Advocates of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange quickly built a cyber army that took down MasterCard Inc’s website using simple tools posted on the Web.
MasterCard’s website was shut down for much of the day on Wednesday as a group calling itself AnonOps organized a “Denial of Service” attack on the credit card giant, which had stopped processing donations for WikiLeaks after the United States criticized its release of sensitive diplomatic cables.
Denial of service attacks typically use botnets, or armies of computers that have been enslaved by criminal hackers, to bring down a website by hitting it with an overwhelming number of simultaneous requests for information.
But the MasterCard attack seems to have come from a grass-roots effort organized by AnonOps.
It distributes sophisticated hacking software that is relatively simple for supporters to install on their computers.
“It is very easy to launch these attacks,” said John Bumgarner, chief technology officer for the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, which monitors cyber attacks.
The group used Twitter to seek supporters, referring them to its website where they could download the software that turns a Windows or Mac PC into a weapon against the MasterCard site.
Via The Star