sabu’s Twitter


      The more I look into it, the more it looks like factions in Anon are going through with it. I know that you hate being called anything like a group with organisational structure, but the way I identify actions (untill dox are provided) on Anon is what major players are doing. Some are breaking away, some are going full steam ahead. So wat, what are your thoughts on Sabu’s actions. He has skills and has delivered in the past. I think he is reaching and does not have the /b/ackup nessessary to pull this off. But one thing is for sure*, People are acting on OpCartel. By its very nature, noone sees the full picture of what anon does.

      *this being the internet, it could always be a form of trolling. But reps are on the line.

      @charlesarthur say that anonymous has retreated from something? Perhaps you should consult people in the scene, and not go with hunches – Sabu

      • says

        As I type this, General Sec and Sabu are talking about it and working to identify possible Zetas actors infilling anon at this time.

        **UPDATE** General Sec is trying to get Sabu to think that someone has jumped on Sn0k34n0n after he had changed his name. Sabu is still pushing for the OP. General Sec is trying to stop it. Convo moved to IRC, shifiting formats to cover.

        @wat, rest assured I am tracking that OpCartel in not on AnonOps, but I have seen Anon actors take their own actions. I assess them as anon because some people know the value of doing certain things with a bit of discression. AnonOps’ OPSEC is always a joke, it makes tracking anon for us gub-a-mint types easy when compared to the more malicious state actors that are around. Sadly Anons DOS and LOIC attacks against our stuff is like Anon hiting a wall.

        ***UPDATE*** People are insinuating the OP Cartel might have been a response by persons exposed by OP Darknet. And that getting Anon in trouble with the Zetas is their payback. Sabu has gone silent on twitter folloing Mirc convo with General Sec. Anon Actors are calling for OWS to stop wearing anon related cloathing/masks.

      • wat says

        Sabu and his associates are a group that != anonymous. They happen to also belong to the wider anon culture and use the symbols and language of that culture, but that is of no consequence. I really cannot help but think you are not getting the point I’m trying to make. If a group of Chinese hackers started making noise and doing stuff about, oh I dunno, GameStop not carrying the latest BattleToads game, would it make sense to say that the Chinese were doing it? Of course not. This is exactly analogous. If Sabu and his pals are the ones doing this stuff, it is more appropriate to say that LulzSec or whatever they are calling themselves now are the ones doing it. “Anonymous” is just a subculture.

        it makes tracking anon for us gub-a-mint types

        The fact that the government treats “anonymous” as a group this way tells me that *not getting it* is institutionalized at this point.

  5. Art says

    Interesting fight. Yes, real world consequences are bad and permanent.

    But the Zetas are a for-profit cartel that is in a very real world, and bloody, conflict with other cartels and law enforcement. They move and produce drugs and shift money both virtually and physically. I suspect that much of what they do on the financial side is documented, or actually done on computers.

    Law enforcement and/or competitors would love to know about the inner activities of the Zetas. Dropping a list of Zeta controlled bank account numbers to the FBI would put a crimp in their style. Draining those accounts would be an option. Tracking Zeta members to geolocated addresses would give an armed competitor a significant edge.

    Cell phones might be tracked. Vehicles, like those with on-Star, might ‘phone home’ with data. Credit card accounts often do their business over open lines that are not always well encrypted. It is hard to keep everyone in a large organization from leaving digital footprints. Cell calls can be recorded, spoofed, and reused. Anonymous won’t feel any need to get search warrants or official permissions.

    Anonymous is potentially vulnerable to attack but the Zetas are not necessarily immune to vicious and malicious hacking.

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