COMMENTARY | The infamous hacktivist group who knows how to make the Internet buzz has done it yet again. Anonymous attacked the FBI website on Friday and the attacks successfully resulted in it getting taken offline.
Popular file-sharing website Megaupload was taken down on Thursday and the operators were arrested and charged with copyright infringement. Anonymous, like most of the internet, did not take kindly to this news. Anonymous attacked several websites of corporations responsable for the Megaupload takedown, including the Department of Justice and Universal Music Group. The most notable of all – the website of the FBI.
This where Anonymous starts playing with fire. In a comment directed at the FBI, Anonymous’ Twitter account said, “We sincerely hope you like your own medicine!” after the FBI’s website was taken offline by a DDOS attack. A denial-of-service (DDOS) attack is what happens when thousands upon thousands of IP addresses try to access a website at once. The web servers can’t handle it, and the site gets taken offline. This act is illegal and it is relatively easy to trace your IP address, so this leaves several attackers exposed for legal action to be taken against them.
To help keep possible arrests to a minimum, Anonymous tricked people into attacking the FBI website yesterday. Anonymous posted links which allowed people to join in the attacks just by clicking, and without ever exposing their IP address. Links were distributed by Anonymous through Facebook, IRC, Twitter, Tumblr and many other sites. This tactic increased the effectiveness of the DDOS attacks by two-fold. It’s an impressive tactic, to say the least. Your grandmother very well could have contributed to the attacks if one of her friends on Facebook shared a link. Expect to see more of these tactics used in the future.
Anonymous does not plan on stopping these attacks anytime soon. Barrett Brown, a known collaborator with Anonymous has claimed, “We can expect a great deal of havoc of the sort we saw today. We’re going to see it in a stepped up fashion,” in regards to the recent attacks. Things always remain interesting when Anonymous is involved. I cannot wait to see what trouble unfolds next.