A hacker group, identified as “Anonymous”, has declared cyber-war on behalf of WikiLeaks for the attempted censorship of the organization’s activities by the U.S. government and private companies. They are responsible for the recent distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on PayPal, Visa and MasterCard which has been titled “Operation Payback”. As of December 10, 2010, they have decided to focus their attacks on PayPal’s network due to the ineffectiveness of trying to bring down multiple websites at the same time. Anonymous has even called for cyber-volunteers to aid in what some may describe as a “Cyber-war”, “Cyber-Attack” or “Hacktivism”.
The recent activities by “Anonymous” have forced WikiLeaks to release a statement denying any affiliation with the hacking group. WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson stated:
“There has been no contact between any WikiLeaks staffer and anyone at “Anonymous”, WikiLeaks has not received any prior notice of any of Anonymous’ actions. We neither
condemn nor applaud these attacks. We believe they are a reflection of public opinion on the actions of the targets.”
As of this morning, techinians at SecurityOrb.com were able to fully access the PayPal services and they were not signs of any adverse effects from the attacks. PayPal released a statement stating:
“The PayPal.com site is fully operational. We can confirm that there have been multiple attempted DDoS attacks on paypal.com this week. We have also experienced an attack on api.paypal.com today. Attacks may slow the website itself down for a short while, but they have not significantly impacted payments.”