Thursday, December 09, 2010

Hackers revolt

It was a fascinating day in my hybrid world of media and tech yesterday. The WikiLeaks saga dragged on, with still more releases of secret/stolen documents. Of course, over time, I suspect the shock value of learning what this diplomat thinks about that country is beginning to wear off. But that's just me.

No, the real news yesterday revolved around a shadowy group, known as Anonymous (catchy, I know, and oh so Google-able) that launched Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against MasterCard and Visa. They creatively called their escapade "Operation Payback". The end result, the websites were either slowed to a crawl or were down entirely for part of the day.

The financial organizations' crime? Earlier this week, they stopped allowing credit card-based donations on the WikiLeaks web site. So this group, which has no apparent leader - but does have a 22-year-old guy in London known as "Coldblood" claiming to be a spokesperson - decided to take action against them to protest against censorship on the Internet. Previously, this group, which numbers about 1,000 members worldwide, took on, among others, the Church of Scientology and Gene Simmons of the rock group, Kiss.
All told, a pretty good day. Now let's see what today brings...

*The interview was a little shorter than usual, as they had to quickly cut me off and jump to a news conference where Toronto's top cop, Bill Blair, talked about his department's handling of security during the G20 conference in Toronto. There's something neat about live television because you never know what'll happen. It wouldn't be as much fun otherwise.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

That guy, anonymous, comments at my blog!

More seriously (slightly), I'm sure there are plenty of 4chan denizens involved, this is just their style.

More seriously (for real) I agree with Glenn Greenwald about wikileaks.

I see in my paper and on the internet people who call themselves journalists, yet they're doing nothing but typing out what the government wants them to say.

That's not journalism!

Mark said...

That seemed like an extreme reaction to something that a private company has every right to do.

I'm still trying to figure out exactly what you meant when you wrote, "take action against them to protest against anti-censorship on the Internet."

Or did you mean "protest against censorship" instead?

It reminded me of "I miss not having you around," a class misspeak I hear from time to time (or is it?!).

Nancy said...

I have people that block that guy, anonymous, from posting on my blog.
(funny stuff, ifthethunderdontgetya.)

I'm just waiting to see if the rape charge is for real or an attempt to quash this guy's credibility.

Stranger things have happened. Interesting.

carmilevy said...

Mark: Thanks for flagging that. I need to learn to stop writing before the sun comes up, as my brain isn't always fully engaged before my fingers hit the keys :) I've fixed the error of my ways...much appreciated!

Serendipity said...

Always astonished by 20-something age group's smartness and at the same time use the intelligence for destructiveness.

sage said...

I thought you'd have something to say about this... Thanks for your links. It's amazing that only 5000 people (or robot computers) can bring down a major site.