12/9/2010

WikiLeaks backers threaten more cyber attacks

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 3:42 pm

Internet activists defied efforts to end their online assaults against institutions seen as enemies of WikiLeaks on Thursday, promising more cyber attacks on targets starting with PayPal.

The campaign to avenge WikiLeaks against those who have obstructed its operations, calling itself Operation Payback, has already temporarily brought down the websites of credit-card giants Visa and MasterCard, and of the Swedish government.

A succession of U.S. institutions has withdrawn services from WikiLeaks after the website published thousands of sometimes embarrassing secret U.S. diplomatic reports that have caused strains between Washington and several allies.

Online retail and web-hosting powerhouse Amazon last week stopped hosting WikiLeaks’ website, and on Thursday it briefly became the main target of the pro-WikiLeaks campaigners — before they admitted it was too big for them, for the moment.

“We cannot attack Amazon, currently. The previous schedule was to do so, but we don’t have enough forces,” read one message on Twitter.

The activists said they would instead attack PayPal, which has suspended the WikiLeaks account that the organization had used to collect donations. MasterCard and Visa had also become targets after stopping processing donations.

At 1:10 pm EST, the websites of PayPal, Amazon — a key Christmas shopping destination — MasterCard and Visa all appeared to be functioning normally.

Source: Reuters

Facebook said it had removed the activists’ Operation Payback page on Thursday because it was promoting a distributed denial of service attack — a form of freezing websites by bombarding them with requests that is illegal in many countries.

The campaign also disappeared briefly from Twitter before reappearing in a different guise. Twitter declined to comment.

 

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