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Anonymous Hackers Target TikTok: ‘Delete This Chinese Spyware Now’

This has been every week that TikTok—the Chinese viral video giant that has soared under lockdown—will want to place quickly behind it. The ByteDance-owned platform was under attack anyway, over allegations of knowledge mishandling and censorship, on the other hand, a beta version of Apple’s iOS 14 beta caught the app secretly accessing users’ clipboards and a backlash immediately followed.

Anonymous Hackers Target TikTok



Whether India had always planned to announce its ban on TikTok, alongside 58 other Chinese apps, on Monday, June 30, or was prompted by the viral response to the iOS security issue isn't known. But, as things stand, TikTok has been pulled from the App Store and Play Store in India, its largest market, and has seen similar protests from users in other major markets around the world, including the U.S.

One of the weird groups campaigning against TikTok is that the newly awakened Anonymous hacktivist group. As ever with Anonymous, it’s difficult to attribute anything to the non-existent central core of this loosely affiliated hacker collective, but one among the higher followed Twitter accounts ostensibly linked to the group has been mounting a fierce campaign against TikTok for several weeks, one that has now gained prominence given the events of a previous couple of days.

“Delete TikTok now,” the account tweeted today, July 1, “if you recognize someone that's using it, inform them that it's essentially malware operated by the Chinese government running a huge spying operation.”

The account linked to a story that has been doing the rounds in recent days, following a Reddit post from an engineer who claimed to possess “reverse engineered” TikTok to seek out a litany of security and privacy abuses. There has been no confirmation yet on the veracity of those allegations, and TikTok didn't provide any discuss the claims once I approached them.

The original issue that prompted Anonymous to focus on TikTok appears to be the “misrepresentation” of Anonymous on TikTok itself, with the fixing of an account. “Anonymous has no TikTok account,” an equivalent Twitter account tweeted on June 6, “that is an App created as spyware by the Chinese government.”

Those affiliated with Anonymous challenge to copycat accounts, which is complicated by the shortage of any central function. within the aftermath of the Minneapolis Police story, someone affiliated with the group took exception to a Twitter account that was monetizing the brand, telling me: “We don't appreciate false flag impersonations. there'll be consequences.”

This has now become a stimulating collision of two completely different viral stories in their title. Anonymous hit the headlines a month ago when the “group” appeared to mount a comeback within the wake of the killing of George Floyd. A video posted on Facebook threatened to “expose the various crimes” of the Minneapolis Police unless the officers responsible were held to account.

There are various stories since then, with reports of DDoS attacks on police service websites, the hacking of knowledge and even the compromise of radio systems. But, as ever, with Anonymous, it's always critical to recollect that you simply are seeing that loose affiliation of like-minded individuals, with Anonymous used as a rallying cry and an umbrella for claims and counter-claims. Attribution, as such, isn't possible.

This also puts TikTok within the somewhat unique position of getting united various governments, including the U.S., and Anonymous behind an equivalent cause.

For TikTok, whether there's any hacking risk following these social media posts we'll need to wait and see. Again, you've got to recollect the way this works. A rallying call has gone bent like-minded hacking communities worldwide. A target has been named and shamed. it might not be a surprise if claims of hacks or DDoS website attacks followed. That’s the pattern now.

So, why does this matter? Well, it’s one thing for the U.S. government or maybe the Indian government to warn many many users about the risks of TikTok, but various celebrities and influencers have also been swayed by the newest claims and have publicly expressed their concerns. Anonymous may be a viral movement that's targeting a number of an equivalent user base that has driven TikTok’s growth. it's campaigning against TikTok, which campaign will drive its own viral message.

And while so far that user base has remained steadfastly resilient to any of these warnings, sticking with the video-sharing app in droves, you'll start to urge the sensation now that come of this might stick. It’s subtle, and it’s always risky to gauge the planet by the twitter-sphere, but there’s a change now within the wind.


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