This Just In: Sunday Morning and Mastercard is down again.
Guess they picked the wrong season to screw with the Internet.
The notice at the top of the new Anonymous web page says,
11 dec - We have moved to anonops.eu
The host for AnonOps.net shut us down and told us to "prove we used legal money".
Bring the PAIN!
This means one of the main communications hubs for Operation Payback has been forced to move again and the company that is hosting it at the new address is already coming under pressure to drop the site. Website owner Maksims Sadovskis explains in this post that his hosting company has already received a complaint from Mastercard lawyers demanding that they delete this page, claiming that it is "cyber crime targeting the financial services industry."
"Bring the PAIN!" is a call for supporters to aim their Low [Earth] Orbit Ion Cannons or LOICs at the hosting company for AnonOps.net and bring it's operations to a standstill.
This was posted from the old address:
LOIC is the current weapon of choice in the hackers offensive being lead by Anonymous against WikiLeak censorship. According to this Guardian blog it has been downloaded more than 32 thousand times and the graph of the downloads looks like a hockey stick laying down. But the much more reliable SourceForge statistics show it has been downloaded 68,619 times from that site alone, 27,686 times on Dec. 9th. Downloads have been sharply upward in the past week.
It is a fairly simple computer program that it designed to be aimed at a specific web address and then bombard that site with a lot of bogus traffic. This is small caliber by hacker's standards. One observer commented:
I was surprised though to see such an old technology put to use at such a crucial time. I was expecting the "big guns" to go into action, and "boot & nuke".
Like many weapons, it has a legitimate use as a tool for stress testing websites. It is rumored to have first been developed as a way of punishing lawyers who were suing thepiratebay.org and it is rumored to have been very good at it.
While the Linux and Java versions of LOIC have to be loaded with the target IP addresses by the user manually and this information is available on a specific IRC [Internet Relay Chat] Channel, the more popular Windows version that is now being download in the tens of thousands, uses Hivemind to allow it to be automatically controlled through an IRC channel. When the output of thousands of computers running LOIC is turned on to a single Internet host, that host is toast!
This battle represents something very new in the historic struggle for freedom and justice. It is a new form of class struggle between the workers and the owners. Most of those that are carrying out the Anonymous campaign are or will be worker bees in the giant corporate infrastructures that monetize the Internet. They are taking up what may be the most strategic battle of our time: Our right to freely use the Internet to access all of humanity's knowledge and communicate with people anywhere without being censored or stifled by governments.
In A Letter from Anonymous publish on an Indymedia website, the group warns "The recent news of our campaigns has been, at best, misinformed." and then goes on to say:
At this time Anonymous is a consciousness focused on campaigning peacefully for Freedom of Speech. We ask the world to support us, not for our sake, but for your own. When governments control freedom they control you. The Internet is the last bastion of freedom in this evolving technical world. The Internet is capable of connecting us all. When we are connected we are strong. When we are strong we have power. When we have power we are able to do the impossible. This is why the government is moving on Wikileaks. This is what they fear. They fear our power when we unite. Do not forget this.
Anonymous‘ intentions are to change the current way the governments of the world and the people view true Freedom of Speech and The Internet. Anonymous is willing, ready, and able to campaign for the freedom for all. We are campaigning right now as you read the news, watch the television, fight with your significant other, love your children, hate your neighbor, criticize the man or woman next to you. We are campaigning. The goal is simple: Win the right to keep the Internet free of any control from any entity, corporation, or government. We will do this until our, proverbial, dying breath. We do this not only for our selves, but for the world and its people at large.
Anonymous has also posted this video statement on line:
The Low Orbit Ion Cannon is actually pretty mild stuff. It makes no attempt to keep the user anonymous by using well known techniques like IP spoofing to hide the identity of the attacker. Your IP address will show up in the target's log. It also doesn't destroy data or do any permanent damage. It merely blocks a website by flooding it with traffic. LOIC may actually be the least offensive of the dozens of Internet weapons in the now widely circulated Dangerous Kitten hacker toolkit. For all these reasons, some have called this action a digital sit-in. Anonymous has many ways to up the ante and up it's game. What has happened so far is more like a warning shot across the bow than a desperate fight.
Also it is widely believed that Anonymous is composed of teenage hackers and as one Guardian commenter points out, the big dogs on the Internet have yet to weigh in:
it's the core group of admins at the moment - the 1337 ("elite") group if you like - they're the ones who can cause serious havoc. You only have to look at the experiences of Mary Bale (the woman filmed placing a cat in a bin earlier this year). Within several hours they'd ID'd her, then went on to find her facebook profile, email, employer, her bank, address, the lot. Their computer skills shouldn't be estimated and right now they're a lot more upset about Julian Assange than they ever were about Mary Bale.
and suggests that the U.S. government should try to make a deal:
If the US government had any sense, it would try to strike a deal with Wikileaks - accept the publication of most of the leaks in exchange for keeping back the most damaging of all. Anonymous would back off then.
And while one reader welcomes the struggle:
This is the world war www1. Let battle commence.
and another places high hopes on Anonymous, saying:
Those who lie and manipulate, sorry, practise diplomacy' are generally doing so not for the benefit of their populations in the mass but rather to serve the narrow self-interest of other members of their transnational elite. Wikileaks is but the first shot in the ongoing war to take management of the world and its resources into the hands of those who are and have ever been excluded.
A group like Anonymous will evolve and develop into something we've never really seen before - a highly effective, hierarchy-free amorphous and transnational counterweight to the entrenched power interests who exploit us all.
While another commenter in the know warns that not everything can be discussed in open forums:
A quick tip - if you need to ask, don't go there. You will get more than your fingers burnt. The darkweb is where most of the stuff is going on anyhow. It's not far off walking through Detroit with some new Nikes and a bag of weed; if the gangs don't get you the police will.
And what are darknets? Let me just put it this way. If the Internet you know is the Matrix, then a darknet is like Morpheus, Neo and the Nebuchadnezzer operating invisibly beneath the surface of the Internet, but coming up every once and a while to raise hell.
UPDATE! UPDATE! BREAKING! TURD EXPOSED!!
A so-called "hacktivist" by the name of Gregg Housh has been widely quoted in the MSM as a former member of and expert on Anonymous. This piece from the Christian Science Monitor is typical:
One of the earliest followers of Anonymous, Gregg Housh, is intimately aware of, but claims no participation in, the latest Anonymous offensive, titled "Operation Payback." It managed this week to take down the websites of MasterCard, Visa, and the Swedish government over their refusal to support WikiLeaks or Mr. Assange.
Mr. Housh sat with the Monitor on Dec. 10 – in what he said was his 37th interview of the day – to explain how, and why, a couple thousand kids have crippled some of the world's most prominent companies' websites. They have done so with an unprecedented voluntary botnet, a network of thousands of computers working in tandem to simultaneously bombard a website with hits.
But his credentials to speak for anyone but the U.S. gov't are seriously questioned by information and documentation exposed on http://hacker.us/. It seems that Gregg Housh got busted by the Feds for his Internet activities and has traded co-operation for a reduced sentence, the perfect person to explain Anonymous to us. Since these are hackers, they provide both the proof and the art work.
UPDATE: I just sent the following email to JOHN F. BURNS and RAVI SOMAIYA of the NY Times:
In your article of 12/8 you say:
Anonymous claimed responsibility for the MasterCard attack in Web messages and, according to one activist associated with the group, conducted waves of attacks on other companies during the day. The group said the actions were part of an effort called Operation Payback, which began as a way of punishing companies that attempted to stop Internet file-sharing and movie downloads.
The activist, Gregg Housh, who disavows a personal role in any illegal online activity, said that 1,500 supporters had been in online forums and chat rooms organizing the mass "denial of service" attacks.
Are you aware that in 2005 Gregg Housh was prosecuted for Internet crime and traded co-operation for a reduced sentence as documented here? He is widely considered to be a snitch in the hacker community. Don't you think this is something your readers should know if you are going to use him as a source on Anonymous?
Here is a recap of my other DKos dairies on this subject:
Cyber War Report: New Front Opens Against Internet Coup d'état
Operation PayBack: 1st Cyber War Begins over WikiLeaks
The Internet Takeover: Why Google is Next
BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down
BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!
Things Even Keith Olbermann Won't Cover - UPDATE: VICTORY!!!
Stop Internet Blacklist Bill Now!
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom
FCC Net Neutrality's Trojan Horse
Free Press: Country Codes for the Internet?
The Mountain comes to Mohammad
Keith Olbermann's Deception
Court rules -> Google Must Be Evil & Maximize Profits
EFF on the Google\Verizon Net Neutrality Proposal
Google-Verizon: What is the Free Press Agenda?
End of the Internet As We Know It!
Free Press would make this Illegal!
Google Verizon Announce Terms of Deal