Web War! Anonymous Downs RIAA, UMG, MPAA, Justice Dept. Websites
Hactivists Retaliating For Megaupload Arrests, SOPA Support
January 19, 2012 at 4:16 PM (PT)
Hours after the U.S. government arrested the leaders of and shut down MEGAUPLOAD.COM, a popular hub for illegal file sharing, "hacktivist" collective ANONYMOUS counter-attacked by shutting down the websites to the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP, the RIAA, the MPAA and among many other targets, possibly including the WHITE HOUSE.
According to CNN.COM, "ANONYMOUS' favorite weapon for these attacks is what's called a 'distributed denial of service' (DDoS) attack, which directs a flood of traffic to a website and temporarily crashes it by overwhelming its servers. It doesn't actually involve any hacking or security breaches." An Anonymous representative said that 5,635 people used a networking tool called a "low orbit ion cannon" (LOIC), a software tool that aims a massive flood of traffic at a targeted site.
A tweet reprinted in CNETNEWS.COM claimed that with the shutdown of the RIAA website, 10 sites were effectively shut down in 20 minutes.
Shortly before the outage, seven people were indicted and four were taken into custody on online piracy charges, including MEGAUPLOAD Founder KIM DOTCOM, a.k.a. KIM SCHMITZ. The four were arrested in AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND, at the request of the U.S. Other individuals indicted are citizens of NEW ZEALAND, GERMANY, SLOVAKIA and THE NETHERLANDS. However, MEGAUPLOAD has servers in ASHBURN, VIRGINIA and WASHINGTON D.C., which prompted DOJ involvement.
Anonymous operative BARRETT BROWN admitted to RT that the hacking was in retaliation for MEGAUPLOAD, adding that "more is coming," including a joint effort with others to "damage campaign raising abilities of remaining Democrats who support SOPA.