Sunday, 26 September 2010

Payback is a Bitch!

4chan is a popular image board community that made lolcats and Rickroll into Internet memes. 4chan users have often defended cats and were credited with leading the "Anonymous" assault on the Church of Scientology. Everyone knows not to cross 4chan, but whether you love them or hate them, hundreds of thousands of sympathizers, who had never before been on 4chan, joined the fight against the entertainment industry this weekend. On Friday, 4chan announced a coordinated and massive DDoS attack. The story was reported by Sean-Paul Correll of Panda Labs and gained attention from people who do not frequent 4chan. Correll was the first to announce,"This is the future of cyber protests."

A massive group of angry cyber protesters, known only as Anonymous, launched successful "attacks" against Aiplex Software, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Aiplex, an Indian firm that works for Bollywood film studios, had deployed DDoS attacks on websites hosting BitTorrent trackers and that had disregarded takedown notices. That is the reason that the DDoS style attack was chosen for "Operation: Payback Is A Bitch."

The reactions to such attacks from Anonymous hackers were mixed with everything from "Woot" to "It's illegal" to SC Magazine calling 4chan a "cyber espionage group." Other commenters asked, "What long-lasting purpose was there to taking down entertainment industry websites?" Perhaps the biggest purpose it served was the warning shot heard around the globe about the collective power of anonymous people. "The Anonymous - We are the unknowns. We are the masked vigilante of our society. And we are everywhere."


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