When a some members of the politicallyprompted hacking group Anonymous floated a plan lately to cripple theInternet's core address system, the idea was roundly dismissed byother members of the group. Seeking to disable the Internet byattacking servers vital to the Domain Name System the Internet'saddress look-up system would be counter to the group's actions, whichbased upon a constant online front.

In any case, experts have said anattack against the root servers that deliver address information fortop-level domains would be very tough because of the redundancyconstructed into the system. But like Anonymous proceeds to flex itshacking muscle, it is creating officials increasingly nervous. Itsactions recently have contained the theft of millions of emails fromanalyst firm Start for Global Intelligence, to the recording lastmonth of a conference call among U.S. and British law enforcementagencies.

Evaluating the motives of Anonymous istough since it consists various groups of hackers and activists andhas no central leadership, said Joshua Corman, director of securityintelligence for Akamai Technologies, who studies the group.

Cyber criminals motivated by profit areimprobable to attempt to bring down the Internet because it would becontrary to their financial interests, Corman said. But withinAnonymous are some "chaotic actors" who can have a "realnasty streak," he said. "When you don't have centralizedleadership, it does not matter what most will do, it matters what oneof them will do," Corman said.

Merely a small core of Anonymous isidea to have the technical experience-how to carry out such advancedhacking operations. As most grassroots organizations, its strengthArrives from the masses who join its cause, whether via electronicattacks or in physical protests wearing the Guy Fawkes masks thathave become a hallmark of the group.

But security analysts said the roughtool left activists' IP addresses exposed, which could support a wayfor authorities to attempt to track them down. Brown said U.S.officials are already edging close to conflating Anonymous onterrorist groups such as al-Qaida, which could push Anonymous in thedirection of wanting to become more accountable in order to crediblydeflect false flags. But the rapidly altering make-up of the groupcreates it hard also for people inside Anonymous to put current,Brown said. It as well creates it harder to coordinate a unifiedvoice for the group.