Anonymous Attacks Government And Other Authorities As Revenge For Megaupload’s Shutdown

The hacker collective known as Anonymous claims “the largest attack ever” on ten government and music industry websites yesterday, in retaliation for the U.S. Justice Department’s shutdown of Megaupload. A second wave of attacks continue today, with Anonymous claiming responsibility for taking down MGM Studio’s online store and the New Zealand police’s website. Reportedly, the group is targeting the FBI and the Department of Justice websites today as well, for a second round of attacks.

A press release from Anonymous said, ““The FBI didn’t think they would get away with this did they? They should have expected us.”, while giving out the supposed home mailing address and other personal information of MPAA chief executive Chris Dodd and his wife.

Additionally, Twitter messages from Anonymous claim Megaupload is back online and provide links to access the site. These links should be handled with care, however. Graham Cluley of computer security firm Sophos warns that by visiting one of the links passed around by Anonymous, your computer may unwittingly become a participant in the denial of service attacks, thanks to Javascript code they send to your browser.

Certainly, not everyone thinks these attacks by Anonymous are productive. EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow (a strong opponent of SOPA and PIPA legislation) tweeted today, “Dear Anonymous… I don’t want to sound like your Uncle Gandhi, but DDoS is its own form of censorship. Chill, please.” Some commentators even suggest the timing of the Megaupload takedown by the DOJ was no coincidence. By creating a high-profile, international arrest for copyright violation and the ensuing scene of (again international) hackers counter-attacking in anger, they hope to make the point that more legislation like SOPA or PIPA really is needed.

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