the hacking empire strikes back… RIAA offline

Last week BBC reported on Piracy activists blowing a coordinated strike on websites owned by the music and film industry, in retaliation for actions against file-sharing site Piratebay. Or at least this was declared on 4chan message boards. read more…

This assault temporarily knocked the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) offline and the activists declared they are about to continue and have e.g. the British Phonographic Industry Association (BPI) on their radar.

What happened?

“Operation payback”, as it is known, is reportedly revenge for the MPAA and RIAA’s action against the file-sharing website The Pirate Bay. Their call to arms was reportedly prompted by a statement by Indian software firm Aiplex, which told the Sydney Morning Herald that it used cyber attacks on sites hosting pirated movies on behalf of the film industry.

Specifically, the firm said that it used Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, where a website is bombarded by requests for pages, effectively taking it offline. The anonymous activists chose to use the same method to take Aiplex and the other organisations offline.

The activists advised others to download software to help flood servers and has reportedly used botnets – networks of computers infected with malicious software and under the control of a hacker or criminal – to flood the websites.

Sean-Paul Correll of Panda Security described the action as “the future of cyber protests”.

“How do you stop the collective man power of an entire internet community? You can seize equipment, hunt down the originators of the attack, but this is a group who has prided themselves in remaining anonymous, and have done so very well through the power of the internet.”

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