FBI PROBING PRO-WIKILEAKS CYBER ATTACKERS

A group calling itself “Anonymous”, allegedly active supporters of WikiLeaks, has for somed time carried out attacks targeting major companies. As reported by Fox News on January 28, 2011, the alleged attackers are part of a group. FBI agents have executed 40 search warrants throughout the United States.

In the United Kingdom additional search warrants were executed and five people were arrested for their alleged role in the attacks.

Late 2010 the group launched take-down campaigns against organizations that have shunned the site WikiLeaks. Under the banner “Operation Payback,” the Anonymous group successfully crashed MasterCard.com and strained the websites of Visa and PayPal.

Anonymous allegedly makes its attacks not through hacking, but merely by directing a giant traffic surge to the targeted website. That is a distributed denial-of-service attack, and it is hard for most websites to defend against.

FBI said in a statement that:

The attacks were facilitated by software tools the group makes available for free download on the internet. Facilitating or conducting such attacks is illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

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