The Anonymous of 4chan have taken it up to defend WikiLeaks, at least on the web. In addition to creating hundreds of mirrors for WikiLeaks content and spreading them through torrents and file transfer sites, 4chan users have also launched severe DDoS attacks against many organizations that threaten the existence of WikiLeaks.
Among many other, Anonymous are targeting PayPal, MasterCard and PostFinance as these financial institutions openly prevented WikiLeaks from carrying out its financial transactions. The attacks against PayPal were not so effective as they could only take the PayPal blog down, however, 4chan users got more success with PostFinance and MasterCard. PostFinance, the bank that has frozen Julian Assange’s account, suffered an outage of more than 16 hours due to these DDoS attacks. However, not admitting that it was taken down by a bunch of notorious internet users, the bank issued a statement that the outage was caused by an overload of inquiries:
Access to www.postfinance.ch and thus also e-finance is currently overloaded owing to a multitude of online enquiries. The security of customer data is not affected.
More importantly, Anonymous were able to hack into and take down the MasterCard website for several hours. The website still fails to load for a lot of users. The operation has been called ‘Operation PayBack’ and the group behind it posts regular updates through its Twitter account @Anon_operation. Here is one of the tweets by the group confirming the attack on MasterCard:
WE ARE GLAD TO TELL YOU THAT http://www.mastercard.com/ is DOWN AND IT’S CONFIRMED! #ddos #wikileaksOperation:Payback(is a bitch!) #PAYBACKabout 6 hours ago via Chromed Bird