Internet hacktivists have fired the latest salvo in the Wikileaks infowar.
|Julian Assange has been arrested|
A group called Anonymous has hit sites that have refused to do business with the controversial whistle-blowing site with a series of distributed denial-of-service attacks.
It mirrors similar attacks aimed at the Wikileaks site.
Targets include the Swiss bank that froze founder Julian Assange’s assets and PayPal which has stopped processing donations to Wikileaks.
Anonymous is a loose-knit group of hacktivists, with links to the notorious message board 4chan.
“Websites that are bowing down to government pressure have become targets,” he 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,” he said.
So far the denial-of-service attacks (DDoS), which swamp a site with so many requests that it becomes overwhelmed, have failed to take any sites offline although that is not the point of the attack, according to Coldblood.
“The idea is not to wipe them off but to give the companies a wake-up call,” he said. “Companies will notice the increase in traffic and an increase in traffic means increase in costs associated with running a website.”
DDoS attacks are illegal in many countries, including the UK.
Coldblood admitted that such attacks “may hurt people trying to get to these sites” but said it was “the only effective way to tell these companies that us, the people, are displeased”.
Anonymous is also helping to create hundreds of mirror sites for Wikileaks, after its US domain name provider withdrew its services.
“At the last count there were 507 mirrors of Wikileaks,” said Coldblood.