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Operation Payback and Hactivism 101

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the tread-softly dept.

Botnet 423

Orome1 writes "While individual acts of hacktivism are inconvenient, something else happens when hacktivists group together — they commonly perform a DDoS attack. Techniques have advanced to automate the process, making the attacks more powerful and thus more able to bypass security controls — the effect, however, remains the same. Let us take a look at the recent Operation Payback which has gained notoriety in the past few months."

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423 comments

This isn't activism (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534046)

It's not activism. It's a bunch of spoiled brats acting like thugs.

Re:This isn't activism (1, Flamebait)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534110)

I don't know about that...Their intentions are sound (preserve freedom of speech), even if their methods are crude. Then again, if no one hates you, you're doing it wrong...so...yeah.

Re:This isn't activism (5, Insightful)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534160)

Is it freedom of speech if you don't let the other guy talk?

Re:This isn't activism (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534182)

In what way has Anonymous prevented their targets from talking? It's not like the only way Paypal or Mastercard have to communicate is through their website.

Re:This isn't activism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534274)

"Don't upload any more video".

Re:This isn't activism (2, Insightful)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534472)

Yeah. Like they could totally go into the closet and whisper their opinions to the cockroaches. No need to be able to talk to the people who want to listen to them.

Get some maturity why don't you?

Freedom of speech involves freedom from retaliation. If you choose not to do business with them, that's great. But if you prevent others from doing business with them then you've crossed the line.

Re:This isn't activism (5, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534594)

"Freedom of speech involves freedom from retaliation. If you choose not to do business with them, that's great. But if you prevent others from doing business with them then you've crossed the line." Assuming that we're starting with a level playing field. Mastercard, Visa, Paypal, and Amazon are all able to buy Congressmen. Regular people can't. Our government is so corrupt at this point, there's really no recourse for regular people who have to go up against these corporations with more rights and privileges than actual people.

Re:This isn't activism (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534730)

Yeah. Like they could totally go into the closet and whisper their opinions to the cockroaches. No need to be able to talk to the people who want to listen to them.

So they don't have Twitter accounts? Facebook accounts? Or, you know...access to the fucking media?

Re:This isn't activism (3, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534780)

"Freedom of speech involves freedom from retaliation. If you choose not to do business with them, that's great."

But choosing not to do business with them *is* retaliation.

Re:This isn't activism (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534628)

PayPal, Visa, Amazon, and MasterCard are all saying that they do not want to do business with Wikileaks.
Anonymous is pretty much running nothing short of a protection scam on them.
"Yea you better do as I say or else..."
Some people say the government is doing the same thing and they very well may be.
Isn't trying to force an action by extortion wrong?
I got no problem if one wants to protest by not buying from Amazon, PayPal, Visa, or MasterCard but DOS attack on them is an attack.

Re:This isn't activism (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534262)

"Is it freedom of speech if you don't let the other guy talk ?"

For the good of the world, you simply cannot reproduce,
because the demand for idiots is zero.

Re:This isn't activism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534716)

Precisely what the us government is saying to julian right now. I'm sure the fake rape charges will lead into this.

Re:This isn't activism (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534382)

Is it freedom of speech if you don't let the other guy talk?

This. 1000 times this.

Re:This isn't activism (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534408)

How do you figure? It what way were Paypal or Mastercard prevented from saying what they had to say?

Are you implying that they only communicate through their websites?

Re:This isn't activism (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534634)

So change freedom of speech to freedom of association.

The Anonymous thugs are out to stifle freedom of association. Amazon should be free to associate or disassociate as they please.

If you can't associate freely you can't speak freely because who you are speaking with (or not with) will draw retribution.

Re:This isn't activism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534386)

Pfffft! What does Freedom of Speech have to do with whether a corporation chooses to host someone? Freedom of Speech applies to government interactions with the public, not business interactions with the public.

Re:This isn't activism (5, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534452)

You forget, this is the United Corporations of America! We'll tie you down with a Bass Pro Fishing Shop-branded rope and give you 30 lashes with a Wal-Mart branded whip. After it's all done, we'll just put some Neosporin on there, prop you up on an Ikea couch, and let you indulge in that wonderful cultural pasttime known as "watching television", where you will be informed of other great products and services!

Re:This isn't activism (5, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534490)

They weren't preventing anyone from talking, they were however doing what they could to disrupt business.

You know, under normal circumstances I'd be very against what those acting under the "Anonymous" label have done, just as many on Slashdot are right now. But these are not normal circumstances. We have a government - correction, we have an establishment, because this is an unholy alliance of government, big business, and big media, all of whom are covering up and even assisting with each other's crimes, that's gone rogue. And not just mildly rogue, it's an establishment that's fraudulently launched wars, kidnapped, tortured, raped, and destroyed. There are literally tens of millions of direct victims of this government, and hundreds of thousands of people victimized to the point of being tortured, raped, kidnapped, or killed.

Two years ago this country reacted to what little was getting out by electing someone who had claimed to be against this (and made it a big part of what he supposedly stood for) since he first hit the national spotlight in 2004. And his actions on taking office? To continue virtually every aspect of what made the previous administration so evil, in some cases going further.

Meanwhile, when there's even a hint that some of the truth will come out, the establishment has lead Denial of Service attacks of their own, with the major credit card companies abusing their monopoly to make it harder for such acts to be funded, and Amazon.com going as far not merely to disconnect Wikileaks, but to spread smears against them, smears they're continuing to spread today.

So I'm ambivalent about the hacker attacks. Frankly, I think most of the "victims" deserve it - in fact, they deserve much worse. In a decent world, we'd see:

  1. Amazon.com facing lawsuits for breach of contract, and facing serious libel lawsuits for the disgusting smears they're peddling and continuing to peddle
  2. Visa and Mastercard facing monopolist charges, with the real possibility of facing either nationalization or a major break-up
  3. Various directors, found to have knowingly participated in conspiring to these denial of service attacks against Wikileaks, finding themselves personally liable, fined, and barred
  4. Given what they're trying to cover up, I wouldn't even feel criminal charges against these thugs occur. If I tried to cover up crimes even a fraction as bad as those they're trying to cover up, I'd be facing jail time.

Be very clear about this: these organizations are doing what they're doing for no other purpose than to assist a rogue establishment in preventing the people from knowing the about the crimes it has committed. They're helping in a campaign to prevent people from knowing that the government, and the media, lied about the wars they started. They're helping in a campaign to prevent people from knowing that, for example, private contractors can rape and kill with impunity, that the government will continue to give them money after they've done so, and that the media will, just by being asked, not report upon it, or if it does, bury it where it will not be seen.

This is what is being hidden. This is what people like Jeff Bezos are more than willing to be a part of.

And I'm supposed to be upset about a bunch of frustrated "hackers" trying to bring down their web servers? Why? They're not engaging in violence, they're not preventing anyone from speaking, and the "right" options - the ones everyone are supposed to use before breaking the law - have been denied in the worst way possible. Democracy was tried. The law isn't even available.

I'm not going to encourage anyone to assist with the DDoS attacks, and not going to engage in them myself. But I simply cannot condemn them. And frankly, if Jeff Bezos or the directors of the major credit cards were in front of me right now, I'd spit on them.

Re:This isn't activism (4, Funny)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534700)

I'm just happy that someone on /. *finally* (in the second paragraph of the post above) used the word "rogue" instead of "rouge".

Re:This isn't activism (4, Insightful)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534218)

The problem is this "hacktivism" is doing far more damage than good because it easily allows the politicians to say "We need an internet kill switch". The overwhelming majority of people don't give a damn about wikileaks one way or the other. It's a side show on the 24 hours infotainment channels, that's all. The main reason being that what Wikileaks is doing has little to no effect on people's daily lives. Especially when most are more concerned with the job/family/economy. Instead they see these "attacks" as nothing more than a group of vandals. Nothing more and when authorities want tougher laws to deal with these "vandals", the public shrugs and says...."alright".

And attacking the public facing websites...okay that may work with Amazon or Paypal. But to Mastercard or Visa? So long as I can still use my Visa Debit card or Mastercard at the gas pump or grocery store, it's not like I notice.

That being said, if they did target the processing systems of mastercard/visa, I'm pretty sure that would be the golden goose the politicians have been waiting for to really clamp down on control of the internet because then you are messing with people pocket books.

Re:This isn't activism (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534364)

So you're saying that they lack the ability to seriously interrupt the business of companies like Mastercard, Amazon or Paypal, that if they did it would be counter-productive due to inciting a response from the Government and that all they do, is generate publicity by attacking the public faces of the companies. Given the first two of your propositions, doesn't the third one actually make a great deal of sense?

Re:This isn't activism (2)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534440)

They never targeted the public facing website for Paypal. It was the ssh port and the api site that they went after. They weren't targeting your ability to visit Paypal.com, they were directly targeting the ability to make a payment.

Re:This isn't activism (1)

Predius (560344) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534732)

Oh no, they were directly targeting www.paypal.com for awhile but later shifted gears as their collective strength was way down compared to when they were hitting Mastercard and they weren't having any real impact hitting www.

Re:This isn't activism (2)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534482)

If they "just" put in a kill switch, we would get off lucky. An attack that knocks a major credit card processing company off the Internet (and thus keeps people from being able to do transactions) would get Congress to be cranking out bills in record time. Think USAPATRIOT act, where Congresspeople had to sign the law or be considered weak on terrorism.

Instead, what we would see if "anti-cyberterrorism" treaties being passed with the same wording as ACTA, but because it is for "national security", it would get people signing without a second thought.

End result: Bye-bye Internet, hello Compuserve v2.0. We have a deal after 9PM -- only $5.00/hour while viewing our premiere Web pages ($9.99 an hour if viewing other content) , receiving E-mails is only 99 cents per message, and sending is only $1.99 per message. Don't forget to visit the new CB channel while you are at it.

Re:This isn't activism (2)

DogDude (805747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534648)

"The problem is this "hacktivism" is doing far more damage than good because it easily allows the politicians to say "We need an internet kill switch"."

If you think that the politicians need a reason to do this, then you're living on another planet. The politicians will do whatever the Big Corporations tell them to do. To say that the people shouldn't fight back for fear of repercussions is laughable.

Re:This isn't activism (4, Insightful)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534234)

Dude, It's 4chan. Have you ever been on /b/?

Here is what happens: Anon comes in with a novelty idea, /b/tards join in "just for the lulz". Then, new Anon (oldfag Anon is a cold, merciless beast. newfag Anon is the conscious, moral, cause-oriented joke of the internet) puts a tag on it and says they are doing it for X. I mean, some said they did the Habbo raids to fight racism. They also said they did project chanology to protect the victims of Scientology. Bullshit, they did it for the lulz.

Of course, DDoSing, Raiding, IRL stalking, etc, are fucking funny, and if it happens to overlay with a good cause, even better. Let them have fun, and bring them down while they are at it.

But in this case, it's pretty obvious that Anon had nothing to do with Amazon Europe going down. Anon is nothing but a bunch of script kiddies, and they don't have the sophistication nor the combined bandwidth to bring down Amazon with a ddos attack.

Re:This isn't activism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534468)

This is relevant to my interests.

Re:This isn't activism (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534800)

Mastercard and the other companies affected have the right to choose their customers. What these "hactivists" are doing is not preserving freedom of speech, it's an attempt at bullying.

Re:This isn't activism (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534378)

Oh please.

100 people can sit in at a lunch counter, shutting down service, and it's considered activism and protest.
100,000 organized people could easily shut down 1,000 restaurants, or bank branches, or other retail storefronts by the same behavior. Again, activism and protest.
100-500,000 people can jam up the phone banks to Congressional offices and we call it a "Virtual March on Washington." And nobody suggests it doesn't qualify as activism and protest.

All of these count as activism. Yet when an unknown number of people voluntarily download an item to their computer to participate in a "virtual march" on the website of a bank, or the RIAA, or Paypal, or Scientology, somehow it's not activism?

The major difference is whether the participants are willing or unwilling. In the case of most botnet-based DDoS attacks, the participants are unwilling; their machines have been hijacked and often they don't even know they are participants. In the case of LOIC, they are all willing. They purposely downloaded and installed the software. They can leave it running or only turn it on at specific times. They can easily uninstall it if they believe it is being used in a way they don't support.

What is going on is not a "cyber attack." It is a virtual protest march.

Re:This isn't activism (2)

JxcelDolghmQ (1827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534460)

No. It's not. It's a bunch of people that's speaking out the only way they can be heard. They've voted with their dollar, they've probably even voted with their VOTE, and yet things haven't changed, so it comes down to this.

Re:This isn't activism (4, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534514)

Guess what, the Taliban calls you a "spoiled brat acting like thugs".
Iran calls you that.
North Korea calls the western world that.

It makes it a lot easier to hate the other side if you give them a derogatory name and belittle them.

Can we PLEASE.... (3, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534048)

Stop calling it HACKtivism?

Amongst nerds (which is pretty much whoever is following it on this site) - to 'hack' does not meant the same as 'to crack'.

And calling DDOSing 'hacking' is wrong on both definitions of hack. Especially if the client is just a script kiddie using a program which s/he doesn't know (or care enough) to work out what its doing exactly.

Re:Can we PLEASE.... (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534072)

Even if it was hacking the name is just stupid.

Re:Can we PLEASE.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534102)

Agreed, let's call call "Operation: Payback" what it really is, "tantrumism".

Re:Can we PLEASE.... (1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534422)

Agreed, let's call call "Operation: Payback" what it really is, "tantrumism".

That reflects the key point and places the emphasis on the little brother aspect of current events. Unfortunately it diminishes the importance of the explosive nature of civil unrest.

Hopefully the Pols aren't sleeping on the fact that little brother is only going to get more unreasonable. Anyhow, this is how it happens - you know - downfall.

Re:Can we PLEASE.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534142)

Its a lost cause, much of our hacker culture was long time hijacked by people belonging to a group of users with no or little passion for programming, hardware modifications etc .... people today does not realize that hacking is a programming subculture

Re:Can we PLEASE.... (3, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534470)

Programming is a hacking subculture. Or, program hacking is a subculture of hacking generally.

The people who are program hackers today, would have been gearheads 60 years ago, constantly tweaking their engines for performance.

Re:Can we PLEASE.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534252)

Amongst nerds (which is pretty much whoever is following it on this site) - to 'hack' does not meant the same as 'to crack'.

You know, for many of us, we simply don't care about this whiny distinction between "hacking and cracking".

It's stupid -- back in the day, you could hack some code, or you could hack into a system, or you could pull off a hack and hang a volkswagon from a bridge or make your calculator to something cool that nobody expect. We understood the difference between these things, and it was all one word.

You whiny kids who think you "own" the language and have to be telling everybody the "right" want to say it are just fooling yourselves. Even in the nerd community you think you represent, for many of us "hack" still means exactly what you claim it doesn't. Hell, 2600 [2600.com] has been around since the 80's, and it's always been hacker -- it's got a shitload more street cred than you kids who think that it's always been differentiated. Anybody under 40 who is saying anything about what is "hack" and what is "crack" is too fucking young to know what they're talking about.

It's all the same fucking thing -- "cracker" is a very recent word, and quite an arbitrary distinction which people tried to apply after the fact to make what they did sound less evil and dissociate itself from malicious break-in type stuff. Get over it.

Now, STFU, and get off my fucking lawn.

Re:Can we PLEASE.... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534596)

Actually I've read the word "cracker" already in the 80s (sorry, can't remember exactly where, except that it was in some computer magazine). However, at that time it didn't refer to people breaking into computers, but to people cracking copyright protection on games.

this is what I get for reading the article.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534068)

slashvertisement much? terrible article that doesn't say anything about Operation Payback, just a wikipedia-esque definition of hacktivism.

It is Not DDoS (5, Interesting)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534094)

It is not DDoS or cyber-war it is cyber-picketing. It used to be that when you had a disagreement with a company people picked it and disrupted its business that way. Well, welcome to the 21 century you can now picket the business from the comfort of your own home.

Re:It is Not DDoS (5, Interesting)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534190)

It is not DDoS or cyber-war it is cyber-picketing.

It used to be that when you had a disagreement with a company people picked it and disrupted its business that way. Well, welcome to the 21 century you can now picket the business from the comfort of your own home.

Interesting. Though I loathe the "cyber" prefix... That doesn't seem like a completely inaccurate description. Hadn't thought of it that way.

Re:It is Not DDoS (0)

Boomerang Fish (205215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534480)

While I like the term "cyber-picketing" better than "hacktivism" (that word just sounds stupid, period), I think I must point out at least a slight difference from traditional picketing...

Picketers perform what is (usually) non-violent interference, but the individuals involved are not hiding... if they do cross the line to violent activity (assaulting people who wish to break the line, damaging property, etc.) they can and are arrested, usually as individuals, unless it reaches potential riot proportions.

"Cyber-picketers" sit behind a wall of more or less anonymity, often using hundreds or thousands of OTHER PEOPLE'S COMPUTERS to distance their person from the activity... so when they cross the line of illegality (and in all honesty, using someone else's computer for purposes they do not know about or have not agreed to is illegal in most places) who can be removed to return it to a "peaceful" protest?

--
I drank what?

Re:It is Not DDoS (3, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534644)

"Cyber-picketers" sit behind a wall of more or less anonymity

Which is necessary because any attempt at cyber-picketing, peaceful or not, is deemed a crime.

often using hundreds or thousands of OTHER PEOPLE'S COMPUTERS to distance their person from the activity

Which is bad. But in the case of this LOIC client, the computers doing the DDOSing are not zombies. They're people who've decided to throw their computer into the picket line.

It really seems to me that this kind of voluntary DDOS is a fairly accurate digital version of the picket line. I mean, how exactly would you picket Amazon anyway? Line up a bunch of people outside their warehouses or something? It isn't like they've got a physical storefront to picket in front of.

Re:It is Not DDoS (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534586)

I got into an argument about this is an earlier topic pointing out that it is also, strictly speaking, non-violent.

it's dickish but it is different from most of the other various forms of attack, a DDoS doesn't involve actually breaking into any systems, it doesn't damage any property and it doesn't hurt anyone.

In a sense it probably shouldn't be lumped in with most other forms of attack online which mostly involve breaking into the system in question or attempting to.

Re:It is Not DDoS (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534226)

It's still a bit of both, as this DoS is preventing people from ignoring picketers. Forced boycott would maybe be more appropriate.

Re:It is Not DDoS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534602)

perhaps it'd be better to consider it a counter sit in. In the past, people have been known to stage sit ins to take up seats that paying customers would normally take, making it difficult if not impossible for a business owner to ignore the protest.

Re:It is Not DDoS (4, Insightful)

AlexiaDeath (1616055) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534302)

Completely accurate definition. Calling simple request swamping hacking, cracking, cyber-war or any other alarmist title is bullshit. Nobody is breaking into the systems, they are simply utilized beyond their capacity to serve, and that happens because enough people band together to cause the disruption... Witch is in turn caused by company's actions.

Re:It is Not DDoS (0)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534336)

Actually, it is DDoS. Those letters have a meaning, you know. It's not a pejorative word. Real-world picketing could equally be called a denial of service attack.

Re:It is Not DDoS (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534388)

It is not an 'attack' it is an 'event'. As is a 'denial of service event'. Nothing is being attacked, nothing is being destrioied.

Re:It is Not DDoS (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534444)

I really mean in the information security sense of the word "attack", something along the lines of "an aggressive action on the system in question". It's a word with a very varied and somewhat loaded meaning. It is a DDoS though.

Re:It is Not DDoS (3, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534518)

So, what, every other DDoS wasn't an 'attack", it was an "event"?

Bullshit.

You just don't like the idea that something you happen to support *this time* is being referred to with *accurate*, pejorative terminology.

Well, suck it up, bucko. Your little wannabe-robinhood friends are nothing more than digital gangsters (actually, that's not fair... gangsters have worked hard to build a reputation for themselves, and it's hardly fair to equate them with a bunch of punk script kiddies), and what they're doing is *attacking* websites in a fit of whiny vigilantism.

Now, that's not to say they don't have legitimate grievances. But what they're doing has been called a "distributed denial of service attack" long before these little bastards decided to use it against VISA.

Re:It is Not DDoS (1, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534510)

It is not DDoS or cyber-war it is cyber-picketing. It used to be that when you had a disagreement with a company people picked it and disrupted its business that way. Well, welcome to the 21 century you can now picket the business from the comfort of your own home.

When you're picketing, staging a sit-in, etc you're putting yourself at some risk. At minimum, there's the risk of recognition, of having your name and face associated with your action. You're also taking some of your time and energy to do something that's of value to you.

For a DDOS attack, you're anonymously pushing a "go" button. Quite possibly you're not even still at your computer while it runs. Woooo, there's a way to make a statement.

The nature of the attack itself strips it of both credibility and value - instead, it gets classified (by those who even notice it) as whiny children playing their whiny child games.

Re:It is Not DDoS (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534796)

"The nature of the attack itself strips it of both credibility and value - instead, it gets classified (by those who even notice it) as whiny children playing their whiny child games."

So what's the alternative? Should we politely write our Congresspeople, asking them to please tell us all of the secret, illegal things they're doing with our money? Should we simply be happy with our rigged system and pretend like we make a difference when we vote?

Re:It is Not DDoS (4, Insightful)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534804)

Wait, wasn't there just a slashdot story showing how the pro-Wikileaks "hacktivists" can be easily identified [slashdot.org]? If so, it seems they actually are putting themselves at risk.

Re:It is DDoS (2)

openfrog (897716) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534516)

It is not DDoS or cyber-war it is cyber-picketing.

It used to be that when you had a disagreement with a company people picked it and disrupted its business that way. Well, welcome to the 21 century you can now picket the business from the comfort of your own home.

Picketing is a public act. DDoS is not. There is an essential difference. The media orchestration that we have seen over the last few days around DDoD lend me to think me that if there are a few teenagers behind these attacks, they are manipulated by those who want to influence public opinion in the direction of a kill-switch as one poster has mentioned above, and in the direction of measures to rein in on the Internet.

It is all too easy for provocateurs to do as they please, as these actions are anonymous. But the media go on reporting on this ascribing these actions to "a movement in support of Wikileaks". We don't know that, they don't know that.

Re:It is Not DDoS (2)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534630)

It is not DDoS or cyber-war it is cyber-picketing. It used to be that when you had a disagreement with a company people picked it and disrupted its business that way.

Bullshit.

No picketer ever stopped someone from entering a store. Such an action would be an arrestable offence, as it would involve, at minimum, the physical assault of prospective customers, and probably trespass.

The point of picketing isn't about physically preventing people from patronizing the business in question. It's to raise awareness so that customers might *choose* to do business elsewhere.

But I suppose it does make what amounts to vigilantism seem a little more palatable if you equate it to a legitimate protesting method.

Re:It is Not DDoS (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534668)

Maybe a cyber-sit-in would be more accurate though. Generally picketers let people into the business, it's just that every potential customer has to walk through the picket line, get shouted at, read the signs, etc. Sit-ins actually attempt to block the business from servicing customers, they're also a bit more shady on the legal side (just like a DDoS). The sit-in analogy also has the benefit of reminding the participants that what they're doing may very well get them in trouble, people who did sit-ins during the civil rights movement were often arrested (and for that matter, beaten).

Of course, sit-ins were usually done by people whom the establishment wouldn't serve, which is kind of what makes it poetic justice; the people sitting in are just waiting to be served. Maybe if the people involved in the DDoS were ready and willing to donate to Wikileaks (which I highly doubt) I would see it as more appropriate behavior.

Re:It is Not DDoS (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534684)

I disagree. While picketing would slow down business, DDoS stops business altogether. To me, its the equivalent of standing in front of a store entrance and not allowing anyone in. Last I checked, you'd probably get arrested for that.

Next Target: (1, Informative)

WiglyWorm (1139035) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534172)

Whomever coined the word "Hactivism" has a DDoS with their name on it, as far as I'm concerned. Hate, hate, hate, that word. It's neither hacking nor activism.

Re:Next Target: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534330)

In a culture where "sharing" copywritten music is considered activism it doesn't take much to get credibility.

Re:Next Target: (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534436)

A DDoS isn't hacking but it can be activism (and in this case I'd say it is). The "cyber-picketing" analogy is a good one: It's just the online equivalent of blocking people from entering a building to do business.

Let's break the law (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534334)

As advocates of Democracy and transparency, let's break the law and act in secret to take down big companies, which in turn hurts small businesses who use these payment services. Let's also inconvenience random shoppers. Let's create all kinds of random collateral damage to make a point about supporting transparency by supporting a completely secretive organization.

Sorry, I'm not buying it.

I was just at the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial and museum. One of the more interesting aspects of it was that the people motivated to bomb the federal building (and kill infants in the nursery) were upset at the government. They felt the most effective way to change the government was a terrorist attack. The two responsible were caught. One will serve life in prison while the other was executed. They didn't change government, but they did forfeit their lives.

Conversely, families of vicitms banded together, formed a group and went to Washington D.C. to ask for reform in how the death penalty is handled in federal cases. They felt the best way to support Democracy and affect change was to use Democracy itself.

That is such a novel concept.

Re:Let's break the law (1, Interesting)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534478)

These people don't have the attention span to actually do anything like that. They are just like the hippies who thought that sitting around, singing, and doing drugs instead of contributing to society would change things. Everybody wants a shortcut, the truth is that the best way to change things is through hard work within the system, only stepping out of it when that fails.

Re:Let's break the law (1)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534530)

That won't go over with them, all you'll hear is them complaining that the "system doesn't work" even though they don't put in the effort to make it work.

Re:Let's break the law (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534592)

Wow, you must really enjoy your job at Conglomo Marketing.
Hurts small businesses... really. Are you telling me that people are so fickle that when they cant buy an item they say " screw it, I'm not buying it! Ohh look a different shiny! Gimmie gimmie new shiny!!!!!!"

In reality they simply wait and buy it later, or contact he company and ask, "I cant buy your custom made beer goggle dispenser, what's up? I want to buy it."

Re:Let's break the law (3, Informative)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534678)

Only the public websites of Visa, Mastercard, et al. are being hit. The actual functionality of their payment system has been untouched.

It's a slap in the face without disrupting their actual business.

Re:Let's break the law (4, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534692)

"They felt the best way to support Democracy and affect change was to use Democracy itself. That is such a novel concept."

More than novel, it's incredibly naive. How do you propose that actual people (not corporations) influence their government in any way? How are regular people going to open up our horribly, horribly corrupt government? Politely vote in our Coke/Pepsi elections, and ask them to please tell us all of the illegal and immoral things they've been doing in our name with our tax dollars?

Re:Let's break the law (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534752)

Reaching a government official and talking to them isn't nearly as impossible as you might imagine it is.

I've talked to my Nebraska Representatives and Senators. I've also reached out to a State Senator to ask for Limited Liability laws to change.

You suggest it is naive. Are you suggesting that Democracy is then broken and pointless? Then why bother fighting to try and preserve it in the first place?

The people trying to take down api.paypal.com, visa.com, amazon.com, etc. were supposedly defending Democracy. That is naive.

Re:Let's break the law (2)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534766)

If you think ours is the epitome of corrupt you should see some of the other governments people have put up with.

Corrupt? Yes. (Redundant question. All politics are corrupt at some level). Horribly, horribly corrupt? Only if you ignore all the actually horribly, horribly corrupt governments out there.

Anon will rise again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534376)

People of the Interwebs, this wave of newfaggotry will be crushed under our merciless heels. I GUARANTEE IT.

Hoodlums (2)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534396)

I find it interesting that some people on Slashdot consider them "freedom fighters" of a sort, trying to preserve freedom of speech, when some of the same group have actively tried to interfere with Tumblr and Facebook merely because they didn't like the kind of people who posted on them.

As someone upthread said, these aren't freedom fighters, they're thugs. Just because their targets at the moment include businesses you don't like, doesn't make them less so.

Re:Hoodlums (1)

NuKe_MoNgOoSe (1941452) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534674)

Its perception man really in all things.. Are rebels going against conformity, like those sympathizers who hid Jews from the Germans.. im sure the Germans believed these people to be hoodlums, at the very least, but the Jewish people who benefit from these peoples actions view them as freedom fighters, heroes for the cause. Much the same way these hoodlums have a cause and the supporters of that cause look at these people as their tool for justice, freedom fighters if you will.. Its a very extreme comparison but it does work at a rudimentary level.. The difference between punk and hero is subjective. I dont agree with hitting sites like PayPal and Mastercard because a lot of innocent parties are also affected by their actions, for me this would be the equivalent of blowing up a hospital to take out one man, too many innocent people to justify the action.

Re:Hoodlums (1)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534736)

The thing is, I don't even ascribe that level of heroism to them, they're a bunch of bored jerks who wander from one pointless attack to another. The attack (failed I might add) on Tumblr was nothing but sheer mean-spiritedness.

Re:Hoodlums (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534688)

Why do you find it interesting?
The same people talking about "freedom fighters" still have their Amazon wish lists, Visa and MasterCards sitting in their wallets, and are using PayPal to buy that limited edition anime they found on Ebay....
It is simply typical arm chair protesters.

Re:Hoodlums (2)

DogDude (805747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534718)

"As someone upthread said, these aren't freedom fighters, they're thugs."

I'm fine with calling them thugs, if we can come up with some more colorful names for our Government/Business overlords that secretly do illegal and immoral things with our money in our names. To say that we, the powerless people have to play by their rules that they write, and they selectively enforce, is absurd.

Re:Hoodlums (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534746)

It's not really interesting, but expected. For some people anything going against people/organizations they don't like is good (well, most people have still some limit there; I guess if those people started to kill the CEOs of those companies, there would be far less people who consider that good - but then, I'm pretty certain the number would still be nonzero). You know, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." There's absolutely no reason such people should not be found at Slashdot as well.

Re:Hoodlums (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534782)

I find it interesting that some people on Slashdot consider them "freedom fighters" of a sort, trying to preserve freedom of speech, when some of the same group have actively tried to interfere with Tumblr and Facebook merely because they didn't like the kind of people who posted on them.

As someone upthread said, these aren't freedom fighters, they're thugs. Just because their targets at the moment include businesses you don't like, doesn't make them less so.

I'm not sure what to call them, exactly, but what's clear to me is that they have some power but are clueless in the application of that power to achieve their goals. If they can even articulate what their goals are.

I don't believe for one second that any of the companies they targeted will consider the likeliness of a DDOS response as a decision criteria going forward.

1992 (1)

chronoss2010 (1825454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534406)

united hackers association formed........ and guess what however many we are....we still exist and will exist until the lights go out of humanity forever.

So is Hactivist ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534534)

So is Hactivist what we will be saying in 2011, since "douchebag" reached critical mass in 2010, much like the?

All well and good (1)

vorlich (972710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534582)

But I would observe that while the millstones of Mastercard et al may grind slowly they grind exceedingly fine. As my old Lutheran school teacher used to tell us about other stuff...

Hacktivism? (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534636)

Please. Making a DDoS with a simple program relates to Hacking like Kicking garbage cans out of frustration relates to making really good and creative political demonstrations.

Even if i do not consider myself a hacker, i think think that the following rules apply for most hackers:

a) Hacking is creative, finding interesting ways to do and know interesting things, and communicating them.

b) If its used for a purpose, make sure the purpose harms nobody. Always try to be useful.

c) don't make hacks available in a form that stupid idiots can use them without understanding - that is to protect them from harming themself and others.

d) Dont mistake your knowledge for power or superiority to judge over others. That would be the same as the superiority of the robber waiting in the dark alley.

e) asymmetric warfare is often used by terrorists. Make sure you are careful when you can create an ethics based on the assumption that fighting an asymmetric war is justified.

f) DDoS are something which should be prevented. They have been used by Russian hackers to take smaller countries web offline. They have been used by spammers to kick ant-spam and malware websites out of the net. They have been used to kick out political activists. DDoS are a weapon working best against small institutions. A small NGO maybe cant afford 1000Euro of Traffic costs. Amazon redistributes their cloud and thats it.

What a useless article (1)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534650)

I don't think the article had any more information than the summary. The article read like a middle school research project. The discussion on the topic is only slightly more interesting...

I'm sure the kids on 4chan/b/ are enjoying the attention...until they find out the "hacking" kit they installed just uploaded all of dad's financial information.

Wikileaks did it to themselves (2, Insightful)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534654)

Wikileaks did it to themselves.

Instead to sticking to the leaking criminal activity or human rights violations, leaks decided to just release everything they were given without regard to consequences.

They are now actually aiding countries like China and Saudi Arabia by exposing all the US information and opinions on them.

Good job leaks.

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