We have reached out to the sender for more info.
Anonymous, who is said to be heading up a campaign called “Operation Payback” (for more on what they’re about, check out the video below), is a loose collective of “hacktivists” who have allegedly been targeting sites such as Visa and Mastercard, companies that have ceased delivery of funds that had been donated to WikiLeaks.
The hackers succeeded in taking down the sites of both credit card companies (at least for a period of time), as well as that of Swiss bank PostFinance, which has closed the account of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. They also managed to fell PayPal’s blog for a period of time (PayPal recently restricted WikiLeaks’s account).
This morning, a Twitter account called @Op_Payback announced that it would be taking down Amazon.com, which ousted WikiLeaks from its servers at the beginning of December. A third-party seller appears to be selling the infamous WikiLeaks cables (for Kindle) on Amazon UK.
We weren’t sure at the time whether this was a legit threat — both Facebook and Twitter closed accounts allegedly corresponding to Anonymous yesterday, including @Anon_Operation, which was supposedly leaking credit card info via Twitter prior to shutdown (MasterCard informs us that no credit numbers have been compromised, however).
Upon shutdown, more Twitter accounts began cropping up, including @Op_Payback (on which the Amazon attack was announced) and @Anon_Operationn, which says nothing about Amazon.com. @Op_Payback, however, posted a guide this morning that enabled users to become a part of a botnet that could be used to DDoS Amazon’s servers.
WikiLeaks is a highly contested whistleblower site that recently drew the ire of the U.S. government after releasing 250,000 cables from American embassies and diplomats; the cables were first released to news organizations and more than a thousand were then published directly to the WikiLeaks site. Some of those leaked documents didn’t have proper redactions and may have exposed active government operatives to danger.
Due to political pressure and citing TOS violations, organizations from Paypal to Amazon Web Services began denying service to WikiLeaks. Operation Payback, which is said to be orchestrating these DDoS attacks, set about putting pressure of sites like these — as well as U.S. politicians who had made negative or even threatening remarks about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, including Sarah Palin and Sen. Joe Lieberman — this week.
UPDATE: We received another e-mail from a person claiming to be affiliated with Operation Payback:
“Make sure everyone knows that we are not 4CHAN. 4CHAN has nothing to do with this.
We are currently attacking Paypal.
Target api.paypal.com port 443 and it seems sluggish at this time.
Again, we are not 4CHAN, we are an anonymous involuntary group called AnonOps
With the Amazon attack, they are simply toooo big for us right now. Maybe at a later time we can try again with them.
We are using LOIC’s to attack. We have a hive of nearly 5000 users right now. You can read about LOICs here – http://encyclopediadramatica.com/LOIC“
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