WikiLeaks furor spawns rival DDOS battles

Anonymous group launches attacks against Swiss bank for freezing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's account

An anonymous, loosely affiliated group that has been responsible for a series of recent Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks against entertainment industry Web sites over copyright issues, has started attacking organizations viewed as being hostile to WikiLeaks, says a PandaLabs researcher.

The group, dubbed Anonymous, launched a DDOS attack on Monday that knocked Swiss payment transaction firm PostFinance's Web site offline.

The attack was in apparent retaliation for the firm's freezing of an account set up by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assanage, PandaLabs threat researcher Sean-Paul Correll said.

The bank's main Web site was unavailable for several hours but appeared to have been restored by late Monday afternoon.

The attack on PostFinance was preceded by one against PayPal's blog site over the weekend, Correll said. That attack was apparently prompted by PayPal's decision to cut off money services to WikiLeaks last week.

The PayPal attack began at 4.00 a.m PST on Saturday and resulted in the blog being unavailable for a total of more than 8 hours, Correll said.

Meanwhile, anonops.net, a site used by Anonymous to announce their attack plans, came under a massive DDOS attack earlier on Monday, apparently by those opposed to WikiLeaks. In an ironic twist, users attempting to reach the site were being redirected to PostFinance's Website late Monday evening.

A lengthy statement posted on the anonymous group's Web site listed several organizations that the group claimed had stifled WikiLeaks' effort to release the documents. "We will find and will attack those who stand against Wikileaks and we will support WikiLeaks in everything they need," the statement said.

The group said it will offer WikiLeaks an additional site for mirroring the leaked documents. It will also create 'counter-propaganda' and organize DDoS attacks on "various targets related to censorship" the group claimed.

Anonymous' campaign over copyright enforcement issues, Operation:Payback, has resulted in several DDOS attacks being launched against and knocking off sites belonging to the Recording Industry Association of America, the Motion Picture Association of America and others.

In the statement announcing support for Assange, the organizers of Anonymous declared that "Operation:Payback has come out in support of WikiLeaks and has declared war on the entities involved in censoring there information."

The online tussle between those opposed to WikiLeaks' campaign and those supporting it highlights how the Internet is increasingly becoming the battleground for all sorts of causes, Correll said.

"People are starting to figure out they can use technology to fight back," he said. "They have realized they don't have to just stand in a picket line. This has been going on for a few years, but its getting more organized."

WikiLeaks began releasing tens of thousands of classified cables from the U.S. Department of State last Sunday. After a massive DDoS against its French hosting firm rendered the site unavailable for several hours, WikiLeaks quickly moved to Amazon's cloud hosting service last Monday.

Just two days later, Amazon booted WikiLeaks off its servers, forcing WikiLeaks to move its site once again, this time to a Swedish hosting company.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags DRM and Legal Issuesdata securitysecuritypaypaldata protection

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?