2010-12-28 Operation Payback DDoS attacks on Bank of America

Shortly after Bank of America decided to halt the processing of Wikileaks-related transactions, it became the newest target for the anonymous group who set into motion Operation Payback, a hacktivist movement aiming to "raise awareness about WikiLeaks and the underhanded methods employed by ... companies to impair WikiLeaks' ability to function." (Press release in pdf format)

On Monday, Bank of America's web site suffered sporadic downtimes, apparently as a result of DDoS attacks--the same kind of attacks that also plagued Visa, Master Card and Paypal, each of which also recently halted its financial services to Wikileaks.

Raw Story was able to confirm, via two third party website verification services, [Bank of America's] site difficulties on Monday (with screenshots here and here).

Greg Mitchell, who pens The Nation's media blog, also noted sporadic outages on Bank of America's domain.

Operation Payback is not new. Shortly after threats were waged against end-users for P2P media file-sharing, DDoS attacks were launched against the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America and AiPlex, which is an anti-piracy company that itself made use of DDoS attacks to target The Pirate Bay and other piracy organizations (mainly bittorrent-tracking sites).

Upon learning of Operation Payback's activities against Visa, Master Card and other financial and government-related sites, Wikileaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson clarified Wikileak's stance on the issue: 'We neither condemn nor applaud these attacks. We believe they are a reflection of public opinion on the actions of the targets.'"

Addendum: Abridged list of tweets for the plan of attack on Bank of America.

The moderators at the

The moderators at the Anonymous gathering places don't seem to support the operation.

The Anon Group & Membership ID

This seems to depend upon the gathering place. Not surprisingly, I could not locate any one particular site for the group. We can rest assured that the group is not 'official' in any conventional sense of the term, and the criteria for membership are not 'set'. Hence it is difficult to dispute the 'true membership' and identity of the group. For more information see this entry: http://wlcentral.org/node/733


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