Imagine one day you wake up and find out all of your accounts have been hacked. Your identity has been stolen. Your credit ruined. All of your most private information – your Social Security number, criminal history, home address and phone number, even your children’s names and ages – has been published online for the whole world to see. That is doxing.
This chilling trend by seasoned and amateur hackers is on the rise. In 2011, hacker collective “Anonymous” doxed 7,000 law enforcement officers, releasing their private information onto the Internet as revenge for investigations into Anonymous’ hacking activities.
U.S. Law enforcement agencies and the military use similar techniques to find the true identities of cyber criminals. However, this is done for the purpose of catching criminals and preventing terrorism. Most individuals involved in doxing are pursuing their own version of justice. For example, in 2014, Anonymous began doxing members of the Ku Klux Klan and releasing their identities in an effort to intimidate KKK members.
Last year terrorist organization ISIS doxed 100 U.S. military members with the goal of giving the information to stateside ISIS supporters. The goal: to have ISIS supporters kill the servicemen. Information posted included their names, photos and home addresses.