Anonymous says it is in the process of staging its “largest attack ever” — more than 5,000 loosely associated hackers taking down websites belonging to government and recording industry organizations in response to Thursday’s shutdown of the file-sharing site Megaupload.com.
The Department of Justice unsealed an indictment against Megaupload.com on Thursday, arresting its founder — Kim Dotcom, formerly known as Kim Schmitz — in New Zealand and charging him and at least five other company executives with violating privacy laws.
In response, the hacker collective known as Anonymous announced a collaborative attack against government and recording industry websites, successfully taking down the site of the Department of Justice — which coordinated the case against Megaupload — and the Recording Industry Association of America. As of 4 p.m. Pacific time, Justice.gov and RIAA.org were failing to load, along with other stated targets such as UniversalMusic.com.
Anonymous said on a Twitter account it has used regularly — @YourAnonNews — that the assault is “The Largest Attack Ever by Anonymous — 5,635 People Confirmed Using #LOIC to Bring Down Sites!” In other messages, the group said it was aiming to take down more sites throughout the night.
One day after SOPA and PIPA are stifled by the black out, the US Government takes down one of the most well known sites for piracy, Megaupload (a place for uploading and sharing files, it was only inadvertently used for piracy.) So far, we have yet to see the fallout from these hacks. The Feds haven’t had trouble finding and prosecuting “Anonymous” participants in the past and I’m left wondering who will end up benefiting from these hacks. Some websites go down for a bit on Thursday, life goes on; yet thousands of “Anonymous” activists may have walked into a tremendous trap. Who do you think has more carefully calculated plans, the US government, or the decentralized hivemind of the internet? I don’t want to see more kind-hearted activists given steep jail time, nor do I want the government to make examples of these “hackers” in order to destroy the Anonymous movement with fear. Who do you think will come out on top this time? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Creative Commons image: source