Skip to content

Welcome to the cyber sit-in: Most ‘Payback’ protesters easily identified, study finds

anonymous Welcome to the cyber sit in: Many Payback protesters easily identified, study findsDuring the civil rights era, the sit-in became a popular and effective form of protest against businesses that denied service to black people. Though legally ambiguous at first, the harsh reactions of authorities against the peaceful protesters ultimately won over public opinion.

Something similar is happening today on the Internet.

A wave of distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) in the past weeks knocked the world’s two largest credit card providers and the web’s largest payment processor offline, stopped business as a Swiss bank and crashed servers for Swedish prosecutors. It was all done allegedly in response to the censorship of secrets outlet WikiLeaks, in an effort dubbed “Operation Payback.”

All of these actions were attributed to the “hacktivst” group “Anonymous,” which has adopted a low-tech response to high-tech censorship by way of clogging a website’s servers with traffic and repeatedly asking it to do what it was designed for: serving pages. Until this point, most high profile DDoS attacks were carried out for unsavory purposes, by networks of hacked computers being manipulated without users’ knowledge.

This time, it’s different.

Using a piece of old server stress-testing software called “Low Orbit Ion Cannon” (or “LOIC,” a name taken from PC strategy game Command and Conquer), protest participants point their Internet connections at a server and begin sending requests. If enough people join in, the servers can ultimately be overwhelmed by traffic, resulting in a denial of service to other users.

For businesses like PayPal or Amazon, which exist primarily online, this can be costly and even lethal — but the protest is not exactly a crime. Not yet, anyway. It’s not exactly “anonymous,” either.

Researchers in the Netherlands, at the University of Twente, found that using the LOIC exposed users to being identified unless traffic was routed through anonymous relay software, like Tor.

“[Attacks] generated by this tool are relatively simple and unveil the identity of the attacker,” they wrote. “If hacktivists use this tool directly from their own machines, instead of via anonymization networks such as Tor, the Internet address of the attacker is included in every Internet message being transmitted.”

Operating the LOIC directly, they said, is akin to “overwhelming someone with letters, but putting your address at the back of the envelope.”

So far, a lone, Dutch 16-year-old has been arrested for the protests that brought down MasterCard’s website and halted transactions for several hours. In addition to participating in the DDoS, he’s accused of running a chatroom and helping to organize more voluntary contributions to the protest.

Still, much of the international press characterizes the efforts as “hacking” and “attacks” against private industry. This appears to be a mis-perception according to Evgeny Morozov, who wrote in Foreign Policy that voluntary DDoS networks represent the new sit-in.

“[Both] aim at briefly disrupting a service or an institution in order to make a point,” he opined. “As long as we don’t criminalize all sit-ins, I don’t think we should aim at criminalizing all DDoS.”

“Like it or not, legal or illegal, various forms of protest and civil disobedience have always been part of the politic process in the USA and elsewhere in the world,” a blogger on LockerGnome opined. “If a DDoS or any other type of cyber attack is launched by like-minded individuals and it is for some cause, I can not view it as anything other than some newer form of civil disobedience. Furthermore, if there are like-minded individuals out there who do view it as such, it has already become such.”

A similar tactic was used to protest the invasion of Iraq in 2003, when protesters staged a series of cyber sit-ins and brought down sites connected to the British government.

The “Anonymous” group, mostly amorphous and lacking a single spokesperson, has taken to YouTube to wage a battle for public opinion and pull in others to their cause.

“Anonymous is a spontaneous collective of people who share the collective goal of protecting the freedom of information on the Internet,” a recent video said. “Anonymous is not always the same group of people. Anonymous is a living idea. Anonymous is an idea that can edited, updated, remanded, changed on a whim. We are living consciousness.

“We ask for the world to support us, not for our sake but for your own. When governments and corporations control information, they control you. When governments are allowed the power of censorship, they are able to commit grave atrocities and act in corrupt ways, free from the scrutiny of those from who their power derives. When corporations are capable of using their vast amounts of wealth to manipulate or influence the free flow of information, they control you. We are taking a stand against this. We refuse to be deceived.”

The group’s latest update focuses on “Operation Leakspin,” an evolution of their campaign against WikiLeaks’ opponents. “Anonymous” plans to disseminate across the Internet the “best, least exposed leaks” in the stolen US State Department cables.

WikiLeaks has said that it is in no way connected to “Anonymous,” but added that they neither approve nor disapprove of their actions.

This video was posted to YouTube by user LetterFromAnon on Dec. 9, 2010.

(h/t CNet)

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in General News.

Tagged with , , .

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's all happening now big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale". This site must be on some list at GCHQ/NSA as my AdSense revenue which I rely on has gone down by a third. Either people are not helping out by visiting sponsors sanymore or I am being blackballed like many YouTube sites.

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally I know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know some people in prison now for the content they had on their "secret private group". Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer Wickr. If you really need to, buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA/GCHQ to hack into. Ensure it has no GPS tracking on it and that the battery can be removed. These are usually built for old people to get used to technology storing only a set of numbers to call. However they have no games, applications to install or other ways people can exploit the computer tracking device you carry round with you most of the day - your smart phone. If you are paranoid ensure that you can remove the battery when travelling around and do so to prevent GPS tracking or phone mast triangulation. Even with your phone in Flight mode or turned off, it can be turned on remotely and any features like front or back cameras, microphones and keylogging software can be installed to trace you.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering rubbish) then I could REALLY do with some..

Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box and throw a few pound my way each month, it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why.


Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material.

Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and tag any tweets with alternative news from the mainstream with the #altnews hashtag I created to keep it alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?