Cyber War III - Change in Tactics?

'Coldblood', a member of the group Anonymous, told a BBC reporter why he views its attacks on Visa and Mastercard as defence of Wikileaks. Web attacks carried out in support of Wikileaks are being wound down as activists consider changing tactics. Attacks against Amazon were called off late on 9 December and re-directed towards net payments firm Paypal and its computer systems which, according to a status page, has intermittently suffered "performance issues" ever since.

There have also been calls for attacks on official Dutch websites following the arrest of a 16-year-old boy suspected of involvement in the online campaign. But early today Moneybookers was chosen as the next target and its site was occasionally unreachable from about 1100 GMT.

The chances of success could be boosted by a new version of LOIC written in web programming language Javascript that allows anyone with a browser, including on a mobile phone, to launch attacks. However, defences against the attacks were being drawn up as security firms scrutinise the code behind LOIC to work out how attacks happen. Some suggest that well-written firewall rules would be able to filter out most of the harmful traffic.

The LOIC tool has been downloaded more than 46,000 times but, said Anonymous activists in a tweet, this did not translate into enough people using it to knock the retail giant off the web

One of those activists said he had a botnet of 30,000 machines under his control that he was planning to use on behalf of Wikileaks. A botnet is a network of hijacked home computers that have been compromised by their owners visiting a booby-trapped webpage that installs code to hand over control to a hi-tech criminal. A botnet with 30,000 machines in it is considered to be about average size. Most of the spam sent around the net is funnelled through machines that are in botnets.

There are also suggestions that the Anonymous group might be about to drop the web attacks in favour of another tactic. Its use of the term Anonymous comes from a series of websites frequented by members, such as the anarchic image board 4Chan. These allow users to post without having to register or provide a name. As a result, their comments are tagged "Anonymous".

A message posted on the 4chan image board, out of which Anonymous has grown, suggests dropping LOIC in favour of publicising information in the diplomatic cables that Wikileaks is releasing. Searching for the less-well publicised cables and spreading the information they contain around the web could be more effective than simply knocking out sites deemed to be enemies of Wikileaks, it said.

The message also suggests using misleading tags on posts and YouTube videos to trick people into reading or viewing the information.

"They don't fear the LOIC, they fear exposure," read the message.


Agata said...

This all sounds extremely confusing and dangerous at the same time...
So far I have been a huge fan of these guys and their retribution. However I have a fealing now that it can get dangerously our of hand. Taking into account cyberwar being one of the greates fears of the future I am really beginning to worry... These guys are taking over machines now. Who is to say what can they use them for...