Wikileaks Cyberwar Show Hits Sweedish Gov
Operation payback strikes again as the hacktivists fire at Swedish government's website.
The official site, regeringen.se, was offline for several hours overnight and only a message saying the site could not be reached was displayed.
International websites including PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard have already been attacked by the synchronised botnet hits. The internet giants who have played down the attacks, citing minor 'service distributions', claimed that their websites were still functioning regardless of traffic floods.
The attacks were launched on one of the busiest shopping days of the year after the firms announced that they were stopping payment to WikiLeaks.
Twitter has been accused of hiding the Wikileaks trend, which has since sparked rumours that the social networking site may be next on the Anonymous Groups' freedom of speech assassination list.
The actions so far have fundamentally been attacks by volume, known as DDoS or distributed denial of service, in which the marked site is hit with a mass quantity of traffic with the intention of exceeding its capabilities and consequently forcing it to crash.
With the most recent attacks, hundreds of volunteers have downloaded a botnet tool called 'Low Orbit Ion Canon'(LOIC). It is usually used to stress-test servers, but instead is being used to fire traffic to someone else's server, which aids the distribution of the command to attack the site. The volunteers are told to hold fire until a signal is given on an internet chatroom before activists launch the massed protest.
Thousands of people are following the hacktivists on Twitter and Facebook in a bid to fight for freedom of speech on the internet and as the support grows, evidence suggests that the attacks will continue to move on to bigger conquests and challenges. The question is, how many of the 9000 followers will be caught, questioned and prosecuted for their support and even involvement in the co-ordinated attacks. These types of attacks are illegal in Britain and carry a maximum sentence of two years.
In a blog that the 'Anonymous' hacktivist group posted, they publicised the motives behind campaigning for freedom of speech.
The post read: "Hello World. We are Anonymous. What you do or do not know about us is irrelevant. We have decided to write to you, the media, and all citizens of the free world at large to inform you of the message, our intentions, potential targets, and our ongoing peaceful campaign for freedom.
"The message is simple: freedom of speech. Anonymous is peacefully campaigning for freedom of speech everywhere in all forms. Freedom of speech for: the internet, for journalism and journalists, and citizens of the world at large. Regardless of what you think or have to say; Anonymous is campaigning for you."
A representative from one of the groups involved said on Thursday, "The campaign is not over, it's still going strong. More and more people are joining.
"I see this as becoming a war, not a traditional war: this is a war of data." He said. "We are trying to keep the internet free for everyone just the way the Internet always has been," said the 22-year-old software engineer who called himself Coldblood.
'Coldblood' who spoke in an English accent added, "It's very hard to get hold of anyone from WikiLeaks. The only person you could really get hold of was Julian, but unfortunately he's not available at the moment."
Assange, the man behind Wikileaks, is currently being held in a London jail after he was arrested over allegations of sexual assault in Sweden. His supporters say the accusations against him are politically motivated.
Do you agree or disagree with the campaign for freeedom of speech. Why not post your comments below?
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