By Maximilian Clarke

The socially motivated hacktivist group, Anonymous, have announced ‘operation Robin Hood’ in which its members will steal from the rich banks and give the proceeds to the Occupy movement.

The prominent hacktivist group, whose members can often be seen at many antiglobal demonstrations behind the now iconic Guy Fawkes masks, intends to rack up fraudulent credit card bills and donate the financial and material spoils to fuel the Occupy protests worldwide.

But, commenting on the announcement, Rob Rachwald- Director of Security Strategy at Imperva- points out that the banks are unlikely to suffer, and that any costs will simply be passed onto the consumer:

“Anonymous has announced Operation Robin Hood. The purpose, according to Anonymous:

Operation Robin Hood is going to return the money to those who have been cheated by our system and most importantly to those hurt by our banks. Operation Robin Hood will take credit cards and donate to the 99% as well as various charities around the globe.

Anonymous also claims:

We are going to show you banks are not safe and take our money back. We are going to hit the true evil while not harming theirs customers and helping others.

This begs the question: Who pays for stolen credit cards?
A. Banks
B. Retailers
C. Consumers/credit card companies' customers
If you answered C, you're right.

Consumers are using their credit cards more, which has provided a large black market for credit card numbers. The markets have become quite efficient.
The problem is that from a consumer standpoint, there's no liability for a stolen card. The fraudulent transaction is not charged back to the consumer. The problem is that this misleads consumers--and Anonymous--into thinking that consumers are spared while banks and retailers are screwed. Wrong.

The reality:
The retailers who accepted the stolen credit card (not knowing it was stolen) lose price of the merchandise purchased.
Credit card companies increase fees and interest rates. Fraud costs, in effect, are distributed back to the general pool of consumers.

So who's funding Operation Robin Hood? Anyone with a credit card. This very likely includes the many members of Anonymous.”