Watch: BBC Reports ‘Hacktivist’ Groups Moving From DDoS Attacks To Journalism
Here’s an interesting BBC World News America clip that documents how a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack actually works. The news program then brings on Jeff Jarvis, author and Professor of Journalism at the City University of New York, and Tom Blanton, Executive Director of the National Security Archives. They discuss WikiLeaks and the hacktivist groups that independently target corporations complicit in the US government’s attempts to sabotage WikiLeaks’ transparency efforts.
It is revealed that the hacktivist group ‘Anonymous’ has called on its thousands of members today to stop the DDoS attacks — believing it’s diverting the world’s focus away from WikiLeaks’ diplomatic cable revelations. Instead the members are being asked to redirect their energies towards reading the WikiLeaks documents themselves, and writing stories about them online:
Watch: First Interview With Mastermind Of ‘Anonymous’ Hacker Group
RT just released an exclusive interview with the mastermind of the ‘Anonymous’ hacker group. The group has for some time been conducting something of a cyber war using distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against anti-piracy groups — including Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). They refer to their organized efforts as Operation:Payback, since the anti-piracy groups are themselves using software security companies to launch DDoS attacks against file-sharing sites.
‘Anonymous’ has most recently been in the spotlight for targeting corporations that have been complicit in trying — albeit unsuccessfully — to sabotage the unaffiliated whistleblower group, WikiLeaks.
Anonymous’s mastermind reveals how the group operates and how they coordinate their activities. He states that the group uses volunteers, comprised of thousands of anonymous people from all over the world. These volunteers are the ones who actually participate in the DDoS attacks:
The chances of getting caught in this are basically zero, I mean there are thousands and thousands of computers attacking at once, and there’s no way to distinguish them, and they’re voluntary attacks. The administration isn’t directly attacking. We simply coordinate them and direct the attacks.
Like I said the computers actually doing the attacking — the DDoSing — are volunteers who actually offer up their bandwidth to our cause. This could be anyone, this could be people listening now, this could be you, it could be anyone. We simply offer the means of doing it. Everyone involved is aware of the risks.
Twitter and Facebook recently took down the accounts for ‘Anonymous’. The RT interviewer asks the ‘Anonymous’ mastermind if that has in any way disrupted the groups’ ability to communicate with people and to garner more support:
[Laughing] Not really. None whatsoever, basically. Those Facebook and Twitter accounts were made for updates and support rather than the coordination of the attacks.
We made them to update, and if they take them down we’ll put ten more up, and if they take ten down, then we’ll put one hundred more up. I don’t think they feel like playing whack-a-mole with us. They’re not going to stop the Facebook and Twitter accounts.
He goes on to discusses whether the term ‘Cyber War’ fairly represents the description of the group’s activities:
Figuratively, at worst. Or it could be considered between two states. Anonymous is not a state. It would be expressed as more of a revolution or protest, as it is the public standing against agencies that would silence them. But war does sound a bit better in the media, so I guess you could push war, but it’s more a protest or even a revolution.
On whether Anonymous attacked Sara Palin’s site:
We don’t really care about Sara Palin that much, to be honest. I don’t really know what she’s trying to accomplish, or what attention she’s trying to gain, but we personally don’t really care about Sara Palin. It might have been a member, or a group of members that have tried to do this, but not a major attack that was planned, not a major movement that was planned. No.
WATCH the full interview: