1. Moneybookers.com taken down by DDoS attacks

    Moneybookers.com is the latest site to be taken down by the ongoing WikiLeaks-related attacks.

    The attack was organised to start at 09:20 GMT on Friday, but did not appear to have any immediate impact; however, the site eventually succumbed shortly after 11:00.

    This latest attack was announced in advance on Operation Payback's Twitter stream. Moneybookers had previously collected WikiLeaks donations, but closed down their account after WikiLeaks was put on an official US watchlist and an Australian government blacklist.

    Real-time performance graphs for www.moneybookers.com and several other sites involved in the WikiLeaks attacks can be monitored at http://uptime.netcraft.com/perf/reports/performance/wikileaks

    Posted by Paul Mutton on 10th December, 2010 in Around the Net

  2. Operation Payback aborts attack against Amazon.com

    The scheduled attack against Amazon.com has been called off after it failed to make any impact on the site's performance.

    The Anonymous group decided the "hive" of computers in its botnet was not big enough to take on the might of Amazon, who are evidently quite good at providing highly scalable web hosting services, not just on their own website, but also on their EC2 service. Their European datacenter, which formerly hosted the WikiLeaks website, accounts for more than a third of all internet-facing web servers in Ireland.

    Operation Payback still intend to carry out a distributed denial of service attack against Amazon.com, but appear unable do so without more volunteers taking part in their botnet. The botnet currently contains around 2000 computers, each of which can receive attack commands from the group's IRC network.

    It is likely that other computers are also involved in the attacks. The group's network of IRC servers is under a fair amount of load, with some servers refusing connections, and others already at their user limits. To solve this problem, some 'hacktivists' are instead using a browser-based JavaScript version of the LOIC tool. Clicking on the "IMMA CHARGING MAH LAZER" button causes the page to make a large volume of requests to the target site.

    Posted by Paul Mutton on 9th December, 2010 in Around the Net

  3. Attacks against Amazon imminent

    Operation Payback has announced its next attack, which will target www.amazon.com. It will be interesting to see whether Amazon can withstand the type of DDoS attacks that successfully brought down Visa.com and MasterCard.com over the past 24 hours.

    PayPal was the most recent target – first paypal.com, and then api.paypal.com – in an apparent attempt to prevent retailers accepting payments via PayPal. Many websites and consumers are still reporting difficulties making payments with credit cards and PayPal funds.

    The Anonymous group claims that Amazon is selling the leaked cables. Amazon.co.uk is currently selling a Kindle e-book of the first 5000 cables (ironically encrypted and with DRM), although it is not apparent whether this is genuine:

    Operation Payback has acknowledged that the attack against Amazon may be more difficult than any other recent attack. However, the voluntary botnet used in the attacks has continued to grow in size, making it easier to take down larger sites.

    Operation Payback has suffered a few setbacks during the attacks. Its website was suspended yesterday, and its previous Twitter account was suspended overnight. The group is currently announcing targets via IRC and its new Twitter account, @AnonOpsNet.

    The group is still without a website, and so has become increasingly dependent on its Internet Relay Chat network, both as a point of contact, and as a way of controlling the botnet. The group's IRC servers were refusing connections due to too many users being connected, but this problem was later resolved and the IRC network is currently spread across 10 IP addresses.

    Real-time performance graphs for www.amazon.com and several other sites involved in the WikiLeaks attacks can be monitored at http://uptime.netcraft.com/perf/reports/performance/wikileaks

    The attack is due to begin at approximately 16:00 GMT today (Thursday).

    Posted by Paul Mutton on 9th December, 2010 in Around the Net

  4. Strong Hosting Growth in Ireland due to Amazon EC2 Datacenter

    Despite its economic woes, Ireland is the country with the largest growth* this year in number of public-facing web servers in Netcraft's hosting provider server count. However, this is mostly due to large growth at Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service.

    Ireland computer growth

    Amazon started offering its EC2 service in the EU in December 2008, via a datacenter in Dublin. Since then it has been the fastest-growing hosting company in Ireland. Amazon's cloud hosting now makes up more than a third of all internet-facing web servers in Ireland, with three times more web servers hosted than the next largest hosting location.

    (more...)

    Posted by Colin Phipps on 9th December, 2010 in Hosting

  5. Visa.com taken down by botnet volunteers

    Visa.com has been taken down by a distributed denial of service attack carried out by WikiLeaks supporters. Despite having its own website suspended, Operation Payback successfully managed to take down Visa.com by reconfiguring its existing LOIC botnet to attack the new target.

    Operation Payback successfully took out MasterCard.com earlier today, using only 400 LOIC clients when the site first went down. Even though Visa.com generally receives fewer visitors than MasterCard.com, it is hosted on the Akamai content distribution network. It was therefore regarded as a more difficult target, so the hacktivist group waited until they had more than 2000 active LOIC clients before commencing the latest attack against Visa.

    The attack appears to have succeeded – Visa.com was taken down almost immediately and remains inaccessible for many of its visitors.

    Real-time performance graphs for www.visa.com can be viewed here. Several other sites involved in the WikiLeaks attacks can also be monitored at http://uptime.netcraft.com/perf/reports/performance/wikileaks

    Posted by Paul Mutton on 8th December, 2010 in Around the Net

  6. Operation Payback site suspended for “furfaggotry”

    The Operation Payback website behind today's voluntary botnet attack against MasterCard has been suspended.

    suspended for furfaggotry(!)

    www.anonops.net had previously offered download links for denial of service software. This software is installed by willing volunteers and waits to receive instructions from a central Internet Relay Chat server. More than 1,600 of these software clients were involved in today's retaliatory attack against MasterCard, although there were apparently only 400 running when the MasterCard site was first taken down.

    The suspended site is hosted by LeaseWeb in the Netherlands (see Netcraft's site report). Target sites are still being announced via IRC and the @Anon_Operation Twitter stream.

    Posted by Paul Mutton on 8th December, 2010 in Around the Net

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