An anonymous group has created a hit list of sites it plans to target as the fallout from the WikiLeaks drama continues unfolding. Naming itself Anonymous, the group claims to have no affiliation with WikiLeaks or its founder, Julian Assange. But the group is fighting for "transparency and anti-censorship."
PandaLabs has detected two attacks against PayPal and its blog for suspending donations to WikiLeaks. The attack took the site down for eight hours. MasterCard also came under attack, reporting "traffic and slow access." Meanwhile, PostFinance.ch bank has witnessed 11 hours of downtime thanks to backlash from Anonymous.
The group has pledged to attack any institution that tries to silence or discourage WikiLeaks. The next targets could be Facebook and Twitter. Both companies have deleted the accounts of cyberactivists who are launching the missives.
Seed of Revolution
Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, said the WikiLeaks drama has the potential to be the seed of a revolution. As he sees it, the DDoS attacks have the feel of revolt, right now against authority in general, but it could become more focused as time goes on.
"Technology allows a small number of talented people to quickly organize and mobilize large groups very quickly, and that capability appears to be being demonstrated here," Enderle said. "Confidence in authority, particularly in the U.S., is at historic lows, and coupled with high unemployment the risk of revolt would appear to be unusually high."
All that seems to be needed is a big-enough spark, he said. Enderle sees the WikiLeaks drama as more of a warning of what could be coming. "How the U.S. and other governments respond will make all the difference," he said. "Right now they seem to be making things worse, which probably won't end well."
Anonymous isn't the only group protesting the WikiLeaks takedown -- although it's not really a takedown, since there are more than 1,000 mirrored sites publishing the content. Antiwar.com is calling for a boycott of Amazon.com.
"Unfortunately, it seems Amazon gave no notice to WikiLeaks," said Eric Garris, founder of Antiwar.com, a nonprofit foreign-policy site based in San Francisco. "Normally, in an ethical and legal business relationship, notice is given when contracts are terminated to allow for smooth transition. In fact, if WikiLeaks had chosen to terminate the contract with Amazon, they would have been required to give 30 days' notice. Yet Amazon gave no such notice; they just unplugged the servers."
Indeed, a growing number of consumers and groups are vowing to boycott the retailer, including Antiwar.com, which currently receives about $10,000 annually in referral links. As of Thursday, all links and advertisements had been removed, Garris said.
"WikiLeaks has never been charged with any crime by the U.S. government, nor are any charges pending," Garris said. "Quite the contrary; in fact, WikiLeaks is providing a valuable public service by exposing the lies and cover-ups of various governments and corporations. They should be supported."
Image credit: iStock/Artist's concept.
Posted: 2010-12-10 @ 3:12am PT
Why do the governments, Amazon, Visa, Mastercard etc. not condemn the DOS attacks against Wikileaks? If it is good enough for one, it is for the other.