Hackers linked with the online imageboard 4chan known as Anonymous have brought down the site of Swiss bank PostFinance. Anonymous is also said to behind a chain of attacks on e-commerce business PayPal that has resulted in the site’s blog closing down.
The group has targeted these sites as they discontinued service to WikiLeaks soon after the site of Julian Assaange put up secret embassy cables. The group claims that they intend to go after any website that is “bowing down to government pressure.” Other organizations that have cut ties with WikiLeaks include EveryDNS.net, Amazon and MasterCard whose site has also suffered an attack.
For those who are unaware, WikiLeaks has been making public top secret information that the American government views as damaging to its diplomatic and defense relations with other countries. WikiLeaks has stated that its computer systems have faced a blitz of attacks over the past weeks that it attributed to U.S. intelligence agencies and its associates. A Penatgon spokesman Col. David Lapan has come out and denied the allegations
A representative of WikiLeaks has distanced the new media organization from the Anonymous. The spokesperson has stated that,
“We neither condemn nor applaud these attacks. We believe they are a reflection of public opinion on the actions of the targets.”
Following the attacks, Anonymous has seemingly come under pressure as well. Its main website has become inaccessible and its Twitter account has also been removed.
According to Paul Mutton, an analyst from the internet research and security company Netcraft, Anonymous and its supporters are employing an altered version of software that is used for carrying out “stress testing” on websites. This method permits even followers of Anonymous who are not technically adept to cause damage to websites. This simple procedure involves downloading the file that is then operated from a distance to send a stream of bogus pages to the website.
In a different sub-plot, a charge has been laid against Pakistan over falsifying leaked cables that besmirch the reputation of the Indian government.