Encyclopedia Dramatica Shut Down, Or Did It Just Get DDoSed?

If you haven’t heard about Encyclopedia Dramatica yet, I will point you to go to this Wikipedia article. The Wikipedia satire which is run by the 4Chan Anonymous group has poked fun on several people and things, Wiki style. However, it looks like the website has now been shut down or has been taken down like other 4Chan properties.

Encyclopedia Dramatica

Encyclopedia Dramatica has been used to document and poke fun at various personalities. It has even been used to poke fun on the infamous banner on Wikipedia where Jimmy Wales asked visitors to donate to the site.

However, the Encyclopedia Dramatica site (http://encyclopediadramatica.com/) seems to be down right now. It isn’t clear whether the site’s  has been shut down or whether it has just been hit with a DDoS. Nevertheless, its not loading anymore and we are trying to gather more information about it.

If you haven’t visited Encyclopedia Dramatica, you could do now thanks to this Google Cache page.

(h/t @weemundo)

The Hunters are Hunted: 4Chan Hit by DDoS Attack

4Chan the manga board site and home to the infamous "Anonymous" group has been hit by a DDoS attack on their site, 4Chan.org site is now down and inaccessible.

4Chan’s Anon group who had attacked MasterCard, Visa and PayPal among others to retaliate against the controversy are now themselves down.

The status site of 4Chan has a message put up, which is interestingly funny:

Site is down due to DDoS. We now join the ranks of MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, et al.—an exclusive club!

There is no indication where this DDoS is coming from, but this is not the first time that 4Chan has been DDoSed. Earlier last month, 4Chan and users got into an virtual fight where both groups DDoSed each other and bought both the sites down. However, there is no indication whether this DDoS on 4Chan is coming from Tumblr users.

We’ll keep you updated when more information about this attack becomes available.

An Analysis of 4chan Confessions

4chan, the most notorious imageboard on the Internet has opened up in a survey that reveals some cool statistics on the behaviors of the board members. You can see the reports here on Google Spreadsheets. Please note that some of the content on this spreadsheet might not be suitable for viewing at work.

More than 80% of those who took the survey as 4chan members were below 25 years of age. A sudden spike can be seen in the age bar above 60 years whereas people between 35 to 60 years of age are either comparatively inactive on 4chan or did not bother taking the survey. The 4chan crowd is mainly male dominated leaving only 1/6th of the space for others.

Coming to sexual preference, nearly 75% of the 4chan crowd is straight and surprisingly, there are very few Asians in the 4chan crowd. Nearly 75% of the crowd claims to be white with the Asian population at a mere 5%.

The period from 2006 to 2009 has seen a rapid increase in users whereas very few users have joined 4chan in the year 2010 in spite of it being in news regularly. Some users who are taking the survey are also trying to game the system because there are votes from the future in 2011!

Time on site varies between 1-3 hours at large and otherwise, there are fewer visitors who stay on 4chan for longer hours at a stretch. As seen with any other imageboard, there are more people who like to look around than those willing to submit content. The new crowd at 4chan is definitely not welcome and existing users are hostile towards them. A large part of these users is from the US and are either in high-school or college.

However, unlike conventional belief, most of these people do not do drugs, do not have any criminal charges against them and do not have a low self-esteem. Oh, and they might occasionally hate snow too but that is a totally different issue.

How 4Chan Anon Games Google Trends

4Chan has been notorious at trending topics on Google Search for a long time now. Google Trends basically track number of searches made for a particular term and then automatically pushes it up the trends if there are lots of searches happening for the same topic. Once a search term enters the trends, it can be viewed at http://www.google.com/trends/.

Many of Google search trends in the past have led to nothing and instead are some sort of pranks played by 4Chan Anon users on someone or the other. Quite recently 4Chan Anon members started to attack several big sites including MasterCard, Visa and PayPal among others for Operation Payback for .

Boing Boing did a good post on the tools being used by them to carry this attack. In that post, they had a link to an interesting image on how 4Chan wanted to spread rumors of it having access to Credit Card numbers of MasterCard users which can be viewed here. In that image, there was a section where instructions were posted on how to get into trending topics in Google Search.

Google search "MasterCard deemed unsafe". Go to RefreshThing.com. Paste Google search URL into url bar. Press Go!.

Doing this will automatically increase the number of records Google gets for a particular search and then get it into the trending topics and to the eyes of more users. This is not the first time that Google search trends have been gamed and it has been methodically carried out by lots of users in the past. However, 4Chan definitely has the clout to get it done. Such trending topics are also a cause for a lot of spam in Google News.

4Chan Anon group has definitely become quite an influence on the Internet and have probably reached a place of dominance where they can control it. Whether it is right or wrong is for you to decide.

I have contacted Google on this issue and am awaiting a response from the in this matter.

Breaking: 4Chan Anon Takes Down PayPal.com

Updates at the bottom

4Chan’s Anon has finally taken down PayPal over their fiasco. This is getting really bad today and lot of sites have been taken down.

anon_paypal_down

Currently PayPal.com is completely down as you can see from the screenshot above. Earlier today the PayPal blog was taken down after they blocked payments to Wikileaks, PayPal has claimed that no-one had contacted them to stop payments to Wikileaks.

Earlier today 4Chan members had also brought down MasterCard, A Swiss Bank and Visa websites through DDoS attack. Both and  suspended Anon accounts earlier today, making this battle even more prolific. When this battle will end is not certain, but Wikileaks has definitely take a new twist altogether.

PayPal Down

Update: PayPal.com looks to be down even after an hour. Down for me or Everyone also confirms the same.

Update 2: Only http://paypal.com seems to be down, www.paypal.com seems to be working fine. If you type paypal.com in your browser it does not work, if you type www.paypal.com it works Ok. Thanks @hp_lifelive.

PayPal Says US Department Did Not Contact Them About Wikileaks

Looks like PayPal is playing a safe game. After suffering a DDoS account on their blog by 4Chan Anon members, PayPal has now come up with a new blog post explaining on why they blocked the Wikileaks account.

The account was again reviewed last week after the U.S. Department of State publicized a letter to WikiLeaks on November 27, stating that WikiLeaks may be in possession of documents that were provided in violation of U.S. law.  PayPal was not contacted by any government organization in the U.S. or abroad. We restricted the account based on our Acceptable Use Policy review.  Ultimately, our difficult decision was based on a belief that the WikiLeaks website was encouraging sources to release classified material, which is likely a violation of law by the source.

It turns out that PayPal had also blocked the Wikileaks account back in 2008 and 2009 too because of unacceptable policies used by . PayPal had also reviewed the Wikileaks account last week after the U.S. Department of State publicized a letter to Wikileaks on November 27, however, they have clearly mentioned that no U.S. or other government representatives had contacted them earlier.

PayPal has been notorious about locking and blocking accounts without proper notices, so this might just be another ploy to pacify people about where they stand.

Back in February 2010, PayPal had stopped personal payments to and from India without properly notifying users. Many users including me were upset about that issue, you can read my sentiments about the PayPal issue back then.  Nevertheless, whether it is something PayPal did themselves or based on some Governments’ directive, the damage has already been done. Looks like Wikileaks is taking a lot of people down this time.

Twitter Suspends Operation Payback Account, Will 4Chan Attack Twitter Now?

has suspended the account of the Anon "Operation Payback" team @Anon_Operation. This account was being used by the Anon team to send out messages on when they were going to hack which site.

Operation Payback Twitter Account Suspended

Quite recently Anon took down Visa.com and had flashed several messages on Twitter about the operation. Now as SAI is reporting, the account has been suspended by Twitter.

Twitter was one of the targets for Anon to attack, because they thought they were censoring content from the trending topics. However, Twitter has denied those claims, but the suspension of the "Operation Payback" account could enrage the members of Anon who might possibly DDoS Twitter.

Start bracing yourself for some Twitter downtime.

Update: Operation Payback is now back on Twitter as @Anon_Operationn

Update 2: The original @Anon_Operation account is now back up. There was a tweet from the account which said that the deletion was accidental.

Anon Team Attacks VISA.com Over Wikileaks

The Anon team which was earlier attacked MasterCard and PayPal in Defense have now taken down Visa.com. The attack was publicized on through the handle @Anon_Operation.

Anon Operation Payback Wikileaks

The folks behind Anon are calling this operation, Operation Payback and are bringing down websites which have anything to do with blocking payments or funding to Wikileaks.

Visa.com Website Down

Anon members are actually members of the notorious 4Chan board who have their share of fun DDoSing websites. They have in the past taken down several popular sites including Tumblr, Gawker Media, RIAA and MPAA among others. Currently Visa.com is down, so it looks like they were able to hit the target this time too.

Both 4Chan and Tumblr Down, Everyone Loses

If you haven’t been following the news today, you might have missed a exciting one where both 4Chan and Tumblr were planning to take each other down. If you really missed it, head over to Techmeme to catch up on the news. 4Chan which has a notorious anonymous board at /b/ have been part of numerous takedowns in the past using DDoS.

4Chan Bought Down by Tumblr Users

Recent examples of 4Chan takedowns have been RIAA and MPAA, the agencies which enforce copyrights on behalf of the music and movie industry. However, it looks like 4Chan met their match today in the form of Tumblr, with both of them promising to take down each other.

Tumblr Bought Down by 4Chan Users

The end result is for all to see. Both 4Chan and Tumblr are down and it looks like that they have both lost in this battle. Earlier 4Chan attacks have been largely anonymous and hard to detect, but this attack on Tumblr was pre-meditated and publicly known. This is why Tumblr users retaliated and bought down 4Chan too.

In the end, these types of attacks are really not worth it and will just make the internet more inaccessible to everyone. Imagine the millions of regular users of Tumblr and 4Chan who will not be able to access their services thanks to the feud run by people who aren’t even concerned about them.

In the end everyone is a loser, including both Tumblr and 4Chan users themselves.

(h/t @manan)

4Chan Takes Down RIAA, MPAA In A Pre-Meditated Attack

4Chan the notorious board who go beyond anime images have brought down the piracy watchdogs of the music and media industry in a pre-meditated DDoS attack, which might definitely be a big blot on these two powerful agencies.

RIAA 4Chan

Piracy is hard to tackle, but the music industry has RIAA and MPAA who track torrents and other downloads by placing "moles" in the downloads that are then used to track illegal downloaders and then sue the hell out of them.

However, in an about turn the members of the notorious 4Chan board have struck at both the MPAA and RIAA, systematically taking down both of their websites through a DDoS attack started out by Anon of infamous 4Chan /b/ group.

The RIAA attack which was pre-meditated and openly published was even more devastating for the agency since they already had prior info on the attack and couldn’t do anything about it. Currently the RIAA websites are too slow to open and sometimes even fail to load.

So is the 4Chan group really targeting RIAA and MPAA for them coming after illegal users, or is this a show off of the powerful Internet democracy where everyone has a right to speak what they want to?

No statement yet from RIAA or MPAA, but it might not be a surprise if they decide to sue millions of Anon users for the DDoS attacks Winking smile. This is probably the 4th high profile attack by 4Chan, with Gawker Media and Verizon being their other recent victims.

(Source: TechCrunch)