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Hacktivists target anti WikiLeaks sites

by Sarah Griffiths on 7 December 2010, 15:13

Tags: General Business

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qa3hd

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Web wars

With Assange temporarily out of the picture, self-titled ‘hacktivists' have targeted sites that have refused to do business with WikiLeaks.

A group called Anonymous (with links to 4chan) has hit PayPal and the Swiss bank that froze Assange's assets with denial-of-service attacks (DDoS), mirroring the attacks that crippled WikiLeaks last week, the BBC reported.

One member of the group told Auntie that "multiple things are being done" and that "websites that are bowing down to government pressure have become targets."

The hacktivist reportedly said: "As an organisation we have always taken a strong stance on censorship and freedom of expression on the internet and come out against those who seek to destroy it by any means. We feel that Wikileaks has become more than just about leaking of documents, it has become a war ground, the people vs. the government."

The group member called 'Coldblood' told the Beeb that the aim is not to take the websites offline but  "give them a wake-up call," but of course such attacks are illegal in the UK.

While he reportedly acknowledges that attacks might inconvenience consumers trying to use targeted sites, he reportedly said such attacks are "the only effective way to tell these companies that us, the people, are displeased".

Anonymous is also believed to be helping to make numerous mirror sites for WikiLeaks to ensure the information stays online.  Apparently there are over 500 mirror sites so far.

WikiLeaks itself had been targeted with DDoS attacks, which apparently resulted in Amazon chucking WikiLeaks off its servers, following the release of the thousands of US embassy communications.

Apparently PayPal has restricted the whistle blowing site's account to make it tricky for people to donate funds, while CNET reported that MasterCard has also stopped payments to the website.

All the companies doing their part to choke the website (and in some cases its founder) have said their moves have nothing to do with politics, with PayPal and Amazon both insisting WikiLeaks had breached terms of service and PostFinance claiming Assange had lied about his address.

However, OVH, a French ISP has said it has no plans on ending its dealing with WikiLeaks. The firm's MD, Octave Klaba told Auntie:"OVH is neither for nor against this site. We neither asked to host this site nor not to host it. Now it's with us, we will fulfil the contract. It's neither for the political world nor for OVH to call for or to decide on a site's closure."

However France's industry minister, Eric Besson reportedly takes another view and has called for the site to be shut down, claiming that the country should not host sites that "violate the confidentiality of diplomatic relations and put in danger people protected by diplomatic secrecy".

However, a French judge reportedly refused to force OVF to oust WikiLeaks this week and a research fellow at Oxford Internet institute called Dr Joss Wright, has told the BBC that it might be too late to take WikiLeaks offline using the law.

"Wikileaks has released an encrypted file containing all of the embassy cables. The information is already out there... it's virtually impossible to stop people sharing it," he reportedly added.



HEXUS Forums :: 3 Comments

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However France's industry minister, Eric Besson reportedly takes another view and has called for the site to be shut down, claiming that the country should not host sites that "violate the confidentiality of diplomatic relations and put in danger people protected by diplomatic secrecy".
I.e., Crooked politicians. Can't have their wheeling dealings exposed now, can we?
The system built on lies is beginning to fall apart and those currently in power are trying to keep it together using whatever means necessary. They are just trying to preserve the status quo.

The thing I find the most enjoyable is that no matter how many of these situations they patch up they'll still be unable to prevent the tables turning.
As usual, The Daily Mash gets it spot on

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/war/just-because-we're-crushing-wikileaks,-it-doesn't-mean-you're-next,-say-governments-201012033317/ [thedailymash.co.uk]

and

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/war/assange-to-escape-from-police-at-the-top-of-some-stairs-201012073327/ [thedailymash.co.uk]

Particularly loving the comment "Meanwhile governments across the world were celebrating Mr Assange's arrest and imminent escape, stressing that history proves if you focus all your efforts on stopping one man then the thing you don't like will just go away."