WikiLeaks hacker attacks on payment sites

Robert Clark
09 Dec 2010

The battle over WikiLeaks has become a cyber-war, with hackers mounting retaliatory attacks on commercial sites that have cut off support for the site.

A hacker coalition called Anonymous has led DDoS attacks on Visa, Mastercard, Paypal and over the past 24 hours.

The group said via Twitter that its “Operation Payback” was a campaign against “major anti-piracy & anti-freedom entities.”

The attacks took downVisa and Mastercard sites, according to web monitoring firm Netcraft.

The two sites, and payment firm Paypal, had admitted that traffic had slowed, but none said they had gone off-air, New York Times reported.

The sites have all suspended WikiLeaks’ accounts in the past two days. Switzerland’s PostFinance, which had closed Assange’s account, was also under attack Wednesday.

One Anonymous activist, Gregg Housh, said 1,500 people were involved in the attacks.

But the group was cut off by a Dutch web hosting firm, Leaseweb, whose servers were being used to mount some of the attacks.

Facebook removed the Anonymous page, the group said via Twitter. Its Twitter account was also suspended, with the group later opening a new account.

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