Anonymous 'hacktivists' increase in number; Hacker magazine condemns attacks
Friday kicked off the third day of Operation: Payback, with more attacks on Web sites, a hacker magazine denouncing the attacks and a call for crowd-sourcing journalism coverage from Anonymous.
The attacks began earlier this week when Anonymous, a group of cyber "hacktivists," as media reports are calling them, set out to disrupt service to Web sites that have stopped supporting WikiLeaks.
On Friday, both Paypal and Amazon.com were experiencing spotty service as a result of DDOS attacks. The attacks have been launched by spamming Web sites with the help of an easily downloadable program that Operation:Payback put online. The requests for the program have gone through the roof, with thousands downloading it overnight. Requests jumped to more than 40,000, the New York Times reports. Once a user installs the program on a computer, the computer can be used to spam whatever Web sites the main group targets.
A viral press release also announced a different form of disruption: crowd-sourced journalism. Calling itself, Operation:Leakspin, the plan calls for readers to mine the released cables for embarrassing data and spread the information across the Internet by coding it with popular search terms, such as "Bieber" and "Tea Party." (No word if this sensational cable* that surfaced today is a result of the group's efforts.)
A major magazine dedicated to hackers, 2600: The Hacker Quarterly, released a public statement against Operation: Payback. It asserts that the DDOS attacks are a boorish, misguided way to defend WikiLeaks and they are not being perpetrated by hackers, as hackers would not try to silence opponents.
See a full timeline of how the events have unfolded after the WikiLeaks' release of the cables here.
(*This is a joke.)
| December 10, 2010; 1:11 PM ET
Categories: The Daily Catch
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